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To ash or not to ash…that is the question

When I was in Kindergarten I came home with ashes on my forehead and my mom thought it was a smudge of dirt. We are protestant, but I went to a Catholic school due the poor public school conditions where I lived. My mother was not prepared for my eagerness to learn Catholic tradition. When she licked her finger to remove my ‘smudge’, I held her off saying, “No, it’s Ash Wednesday…you can’t take it off!”

Not that my mom was concerned or had a problem with this…she didn’t. She just wasn’t educated on Catholicism or it’s traditions, at least not at that point in her life.

Now that her kids are older, she and my oldest sister participate in Lent every year, by giving something up. GritsnGrace posted today on Lent and asked, ‘what are you giving up or taking on this Lenten season?’ My sister usually gives up caffiene. My mom usually gives up chocolate. These are things that are staples to them, that would be a struggle to let go.

Here I am this child, who originally freaked out because someone was trying to wash off my forehead, and I’ve never participated in giving something up. I commented to Grits N’ Graces’ blog with this answer:

I’ve thought of taking something on rather than giving up as well. My whole life has been about giving up my sinful spirit, in hopes of gaining more spiritual wisdom. I’m far from perfect…but the idea of taking on something to make me better is more appealing to me. Like finally getting off my hiney and making myself work out. Thats my season of change.

I know Lent is supposed to be about giving something up to gain a closer relationship with Christ. Is it okay to take something on instead?

What do you think???


4 thoughts on “To ash or not to ash…that is the question”

  1. I was raised Catholic and observed the traditions of Lenten season, although I was never sure WHY I was doing it or giving things up. Even today (Friday) I’m wondering if I should eat meat or not for lunch ???

    I like your idea of “taking something on” rather than giving something up, although each day I’m trying to give up my sinful behavior. I’ll be praying about this and see which way the Lord leads me.

    Thanks for an inspiring post !


  2. In my house, we do a little of both. I gave up chocolate for Lent, because I eat some every single day and it’s quite a sacrifice when those Girl Scout cookies come rolling in at the end of February.

    In addition, we are praying the Rosary together, as a family, every night of Lent. My husband, our nine year old, our five year old and I gather around, kneel and pray. The family who prays together, stays together!

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