Lent

We started going to church somewhat regularly around Thanksgiving last year. A combination of events along with our desire to start getting our kids in church made me and Doug decide we should go back to our faith. It seems so basic, but its easy to forget.

We are members at St. Maria Goretti Church in Madison, both kids were baptized there. But up through November 2015, probably the last time we went was when Peyton was baptized in December 2013! Oops! There are, of course, any number of excuses. We needed/wanted to sleep, the kids are too little, I was running on Sunday mornings, there’s football, etc.

Its tough going with two young kids. Allie does pretty good and seems like she pays attention to mass. Peyton, on the other hand, varies in how much sits still or how disruptive he can be. So it can be difficult to be there.

But it is becoming more ingrained in our family routine now. Truthfully, we have been motivated by doughnuts after church. They don’t have them every week though.

It is more than that though, the doughnuts I mean. And when we realized last weekend that today was Ash Wednesday, we started thinking about lent. I have never fasted during lent. And its been several years since I really observed lent. I couldn’t even venture a guess, probably when I was still in high school would have been the last time.

Doug and I decided not to fast (you’re supposed to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, but we decided to do what we can to start). But we decided to go without meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent. We aren’t going to worry about what the kids eat out of the house, but in the house they will do the same. I usually try to plan some meatless meals anyway to save on groceries since meat is usually the most expensive food we get each week!

Perhaps more importantly, Doug and I decided to each give up something. I think Doug has done this the last few years (is it terrible that I can’t remember?). Doug is giving up pop, which is a big deal for him. He drinks a lot of pop at work. I, on the other hand, rarely drink pop, so giving it up wouldn’t have been much of a sacrifice for me. So while it would have been a bit easier if we’d given up the same thing, I had to figure out something else.

The only things I could think of were coffee and ice cream. And I can’t give up coffee. I was thinking I couldn’t give up ice cream either… but I decided I will. That’s what Lent is all about.

Is this really a big deal? How much ice cream must I eat if this is a sacrifice? Well, once upon a time when I was pregnant with Allie way back in 2009, Doug and I would go through a half gallon of ice cream in two days. Those half gallons are supposed to be 12 1/2 cup servings usually. And we’d finish it in two days. We’d only get one a week though, but still… That is a large reason why I gained so much weight in my first pregnancy! That habit continued, I’m pretty sure to some degree, until we joined Weight Watches in January 2011.

Then we decided to switch to something more portion control-friendly. We started getting ice cream bars, the novelty things like fudge bars and drumsticks. We still do this now, make sure we have enough desserts to get through the week to have our nightly ice cream. Its a way of keeping a vice, but keeping it in control.

Well, I’m working to control my calories anyway. And really, saving myself 300 calories a day isn’t a bad thing, is it? It will be hard though because Doug will still be having his ice cream. But its a sacrifice. I see it as symbolic and along the lines of my goals for the year besides. Perhaps while Doug eats his ice cream, I can spend time in reflection… or run from the room screaming.

I feel good about it though.

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