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Blog: Wellness Wednesday “From The Bottle To A Glass”

 

Wellness Wednesday (Ideas To Empower Church Worker & Congregational Wellness) – “From The Bottle To A Glass”

February often brings with it the season of Lent, along with abstinences and intentions designed to help us focus our hearts and minds on Jesus’ road to the cross.  While I didn’t grow up ‘giving up something for Lent’ at some point as an adult, I was introduced to the concept and realized it was something I needed to do.  Something had become difficult to ‘live without.’

So, for about ten years now, I have given up alcohol during the season of Lent.  I realized it had become a stronghold for me, taking the place of healthier ways of managing stress in my life. I experienced immediate relief and re-focus by ‘taking it off the table’ for a season.  When it wasn’t an option or a distraction, I became more present with others.

Acknowledging this issue to myself and then among a group of women (who were walking Christ-centered health and wellness journeys with me) made me realize I wasn’t alone.  It became obvious that for many Christians (including church workers), either alcohol or ‘too much of something else’ was a stronghold. Conversations revealed that the frequency of use and casual attitude toward alcohol, even among young parents, was more common than I realized.

As an ‘older woman,’ I became concerned that my joking or casual conversation about having a glass (or bottle) of wine when I got home from a stressful day was guiding younger women (specifically our church preschool staff) into habits that could negatively impact their marriages and children.  I felt responsible and wanted to model a healthier, godly lifestyle.

So, while giving up alcohol for a season was initially a sacrifice to help me focus on Jesus during Lent, it became a healthier living challenge. Through mindful tracking and Christian accountability, I am moving from ‘the bottle to a glass’ and enjoying ‘occasionally rather than regularly.’

I challenge you to track and prayerfully consider limiting your use of alcohol this Lenten season.  The CDC guides are not to drink if you don’t already, and if you do, monitor the amount. If you do not use alcohol, consider tracking other things habitually included in your diet that could be negatively impacting your wellness (i.e., soda, sweets, and snacks with little to no nutritional value.)  Track and consider whether they need to be part of your regular intake or would better be enjoyed ‘occasionally.’

Shawn Maassel, DCE
First Lutheran Church,
Huntingtown, MD
Body & Soul Fitness – Where Faith & Fitness Meet!