Saturday, February 18, 2012

So... What Are You Doing for Lent?


It’s almost here.  And I’ve been planning on coming up with a plan since Epiphany ended, but really nothing seems quite right.  The last few years I’ve given things up, like sweets and soda, but usually the bulk of my Lenten devotions are adding a couple extra rosaries a day, or something like that. 

This year nothing seems right, at least on the “giving up” side (I know that I can come up with a dozen things to “do”, but I’ll turn my attention to that once I’ve finished brainstorming the fasting aspect).  The migraine thing has meant that I have, for the most part, given up most of the things I would normally think of giving up for Lent.  Now that I’ve begun to realize that everything from candy and soda, to bacon and pepperoni (and pretty much everything else vaguely unhealthy) seem to be migraine triggers, the realm of foods that I’d usually given up is already mostly out of the picture.  And giving up something I have infrequently, that might give me a migraine, isn’t really a sacrifice.  It’s more like common sense.

I can’t give up the Internet, as so many people I know are doing, since my business is online…

I thought about giving up meat… but as someone who was a vegetarian for ten years I know that it’s not really a huge sacrifice for me. 

I’ve toyed with the idea of giving up my irresponsible use of pregnancy tests each month, but then I wonder how that would actually work.  What if I actually do find myself in pregnant during Lent?  Then I’ll need to know as soon as possible, so we can find out if there is a progesterone problem.  So…  would I give up pregnancy tests unless I’m more than a week past the day when I would have (realistically) tested?  That seems kind of lame too (although I think I’m going to do it as part of what I’m doing…). 

I already wear dresses all the time… and since I have a covering on the majority of the time too it’s not like that would be much of a change. 

On the other hand, since my attempt at praying at least part of the Divine Office every day has for the most part been a failure (or at least inconsistent, with weeks where I’m good and weeks where I’m not) I think I will make that commitment, or at least commit to praying morning and nighttime prayers and to attempting to pray afternoon prayers.  I’m thinking of maybe adding a rosary on my own when I’m walking (since these days we usually just do a family rosary) too, but I feel like that’s what I do every year.  And I have a Lent book of meditations I’ll be reading and following along with (and reviewing).

I’m also torn on the fast.  I haven’t fasted… since the Lent before I was confirmed.  The last four years in which I’ve actually been Catholic have been: pregnancy, nursing, pregnancy, nursing.  I am still nursing.  But I’m nursing a nineteen month old.  Which makes me wonder if I should try?  I absolutely don’t advocate pregnant or nursing mothers of little ones to fast… but with a toddler only nursing once or twice a day?  I’m just not sure (any experience or advice here is appreciated… I’ve always been pregnant by the second Lent, so it’s never been an issue!).

So… that’s my not-so-helpful-I’m-so-obviously-not-ready-for-Lent-stream-of-consciousness post. 

What are you doing?  I’m all for stealing Lent ideas at this point, because I’m certainly not doing a great job of formulating any sort of plan on my own.


  1. My husband and I are doing most everything together for Lent. We plan on giving up all sweets/baked goods, simplifying our meals, not eating out, praying the Rosary together daily, and tithing a bit more than usual. I'm also "giving up" a nasty habit I have of picking at my cuticles, as well as finishing training to become a Lector. Pretty simple :)

  2. I was thinking of giving away something from my store. Considering the state of this economy, not a lot of moms can afford aprons. I was thinking of making and giving away a set, but we'll see how much time I have for that...

  3. I'm 17 weeks pregnant with #2, plus I'm still nursing our 1 year fasting is toootally out of the question for me! Goodness I get lightheaded if I go 2 hours without eating or drinking! I'm practically starving all the time I haven't gained much weight yet...I'm right around pre-pregnancy weight still - so no fasting for me!

    Hubby and I are giving up all sweets - soda, candy, desserts, etc. We're also going to eat simpler meals, and sometimes cold meals for dinner. We already pray the Rosary every day together - but I need to get a handle on mental prayer, as well as more spiritual reading. Oh we'll also try to make it to Stations of the Cross each Friday.

    So those are our/my goals! :)

  4. I think I am giving up CAF (except for the pregnant mamas thread). It is just taking up too much of my time, even when I am not actively engaged in thread.

    Otherwise, I still need to speak with dh with any diet/food modifications we might do together. I am nursing and pregnant (21 wks). Only just started gain back the weight I lost. Though I might try to cut my soda intake down to one or less a day, and cut out some of the bad for you purchased sweets which dh sometimes splurges on, and I end up eating.

  5. I nursed my daughter until she was 3. I don't remember skipping a fast, other than the first Lent that I was nursing (she would have been 10 months then). I'm not sure that it was the right decision to fast during the subsequent two Lenten seasons that I was nursing,..but with her being a toddler, it worked out fine, so far as I could tell. Perhaps a modified fast would be a good option, if a full fast doesn't feel like the right thing to do? Now that I have written this comment, I have decided that it is probably no help at all...but, I've already written it, it is. =) Hope you're doing well and have a blessed Lenten season!

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  7. While I know there are some who fast while nursing, I would not recommend that even with an older child. I tried that one year and got incredibly sick. Modified like mentioned above might be ok... but I'd also weigh in how often she nurses (mine is still going like a newborn at times lol) and if you think your body can really handle that extra stress. I feel awful not fasting, so I have to remind myself of that fact.

  8. I am going to limit my online time to 1 hour per day and pray the Hours-morn, readings, eve and continue my Divine Intimacy prayer book. We are also going to try and eat more simple meals in the evening. Love your stream of conscienceness.

  9. Our parish has a weekly 'Lent with Thomas Merton' series that is for prayer and reflection . It is really good. So we'll both be doing that.

    We are abstaining from meat and also not eating purchased bread. So it will be a challenge with us both working full time and trying to bake bread constantly. I am also going to try and walk the 4 miles home from work each day rather than the subway.

    Also, we are going to Stations of the Cross each Friday and also, we saved up and purchased the Fr Barron's Catholicism DVD set and will be watching 2 episodes per week while trying to give up watching trashy tv.

    Also - I get the Magnifican Lenten Companion each year and find that is awesome through guiding me through those days where it all seems too much.

    Good luck!!

  10. A couple of years ago, my New Years resolution was to read the Bible. I printed off a read the Bible in a year plan, but missed some days and got behind. I decided to catch up and get ahead durring Lent by doubling up on the readings. Perhaps you could sacrifice some free time or (secular) reading or TV time to do extra Bible/Catachism/Devotional readings or maybe you could knit or sew something for a charitable cause.

  11. Late, I know, but it took a while to come up with a good answer.

    I'm going to come up with a list of "will-dos" rather than "won't do's" this year. I find that to be more spiritually fulfilling.

  12. The Baron and I trying to do a three fold approach. (Penitential, Spiritual and Physical) We are giving up meat. He's giving up sweetened drinks (so no Soda or sugar in his coffee or tea) (penitential). He's going to daily extraordinary form (6:30AM) low mass, I'm going to daily mass either with him or on my own (probably at 9:00) (Spiritual). I'm also going to go work out daily and he's going to give up hot showers (Physical).

  13. Cam,

    I just have feeling you might like this idea for Lent: 40 Bags in Forty Days.

  14. Hey, just found your blog with a 'not ready for lent' search... and thought you might be interested in something I recently came across:
    I loved the concept of fasting from artificial light, and the benefits that fall out of that.
    Hope you have a great lent.


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