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Zekesmom10

Lent

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What (if anything) do you do for Lent?

When I was a kid, we were given a coin folder to add a quarter to each day, which would be full at the end of Lent.  It was silly, because I sure had no money, so my Dad had to fill them for four kids.  We turned them in to church on Easter Sunday, but I have no idea what charity benefited from the donations.

As an adult, I never even thought much about Lent until I met my husband.  His dad is (was raised) Catholic, so DH experienced a lot of Catholic traditions growing up.  He always gives up something(s) for Lent, doesn't eat meat on Friday, that kind of thing.  My family never did any of that stuff, but I had a Catholic friend in high school who mentioned something from time to time during Lent.  I didn't ask questions. 

Now, I give up something.  I've tried to add something positive, but those challenges involve doing something nice for a stranger every day or something else completely not possible when you live in the sticks and only leave your house about 3-4 days a week.  I'm thinking about giving up social media.  I still will blog and have email, but since I'm not on the Crew (The Homeschool Review Crew for those who aren't here from there) this year and don't have Crew responsibilities on SM, I think it will be a good idea.  I know it will free up a lot of my time.  I'm hoping to use it more productively.  Will I?  I don't know.

I feel like I'm just really learning about religious traditions/history now, so late in my life, even though I was raised in the church.  Are you planning anything?  What denomination are you (if you don't mind sharing)?  I'd love to learn more about everyone's traditions and plans. 

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I'm right there with you.  I don't understand Lent at all.  Of course I didn't know anything about Advent either and I was raised in church.

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I grew up in a Protestant denomination, specifically a United Methodist Church UMC. My Enginerd grew up in his youngest years Presbyterian ARP and his later youth to college years Lutheran WELS. All very conservative. One of my college degrees is Religious Studies where I studied many different denominations and the Catholic faith. And then also, my eldest sister is Tridentine Catholic (as in extremely conservative and traditional Latin Mass and all that goes with it). In our youth, there are services at church not just on Sundays but also the week leading up to Easter Sunday with Ash Wednesday being a significant one to my memory. I vaguely remember being told the ashes were from the Palms burned and saved from the previous year Palm Sunday. Lent goes from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday and is a long time to remember what and why Jesus gave his life for all Christians. In college, I actually attended a Charismatic Episcopal Church where the words in the liturgy actually changed (removed the Hallelujah) during Lent. 

For my children, since we've moved we are still a bit of church hoppers and haven't found a home to go to every week, but we talk about religion and Christian faith often. During our general lives Jesus and who he is and his importance comes in from time to time, but during Lent I up the conversations a bit to make them really think personally about what his significance is and why "God so loved the world..." For myself, I do not specifically give anything up (in high school I think I attempted to give up chocolate once) but I try to be more alert to every day decisions. Will doing "this" benefit my life and bless his gift? It's a bit of a time to reflect and be less frivolous. But then, it's only a starting point, and ideally, I try to keep these such reflections all the time and not just during the Lenten season. 

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We don't do anything as a family for Lent, but because I have a lot of friends and acquaintances who observe Lent, in the past couple of years I've taken the 40 days to make a determined effort to spend more time reading my Bible, and praying for others. I think it can be a good thing if we observe Lent with the desire to grow closer to God, but if it is just marking 40 days off of the calendar without letting God change our hearts, what would be the point?

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For Liturgical Christians especially, Lent is a time of sack cloth and ashes, figuratively speaking. It should be the time between Epiphany and Easter where time is spent in penitance and somberness reflecting on why Christ's death is needed to save the world from original and ongoing sin. It is preparing for the joyousness of the Risen Jesus and Good Friday. That is usually what I reflect on during Lent, I may give up certain foods or things while it is going on.

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Well, I have given up Pepsi, chocolate, and Facebook.  My treat loving 11 yo son is disappointed about the chocolate and has asked why I didn't give up something less delicious.  I had a nice discussion about a little sacrifice like chocolate is nothing to honor the giant sacrifice of Christ.

I've also been adding patience and softer speech in my parenting.  I still have to yell sometimes, because boys.  Once I have their attention, though, I am more attentive to the correction tone and the words I use.

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