Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Shrove Tuesday

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday, which is also sometimes called "Pancake Day" or "Fat Tuesday". Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Traditionally, Christians fast from something during the season of Lent. And with that in mind, Shrove Tuesday became a day to get rid of all the more indulgent foods in your home (like butter, eggs, sugar, etc.) by, well, eating them. Over many years this whole thing has turned into the debauchery that is the celebration of Mardi Gras in the US.

This year I've decided to embrace the Lenten season in a more intense way than I ever have before. Which meant that I just had to embrace Shrove Tuesday. 

For breakfast I had...
A blueberry scone and a latte. 
I had a lighter (yet still unhealthy) lunch because I knew I was going to be eating a lot in the evening...

Ruffles and precious, precious coffee with Bailey's coffee creamer. 
After work I went to church with 2 of my students for the pancake dinner...

Then it was time for the first-ever Fat Tuesday party with the college students I work with....

I made this King Cake. It is not pretty, but it tasted pretty good. 

It has not been good to look at all these pictures of food. Ash Wednesday is a fast day and I've been doing pretty well with is, but as the afternoon hits, I'm getting pretty hungry. One of my friends recently told me that she heard a pastor say, "When you're ready to fast [as a spiritual practice], you'll really want to do it".

That's really how I feel about this whole Lent thing. All you can do is what is sincerely in your heart. At this time last year, as I was contemplating what I was going to give up for Lent, I decided I wasn't going to give anything up. The previous 12 months of my life had been so difficult that my heart really felt like it was asking the Lord, "What more can I give? I'm depleted already". When I realized that, I decided the only right thing to do was to not give anything up. Instead, I think I added something, but now I can't remember what. Clearly it was meaningful and life changing. 

This year I feel the complete opposite of what I did last year. The past 12 months have been so rich with both earthly and spiritual blessings. It is amazing how much can change in a year. Right now my heart is in a place of saying to the Lord, "How can I show You that I trust You? That I love You? That I am willing to do absolutely anything You ask me to?". I know that last one is big, but it is truly where my heart is. So desperate for more of God. Willing to dig in with both hands. Wanting so badly to give back because He has given me SO much. Too much. 

So, this fasting feels good. It feels like penitence, not for my sins, but for His extravagance. For His Love and Grace and Faithfulness in the face of my blatant selfishness, disrespect, and penchant for things that will ruin me. I want so badly to be able to show Him how grateful I am and to beg Him to keep doing whatever He wants to in my life.  

And this is how I ended my Shrove Tuesday: King Cake, Colbert, and yes, wine (I had to get rid of it!). 

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