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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, which (growing up in non-denominational and typically non-traditional churches) has meant nothing to me for most of my life.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, a time of preparation for the believer - through prayer, penitence, alms giving and self-denial - for the annual commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus. (According to Wikipedia that is...)

I remember in high school going through a phase where I gave something up for Lent each year, but I think it's because I was dating a Catholic and living in the Midwest (where most folks are "Catholic" the way most Southerners are "Baptist"). I have always appreciated my upbringing in churches where I could understand what the preacher was talking about and enjoyed the music, but as an adult I find myself drawn to liturgical traditions like Advent and Lent. I love the way Christians all over the world are united by these traditions.

If you're my "friend" me on facebook (which you  totally should be by the way) you might have seen that I posted yesterday wondering if I should give up chocolate or facebook for Lent. B Daddy said, "chocolate isn't much of a sacrifice babe. Give up facebook." Such a man.

Chocolate is an indulgence for which I will drive to the store in the pouring rain at 9:30pm in my PJs. 'Nuff said.

Facebook is a link to the outside world for this stay-at-home mama. It's an easy way to feel connected to those near and far. But it's a black hole for me some days. I'll check obsessively out of boredom or for no reason at all. All those minutes add up. Minutes that I could better spend in prayer or in penitence.

After much thought I've decided to give up both. At first it was just the self-denial I was interested in (that seems to be the trendy and/or culturally acceptable part of Lent) but now I'm interested in the other facets of Lent as well. Giving up chocolate will truly be a huge self-denial for me. Giving up facebook will help me devote more time to prayer and repentance.

I'm excited! And scared. Yes I totally chowed down on brownies, ice cream sandwiches and downed some hot chocolate last night. (I'm nursing. Needed the calories.) But I denied myself the self-indulgence of a good-bye post on facebook. Out without a bang.

Here's to the next 40 days! Are you observing Lent in any way this year?


  1. Yes, but you already know that. We are giving up tv for Lent. Lee will be able to watch The Office and I will watch the season finale of The Bachelor (only because I had already planned a girls' night around it) but that's it. No Hawaii 5-0, Bones, Survivor, American Idol, Bethenny, or Real Housewives for this lady! I foresee book reading, project finishing, and hubby conversing time in my future!!!

  2. I am giving up fried foods. I tend to be a comfort eater and when I am stressed I want french fries! So this is going to force me to deal with my stress in a different way. Maybe I wil finally start to let things go....maybe.

  3. After you go through the main withdrawal I think you are really going to enjoy the break from facebook. I decided a little of over a month ago I was becoming addicted and ridiculously upset over others posts. So, since then I have limited my time on there to twice a week. I actually get a little stressed out now right before I log on. I miss the days when we had more freedoms, no cell phones and such. Even though I need it for safety. Maybe that's why I constantly can't find my phone, I desire to be free:)

  4. I love all the posts! Such variety and so touching too. Erin, I really appreciate that your denial of fried foods goes beyond that to what they supposedly "do" for you in providing comfort. May this time of Lent be one in which we all find God in a new way and deeper way. He LONGS to be more intimate with us than we could ever know. (BTW, I am following RCC's Lenten calendar...something different everyday to do or not it was no texting, call instead.

  5. Hi Katie! I am just catching up on your blog - love it! How is it going without Facebook? A little over a month ago I deactivated my account because I felt like I was spending too much time on it and needed to take a little break. Even though I miss seeing all of the updates and pictures so far I have really enjoyed this time away from it. Take care -


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