28 February 2012

give and take - a 40 day journey

It's most likely the time of year that people around me dislike the most....when I give something up for Lent in preparation for Easter.  I'm very steadfast to what I choose as it's the time of year when I'm a really good Catholic. The thing is, I don't usually choose things to cut out that are simple.  I do ten to pick items that seem like a sacrifice because it's small to give it up for only 40 days in comparison to the actual sacrifice of Jesus' life that is.  So as with (my own) tradition, Lent starts out with a Fat Tuesday dinner of Carrot Cake Pancakes (add 4c grated carrots, 1/2c chopped roasted walnuts and 2 tsp cinnamon to your fave pancake recipe) which this year I created a sort of "icing" made out of 1 pkg cream cheese, 2 tbsp greek yogurt and 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup (I think - use your judgement on how mapley you like it!) Basically just blend all together until it's a whipped topping type of product... put on top of pancakes and garnish with fruit and perhaps more maple syrup.  

Now in years past I have given up such things as prime time television, shopping (for non-essential items), coffee & tea, the elevator (while working on the 5th floor) and of course junk food (ie: desserts, candy & chips) which I have chosen to give up yet again! With the help of fresh fruit and a few other healthy treats like nuts & dates I figure out a way to maintain this small sacrifice.  I do my best to remain true to my faith and to strengthen it every day but it's true that Lent usually does act as a reminder for me to focus more on not only what I believe but what I can do to be more faithful, more giving and a better example.  This year I've decided to focus on not only what is going in to my mouth but also what comes out of it.  In addition to giving up the sweets & junk food (with the exception of air popped popcorn, cuz come on a girl has to snack on something!) I've decide to take this as an opportunity to put goodness out into the world as well.  As many people know I love to send mail - probably because I like to receive mail - and so as part of Lent for me, I also chose to send 3 letters or small packages per week in the mail to unsuspecting friends and family.  In fact I've also included a few suppliers from work and people from not only North America but European friends as well! I am taking it as another opportunity to be thankful for the good in my life - for the people who are in it and for the chance to brighten someone else's day.  So if you are giving something up for Lent (or if you are not) ask yourself what you can do to be a better person? How can you strengthen your faith? How can you put goodness out into the world?

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