First off can't believe it has been 10 days since my last post- who knows what my deal is. I will quickly update my week off from running didn't end up being the vacation I thought I was going to have (staying up late, enjoying plenty of movies/late night reading, drinks, junk food, etc). Instead I got a cold from my kids, was exhausted, went to bed the earliest I have in long time- many nights in a row, and didn't feel physically or mentally my normal chattynatty self- Note to self-maybe taking a week off isn't a good/needed thing for me.
So moving forward... Lent. Now many of my favorite peeps are not overly religious so I take no offense if this post won't interest you and for those peeps that are religious I'm kind of taking my own take/plan for Lent so if my take isn't totally on par with your's again no offense.
Lent (per my favorite reference Wikipedia): traditional purpose "preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial". O.K. so what does that mean for me...
Prayer (action to bring you more spirituality or closer to God)- my kids, last week at Sunday school, were given a list of different Bible passages that could be read during the 40 days of Lent from their children's bible (FYI- 40 days comes from Gospel of Matthew, Mark, and Luke talks about the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert before beginning of his public ministry- didn't know that one and wow no way I could fast even a day let alone 40).
Penance (repentance of sins or confession): O.K. so here is my confession- I'm not the best about not withholding from LOUD Talking (otherwise Yelling) at my kids aka- White Trash yelling at my kids. I do this when:
a. They won't listen to me (example- Please pick up your clothes. Could you please pick up your clothes, Pick up your clothes now, If you don't pick up your clothes there is going to be a consequence... you know where this is going- I bust out my WT yelling and they do what is asked
b. When I'm tired I get short and don't handle my kids out bursts well- case in point- kids get picked up for school and immediately start in on the "what are we having for dinner, what are we doing after dinner, can we watch a show when we get home" and then if I respond with a meal they aren't excited about or we have to do any activity i.e. practice piano, etc I WT yell at them and tell them how appreciative they should be for having food to eat at dinner.
c. Lastly when they do something wrong or behave badly and I've just had enough I WT yell
Repentance (I will turn away from my "sin"/bad behavior): I'm tired of yelling so my repentance will be to be more quiet and thoughtful with my kids and not WT yell for Lent (did I mention that is 40 days- this should be interesting).
If I yell I'm thinking taking away Starbucks runs or even starting a dollar jar kind of deal.
Almsgiving (charity towards those less fortunate): Last Sunday I attended an informational meeting about the ELCA Lutheran church's mission to help stop spread of Malaria. http://www.elca.org/Our-Faith-In-Action/Responding-to-the-World/ELCA-Malaria-Campaign.aspx This is the website you can go to if you want to learn more about the horrible numbers Malaria effect internationally. I think the statistic that hit home with me the hardest was every 60 seconds a child dies of Malaria.
So how are people going to make a difference, well prior to this campaign that statistic was even more shocking (a child died every 45 seconds). The goal is to educate,provide medication, increase numbers of healthcare providers for the Malaria patients, and even providing nets for those who live in malaria hit environments. The benefit of mosquito nets are the mosquitoes that carry the Malaria come out after the sun sets- when people are sleeping. Our church is getting involved in this initiative by even asking the Sunday school kids to get involved. They are asking the kids to save a quarter a day for the 40 days of Lent-that will then add up to $10 which will be able to purchase a mosquito net. Some of the kids in Sunday School wanted to know why the people didn't just buy the nets themselves. The leader than educated all of us that most of the people living in environments where Malaria is prevalent unfortunately only make $1-2/day. Anyways, so our kids are into it and we plan to add to this saving and donating funds at the end of Lent towards this initiative.
Self-denial (abstinence from various "worldly pleasures")- Now Pop is probably not considered a "worldly pleasure" but to me it is something I enjoy and giving it up would be a challenge. I gave it up for a year and a half and then I went back to drinking the "bubbly" so for the next 40 days no pop. I hope this will last longer than forty days. I know all the reasons I shouldn't drink pop: no nutritional value, I spend too much $ on it and could use that $ on other things, dehydrates me- doesn't help staying hydrated for running.
Again- apologies for this post being so religious based, not a normal thing for me to write on, but it is part of me- chattynatty.
Hope those of you peeps that are participating in Lent enjoy the next forty days of quiet, thoughtful reflection, along with some changes in your everyday life patterns- if so desired.