40 days of water

The 40 Days of Water project is sponsored by Blood: Water Mission. It's beautiful. Check it out.

Today was forty-five degrees outside! The warmest day since early December.  Sadly I didn’t realize it until the evening when I finallydecided to change out of my pajamas and visit the Volunteer House across the street where the boys live… typical Sunday protocol.  I have been nicely productive today, sending in my tax returns after ages of agonizing over them (they are ridiculous and you are crazy if you think otherwise) and taking care of a huge chunk of my LVC app.  Also watched most of the Oscars tonight with Caitie, and we had fun critiquing the fashion and applauding the random dance montage.

For the Lent season, I decided to get half-way involved in Blood: Water Mission‘s 40 days challenge of drinking just water.  The idea is to gather all the lettuce you would normally drop on things like coffee or soda, and give all of it to the non-profit, which will then use all the donations to provide fresh water wells in communities that are otherwise getting nourishment from primitive watering holes.  I don’t buy drinks much anymore, but I still wanted to incorporate this sentiment into my Lenten journey.  This is the first year that I’ve been in sincere communion with Jesus and actively participated in Lent.  The past two years my heart has never been in the right place.  For that matter, my understanding of Lent growing up and in college meant giving up something sugary or indulgent that you really shouldn’t be having or doing in excess in the first place, depriving yourself unhappily and grumbling until giving up in mid-March.  Not particularly attractive nor very God-glorifying.  This time around though, it’s hard not to be influenced by this richly Catholic community, where Lent carries themes of deep renewal and continual sanctification.  It’s really a beautiful thing to them and I’m beginning to treasure it.

The first thing I noticed in the first week was how little I drink water, followed right after by how much I drink orange juice, milk, tea, coffee and soda pop in its place.  The reminder that the majority of underdeveloped communities don’t get to enjoy my favorite chai, let alone fresh, microbe-free water, has also been deep.

Most vividly to me though, has been the dreams.  Trippy, delusional dreams.  I don’t remember them ten minutes after I wake up, but I do know that that they are always bright, detailed, emotional and have heavy stories.  I also have been having the most out of control mood swings, that roller coaster on a daily basis, literally.  Maybe it’s the emerging Spring air…

But my dad had an insightful observation that perhaps the two parallels are more related.  When I mentioned coffee, I should have prefaced that with ‘multiple mugs a day’, and when I stopped drinking it I marveled at the lack of side effects or withdrawals.  I told my dad this after lamenting about those stupid tax returns I couldn’t figure out and he immediately piped that the two things might not be exclusive.

Hmmm!  I’m sure there’s some mind-boggling biochemistry involved and I’m gonna try to look into it this week.  But I don’t want to get caught up in what I’m depriving myself of or get myself distracted by the details.  Going along with the sincerity that many traditions or ceremonies in the church were born from, I want this season to not just be a religious habit but a spiritual movement in which I learn more about God’s character and bring the idea of continual sanctification nearer to my heart.