**Please forgive me for any incoherent thoughts, incomplete sentences, or improper use of grammar. Or, as I like to call it, my normal writing. I'm typing this with a lack-of-caffeine induced headache.**
I grew up Southern Baptist and Baptists as a denomination don't give much consideration to the church calendar. Oh, there are plenty of potlucks, ice cream socials, and get-togethers on the events calendar, but the liturgical calendar with the seasons of Advent and Lent are not given much air time. So I spent a large portion of my lifetime with the (incorrect) knowledge that only Catholics celebrate Lent.
As an adult, I've come into a greater understanding of the holy seasons, and while I may not fully subscribe to all of the rules and regulations conceived by other denominations/religions for Lent, I believe the overall idea is an appropriate way to prepare one's heart prior to the celebration of Holy Week.
A couple of days ago, my friend Drew tweeted that he is participating in the Forty Days of Water Project, hosted by the Blood:Water Mission. I went to their website and found this information:
"What if water was the only option to sustain us? And what if we had to walk miles to get water - only to have a water source that is contaminated and full of disease?
Choose to make water your only beverage for 40 Days between February 17 - April 3 to help Blood:Water Mission provide clean water for people in Africa who don't have a choice.
By giving up what you'd normally drink in exchange for the water from your tap you can save that money to help build clean water projects for communities in Uganda. You can stay updated on the work you are enabling by reading our blog and Uganda project updates."
As a lover of soft drinks, iced tea, and hot coffee, and as I've had neither in the last 24 hours, I can't tell you what exactly I was thinking when I agreed with myself to participate. Although I know that if you're first thought is, "Oh, this sounds easy!" and you don't already drink water 100% of the time, you may want to think again.
I can also tell you that I have an extreme lack of self-discipline (the evidence of which is too lengthy for this post), and that I'm cautiously looking forward to seeing how the Lord will work in my own heart in the coming 40 days. I know it will be real, but it won't be easy. Change never is.
I've already run into a couple of snags. I don't know that there's a really good system for calculation how much I have "saved," so I'm making it up as I go along. If we eat out, I usually get a drink. For the next 40 days, I'll skip the drink and add that to the total. No brainer.
But how do I categorize milk? Because I eat a lot of cereal. So I decided that milk as a necessary part of a meal (like for cereal at breakfast), doesn't count as a drink. But a large ice cold glass of milk with a side of brownie counts as a drink, so I'll be skipping those. The milk for Lent and the brownie for my waistline.
Finally, our tap water is pretty disgusting. I realize that bottled water isn't environmentally-sound, but it is sound for my body because I appreciate having a functioning liver and kidneys, so I'm not really committing to drinking 100% tap water. I'll still be buying the bottled kind.
I don't "regularly" purchase coffees or other drinks. It's not as if I'm giving up a daily Starbuck's run because I drink my Starbucks fresh-brewed from home. So the rest will be guesswork. If we have guests over for dinner, I'll calculate in the price of a 2 liter. If I feel like stopping by Sonic for a Route 44 during Happy Hour, I'll add that in with as much honestly as I can.
I hope this doesn't seem like I'm tooting my own horn. Rather, my main reason for posting this is to raise awareness of the project and invite you to join me! Or feel free to share in the comments if you participate in Lent or not. We can support one another. And share some Tylenol.