Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lent Season

Today marks the start of Lent. Lent is traditionally a time of abstaining. Fridays are meatless and people often give up something such as sweets or drinking. In my younger days I always gave up drinking, with a dispensation on St. Patrick's Day. But there is something very flawed with this simplistic view of Lent.
People fasted and gave up certain foods, traditionally, because food was scarce this time of year. Its a time before spring crops have arrived and many people would go hungry. The idea wasn't just to fast for the sake of fasting, but to give then food you would of eaten to the hungry. But many people go with the no meat on Fridays, and eat fish or even lobster, which misses the point. At my church there are recipes of traditional meatless meals from third world country. We have little donation boxes to put in the money you would of spent on a modern American meal since a meal of rice and beans does not cost much. This goes with the point of Lent, not to just give up, but to also give. So instead of just giving up something for its own sake, think of something you can do positive instead. A common theme I have seen of my facebook page is people giving up facebook for Lent. I know for myself this would not be easy and may not be the best for my mental health, as unfortunately it is lately the main source for adult conversation. But for those who plan to give facebook think of a positive twist to use the time you not spending online, such as spending time with family, reading the bible or volunteering. This year I am not giving up anything per say, but just trying to make some time to be more healthy for myself. Even though this is a time of giving, being a mother and a wife I feel making this a priority in my life is not just for me. A healthy and happier momma means a healthier and happier family and a good role model for my children. I will be spending less time online and watching tv and just being indoors in general to achieve my goals. I'm hoping to take more walks with my children, exercise, eat healthier and cook healthier family meals. Part of this is to help lose the remaining baby weight I have, but part is just to get myself back on track. I do not have the easiest pregnancies and then when the baby was little exercise and healthy meals took a back seat to sleep and caring for a newborn. It is not much easier to grab a cookie over an apple, I just need to make the conscious effort in my mind to go for the apple, and make sure they are stocked in my house. Being a good role model through out Lent is important for my children to see and hopefully they will see how important Lent is. That it is more then just not eating meat and the time before Easter. Its a time of prayer, almsgiving, family, being center and working hard to be the person you want to be, the person for yourself and for God.

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