What I am NOT giving up for Lent
I am not giving up meat, either, even though our Eastern Catholic fast calls for it. Being pregnant and soon caring for a newborn, I am exempt from that fast (I need the protein). Nor am I giving up dairy. However, I am going to be making vegan meals for dinner, and get my meat and dairy for breakfast and lunch. That way our family is not ignoring the Great Fast all together.
I am not giving up T.V. The pregnancy insomnia, soon to be followed by many sleep deprived nights, have in the past given me such anxiety. Having an old sitcom to watch, or a news re-run mightily reduces my panic about not sleeping.
I am not giving up sweets either, or coffee. I have no rationalization for this, either. I just am not going to.
So where does that leave me? I have that last few weeks of pregnancy to go, then birth, then the treacherous post-partum period. Plenty of suffering and deprivation there, and mightily fruitful if I orient myself properly. Offering my body, and my blood, my sleep and my comfort for the good of the other. Letting Love conquer fear, and accepting both the blessings and sacrifices offered me by being open to new life. Relinquishing my plans and my control for the reality that, what will happen will happen, and I can not be in charge here. I have given birth many times before, twice before during Lent. There is something quite spiritually rich about joining in the Lenten Offerings with birth giving. A true gift for me to be allowed to do so.
I am also reading and meditating on the Gospel of St. Mark. Unfortunately, I won't be participating in many of the extra services at church, as our priest has taken ill and is the hospital. Prayer for his health and salvation would be much appreciated. So I will be having more time at home to do my Duties of the Moment, to love and to offer myself to my family, and sometimes that is the most difficult thing for me to do willingly and well.
So, there you have it. May it be a fruitful Lent!