Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lent for this unobserver

My denomination does not observe Lent. This year, though, I feel compelled to. I think it is a fine reminder and time of year to work towards sanctification and remember what Christ did for us. While some objectors may say that we should do this every day of the year, I have to agree with them but the fact is life keeps us pretty occupied and we are only human. Sometimes it is nice to set aside a time, as a church body, to remember and work towards a better Christian walk. No, we are not saved by works, but works are still important. They don't necessarily earn us "brownie points" at the Pearly Gates, but our Christian walk doesn't end with the sinner's prayer. It begins.

Lent can be seen as a bit of joke to others. "I'm giving up chocolate for Lent" is the common phrase. For some, perhaps this is a bit of a sacrifice. I'm not going to judge. While I have a limited understand of Lent, I would think "giving something up for Lent" should be somewhat of a sacrifice and something towards the betterment of yourself.

I've decided to use the Lenten time to actively and determinedly give up the pregnancy blues I've been dealing with. While we can't necessarily change our hormones to make us feel better, we can make up our minds to do the best we can to work beyond that. Within that, I plan on spending more quality time with my children and my home, my Bible and my prayer closet. I plan on less TV and DVD's. I plan on less internet time, though I'm not giving it up altogether for the season. I find too much support, love and edification to give it up. All of this is to garner a better relationship with my God, my family and myself as a housewife.

What are you doing for Lent? How do you observe Lent? I'm particularly interested in how it applies to different denominations. Let me know in the comments section.


Veiled Glory said...

I am converting to Eastern Orthodoxy and they take Lent v-e-r-y seriously. :-) The general rule is to abstain from all animal foods (eat vegan) for the entire lenten period, which began today for us. Then the next part is to abstain from malicious talk or thoughts, i.e., don't "eat" each other. And the next part is to engage in charitable deeds. The dietary is personalized between you and your priest if you happen to be ill or pregnant.

Then this is all couched in elaborate special services at church.

Mimi said...

I am also Orthodox, so keep the traditional Lenten discipline.

Erika said...

I was just posting on this too. I grew up celebrating the season of Lent (seriously) and then once I went away to college, I stopped. But I've been thinking on it and have decided to have my own expression of lent and self betterment. I'm trying to read/study more regularily and to strive toward a more feminine apperance.

Kelly said...

We do all sorts of things, but the general idea is a time of reflecting on our need for a Saviour, and making sacrifices to join with Christ's sacrifice on the cross.

Some practices in our house (varies by year):

Not having dessert except on Sunday.
This year we are eating meatless meals M-F.
Having an extra prayer time together in the evening.
We usually bake pretzels at least once during the Lenten season.
We often do a Jesus Tree devotion, where we read through the major stories of the New Testament, and put little felt figures on a banner which symbolize the stories we read.

Using salt dough, we made a braided circle of dough, which we baked with toothpicks in it to make a crown of thorns centerpiece for the dining room table. When someone makes a sacrifice, they remove a toothpick. I think we're going to put tissue paper flowers on the ends of the removed toothpicks to make it a garland of flowers for the Easter season.