What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

11 March 2009

I innocently visit my own blog

And the next thing I know, I've spent nearly two hours reading other peoples'. I know you're all chomping at the bit to hear what I have to say next, too.

So, Timbra brought up an interesting point, that I had intended to address but forgot. So, now I'm back to it. I am not Catholic. I do not attend a High church. So, my Lenten celebrations have been pretty much on my own for almost 20 years. Here's the rest of the backstory:

I started celebrating Lent when I was in middle school, because I had a lot of Catholic friends. It went something like this.
I: Want a Hershey bar?
Friend: No, thanks. It's Lent.
I: No, it's chocolate.
F: No, Lent. The time before Easter when you give up something.
I: Huh?
F: I decided to give up chocolate this year.
I: Huh?
F: (Gives the middle-school explanation of how we give stuff up to be more like Jesus, who was beaten half to death then crucified the rest of the way, only we don't go to those extremes, we just give up stuff we like. Like chocolate, for instance. (Sorry-- I'm not trying to be completely irreverent, but I was in MIDDLE SCHOOL.))
I: So, to get ready for Easter, you voluntarily suffer like Jesus? Just not as much?
F: Yeah.
I: Cool. I already paid for the Hershey bar, though, so I'll join you after I eat it.

And that's how I got started practising Lent.

In the intervening 18 years (oh, that is disgusting to type), I have run across a variety of reactions to my practise of Lent, including horror (parents), curiosity (some friends), excitement (Catholic friends), rudeness (some acquaintances) and indifference (everyone else). Chad, fortunately, falls into the "curiosity" category; we had been married something like six weeks when I said, "Oh, by the way, I celebrate Lent. It starts next week. I'll fix pancakes for us on Shrove Tuesday." He said, by way of maintaining family tradition, "Huh?"

For some reason, even though our office is packed full of Catholics, I seem to have been appointed the department guardian of all Lenten knowledge; that is, when someone in our department has a question about Lent, she asks me. And this year, they seem more interested than ever. We'll see how this turns out.


Haley said...

Well I happen to know what Lent is; and think it's great that you participate. Not that I am in the current season, but I think it's a great opportunity for anyone (at any time of year really) to abstain from something in their life and spend that time focusing on Jesus.

Oh; and next time your in CA look me up and I'll take you to all the "hot spots" you asked about ;)

Su said...


Timbra said...

hey susan. . so it's sacramento. . with 2A's not 2E's. .. sorry if i had an apostrophe catastrophe just then, I know how you hate that :) Anyway, we have a guy at placerville coc we are very close to, he always picks something to abstain from during the season. . . let's make tshirts next year "lent ain't just for catholics no more!" (that's the lubbock version). . . thanks for the back story!

Kar said...

Hi Susan... So I am psychic cos I was just thinking of you the other day and suddenly realized how behind I am on my Cheekyness reading... ;(

I agree with Timbra (hi, Timbra!); I think fasting can be a good way to pull back from life once in a while and appreciate what you've got. I never knew much about fasting and never practised it growing up; I have every once in a while for brief periods this yr, but for me so far it doesn't seem a great thing to do too much. (I need my six meals a day! ;) No, it seems to me I may have blood sugar a little on the low side--which, a friend who fasts a lot more often told me that she just drinks water with a little bit of molasses in it to help with blood sugar type issues. So I thought that was cool.)

I have had some pretty interesting convos this year about people's different beliefs and preferences (even just among Christians)--I am enjoying learning how different the perspectives/histories my friends bring to the table on all kinds of issues (right along with most of the rest of the human race, I'd bet).

This is ridiculously long, but you know me: either no write at all or write a book. I can have no middle ground. :P

Su said...

Timbra: 2 A's, one E. Got it. Probably. I'm with you on the t-shirt.

Karla: Books welcome. :) I've never thought of putting molasses in water to help with blood sugar! That makes so much sense! Okay, now I am totally curious about what else happens in these conversations. Nice to see you again!!!

Kar said...

:) One of my friends prefers not to celebrate holidays, including birthdays--her point is that she wants what she does to be all about Jesus, and she feels even b-days tend to be more selfish & human-focused (if I've understood correctly). She is a neat girl; really tries to make all of her life about Jesus; we have some great conversations. Another of my friends is the one who gave me the molasses tip; she fasts often though more for health than prayer, but is also a 70-something college student, and lives her life with a lot of determination & hard work (also a Christian). And then there's me, with my own unique practices and q's. :) We make an eclectic group, but I think God brought us together b/c we are so alike in many ways, even if the details are different.

Ok, the word verific is awesome this time--"kuacky". Again, no need to define.

Su said...

I'm feeling a bit kuacky myself.

Okay, now I have to find a way to make that a post title.