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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thoughts on Lent

I had a few nine and ten year old girl scouts baking cookies in my kitchen last Friday afternoon.  Some never knew butter and flour and sugar were in cookies.  Okay, they all knew sugar's in there, but you get my point.  One or two have never made cookies other than cutting open a plastic tube and spooning the cookie dough out of the plastic.  I thought that maybe we'd better incorporate more food prep into Girl Scouts.  It is amazing what you hear when you get them involved in an activity.  They start babbling on about everything.  Being the first week of Lent, the girls talked amongst themselves about what they are "giving up."  One girl said that she was giving up cookies, or so she thought.  She couldn't remember.  I told her that we were only two days in.  Try harder.  Some were giving up soda, video games, some candy, etc.  You get the idea.

Now, I am no minister of faith, but I pondered on how Jesus would weigh in on this notion of  "giving up."  I am not talking about forty days of fasting in the desert here. God, no.  I am talking about today's world.  The land of Nintendo and Wii and iPods and American Girl dolls.  The plugged in/battery operated world.  The gotta have it all and gotta have it now world.  The world we live in.  I just don't think giving up playing with your Webkinz has anything to do with Lent.  For some odd reason, I think Jesus would agree.

In my humble opinion, Lent, being forty days long, give or take a few, and don't forget that Sundays don't count, should be spent thinking about how we could be better friends and neighbors, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, etc. and then doing it.  We all "know" how.  Jesus showed us that.  It is the "doing it" part that comes so difficult for most of us.  I do not think it is intentional.  We are so used to living in the fast lane that we forget to listen, to think, to empathize, to hold the door open.  We forget to get out of our trench and see how it's going in the trench next to ours.  It's not our fault.  There's no blame here.  We all just get wrapped up in our own "things." After all, we are human.

I think Lent should be a time of reflection, a time of "giving" rather than one of "giving up."  How about forty days of giving?  I think that the little things count.  I really do.  And they add up.  And you get warm fuzzies to boot.  My Lenten season is going to be spent in reflection, giving and fellowship.  A time to reach out.  How about committing to giving on these forty or so days with me?  After all, Jesus showed us how to do it best.


  1. Jackie,
    Great post! I am reading your blog for the first time. You are a girl after my own heart. When my kids were little we did something that I think made a permanent imprint on our children's thinking one year for lent. We signed up to serve dinner once a week at a homeless shelter. Our daughter who is now 29 went into on to be in college ministry. She has talked about that year we first served at the shelter. I have learned that we must teach our children through being living examples of life you want them to grow up and live.

    You said it so well in this last line of this post.


  2. Oh what a great post. I so agree about the giving and I agree with Jackie to teach our children to give and to serve. Such a great example and something they learn from watching us. My children have all made serving in some form a part of their lives and I am so blessed.

    You asked about the butter flavoring, yes it is like vanilla. You can find it at the grocery. Thanks for stopping by and welcome to blogland. I see that you are new. Hugs, Marty