Ok, I'll admit it. I am addicted to Dr. Pepper. It is, and has been my friend for many years. I've tried giving it up before and was successful at different times, but then when times got stressful again, I lost all control. I don't just drink one a day. No, it is way more than that. In more recent years, any attempt to give it up has been a futile effort. Things have been a little harried with the kids and school and life, and that was my one out. I don't drink coffee, and rarely have a glass of wine, so I reasoned that this was a small thing. In all honesty, though, I know I reach for it as an emotional comfort. When my blood pressure rises, I walk out to the garage and grab a "cold one!" I am really glad I never started smoking, because no telling how many packs I'd be up to by now. It started being a bigger problem when I realized that my kids are watching how much soda I drink. I also know all that sugar and caffeine and some other ingredient that I can't remember are really bad for me. Not to mention all those extra calories. (And I wonder why I can't lose 10 pounds!) It also is expensive ( I only like the bottles). But even knowing all that, it seemed beyond me, more than I could do. "Come on God, don't ask for that too," I found myself whining. I know this silly drink is an obstacle in my walk with Christ though, because I turn to it for comfort, instead of Him.
I started seriously contemplating giving Dr.Pepper up for Lent this year a few weeks ago. I didn't think I'd be able to do it, so I started telling people that I was going to do it. I think a lot of sacrificial stuff should stay private, but I knew that if I wasn't held accountable it wouldn't happen. I especially had to tell my kids so that failing wouldn't and couldn't be an option. God is good, and just by sharing with a few people, He encouraged me through their words. My new brother-in-law shared that when we think we can't do it, aren't we saying that we think God can't give us the power to do it? That was powerful, don't I think God created the world, certainly He can give me the courage and strength to let this go. Also, our Deacon at church said when we give something up it is hard, but that is how we grow. He said Lent is like Winter for our soul, but when Lent is over and we rejoice on Easter Sunday, we will have Spring on the Earth and in our souls!
So the Ash Wednesday headache that stretched into Thursday is better. I still am craving a Dr. Pepper and I'm not saying that on Easter Sunday I won't rejoice with a refreshing "cold one!" But for now, God is helping me and it is good.