Thursday, February 7, 2008

thursday thirteen

Lent. For those of you Baptist-ish type people like me, I don't mean the stuff that collects in your husband's (or your own) belly button.
Lent is the time between Ash Wednesday, which was yesterday, and Easter.
I did not grow up in a Liturgical type church at all. I knew of lent. Heard about people giving stuff up, but didn't really know much more about it.
We recently spent several months attending an Anglican church, though, and they are Liturgical. They follow the church calendar and we happend to attend during the Easter Season last year.
I went to Ash Wednesday where the pastor explained lent. He put ashes on my forehead in the shape of a cross, looked me in the eye and said, "From dust you came; to dust you shall return." Whoa. That was sobering. I mean, we all know we are going to die, but to have it spoken to you like that was a very different experience.
And that brings us to Lent. Lent, at least in the church I went to, (Catholics may see it differently, I don't know), is about spending time being aware of our imortality. Being aware of our sinful nature. Not in a condemning way of feeling shame -- for if we have accepted Christ, we are forgiven fully. But in the sense that we dwell on how great our need for Him is. How completely we rely on Him for life and salvation.
Also, we die to ourselves just a little bit. That's what the giving up of something is about. It isn't an act to earn favor with God or get Brownie points. It's simply to learn how to say no to our flesh. Put it in it's place a bit.
I've only been to one Ash Wednesday service, and I'm remembering the best I can what the pastor said. If I neglected anything, my friend Will can correct me because he just went again yesterday to the same church. And if your church does it differently, or finds different meaning in it, I'd like to know. I like to discuss these things.
Anyway, here is a list of thirteen things that a person could give up for Lent. You only need chose one, not thirteen. If you have other ideas, let me know!

1. Chocolate
2. Coffee
3. Dessert
4. Sugar -- notice how I started out with food? We are a food oriented culture and we all struggle with it.
5. One thing on your calendar that keeps you too busy
6. TV - or even just your favorite program
7. The computer
8. Makeup
9. A luxury like pedicures or massages, if you have any luxuries
10. An hours sleep -- get up and spend the time in prayer
11. Laziness - I am going to not go to bed any night without the dishes done
12. Movies
13. Eating out

Click here to read more Thursday Thirteens or to join in the fun!


  1. Makeup would be a hard one! I have friends that actually do lent and are not Catholic. Coffee..mmm..I have given up caff coffee. I know..I am living big!

  2. Makeup?! I don't think the notion of Lent is to torture others in the process. No, not makeup. :)

  3. Kay, when I was little (with a complete Catholic upbringing) I gave up one thing - chocolate. That's a very popular thing to give up! I'll just tell you - you can't give up makeup, or blogging and the computer. Maybe you could give up manicures or pedicures...I don't know. Melissa, write on my TT post that she was giving up her New Year's Resolutions for Lent. Ha!

  4. What The Teach said. I cannot give up my computer, or makeup. I have never participated in Lent, so I'm not going to give up anything. Just like always. Have a great TT. :)

  5. I grew up knowing nothing about Lent, but I've decided to give it a go this year. I'm giving up reading all books but the Bible.. for 40 days!

  6. I think Lent is a good idea. Kinda like fasting. We protestants can call it fasting if it makes us more comfortable.

  7. I can think of one you didn't mention! Great list of suggestions though.

    My colleague posted some fun photos:

    TT#23 |  13 New York Photos (Part I: Around Town)

  8. While developing discipline by giving up foods or books is good, what we should be giving up is that which keeps us from Christ. Few people are kept from Christ by sodas or books. Pick a "favorite" sin and give that up.

    Best wishes on your Lenten journey. May you emerge depper in love with Christ.

    God bless...


  9. Amen, Timothy. Well said.

  10. I had to do the lent thing as a child. No more!

  11. Followed the link from Monday through Sunday (Melanie) blog to see yours. I JUST posted a site link on my own blog with the daily reflections for Lent. I am giving up my clutter for Lent. My piles of clutter keep me from living like I am supposed to. As I told some friends, my house would not welcome any weary traveler at this point (remember the disciples being sent out in pairs with nothing but their clothes on their backs?)
    Here's the link to the site

  12. That's a great idea, Feisty! I looked at the link. Thank you! I could certainly benefit from that, in all areas.

  13. I think this is a great list. I think Timothy made a good point in his comment. Pick a sin that you commit often and put it away. This is a good way to exercise self discipline and to die to self each day when you put these sins aside.


I love to hear your thoughts!