Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's fat Tuesday...

Happy Mardi Gras, ya'll!

Growing up, Mardi Gras really had no meaning to me...I remember celebrating Fat Tuesday in my high school French class.  I heard of the crazy partying in New Orleans and the beads that people had to "earn."  But it wasn't really until my college years that I really learned the meaning behind the celebratory day.  And I learned about Ash Wednesday.  And Lent.

I was raised in a good ol' Southern Baptist Church and I'd never even heard of Lent!  But when I opted to attend Bellarmine University, a private Catholic university that sits on the hills of the Highlands neighborhood in Louisville, KY, one of the many things I would come to learn about would be the tradition of Lent.  Between my high school sweetheart, who was raised Catholic, and some of my newfound friends, I became educated in the Lenten tradition that first spring that I spent at Bellarmine.  And, although I had no plans to convert to Catholicism, the Lenten tradition made sense to me - God made the ultimate sacrifice by sending Jesus to die for me and my sins; I make a miniscule sacrifice over a short period of 40 days to remind me of the sacrifice that God made for me.  Plain and simple, yet powerful.  And thus began my appreciation for and participation in Lent.

This year, in the most simplest of terms, I tried to give my daughter an explanation of the "Fat Tuesday" celebrations and the meaning of Lent.  I asked her if she wanted to give up something.  And (bless her 6 year old heart!), she has chosen to give up our candy bowl, which she has affectionately renamed "the sugar bowl."  :)  A great sacrifice for a young child that eagerly looks forward to delving into some leftover Valentine/Christmas/Halloween/any-other-holiday-you-can-think-of candy every night after dinner.  So begins another tradition in our household...

As for me...I've thought long and hard about what I'm going to do this season.  I would like to say I'm giving up soda but I rarely drink soda anyway.  I could say I'm going to give up sweets/desserts but I rarely eat those too...and besides, we have several family birthdays that are coming up!  So here is what I've come up with...
  1. Techno-free Tuesdays.  A friend of mine mentioned that she knows a family that gives technology up each year during Lent.  Phew!  That's a long time to go without e-mail, iPhone, television, Facebook, texting, Pinterest, etc, etc, etc.  Just giving those things up one day a week is going to be challenging!  Especially going without the cell phone!  But it wouldn't be a sacrifice if it was going to be easy...I'll still keep my cell on me in case of emergencies but I am planning to make a concerted effort NOT to use it.
  2. Thankful Thursdays.  I recently read an article about John Kralik's journey through a year of giving thanks and the tremendous impact that the simple act of writing thank-you notes had upon his life, and the lives of others.  While I have yet to read Kralik's book, 365 Thank Yous, (it's on my to-read list!) his story was inspiring.  I don't always do the greatest job letting people know how much I appreciate them...this is going to be my opportunity.  (And, truth be told, maybe I'll write my "Thursday thank you notes" on Tuesday...since I won't have any technology to distract me on those days!)
Are you celebrating Lent?  If so, will you be doing any fasting or sacrificing?  I'd love to hear!


  1. I almost forgot that it's Ash Wednesday today. I was brought up a Catholic, so as much as I can, I try to observe these church holidays. I also try to pass on the tradition to my daughter.

    I hope you don't stop blogging on Techno-Free Tuesdays? :)

    1. Ha! Well, no more posts on Tuesdays but, considering I've typically been posting once a week, I think I can work around it. :)