To Lent or Not to Lent; That is the Question

Actually, I really haven’t given it much thought until just now, and since I haven’t posted anything since Friday, I wondered if maybe I should give up the blog for Lent? Still, it seems the point is to give up something that would be a struggle to give up. Giving up the blog right now would be like giving up laundry – not so much of a struggle (except for that whole needing to wear clothes thing).

Truthfully? I didn’t know it was Fat Tuesday until about 45 minutes ago. I didn’t grow up observing the church calendar as such, and still have only a vague idea of what it all means (though I like Advent, at least in theory more than practice as we didn’t actually do many of our Advent activities this year). In the Baptist church we had Christmas and Easter: no Advent, no Lent.

Anyway, I’m not sure what my point is, so I’ll stop trying to make one.

I’m home tonight instead of in class: the girls are all coughing today, and I’ve had a fairly severe backache most of the day, so it just seemed to make sense not to inflict the coughing children on the family who watches them for us every Tuesday (have I mentioned we have friends who are saints?). It also made sense not to sit in a classroom chair for three hours when I’m as achy and stiff as I am now.

It could be all the running around of late: 5-hour drive on Friday, 3-hour round drive on Saturday with an 8-hour meeting sandwiched in-between, followed by another 5-hour drive on Sunday. I directed our Classical Conversations group on Monday, which meant preparing all Sunday night and getting up early on Monday. I’m about to run out of gas (could also be why I slept until 8:15 this morning). Sleeping until 8:15 a.m. feels super-duper until it is 5 p.m. at night and you are still cramming history reading with your girls because a late start equates to a slow start and one in which we just don’t punch it very efficiently throughout the day. But then that could also be because swimming lessons are not happening this week and, because of the coughing, I didn’t take E5 to preschool today, so we were all pretty much in our pajamas all day, which usually leads to a slow, lazy school day.

I wanted to see how long I could keep a sentence going there. Maybe I should give up run-on sentences for lent?

So, all that to say that I really just felt the need to check in tonight and don’t really have anything of value to say. Surprised by that, are you? If you made it this far, you really do love me and I thank you for that, because I know this was just a bunch of drivel.

I’m planning to get together my thoughts on Chapter 2 of Jerram’s book very soon (maybe even tonight, as this post needs some fast redemption), but for sure by tomorrow. If you haven’t had a chance to read the small starter-discussion from Chapter 1 yet, please do. I haven’t responded to any of them yet, but really should.

Okay, enough of that. Hope those of you Fat-Tuesdaying are getting it all out of your system. Hope the rest of you don’t worry about it too much.

Peace out…

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15 thoughts on “To Lent or Not to Lent; That is the Question

  1. Catherine says:

    I’m cool with drivel. And I’ve never even heard of Fat Tuesday, and I grew up in a church that followed the church calendar very closely. I hope Fat Tuesday is when you don’t worry about what you eat??! In any case, I’ve missed it, so I might just have my own little fat Wednesday.

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  2. martha10 says:

    i don’t think fat tuesday has much to do with the church calendar:) it has more to do with mardi gras…when everyone pigs out and parties b/f they “get religious” for lent and specifically for ash wed. tomorrow. (i guess it is vice versa.) anyway, i THINK that’s what fat tuesday is about mostly.
    enjoyed your “drivel”. i guess i love you b/c i hung in thro’ the whole thing. of course i’m not tied to concise so i enjoyed all of it:) m

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  3. Megan says:

    Ha! I should have clarified that I do know that Fat Tuesday (ie: Mardi Gras) wasn’t part of the church calendar, but rather a segue into lent. The overindulging before the fasting or something?
    Right? Maybe that’s not right…

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  4. Ed Eubanks says:

    Churchyear.net:
    What Are Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, and Ash Wednesday?
    Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday. It comes from the word “shriving” meaning confession and absolution. Traditionally, this was a day when Christians would confess their sins in preparation for Lent. It is a custom to eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. This probably originates from the ingredients of pancakes: oil, eggs, and butter, which were forbidden during Lent. Pancakes were an easy and convenient way of getting them out of the house before Lent. Shrove Tuesday is also called “Fat Tuesday,” which is what Mardi Gras means. It is called this because many took it to be the last time one could party before Easter. However, the Church has traditionally tried to discourage carnal and material celebrations of Shrove Tuesday. Ash Wednesday, in the Western Church, marks the first day of Lent. On Ash Wednesday, a mixture of ashes and consecrated oil are imposed on the heads or foreheads of the faithful in the sign of the cross. The symbolism is rooted in the Old Testament (and sometimes early Church) practice of wearing sackcloth and ashes to symbolize penitence. It also symbolizes our being ashes and dust, our mortality.

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  5. renae says:

    How about the symbolism tied to the fact that tomorrow I’m going to my first dentist appt in about 10 years? The “coincidence” (no coincidences, only Providences, right?) didn’t occur to me until this afternoon. I’m sure my gums will be so sore from the cleaning, I would have no trouble giving up sweets for Lent were I to choose to do so.

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  6. Belinda says:

    Hope your back is better…we’ve all had coughing and dripping noses here, too. Looking forward to your thoughts on chapter 2 – really good book. I’ve recommended it to a few friends, so maybe they’ll join in the discussion, too.
    Growing up Southern Baptist in Louisiana, I was taught to stay as far away from anything ‘Catholic’ as I could. As an adult, though, I can appreciate the spiritual aspects of Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday), Ash Wednesday, and Lent…I love the thought of the 40 days of Lent ‘preparing’ our hearts for Easter. My last pastor said once that Easter is really a more ‘important’ holiday (if there can be such a thing) than Christmas because without the resurrection our faith would be hopeless. I had never really thought of it that way before.
    Well – blessings to you and yours. B.

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  7. Margaret says:

    As a former Catholic, we followed Lent rather compulsively (e.g, freezing Girl Scout cookies to eat after Easter). I recall in college that one friend gave up ice cream but not frozen yogurt. (!)
    One priest suggested that rather than give up something we enjoy that we do something good or difficult. I think I will do something nice for my husband all through Lent, such as spend 10 minutes/day listening to him. Probably harder than giving up cookies!

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  8. Edi says:

    No Lent-ing here. But we were trying last night to figure out what Mardi Gras meant…then my old French education came back to me – Mardi is Tuesday in French so thinking about what “holiday” I’ve heard in relation to Tuesday – we guessed it was “Fat Tuesday”. For me though, having part 2 of a root canal – it was just PAIN Tuesday. And then later NAUSEATED Tuesday.

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  9. Holli T. says:

    Hey there –
    I ordered my book yesterday. I’m looking forward to reading it through with you ladies.
    It’s funny – I grew up Presbyterian, but had a youth director who encouraged us to participate in Lenten preparations. I’ve “given up” something every year since. One year I gave up speeding:). I was late for everything.
    Holli T.

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  10. Rose Bexar says:

    On the doing something good/difficult idea: In my research, I’ve come across a fair number of editions, translations, and commentaries done by priests and monks as their spiritual exercise for a given year’s Lent. I think I’ve also read about certain medieval manuscripts having been copied as a Lenten exercise. Seems like a good plan to me–the whole point is to do something that makes you think about the sacrifice Jesus made for us, and it’s probably easier to keep that focus when you really have to concentrate on the text you’re working on than it is when you give up something like soda or Facebook that you might forget to miss.
    I’m from a non-liturgical church myself, but I guess I can claim my dissertation work as a Lenten exercise, especially since I want to be finished by Easter. 😀

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  11. Jamie says:

    I’m impressed that you’re able to post at all given the pace and schedule you’ve been keeping. Whew! I would be completely unfit for any kind of communication (verbal or written) after a busy weekend like that — and frequently am, after less!
    On a related note, Megan, I am beginning to suspect that you are a closet extrovert. 😉

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  12. Megan says:

    Jamie, believe me, I know I’ve been too busy. But also believe that yesterday we didn’t leave the house at all except to go cash in five coupons for free tacos at Jack-in-the-Box last night (and yes, they were nasty, but they were free and I didn’t have to cook…). I was in pajamas the entire day (well, sweats and sweatshirt) and even wore that get-up to said taco feast last night.
    Rubber band effect, all that. Today was more of a people day. Tomorrow I’m hoping is more of an off day and then I need the weekend to be quieter than it has been the last two weekends. Please, God, please…

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  13. Jamie says:

    I hear you, and I’m the last person who would ever judge another for having a pajama day, or a Jack-in-the-Box tacos night. (I’m in no position to throw the first stone, if you know what I mean.) Here’s to a nice, quiet weekend for the Half-Pint House. 🙂

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