Lent (Latin: Quadragesima, "fortieth") is the Christian observance of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.
The traditional purpose of Lent is the penitential preparation of the believer—through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, which then culminates in the celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Thank you Wikipedia! You explain it better than I.
Today is Shrove Tuesday, and we ate pancakes this morning...not entirely on purpose. But, we talked about pancakes last night, and well, you can't be pregnant and talk about food without wanting that food lol. The coincidental thing about breakfast and Shrove Tuesday (aka Fat Tuesday), when we went to make the pancakes, we had literally enough to make half of a recipe (works for us, made a perfect amount). So, we used up all of our pancake mix today lol.
I am cradle Episcopalian; meaning I was born baptized confirmed and still remain, in the Episcopal church. Fat Tuesday (not Mardi Gras), Ash Wednesday, Lent, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter have always been big deals for us. Just as much as the Christmas season. Only for different reasons.
Lent is a fairly somber time, a time of penitence, a time to really reflect on your personal relationship with Christ and with God. Most Lenten observers also practice self-denial, you know, when you hear people ask, "What are you giving up for Lent?"
Giving up something for Lent is a commitment to refrain from something that you enjoy, or something you do without thinking about, for 40 days (minus Sundays) to mirror the 40 days that Christ spent alone in the wilderness, being tempted by the Devil.
What am I going to give up for Lent?
I have found myself, lately, not being the most positive. Not having the most positive or optimistic outlook. Not when it comes to life in general, but when it comes to others.
I've become quick to gossip
I'm sure I could take the easy road and blame it all on pregnancy hormones
But, I'm not going to.
I'm going to refrain from speaking ill of others
From judging others
And start giving people the benefit of the doubt
Now, don't think I'm about to roll over and let people walk over me...that AIN'T happening!
What brought me to this decision?
The event that sealed it was Sunday
J's niece was christened at a small church in a very rural area. Some might classify the area as country or "redneck"
The church was nice, the congregants were nice and polite
So, what was wrong you ask?
The guy at the end of my row sat down with his family. First, I noticed his hair was long, frizzy, maybe a mullet-style. Over his hair was a welder's cap made out of a red chili pepper material. He was wearing a well-worn shirt, blue jeans, and work boots.
I remember thinking, "Wow, if I passed this guy in Walmart I would not imagine he was a church-goer"
I knew that I would have thought he was a man with drinking issues, drugs, or just hard living
It struck me, why would I think that?
Here this man sits with his wife and children, his Bible is tattered, signs of a lot of use. He had used a highlighter to highlight many verses in his well-loved Bible.
I realized, instead of judging him and his exterior, I need to be inspired by him
Well, Mr Chili-Pepper-Cap
You inspired me.
I need to be a better person.
Ya'll, hold me to this, please.