I Saw This Outside My Window


Actually I was sent this in an email from a friend, that kind of shows you how long and cold our winters have been in Canada this year, but I know in the US many states have also experienced a very cold spell with snow also…. It gave me a smile on a day when we are expecting yet another blast of winter.

I'm sure spring is just around the corner! I’m sure spring is just around the corner!

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Published in: on March 12, 2014 at 12:44 pm  Comments (12)  

Give Up Bread~I think not–at least not now……………



            What do you give up for Lent? The church that I was brought up in did not practice this period of self-denial per se, but I remember as a kid thinking how cool it was that some of my friends were giving something up for Lent. I guess the thought behind it is that we need to suffer a bit, so giving up something that we like is akin to cleansing our souls.

            Lent is the 40 weekdays before Easter and is considered a time of prayer, penance, fasting, and self-denial starting on Ash Wednesday. It commemorates the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness. One might hold the opinion that Jesus was kind of built to take on these types of things and we are not and that we should admire and be satisfied by his discipline but not try to replicate it.

            If as Ken Collins explains on kencollins.com, “Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance…and a season for reflection and taking stock”, then I say all the more power to those who partake. He tells us that “Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days.”

            Last night while I was stuffing myself with great food at an Italian restaurant one of the couples we were with mentioned that they were giving up bread for Lent. With all the talk of giving up gluten lately, I thought this was topical as well as challenging.

            I love bread. In all its forms. White bread, whole wheat bread, French bread, Italian bread, sourdough bread, rye bread, buns in all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities…. you name it—if it is bread-like, I love it! I have the book, Wheatbelly, and it has given me pause—but the question that comes to my mind immediately is: Is bread not the staff of life? Even Dr. Oz has gotten on to the band wagon, and while he does not ban it, he admits that it can cause many people digestive distress while expanding our widening waistlines.

            I want to get on the band wagon, I really do—and in comparison to 40 days in the wilderness it would not be that much of a sacrifice. I guess. But I am so not convinced. As I watch the dial on my scale lurch up past points I never thought I would reach—I may be rethinking my position. But I am weak. What would I wrap around my hamburgers, or the occasional hot dog I allow myself. What would accompany my lasagne? And baked beans without bread? Outrageous! Bread has been the mainstay of my diet since I was knee high to a grasshopper (sorry, I sometimes fall into clichés when I am upset).

            How does one eat a sandwich without bread? Yes there are gluten free products out there—but my sister, who has kicked bread out of her diet says you have to toast it to make it edible. Perhaps I protest too much—perhaps I know I should give up bread or at least cut down on my intake. Perhaps I have a stomach that would benefit from fewer wheat products as it has been known to be my Achilles heel, but that does not change the fact that I adore bread and all its relatives while abhorring its supposed side effects.

            Anyway, back to Lent. I admire those of you who partake in self-denial—you choose to deny yourselves of things you love in order for Lent to mean something. Chocolate, nicotine gum (yes I know people who are giving it up for Lent), sweets, bread, and meat are just some of the things I have heard people give up in these days before Easter.

            Personally, I love the other aspects of Lent–that it is a time of prayer and penance, self-reflection and soul-searching, and although I once thought giving up something for Lent was cool—I am no longer of this persuasion.

            Lent also means that spring is just around the corner—and that too is something to celebrate after living through this hard winter that does not seem to be done with us yet.

Note: I am not schooled in religious doctrine—this is merely a piece for entertainment purposes only. But, you already knew that.

Published in: on March 12, 2014 at 12:30 am  Comments (25)