I was at the library this morning and there was a group of moms with their kids and they had the charcoal crosses on their foreheads. At first I just saw one of the children and I thought she just had a dirty face. Then it clicked that today is Ash Wednesday. I thought about the Ash Wednesdays when I was a kid. The beginning of Lent. The beginning of Filet O Fishes every Friday (I know some people who don't like them, but I do!). The beginning of giving something up.
Even in college I still celebrated Lent even after I had "left" the Catholic faith in exchange for Protestant. I still gave something up, still sacrificed something.
But I've had occasion to think about what Lent means this year. You see I'm crafting along to the Lenten schedule. I'm doing a knit a-long (KAL) ending with a scarf representing major themes in Lent. Each piece is a mystery until that week. This first week is knitted in green with a grass pattern in the knit symbolizing creation.
I've decided I like the idea of adding something to Lent instead of giving something up. Christ gave so much for us, sure He sacrificed (the ULTIMATE sacrifice) but in doing so gave us everything we could ever need.
On a related (I promise) note. I love the Food Network Star and have watched both seasons. I was especially thrilled when my favorite Aarti from last season won. It turns out she's a believer and has her own personal blog. Her thoughts today on Lent echoed mine.