"So what are you giving up for Lent?"
"Oh, umm...I'm not Catholic remember?"
"But...you still believe in God and love Him right? You're Christian right?"
"Great! Then you too can participate in Lenten sacrifices!"
^ That is the gist of what I wanted to say in this "article" but instead of paragraphs upon paragraphs of reasons why you should give some things up (and take some things on) for Lent I thought I'd sum it up in a fake conversation. Ha!
Anyway, yes, Lent and Holy Week are Catholic "things" but guess what? Do you love God? Then you should offer a few things up during Lent. Example: Don't eat desserts. Don't drink alcohol. If you're really brave - don't drink coffee. Don't watch that show you have DVR'd. Don't get on Facebook. Don't listen to the radio. Don't eat out. Or whatever else you can think of! Remember to only pick a few that are doable. You don't need to go crazy and give up everything!
Another thing that Catholics do during lent is fast. If you are from ages 21-59 you don't eat between meals. (Obviously unless you're sick, pregnant, nursing...etc. and it isn't healthy for you to go long periods of time without food.) Adults eat two small meals per day and one larger main meal. We also only eat meat once per day with the exception of Friday when we don't eat meat at all. This is out of respect for Christ dying on the cross on a Friday - Good Friday.
Of course, Sundays are a day of rest and you are allowed to do all of theses things as per usual. Yay! (I totally stock up on sweets for Sundays during lent.) ;)
You can also do more during Lent. Personally, I want to try to read more spiritual books. At night after getting Charlotte to bed I often sit on my phone and scroll through Facebook or I watch a video on YouTube. I need to be better about reading my Bible and about reading more about the saints because I learn so much from them. I'm convinced my husband is a saint because usually while I'm scrolling through Instagram he's reading the Bible. Every. Single. Night. Since summer I don't think he's missed a night of Bible reading with the exception of when he had the flu. I married a good one :) But I digress... What I was trying to say is that you should work on adopting more good habits too! You could volunteer at a local soup kitchen or a local pregnancy care center. You can take your kids to a nursing home and visit with the elderly who may not get visitors. My high school did this every so often around Christmastime and you would not believe the happiness in those people's eyes. You could try to practice certain virtues like patience, or charity or something you might lack usually. Adopt something this Lent! I promise you it will better you as a person, as a Catholic/Christian, and as a child of God in general. It may even better those around you. I know that my mood is usually solely based on the mood of my husband Tom. So maybe your spouse or friends or kids are the same way. Maybe if you practice patience this Lent and it becomes a habit then your spouse will see that you are a happier person, and they, in turn, will be happier!
Lent is hard. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes, out of habit I click that Facebook icon on my phone then realize that I gave it up. But then I think, "Oh well I'll just take a peek." 30 minutes later I'm "sharing" a Paula Deen recipe on my best friend's aunt's wall...WHAT?! Facepalm, Hannah, facepalm. If you fall just pick yourself right back up again. That's what Christ had to do on the way to Calvary to be crucified. Think to yourself, "If He can be nailed to a cross for me I CAN stay off Facebook or not eat that Snickers bar for Him." Is there even a slight comparison? No! We really have no excuses.
So, this Lent, I urge you to participate. No matter what religion you are from. Pray for faith. Pray for a stronger love of God. He will give it to you and show you the right path. I pray for all of you that you can :)
Have a wonderful 40 days!
My name is Hannah and I'm a lucky wife to Tom, and mama bear to two sweet girls - Charlotte & Rosalie. Coffee, lipstick, sunshine, and dresses are some of my favorite things! I love to blog about God, motherhood, "wifeyhood", food, health and much more.
Click the button below to follow me on Bloglovin'! It's kind of like the Facebook of blogs/bloggers. It's so much fun and I hope to see you over there :)