Saturday, February 16, 2013

Giving Up

Hello Friends.

We have begun the season of Lent.  And for many it is marked by some sort of personal sacrifice.  Giving up greasy fried foods.  Giving up meat.  Giving up carbs.  Giving up sweets.  Giving up Cheetos.  Giving up drinking, smoking, swearing, or some other “vice.”  While I understand that I also see something different.  As usual I'll through in a few photo's of random stuff to keep you interested.

Faith in Christ that engages mind and body, heart and soul brings redemption and righteousness, salvation and sanctification.  It transforms and transcends.  Actions and words, doing and beings, letting go and latching on, those are the two sides of the one coin of faithfulness that the Lenten Season challenges us to engage and embrace.

On the one paw is the more familiar theme of “giving up” something for Lent or “giving it up.”  But “giving it up” has another meaning.  “Giving it up” doesn't just mean getting rid of something in your life.  Sometimes “giving it up” means risking everything you have, “giving it all up” for something outside of yourself.

“Giving up” for Lent involves both word and action, both taking something on and letting something go. Lent isn't just about a temporary "get rid of bad habits or indulgences."  It's also about taking on those things that are bigger than your own life. “Giving it up” for the greater good.

It's easy to give up Cheetos for Lent.  It is much harder to give up the safety zones we build around ourselves, and our lives. It is much harder to give up our time.  But if we feel Lent in our hearts and confess Lent with our mouths, that is exactly what we are challenged to do.

Lent is both about letting something go — bad habits, bad influences, weakening works — and about taking on something — reaffirming a commitment to Christ, risking a new course in life for Christ, renewing a heartfelt conviction in the resurrection of Christ.

For as long as I can remember my MOM has taken something on for Lent, which usually meant sacrificing some of her time and energy.  One example is St. Anne's.  Over 13 years ago my MOM joined the board of directors of St. Anne's Homeless Shelter.  This meant meetings and time away from the things she likes.  She even missed softball games (a big sacrifice for her) in order to serve on the board and help out.  In the beginning she thought it would last a year. And she would be on her way.

More than 13 years later she is still there and even more so now.  And yes she still misses out on some things, but seeing the beautiful things that are happening in others lives more than makes up for a softball game, or fishing trip, or even watching a favorite TV show.  I see it this way, Jesus sacrificed so much, and if my MOM's small sacrifice helps make the world a better place it is worth it.

There is a story about Conrad Hilton, the founder of the Hilton Hotels.  During the political season back in the 50's he was interviewed and asked a question on live TV.  The reporter said, “Mr. Hilton, there are five million people watching, you can say anything you want.”  He realized he had a very large audience, so he looked the camera dead in the eye like a professional and said, “Next time any of you are in any hotel anywhere and you are planning to take a shower, please make sure that the shower curtain on the outside goes inside the bath tub.”

Bob Woodward applaud Hilton:  “He knew what was important, he knew what his audience was, and he knew what he wanted to say.  And if you think about it, it’s probably one of the most honest moments in modern media communications.”

But I say: Are you kidding?  Is this the essence of your world, your wisdom, your life:  “Put the shower curtain inside the tub?"  If that is all life is, Give It Up!  Forget about the shower curtain.  Just throw in the towel.

And throw your hat into another ring.  Give It Up and throw a towel of service and sacrifice into another ring, the ring of faith and fire.

Lent is about head, heart and hands coming together to bring us into a life of faith and ring of fire that is the most exciting adventure anyone can ever take.  A life that is about so much more than keeping the shower curtain inside the tub.

So friends I say, Let’s Give IT Up this Lent: Give it up and count your blessings.  Give it up and practice random acts of kindness.  Give it up and savor, enjoy, and live life.  Give it up and feel the joy of family and friends and strangers.  Give it up and forgive someone.  Give it up and show those you care about how much you love them.  Give it up and give of your time and effort to those in need.  Give it up and thank a "bridge" person in your life that has carried you across.  Give it up and do something beautiful for someone you don't know.

Throw in the towel to the rat-race, and throw your heart into making a difference.  Want to join me and my MOM and Give It Up?  It's and adventure like no other.  And to borrow a line from my friend LYDIA, it will leave you seeing beautiful.


  1. Oh that was a WONDERFUL post! And, very thoughtful and thought provoking. Ma is sittin' at the puter goin'...hmmmm....
    Okays, you can re-read it later Moms ~ say 'hey' to Goose for me, and lets get me a treatie!! Do I have to give them up for lent? Oh, that was the whole point of the postie wasn't it. Okay, I'll give up next months treatie money for the local that better Ma? Good. Now, about that treatie....

  2. Beautiful post Goose. Yous knows Mommy growed up believing yous was supposed to takes on a giving commitment for Lent And did not knows that other peoples gived up things until she was older. Wes LOVES it when wes runs into other peoples with the same thoughts. This year we is lending a hand walking older neighbor's dog for her as she is finding the ice difficult. We think its fun wes has a new furrend for walking!
    Love yous Goose and Mommy

  3. How purrfect! This gives us lots of food for thought. Well, thoughts for Mommy, treats for us kittehz! Happy Sunday, furriends. xoxoxo

    Pee ESs - great pics!

  4. What a wonderful and contemplative post!!! Your pictures are just amazing!! xoxo Chloe and LadyBug

  5. Mom loves your faith posts! And so do I. Mom says, "I'm going to throw in the towel." She worries too much, and despite lots of fur therapy, she is still worrying, so now we're just going to give it all up.


  6. Brilliant post and stunning pictures too. Food for thought today. Have a super Sunday.
    Best wishes Molly

  7. That was fantastic and those photo's are breath taking. Have a wonderful Sunday Goose and Mom xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

  8. thanks, i needed that.. a good slap in the face... and a good one it is.

  9. That's ABSOLUTELY beautiful!

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  10. Wow, that is such a great post Goose. We love to do kindnesses for other people. Love especially the last picture. We are going to come back and read this some more. We would really like to do all those things. Thank you.

  11. Woof! Woof! Well said ... mom's favorite church time of the year is the Lent season. Somehow many priests delivers such great sermons (just like what you've written n shared). Golden Thanks for sharing such beautiful meaning words. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  12. A few years ago for lent I gave up being my family's "Band-aid", the person who absorbed all the guilt and smoothed the path's when quarrels happen. I had to do it - the stress was killing me. It was one of the most painful things I ever did, and my family is still reforming. Overall, though, I think it was one of the best things I ever did.

    Sam's Mom, Christine

  13. THIS is one of your BESTEST Sunday Posts EVER!

  14. What a great post, Goose&Mom. Here we have the 4o days of Lent too. Thanks for the wonderful cloud pictures, they touched my heart. btw: maybe Mr. Hilton never saw A. Hitchcocks movie,if, he would change his mind about shower curtains immediately...

  15. WE saved this until Suunday Morning to read cause we are gonna miss Sunday service with you tonight. WE needed our Goose Sunday Fix. This was a beautiful post my friend. Like Frankie sayd, one of your very best...


  16. Good morning Goose..
    OMDs your pictures are amazing this morning. You live in a marshmallow world!

    Please tell your Mom thank you for this beautiful post....surely gave us a lots to ponder and a reminder of all we have to be thankful
    Hugs Madi your BFFF

  17. That was beautiful, Goose, and gives us a lot to think about! It puts Lent into a whole, new perspective! Thank you - and yes, we will be joining you!
    I love the pictures, too. I'm not sure which one I like best, but my top two are the gooses in the sky and the Goose in the river. Ha woo.

  18. What brilliant photos and wording Goose, you're a pro!
    I can't believe how much snow you have! Check out my blog to see what it's like here in Scotland!

  19. We look forward to spendin' part of our Sunday wif you Goose and you never disappoint us. Thank you for your message today.

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae and Max

  20. Goose, you are so wise. Did your mom teach you this? We will listen close to her sermon tonight!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley
    Online Doods

  21. What a wonderful post. I agree- instead of giving something up we should really look at it as giving something to others, those in need and those around us.

  22. That was beautifully said and it gives me lots to think about. Thank you and God bless you.

    Anne and Sasha

  23. Thank your Mom for us Goose, she gives us a lot to think about.


  24. Beautiful post, Goose. You explain things so well.

  25. That is a beautiful and inspiring post, Goose. I will try to "give it up" this Lent in the ways that your suggest. You know that I'm not a formally religious person, but I believe in so many of the same values as you did. In fact, I had my chance to do my first random act of kindness on the first day of Lent (I didn't realize the date until now)... I'll keep trying to do more. Thank you, Goose.

  26. We don't celebrate the season of Lent at the church I attend, but you've explained it beautifully and have inspired me once again to look a little deeper at myself. Thank-you.

  27. Thanks for the reminder, Goose. We did not sacrifice anything for Lent, but we did a volunteer project that made us feel good this week. We designed a garden for a local school, that will be implemented by the 4-H club and the Scouts. Hope to be out there soon, showing those kids how to build a raised bed and grow some veggies!
    Love the heart shaped cloud pic :D

    Wyatt's Mom

  28. You know Goose mate, I think you'll be pinching your Mom's job next! Deccy x

  29. Such a great post Goose!! Plus, the pictures are amazing!


  30. Beautiful post. I loved everything about it, including the pictures!

  31. Beautiful post, and the pictures were just perfect.

    The silvers and more

  32. That was a very thoughtful post. Thanks for sharing it. Lee and Phod

  33. Beautiful post, and one that my mom person really needed to hear right now.

    Nubbin wiggles,

  34. You are a wise, wise pup, Goose. We could all learn from your wisdom.

  35. Well, you know that last night brought tears to my eyes, though they were already brimming at the surface while reading the post. The reflections shared here can not only transform a moment, or day, or week, or the season of Lent; they can transform a life. It's all in how and why we go about giving up, giving in, giving, engaging, loving, living. I see a way they're all connected, much as you and your MOM have reflected here. If we live with that interconnectedness of these, instead of keeping them as separate entities, the verb leaves us seeing, know what's coming...beautful.