Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lenten Sacrifices & Ashy Wednesdays

Last night I actually went to Ash Wednesday service for the first time in about 3 or 4 years. It was nice and a de-stresser to sit there in church after dark. Of course, poor BF of mine had to work late bc his company's president was in town for a 5pm meeting so I blessed him by touching his forehead to mine when he got home and sharing some of my ashes! I know it doesn't technically count but I also know he would have gone if he could.

I admit... my faith has sort of took a backseat in the last 10 years off an on. I've been put through hell and back with awful jobs, loss of loved ones, erratic schedules, repeated heartbreak and just general cruddiness. But that's no excuse because I've also been blessed with amazing friends and family, inspiring trips, and amazing accomplishments to make it to where I am today. So looking back on my life list, there are two spiritual items that are an effort to pick up on that religion that has inspired and driven my parents, grandparents, and ancestors to make me who I am today. Obviously my spirituality and beliefs are very personal and its always hard to make sense of it all in this modern world but if I don't start making a bigger effort to learn about it, how will I ever truly and not hypocritically be able to teach these things to my children someday.

So without going on a tangent of what I believe and getting all preachy (especially since I respect and am equally inspired by different religious ideals as well), I'll simply report what my 40 days of sacrifices are:

1. No candy. This isn't a huge issue for me actually but I learned that the BF has this weakness occasionally. So I'll do the same in solidarity.

2. No cursing. Hello!!?!?! Life list #98! BF is as well doing this in solidarity for me. I don't think I'm necessarily the sailor that I was before when I had such a cruddy job and entire situation going for a year or two. But I do slip up occasionally (proven when a "beeper" slipped out of my mouth while I had two teeny guests under 3 over the other night -- I'm hoping the dinner I cooked them and children's books I read them made up for it!).

3. And my third, rather than give something up, I'll do something I don't usually do: I'm starting to read the Bible. I have a great study version with lots of Cliff's notes and maps and timelines (and additionally the world's SMALLEST type ever -- this may take a LOT of lent seasons to get through!). Yet again, BF is on board with this one and really excited about it... so maybe I have to give him a nice bible to help him out! So there it is: Life List #67 as well! Anybody have any tips for reading it? Do I really just start at the beginning or is there a better order (New Testament first, perhaps?).

Runner up sacrifice: I considered giving up beer and pizza but since those seem to be the official food & beverage food choices of the state of Ohio, I decided now's not the time. I will however, try to limit it as well as make better eating choices across the board! Maybe a whole-grain home-cooked pizza is in our near future...

So I'm pumped for Lent (that's not a phrase that people usually utter, is it?). And although the homily last night was about sacrificing without doing it just to brag about it and focusing on the idea that He will know even if your sacrifices are secret... I'm still broadcasting it on my blog. Partially because, is anyone reading this thing anyhow? And partially because I need some accountability to help me stick to it.

So, if you need the accountability to... tell me, what's your 40 day sacrifice(s)??

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