Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How am I (Joyful Darkness) celebrating Lent?

Weird thing is, as a Lutheran Christian, I really don't celebrate Lent. We do recognize the *season* of Lent, but not necessarily the*celebration* or *practice* of Lent. I grew up in a very 'old-school' household, where we didn't eat meat on Friday Night, and everyone gave up something (by choice). Today, however, I have a very different understanding of Lent, and what it means to me, and how to celebrate it.

Basically, I am supposed to be getting ready for the good news of Jesus' death and resurrection, and as such I should be trying to be more like him. Get rid of the bad, and focus on being more... well, GOOD I suppose. So how am I going to do that?

I decided to give up caffeinated coffee, chocolate, and fast food (kind of). I'll explain in greater detail in a sec. I am ADDING in crocheting 40 scarves for the homeless, getting more rest, and finding more money to put in the offering plate (one way or another).

So lets break these down a bit.

Give Ups:
1. Caffeinated Coffee - It's bad for my heart, and it one of my migraine triggers. It can also keep me from getting a good night's sleep.
2. Chocolate - while in small quantities chocolate is not *bad*, it is a problem for me. It contains caffeine, and processed sugar which aren't good for my heart, and is high in calories from fat and sugar. I do let myself have one cadbury cream egg a day ( if there are any in the house).
3. Fast Food - I realized that my DH and I were going back to the expensive habit of fast food for lunch most (work)days. So, in order to free up some money, and our waistlines (a bonus) we are trying for 1 fast food day per work week. For me that's 1 fast food MEAL per work week. DH can make his own decisions. 

Give Ups Goals - to get rid of the HABITS. I'll eventually have a full-caff cuppa joe again, but not 2-3 everyday. I might slide and eat 2 fast food meals per work week, but not go back to the 4 days habit I've had.

Add Ins:
1. Scarves. I want to give back. In order to keep it from feeling like WORK and more like a CHOICE, I try to mix it up a bit. Give to one place for a while, then to another, then to another... or help out with different kinds of charities, and ministries. This Lent, I want to make scarves for the Day Resource Center in Howard County, MD.

2. Sleep. I don't get enough, and its starting to wear on me. Aside from making me late for work, its made me a Cranky Joyful Darkness...

3. Money for the offering plate. Part of giving up some of our fast food eating, will allow us to give more to our church. Part will be upping our general fund giving, and part will be going to scholarships for teenagers, for youth group activities.

Add Ins Goals: We all want to be better people. I think these things will help me do just that.

So, I'll be back later with stories.
Joyful Darkness

What is Lent?

Lent is generally considered the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, and is 40 days, though it actually is more like 46 in today's practice. It is a time of fasting, prayer, and preparing for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Historically, Lenten fasting, and forgoing did not include Sundays, which are Feast days in the Catholic and Orthodox tradition.This is how we go from the 46 days to only 40. 

Throughout the years, there have been a variety of ways to celebrate, but has always included some version of a fast, and some sort of prayer, and often an activity or food that is enjoyed but not necessary is given up for the Lenten Season.

Which brings me to this blog.We are journaling our experiences with Lent as a way to bolster each other, and maybe find out a bit about ourselves. I hope you enjoy.

For more Info:
wikipedia article on Lent
quick review of Lenten Season
Catholic Online article on Lent