Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Connor and Collin are the brothers that get along the best. Connor is making his little brother laugh.

Collin and Cooper stare at my phone. When did they both get so big?

As a born and raised Presbyterian, I don't remember Ash Wednesdays holding extreme importance. I have no recollection of attending an Ash Wednesday church service, or giving up anything of value during the Lenten season. It wasn't until I married a born and bred Catholic, that Ash Wednesdays seemed more significant. Chris has always treated Ash Wednesdays and the Lenten season with extreme homage. Part of his reverence, includes giving up something of personal value for the 40 days leading up to Easter.

This year, Chris and I discussed what to give up for Lent. Of course, I had plenty of ideas for Chris. Isn't it easier to tell someone else what to give up? Chris took my suggestion, and he unplugged his Play station last night. I was impressed by his willingness to abstain from something so beloved.

Next, I moved onto the kids. I broached the subject of Lent with them. I asked what they would like to give up for 40 days.

Cooper (eyeing his brothers): "Who gets it when we give it up?"

Connor: "I'll give up Cooper."

Cooper in tears. Fighting ensued.

Cooper: "I'll give up broken toys."

Caleb: "I'm not doing it."

Connor: "How about Broccoli."

All four boys: "Yes, Broccoli!"

With all the commotion, I decided to table the boys discussion of Lent for another day.

I finally realized, I was left. What would I give up? I'm sad to admit, my thought process went something like this: "I need to give up something I value, but not something I value too much." I think guilt set in, and I decided I needed to abstain from something that will truly be missed. After mulling over several thoughts, I decided to borrow an idea from my good friend, Cara. I'm giving up chocolate. It will hurt. It will be a sacrifice. I'll miss it dearly. But, isn't that the point?

I'm hoping our family will take the next 40 days to reflect on Christ's sacrifice, in whatever little ways we can.

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