Lent

Lint, like that stuff in your dryer that one crazy lady artist makes into sculptures? or lint, like what’s in your belly button?

Traditionally, Presbyterian churches aren’t really good at educating congregations about Lent.  We do Holy Week up right – services all week long.  We celebrate Advent for all of its Christmas goodness.  But Lent, what’s that for?  We don’t really talk about the practices of fasting and prayer and their importance in the Christian life. 

We are trying here to focus more on Lent this year.  We are having our first Ash Wednesday Service ever.  We are also having our first Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper.  I am trying to put together the program for the pancake supper, wanting to fit in a lot of information while keeping it fun – hello pancake races and mardi gras beads.

But as I prepare, I think about my own Lenten practices.  I used to be very diligent about giving something up for Lent.  There were many years that I gave up chocolate, and I wonder now how I ever did that.  One year, my mom, sister, and I gave up meat, and I wonder now how I ever did THAT.   One year, I gave up TV – I probably need to do that permanently.   There were some years where I took on something new, like reading my Bible everyday.

I have gotten away from this practice.  I blame it on Russ – he’s a bad influence.  One year in college, we decided to both give up sweet tea.  He caved on the third day of Lent, and I then fell victim to the peer pressure and drank, too.  And ever since then, I haven’t really done anything.   Last year, I blogged everyday, and that was cool…but now, that’s just kind of how I roll all the time (except for last week), so I can’t do that again.

So I’m trying to think about what I should do this year.  I want to educate the congregation about Lenten practices, but I also want to actually practice what I preach.  I mentioned in January that one of the youth was already asking me when Lent started so she could be thinking about what to give up.  She’s trying to “top” her last year’s fasting by giving up all unneccessary foods (desserts, snacks, soft drinks, etc), meanwhile I’m thinking it would be a challenge to give up chocolate again.   Hmmm….any ideas?

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On a completely unrelated note – GET EXCITED.  Russ has some pretty fun experiences as a med student, and I think it would be a pretty entertaining blog to read.  And sometimes he jokes about starting his own blog to get back at me for things I say about him.  But now, we have a compromise.  Starting next week, I will feature “MedSchoolMonday” as a guest post every week.  So, like I said, get excited.  And now that I’ve put it out there in writing, he can’t back out. 

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