Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Today is Ash Wednesday, the official start to the 40 day period leading up to Easter Sunday, also known as the time of Lent. It's traditional for Catholics and some protestant denominations to 'give up' something for lent- fasting a certain item, activity, food- whatever of their choosing... as well as to follow some diet restrictions as well.

Though I'm not Catholic and my church does not practice this as the 'norm' (and I can't eat fish LOL), I have given some thought to what I could 'fast' for this 40 day period leading up to Easter. This is supposed to be something that you not only do regularly or eat regularly or whatever, but something that is of some importance to you. Each time that you come across that item or activity you are to pray as a reminder of the time of fasting in preparation for Easter.

I apologize in advance if I've represented this incorrectly for some faiths!!

So... I thought- I need some more focus on God as much as (MORE THAN!!) anyone else, and what better way to have my heart prepared for the resurrection of Christ than to spend this 40 days fasting... something...

But I'm having a difficult time figuring out what that 'thing' may be. I thought about the Internet as a whole but then decided with so many families in country right now that would be VERY irresponsible of me to not check in with them and be able to follow through with my commitments. Obviously not a good thing :) I've thought through a few other things, mostly related to the computer or foods, and I've had a hard time coming up with something that I do regularly which I could 'give up'... There ARE things, I KNOW there are... I'm just having a difficult time deciding.

So... any help from the peanut gallery? Thoughts on Lent? I don't drink coffee, caffeine, don't eat much chocolate or sweets (and in all honesty am still struggling with food so that would not be a good area to lessen right now- the two things I hold most strongly to right now are the two that don't make me ill- Gatorade and Sprite, which wouldn't be very wise to give up...). The biggest 'consumer' of my time is the Internet. I generally do 4 things online- E-mail, Blog (which is my journal of the kids' achievements and progress so if I don't blog... hmm... that has been a thought tho), I read some Down syndrome forums (which I regularly take 'breaks' from except for the RR forum), and I read blogs (mostly adoptive parents' blogs to be kept up on their processes/concerns).

At the moment I'm thinking that online forums and blogs that are not related to my families that I work with would be the thing that would impact me the most both in time and in regularly remembering to be in prayer.

Along with whatever I do decide... which technically I should decide today :)... I also want to add in something during this time. I want to make sure that at least 2 days a week I spend some time OUTSIDE with my kids. It's so easy to just be indoors- even if the windows are all open and we are getting fresh air, I want to give my kids that opportunity that I know they're missing to play outside on the swings and slides, to play ball, for K to ride his new bike... all those fun outdoor things!

Thoughts? What are you fasting for lent? Please remember if you comment that of course this is a personal decision so your thoughts are very much appreciated but in the end it's through prayer that I will figure out what God intends for me to do in this time. But a little prompting never hurt :)


  1. Hi - well, I am Catholic and I am fasting from some foods I enjoy and eat all the time (there's a whole list LOL) and I am considering only listening to sacred music (one of our priest's suggestions to the kids at the school). Unless I come up with something else, I guess. I had a Catholic friend who said she didn't believe in giving something up, she believed in DOING something. Like for charity, for example. I think your idea of spending time outside with the kids is great. And since you are pregnant, you are exempt from food abstinence! God bless.

  2. Hmmm... how about giving up TV? Do you watch much of it?

  3. Lent is a man-made thing, not God made. Some may disagree, but it's fact if you do the research. I personally do not give anything up for this season as it doens't pertain to what I believe. It is religion not salvation that practices this.

  4. Well I usually go to the mall and choose an entire outfit (including shoes) that I would love to have right then and there. Instead of buying it, I donate that money (the entire cost of the outfit)to the missions (my choice is Salesian Missions). Every year I am in awe at how much unnecessary money I can spend on clothes (the least I've donated/outfit has cost is $90)!

  5. Meredith, how funny you would write about this. I have too thought about it a lot. I wasn't raised in a church that practiced Lent, so it is a relatively new thing. Yes, I think it can be just another religious activity but on the other hand what an awesome choice to set aside 40 days to focus on what God is saying in a certain area. Keep me posted! I read with great interest!
    Love you,
    Karen (Williams)

  6. I am not catholic, but I grew up "half catholic" as my Dad is catholic and my mom is baptist!
    So, I give up something every Lent.
    So, I give up fast food! If you knew would know just how HARD this is! It would be easier to give up coffee....TV...Internet...and tanning bed all together! But I like to do it! It reminds me many times daily of the sacrifices the Lord made for me, the greatest of these being the celebration of Easter, which is what LENT is really providing you the preparation for! Great post Meredith!

  7. Hey M! Our little protestant church does Lent. Well, whoever wants to.

    This year I am giving up TV and coffee which are both difficult for me and less internet.

    Also, we have a reading system through the New Testament, some passages to read every day and I am doing that.

    This is my third year doing something for Lent and I've appreciated the focus it's given me on Christ leading up to Easter.

  8. I'm Catholic, and I give up meat on Wednesdays and Fridays. I also give up an hour of sleep each morning to read scripture and meditate on it. I have always felt God's special graces during this time, helping me come closer to comprehending the magnitude of the sacrifice he made for me.


  9. My thought on the matter is to do what works. If you can't easily think of something to give up - maybe you could add something in. Like the whole getting outside thing, make a commitment to taking the kid outside a certain number of days a week. Or excercising, or reading, or whatever your thing is. I know it doesn't exactly follow with your description of Lent, but sometimes you have make a change. Good luck :-)