Happy Hump Day!
As many of you may know, today is Ash Wednesday. I’ve decided that since today marks the beginning of my Lenten Journey that I’d share with you guys a peek into my faith life.
I must tell you guys that my parents did a great job of instilling the Catholic faith upon my brother and I throughout our upbringing. Although I consider myself a sinner everyday, I do try my best to participate and act as I was taught throughout my Christian teachings. My faith is strong, but I do hope to one day be even more involved as my parents and brother are with the church. I have no excuses for not taking that leap of faith, but I’m hoping this year’s Lenten journey can open my mind and soul to more opportunities.
I only choose not to blog about this part of my life on a regular basis since I’m no where near an expert on this subject. I also feel that prayer, religion and faith are a little too personal, and wish not to exploit any of this information in the wrong way.
So, what is Lent and why do we place ashes on our foreheads?
Disclaimer: Again, no expert here, these are simply my own thoughts.
Lent, to me, is a time to take a long walk with God. It’s a time to evaluate my life. Taking away those things that are blocking my relationship with God or partaking in new activities that bring me closer to Him. It’s not about giving something up for 40 days only to indulge in it once again on Easter Day. Ultimately it’s about recognizing the sacrifices Jesus made for all of us and an opportunity to get better. And of course it is a time to prepare for Holy Week.
Pope Francis said it best today, “Lent is a good time for sacrificing. Let us deny ourselves something everyday to help others.”
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season, and on this day we receive ashes on our foreheads to remind us that we are sinners. Although some may view the smudge on Catholic’s foreheads as a sign of being holy or special, they are actually quite the opposite. We recognize that we don’t always love God directly as we should. Although we are sinners, we also recognize that God loves and forgives. He gives a sinner like myself a second chance.
As I was preparing myself for this journey, I found a few sites with some unique ideas of things to either do or give up during Lent. Here are a few that caught my eye:
Make a list of 40 people who have touched your life in one way or another. Then each day during Lent, write a letter to each person on your list and pray for them.
- Give up cell phone usage while partaking in social situations. This will allow you to be more present to the people around you, and will also allow them to see your deeper connection with God.
- Attend adoration daily.
- Give up the snooze button in order to teach yourself about discipline.
- Park at the back of the parking lot.
- Pray the rosary daily.
- Pray the Hail Mary and do an ab crunch for every single word.
- Stop complaining and stop being negative.
- Cut out screen time (TV, computer, tablets, phones) after dinner.
- Give away 10 shirts, two pair of pants and a pair of shoes
Lunch and Afternoon Snack
For lunch I ate leftovers of a tomato salad I made earlier in the week. I suggest letting this salad sit at least a half an hour in your fridge in order for all the flavors to combine.
3 vine tomatoes
Half red onion
1 tablespoon of chopped mint
Salt and Pepper
Combine all ingredients and let sit in refrigerator for at least half an hour.
Since my lunch was super light (in respects to Ash Wednesday), I made myself a smoothie to enjoy this afternoon in order to give me some energy for my afternoon workout. Today I put together a tropical explosion…and by tropical, I mean PINEAPPLES!
3/4 cup of frozen pineapple
1 container Chobani pineapple greek yogurt
1 tablespoon of almond butter
Enough milk to get everything moving
Mix everything together in blender and enjoy!
This was one super, tasty smoothie, but I wish I would have had some spinach on hand to make this smoothie even more nutritious.
For all those participating in the Lenten journey, I will continue to keep you in my prayers. May we all find the answers we are looking for, and never forget that our God kicks Ash! (I saw that on another website and just had to use it).
Will you be participating in the Lenten journey this year?