Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pancake Day!

Today is Shrove Tuesday.  The school stank of cooking oil - the kindergarten classes were all making pancakes this morning.  Of course, we had to come home and have them for dinner, too (I tried a new recipe for whole wheat blueberry pancakes and they were yummy!)

It's always a challenge to explain Shrove Tuesday to the kids.  I have lots of Christian students this year but very few who celebrate Lent or Ash Wednesday.  We read about it but since I am Presbyterian and it tends to be a very Catholic way of doing things, I really don't have much to say about it.

It occurred to me this morning when I was talking to the students that I hadn't given Lent any thought this year.  In the past, I have given something up - usually chocolate or caffeine.  There have been times when it seemed a good exercise - it helped to focus me on Easter's impending arrival and since Easter really should be the highest point of the Christian year, that has always seemed to be a good idea.   I don't know when I started giving something up or even when I learned about it.  I seem to remember my father doing it - as mom said tonight, he always gives up coke and chocolate (and always goes right back to them on Easter).

The timing is good because fasting has been on my mind.  We are doing a Bible study at church (Untapped Miracles for Tapped Out Christians) and this week, the focus has been on fasting.  While food has been the focus of most fasts in the past, I have been considering whether another kind of fast might be more appropriate for me at this point in my life.  I am not sure that giving up food is really all that useful an exercise for me.  I have been pondering whether there is anything in my life that a) I have become too reliant on and b) that takes my focus away from God.  I have actually wondered whether a kind of fast that takes me away from the computer might actually be a good idea (other than that it would keep me away from my blog and my online Bible study group).  Just think, if I didn't spend so much time on the computer, I would have much more time to read, to rest and to do all those jobs that need doing and cause me stress when they don't get done.   There was a stage in our lives when Michael and I used to try to actively keep the Sabbath - we didn't use any media on Sunday, we avoided computer, t.v., video games and telephone and tried to spend our time together.  That might be a nice compromise.  
I haven't decided on whether I will give something up or not.  If you have any good suggestions, I would love to hear them!


  1. Mmmm, pancakes...I think we may need to have those for dinner tonight! ;)

    I was thinking the same thing yesterday...what to give up. I don't have any fantastic ideas that come to mind but I will think on it and get back to you, I want something out of the ordinary but something that will still stretch me. Hmmmm!!!

  2. My mother was talking about whether it might be better to add something than take it away to help focus on God and perhaps creating a new habit at the same time... I am still thinking. Let me know what you decide!

  3. I like your mom's idea of possibly taking on something rather than giving up. I think some times it takes more effort to add something into your life more than it does to actually take something away. Of course, with adding something and depending on what it is-you might have to take something away to fit it in!

  4. I thought about adding something...but for me I need to come up with a way to reduce the amount of time I spend on the computer...because it's way too much! I like the idea of completely giving up blogging for lent, but I "blog" mostly to keep my parents in the loop of what we are doing....and for regular pics of my girls. So there would be a revolt if I gave it up. And then there is the Bible study...

    So I am trying to think of how to limit myself. Maybe I need to give up reading other people's blogs?!?! The amount of time I spend at the computer every day is too much.

  5. I would consider television, since that is a few hours a week, perhaps. But for me, I am already giving up peanut butter for this year of nursing, so I am feeling quite deprived enough, even if I were one to observe Lent! My goodness, how I miss peanut butter.

  6. You could join the 40 Day Water Challenge! Water is so good for the body and it's also something that would require lack of other beverages. :) We also have pancakes on Shrove Tuesday but I had to work last week and so I missed it... I'd planned to have some frozen ones but I got home and realized I didnt' have any...

  7. Hey, Kittenpie, how come you are giving up peanut butter? Is it fear of allergies? I ate it when I was nursing, never gave it any thought actually. I have read in two places over the last week that they are starting to reconsider the whole "avoid peanuts" thing - I guess that there is some suspicion that we should be introducing it early - there is something like a 10 fold increase in the risk of an allergy with a late introduction. I was actually thinking of asking our doctor if we could give her something with peanuts in the car just before we come in for our next appointment - if she has a reaction, she will do it right there in the waiting room where they could help if we needed it and the doctor's office is right across the street from a hospital.