Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Help! I need some recipes for Lent!

Let's get something straight here: I am a Christian who has grown up in Baptist churches all my life. I don't especially think we Baptists have the market cornered on grace or joy or getting along, it's just how it's worked out for me. I do believe in many of the Baptist ideas, but honestly not all of them. (Please don't fire my husband!)

Most Baptists don't practice Lent. I try to. 

It probably started for me when I attended graduate school at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky- a fine Catholic school of which I'm quite proud! 

(As newlyweds, away from our families for the first time ever, we lived on the campus of Southern Baptist Seminary where Blake was a student. I worked in the daycare at the Presbyterian seminary across the street and was an intern at Jewish Hospital in Louisville while attending the Catholic university. Talk about ecumenical! I'm not your typical Baptist to say the least. That's a blog all its own!)

Growing up Baptist in a small rural community in south Arkansas, one really isn't exposed much to Lent or Ash Wednesday. Now mind you, south Arkansas is close to Louisiana so I knew about Mardi Gras but thought it was all about beads and King Cake. And my mother preached vehemently against going to New Orleans even though I'm pretty sure my big sister did!

So one particularly cold and rainy Wednesday I had no idea why I was the only student who was early to class. As I wandered down the hall of the dietetics building at Spalding, the building that connected to the Chapel, I saw that EVERYONE was in some sort of prayer service. Even the nuns were there! Being Baptist, as previously mentioned, I passed by and went on to sharpen my pencil before returning to class to wait patiently for the other students...who, by the way, were ALL Catholic. (You see where this is going, don't you?)

Strangely they all entered together looking, to me, as if I'd been the only one not invited to the chimney sweep party.

You guessed it!  I said, "Why do you all have black stuff on your foreheads?"  That was my initiation into Lent and Ash Wednesday, and I've learned from it ever since.  (I learned so many things from my peers during my time there, and I provided many other naively funny stories to them as well.  A totally different post sometime...)

So now I attempt to incorporate Lent into my spiritual journey.  It's traditionally about giving up something in order to remind yourself of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.  I love how the She Reads Truth app defines Lent:

"Lent is the season of repentance leading up to Easter in which the Church draws near to the cross of Christ, resting in the shadow of His sacrifice, glory, and forgiveness."

Remembering the cross, and why it was required...MY SIN! That's why I participate in Lent.

This year Caleb has asked me to participate with him. He usually just jokes about giving up something like ice skating or liver and onions, but this year he has seriously asked to give up meat. 

Yes, I said MEAT!

So I'm all in with him. Anytime my kids even attempt to learn more about Christ I'm in. I realize he/we will probably blow it at some point but even then we will learn more about grace.

Help! I need some vegetarian recipes that don't include gluten, dairy, or sugar! Thank God for hummus and quinoa and almonds!

Boy, will I be looking forward to the resurrection! 

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