About the Author

Heather is a new Texan, a homeschooling, running, party planning, and teaching mother of three with a degree focused on Biblical studies, literature, and French. She wrote a Bible study called Glimpses of Jesus in Genesis, and she writes posts every week on her blog, Glimpses of Jesus.

Related Resources & Gifts
Find more at DaySpring.com
Related
Resources
& Gifts
Find more at
DaySpring.com
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Heather,
    Your post is speaking directly to my taste buds that crave sugar. I can pass on salty pretzels, but give me something dunked in chocolate and I melt into devotion. Oh, if only I savored my Lord as I often savor sweets. I confess I’m an emotional eater and sweet, carb-laden treats set off my endorphins. What if I challenged myself to give up sweets altogether for Lent? (I once gave up Girl Scout cookies – does that count? lol). Growing up we didn’t give up things for Lent…but what a good practice of denying ourselves just like Christ denied Himself. He gave it ALL up for us. I’ve given Him my heart, but what can I do to share in His suffering in just a tiny way? Give up something I love. Lent begins on the 1st…I am going to pray about this and see what God would call me to give up? And if it’s sweets, then may He give me power to stick to my sacrifice. My thighs would also appreciate it too. Thank you for really getting me thinking about what ways, beyond giving up something, that I can observe this blessed season of Lent? He gave His life for me. What can I give back to Him? Great post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Hi. Also for Lent, equally as hard as denying yourself the sweets, is to DO Something for someone.
      Offering More Prayer Time, holy time, etc.

      • Janice,
        I agree that doing something for someone is a great way to observe Lent! One year, as I mentioned quickly above, I added in prayer in exchange for music time in the car. It was so good!
        Heather Bock

    • Bev,
      I pray that God will lead you to the way He would want you to spend Lent this year. I didn’t grow up in a church that observed Lent, either. It wasn’t until college that I experienced a church that did, but it helped me to connect more with Jesus in His sufferings, if only in a small way. Symbolism has always helped me understand God better. Thanks for commenting!
      Heather Bock

  2. Hi Heather. I too would like to say how meaningful this post was to me. I have been on a weight loss journey since August of last year, much do to some serious health issues that require me to lose weight. Still, I find myself slipping back into old habits, the worst being sugar addiction. I am going to join you as I have never done anything to celebrate lent…it’s time! God bless you

    • Hi Heather, How timely is your message in my life. I had lost 75 lbs. (Mary Southerlands Fit For Life book was my motivator) in a years time only to gain back 25 of it at Christmas because of the cookies, candies and the like. After all it’s the holidays, enjoy, right? I too crave the sugary sweets, baked goods & chocolate in any form. After all we have to eat to stay alive, why not enjoy ourselves? Oh how easy it is to justify the sin of overindulgence of any kind.

      Ah, but with every sinful over indulgence comes a bitter end result in feeling tired, disappointed with myself and my newly purchased clothing no longer fitting. Keep the old ones? Why? I was never going to go back to what I once was, so everything was donated to the local mission. Now I have to endure the pants that barely button and a wardrobe clinging to unsightly bulges and overhangs.

      But God has been showing me that while He is with me in my ongoing weight loss struggle, (after all my body is the temple that houses His Holy Spirit) His first priority is to draw me into a closer relationship with Him. So I am learning to put our relationship first and my physical body second. I can unequivocally say that my relationship with my Father has never been better as I start my day in the Word and spend time throughout the day talking with Him. I can hear His voice as never before.

      While I try not to make my appearance my first priority it is a continual struggle as I have to look in the mirror each day, watch with distain at the barely budging scale each morning, and constantly feel the discomfort of wearing pants 1 size too small. ( I refuse to buy a bigger size! )
      I know God is faithful, but like Paul in Romans 7:19; “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. ” I persevere with the help of God, knowing He is faithful.

      • Also a little trick is lemon
        Or for me wine vinegar on Foods. The lemon cuts the wanting of sweets ( meditate , put pictures up of Gods green earth and foods- and know He had created some pretty sweet fruits! -and something called Cao Co!

        • Janice,
          Thank you for the lemon tip! I’ve also heard cinnamon is a good substitute (although I don’t know if it actually cuts the desire for sweets).

      • Joyce,
        Praise God that He draws us deeper and closer to Him. I’m so glad to hear that you are spending time with Him in the morning. He has been drawing me to Him, too. I recently posted about how He is doing this with me lately, bringing me back to the basics, to my first love. I will pray for your struggle–you’re right, He is faithful!
        Heather Bock

      • Wow Joyce! What an AWESOME accomplishment! That is a lot of weight and I commend you on your dedication to your goal. I, too, have wanted to lose weight so badly. I started trying last August. In addition to watching what I was eating, I tried running for exercise…after 3 weeks I broke my knee (I’m 63 yrs old and it’s because my bone density isn’t that great!). So when that healed, I tried running on the tread mill…and was then blessed with plantar fasciitis….I’m recovering, slowly, and now I have begun riding a stationary bike. I told my husband, don’t be surprised if something happens to my rear end! Seriously, I haven’t had much success dropping the weight, so after reading the posts from so many people who struggle with sugar addiction and a loving to eat, it helps to know I am not alone and maybe success is within my grasp. I have never sacrificed anything during Lent, and I’m almost afraid to give up sugar (what if I fail?) but when I think how Jesus suffered such a horrible death out of love for me, I think it’s worth a try. Thank you all for your wonderful, encouraging posts, and this beautiful article. I love you all.

        • Hi Karen, Thanks for the encouragement. Weight loss is such a battle for so many of us. I lost my weight at the age of 63, so I know your struggles. The only equipment my joints could handle is an elliptical and using 5 lb. weights. I did it all on my own, with God’s help.
          I prayed continually, and I can’t say enough good things about Mary Southerlands book “Fit For Life”. She is one of my favorite Christian writers who is full of wisdom and encouragement. She shows how our physical, emotional, spiritual and mental issues are all intertwined, and focuses on all aspects for becoming fit. Her e-book is very reasonable (I believe it was about $10) and I still read it daily and get nuggets of truth.
          I will pray for you and your journey on becoming fit for life also. This is a never ending journey we are on.
          Joyce

      • What perfect timing! I have gained weight, 50 pounds to be exact and miserable! I literally have this blog pulled up and the tab beside it is for Emory Bariatric Surgery. I feel like this may be my only option but in my heart know it’s not the direction I need to pursue.
        Every lent season I give up soda but think this would be a great time to exclude sugary treats for my diet. Lent is the only time I am able to give up sodas by always reflecting in Jesus ultimate scarifice.
        I feel a little encouraged by this post and reading the replies. Thank you ladies. I ask that you will remember me in your prayers.

    • Rosie,
      I’m glad you’re going to join me! It’s good to know someone else is out there doing it with me when I think longingly of the chocolate ice cream sitting in the freezer. I hope you will gain more in the spiritual than you lose in the physical. Thank you for commenting!
      Heather Bock

  3. Hi Heather, this post is meaningful for me. I just finished writing a Bible study for Lent on the fruits of the spirit, and I mentioned my battle with sugar in the chapter on self-control. I plan to give up sugar for Lent too, and I’m looking forward to seeing what new things God will show me in the journey.

    • Sarah,
      I love this! For whom did you write the Bible study? Yes, self-control is a fruit I pray for in this area! If you remember, I’d love to hear what God teaches you through the process! I’m glad to hear I have someone else doing it with me.

      • Hi Heather! My Bible study is intended for anyone wanting to address nagging sins and have a more mature faith. Specifically I write for Christian women in the 25-65 age category. If you want to join in, you’re welcome. The book is available now on Amazon. The Fruitful Life: Addressing Common Sins and Growing in Faith, by me!

  4. This spoke to me, as I’m in a time where God is calling me to a life of healthier living and truly I may place more focus on what “feeds me” rather than what should “feed me”… him.
    May I be reminded of the sacrifice he made to give me life! It’s worth a trillion pounds of sweetarts to give up! ❤

    • Lindsey,
      Yes, so good! I love what you said about focusing on physical food rather than spiritual food. I think that thought could be a huge help to me this Lent–a constant reminder of what God has been teaching me lately about prioritizing spending time with Him. Thank you for commenting!

  5. I was raised with the practice of giving up something for Lent and carried this tradition into my adult years. Some years have been more successful than others but I’m not sure I “felt” the true meaning until 5 years ago and this year I’m tackling my hardest one yet!

    In 2012, I decided to give up alcohol for Lent. I made it exactly 2 days and within 30 days I found myself in rehab. This coming March 24th, I will celebrate 5 years of sobriety. I didn’t realize this of course at the time but there was no way I was just going to “put down the bottle” by myself. I did not have a true relationship with God at the time, yet he still loved me enough to save me. I “failed” in living up to my promise that Lenten season and I suffered mightily (for years in fact) but God still saved me for he had greater plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11) For several years I felt the guilt until I finally realized what I really gave up was arrogance & control and what a blessing that has become.

    My life is a complete 180 now and it’s all because of God’s grace. So this year for Lent I’ve decided to finally put down my last addiction … smoking. I’ve smoked for 25 years, awful I know. It’s time to finally release that last bit of control and I know this time I can with God’s help. I truly want to be the best version of me he created. I want to show myself the same love God showed me the night of March 23, 2012. I know tradition says you give something up for 40 days, but I’ve also heard it takes 21 days to break a habit so I figured almost double the time can’t hurt. By the way, I’ll gladly accept any prayers out there, as I too will pray for all you the Lenten season.

    In God’s Grace,
    Molly Rhea

    • Molly, you have my prayers as you “put down my last addiction.” I am still in the process of giving something up for Lent, not a practice I had engaged in previously, but recognize as beneficial. Blessings, Elsa

    • Praying for you. I have two children who smoke and I am praying they’ll lose their desire to smoke. God’s grace is greater than all our addictions.

      • April,
        What a good word of encouragement. Yes, God’s grace is greater than all our addictions: sugar, smoking, applause, control, or whatever else it might be!
        Heather Bock

    • Molly,
      I will pray for you! I love your bravery and desire to be the best version of you that He created, as you said. I love hearing your faith in Him that He will help you. He will! I also love that you recognized what it came down to in you–control. Mine goes deeper than just a desire to eat something sweet, too. I know mine has to do with self-control, of course, but sometimes it’s about making myself feel better instead of going to Jesus for the joy I need. Thank you for sharing, and I hope you come back on here at the end of Lent and tell us how you did!

    • Molly,

      Praise God you were able with help to give up alcohol. I will pray that with God and man’s help you can quit smoking for good. Your entire health will get better!! You will feel better with more energy!

      Blessings 🙂

  6. Sweetness Himself was crucufied for us and He looks at the heart not the size of your jeans. While we are being hard on ourselves, He just loves us.

    • Laurel,
      I never did growing up, but I was introduced to it in college, and I’ve learned so much from it over the years since. It’s no requirement for a Christian, but the symbolism in it can be very helpful! I hope you’ll be able to find out more about it. It might be a blessing for you, too!
      Heather Bock

  7. Heather, your thoughts bring to mind the menu from the Passover celebration with its bitter herbs and salty taste of tears. How beautiful to fashion your remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice a spiritual discipline that prepares you for the sweetness of redemption that came through His death.

    • Michele,
      Yes! I love this! God Himself gave symbolism to His people to help them learn more about Him–to understand better what He had done for them. It’s a learning tool!
      Heather Bock

  8. One year I felt led to give up shopping for lent–the 1st time I had given up anything. It proved to be such a blessing for me, freeing me from the “retail therapy ” urge. I would like to give up sugar for lent this year, but not sure if I can do it.

    • Marianne,
      If God does lead you to give up sugar this year, He will give you the strength to do it! You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength!
      Heather Bock

  9. Thank you for this. As the season of Lent is coming close, I often think about what to “give up” for Lent. Last year, it was more of what kind of nice things can I do instead of giving up something. This year, I think I will do both. Sugar is the perfect thing.

    • Cindy,
      I like the idea of doing something good in addition of giving up. I recently read The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp, which was partly about giving to others like you say.
      Heather Bock

  10. A few years ago I had stomach surgery & could only eat small amounts of food. Over time I have increased the amount I eat but every once in awhile when I’m really hungry or when what I’m eating is really good I overdo it & make myself sick. Proverbs 25:16 “Have you found honey? Eat only what you need, that you not have it in excess and vomit it.” Spoke to me and will now become my mantra when I eat. Thank you for sharing that.

  11. Heather,

    Growing up I didn’t observe lent. Even now my church doesn’t observe lent season. I applaud everyone for giving up something for 40 days. It can be so hard to make a lifestyle change, but if that brings you closer to God then it is worth it! All He requires is for us to love Him and have a great relationship with Him! I plan on cutting back on sugar & TV watching. More prayer time with Him is what I need!

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth,
      Yes, I have the same background. If I go to an Ash Wednesday service tomorrow, I will need to visit a friend’s church. Lent is definitely not required, but I’ve been glad for the reminders it has brought me when I’ve observed it. God has used it to teach me. I hope that the cutting back on tv will give you the time for the prayer you desire. May God bless you, too! Thank you for responding.

  12. “Somehow bitterness and emptiness without the sweetness of Christ becomes more of a reality. My heart longs for Him.” Love this. What a beautiful post on the lenten journey and comparing the sweetness we often settle for (sugar) vs. the sweetness we’re really craving.

    • Thank you, Melissa! I love your words, too: “the sweetness we often settle for (sugar) vs. the sweetness we’re really craving.” I’m reminded of a quote by C.S. Lewis: “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are…like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” That I would settle for ice cream when my soul really longs for Jesus is sad!

  13. Hi all. Thanks so much for the post, Heather, and ladies for your comments above. Hope you don’t mind a guy commenting – my wife sent me this blog post because I told her I was going to give up sugar for Lent (starting today!). Knowing I am not alone in this decision is very encouraging. I will pray for you all that this Lenten season you experience Christ and His passion in a new way this year. I will also pray against discouragement that Satan will most definitely throw at us over the coming days.

    • Thank you for your prayers! I’m also glad I’m not in it alone. I have to say that I messed up the FIRST day–today–and accidentally ate a chocolate covered strawberry. Oh well; I’m glad for grace. I’ll keep trying!

  14. Hi Heather,
    Just reading this. I gave up “sweets” for Lent also. I used to celebrate Lent. Years ago, I thought that it was meaningless, if I only fasted during the Lenten season, so I quit. (Maybe, a little rebellion also.) This year, I was in the process of making a delicious, ooey, gooey, heavenly dessert and the Holy Spirit prompted me to “give up sweets for Lent”. I can assure you, it definitely was the Holy Spirit.

    The absence of my sweets has truly put Jesus forefront — His denial and obedience for ME! It is a reminder of how sweets have been an integral part of my life, so should He. The joy and pleasure that I get from sweets should be the joy and pleasure that I get from Him, ALL the time. I get joy and pleasure from sharing my sweets — discipleship, huh?

    I’m still a work in progress.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Sheryll,

      That’s amazing about Him convicting you in the middle of the creation of a dessert! Were you able to abstain from eating it??

      I noticed this Lent that I craved the sweets the whole time, and yet it was such a tiny sacrifice compared to His ultimate sacrifice for us that it was almost silly. It did help remind me, though, and Easter was SUCH a full celebration (no pun intended)!