I was in the grocery store line (Tues) yesterday where Analise and I were purchasing a "king cake" in honor of Mardi Gras (which I like to moderately celebrate every year for no reason other than an excuse to have a "mini-party" with the kids and I like the colors yellow, green, and purple together!). The nice, checkout girl asked me what the colorful cake was all about and when I explained, I stumbled. I can normally condense my thoughts and relay information very concisely but for some reason I was having a hard time explaining Lent and all of it's complexities to the check out girl and the bagger boy (who I knew was slightly mentally impaired and very young). In the end I just explained (mostly for the benefit of the very loud bagger kid who kept asking me if it was "LINT?" or "LENT?" heehee)that today was a big celebration before Lent which starts tomorrow and is the 40 days plus Sundays before Easter. "Oh!", said the bagger, "YEAH! That's the time you can't eat meat, right? That just SUCKS!". He said it about 3 more times which, even though I was laughing at his innocence on the inside, I was cringing a little and trying to distract him with other, little factoids about lent. "Yeah! We try not to eat meat on FRIDAYS during Lent and it's usually 'celebrated' by Catholics but a lot of protestants like Lutherans also practice fasting from meat during Lent, and other sacrifices." Then he stated loudly, "REALLY? I'M LUTHERAN! BUT NO MEAT FOR LENT SUCKS!"
I just love that kid. He's a hoot. I often wish I could go through life with no guard on my words and I could say whatever the heck came to mind with NO thought as to what people were thinking of me for the saying of it. I wouldn't waste countless hours rehashing conversations to discern if something I said was offensive, incomplete, or misinterpreted. Ah, well, I wasn't made that way so I guess I have to keep on going with the editor in my head.
Later on, we went for an actual "walk" with Mari and Niklaus bundled up in the wagon and the 3 biggers on their bikes! It was about 40 degrees which (here in the deep freeze) is a flippin' tropical heatwave! As we were walking around the block and I was giggling about Mari's amazed expression (she hasn't actually seen "the world" since about November) and reassuring Niklaus that the big doggies were tied up and wouldn't eat him, I took deep breaths of the pre-spring air and it came to me what my Lenten sacrifice should be. Ready for this? Duh da daaaaaa...I am going to give up BROODING. Heehee, I am going to actively spend time during lent being joyful. If I feel my head start to fill with worrisome thoughts, I'm going to banish them and fill it instead with prayer or turn on the radio and listen to silly music with the kids. I came to this decision because of part of my explanation about Lent. I was thinking the whole time as I was walking back to the car from the store that the words "celebrating Lent" didn't sound right for such a somber season. I was telling Analise that it sounded a little funny to say "celebrating Lent" about a time that's kind of serious and she informed me, "Mom, I KNOW what Lent is!". WELL!
So, I am going to "celebrate Lent" this year. Hopefully it will show on my blog. No more blah,blah,blah rants about my mixed up brains and more stuff about the joyful things of life, family, friends, tributes to people I love, and love in this house. Come Easter Sunday I'll get all cynical and skeptical again...but until then...only lighthearted, fun stuff for me. Man, the suffering I endure for my faith. Sheesh, you should only BE so pious as me. And so humble.