Yesterday, my elementary kids came home swinging Mardi Gras beads and wearing silly paper hats. I found it funny/strange that they’d studied Fat Tuesday in school when you’d better believe there won’t be any mention of Holy Week.
Mardi Gras is one those of those funky holidays–much like the funky stories in the Bible. As Mormons, we don’t officially celebrate any of the precursors to Easter– Faschtnacht, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday– thus we get to pick and choose, and an increasing number of us choose Lent.
My sister first introduced me to Lent in high school. She has an Easterish birthday(right on Easter this year!) and was well-versed in it’s customs. We gave up sugar that first time around– it was surprisingly easy because I was a teenager and could turn to sleep instead of hunger(please don’t ask me to do that now).
I love the idea of short-term goals that could/might! evolve into habits. The deep grey of January and February make New Year’s resolutions almost impossible to keep, but the hope of Spring and temporary nature of 40 days makes keeping Lent attainable.
So here are my three:
1. No Easter candy until the actual day. Once again, I can blame my festish for malted eggs, Peeps, Cadbury mini-eggs and delicious, perfect Dove eggs(yes, Dove is available year round but the egg is their one true divinely scrumptious shape) on my sister. Candy has never been my downfall but I can almost hear her whispering eloquent mouth-watering descriptions of each confection as I stand in the grocery aisle. I’m not listening– I’m NOT.
2. No whining. Did you know I’m a pathetic whiner? I am. It’s a terrible habit. I can just see Erik leaning into his monitor at work as he reads this imploring, “Oh please, please, keep this one goal!” Gratitude is the opposite of murmuring and I’d do well to cultivate a little more of that.
3. Submissive, heartfelt prayer. And for more ideas on that I’m reading my friend Brooke’s beautiful post on Segullah today and the dozens of thoughtful comments.
Happy Lent! What do you want to give up?