Sunday, February 14, 2010

Getting ready for Lent

I can't remember ever having such a difficult time trying to decide what to give up for Lent. This year I feel totally stumped for ideas, and conflicted over the ones that I have. Generally speaking, I typically do something that rates as being rather weak. (Nice, huh?) Last year, I gave up a particular Girl Scout cookie (carmel delights, or Samoas depending on your region) and I forced myself to wear my retainer every night. The result was I wound losing all desire to eat the cookies that were 70 calories a piece and I my teeth were perfectly straight again. (That made my parents happy. They get upset when the see my teeth shifting since they spent a nice chunk of money on orthodontics.) To be honest, last years effort was sad. I should have been wearing the retainer all along, even though I usually don't. And the cookies were easily replaced with other cookies. Not much of a sacrifice.

Chances are I would have settled for something equally weak again for this Lent if it weren't for Bryan declaring that he will be giving up all meat for Lent. That is a huge shock to me. This is the guy who generally balks at having for forgo meat on Fridays during Lent. Last year we had one Friday where it was 12:00PM and I caught him eating cold cuts. So I promptly pointed out that it was officially Friday and he needed to toss the meat. Instead, he stuffed it all in his mouth and ate it which totally irritated me. I can't think of a single Lent since I started dating him where he hasn't forgotten about not eating meat on Friday.

With Bryan going meat free for Lent, it has forced me to look at what I'm sacrificing and see if it's really even a sacrifice. Sure I could give up a particular candy, but wouldn't it mean more if I went without all candy? Then, I thought maybe I could just make it to one daily Mass a week. While that wouldn't be bad, it would really only require me to lose one hour of sleep a week so I could make it to the 6:45AM Mass. Or, I could not lose the sleep and just take the girls to the 6PM Wednesday Mass. Either way, both of those options feel like they would be taking the easy way out. Then I thought, maybe I can just hide behind reading something for spiritual growth during Lent. Nah, that doesn't work since I do that almost daily, but I will be reading two books daily during Lent (The Gargoyle Code and The Magnificat Lenten Companion).

As much as I hate the idea of a candy free Lent, I feel compelled to go in that direction. Bryan thinks it's destined for failure. In some ways I think that he's right, but I'm hopeful that I can muster the will power necessary to persevere. I do have to wonder how compelled I'd feel to do this if I didn't feel like I needed to compete with Bryan on some level. If he was just giving up coffee or soda for Lent, I probably wouldn't have even considered giving up candy. I have a massive sweet tooth and this will certainly be a challenge of epic proportion. Is it wrong to try to match your spouse's Lenten sacrifice so you don't feel outdone? Hmm.....I wonder if that's the sin of pride.

I'm still trying to figure out just how much I'm going to have the girls do for Lent. I signed up for Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure. I also got Madeline a Lenten workbook that looks like it will be a lot of fun. Last night, I taped our Merciful Cross on the basement door. I got the idea from Pondered in My Heart. The spiritual and corporal works of mercy are listed on the door. When anyone in the house performs one of the works of mercy, they can write it down on one of the little flower cut outs that I made and paste it on the cross. By Easter, the cross will hopefully be covered in flowers. (I'll blog about this with pictures later this week).

I still have to write up lesson plans for each of my CCD classes for the coming week. I had other lessons planned for the days that got snowed out, but I want to cover Lent this week. I need to find crafts and activities that are relevant.

I'm in for a busy week ahead. I can feel it!


  1. I had a friend who gave the first 21 days of this year to God; she resolved to watch less TV and not play any computer games and give up sugar; I told her I would do the no sugar with her; it wasn't hard because I gave it to God and I knew although it was a sacrifice at times (no desserts when we went out to eat); I also had made a commitment to God I wanted to honor. Whatever you give up I know will be such a commitment; not sure if I could give up meat the whole 40 days though


  2. I think you should view giving up candy as trying to be a good support to your husband, who sometimes struggles with practicing his faith, by giving up something equally challenging. BTW don't forget to celebrate on Sundays.


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