Jason knows me well enough to know what I like. For Valentine's Day he got me chocolate. But not just chocolate. Black and white mousse torte from the Konditerai, my favorite dessert restaurant here in town.
And not just a slice, my chocolate loving friends. Oh no. He got me an entire cake--fourteen inches in diameter.
Never mind that one slice probably has about a million fat grams, let alone a whole cake. It was yummy, "was" being the operative word there. Got the cake Wednesday evening, gone by Saturday night. When it comes to eating dessert, we don't mess around. Of course, since Jason is training for a marathon he's already burned off all the calories, whereas I have embraced the calories. Or rather, my waist has embraced them with the greatest of affections. Yee haw.
It was just as well that we finished it, since Lent starts on Wednesday, and I'm giving up chocolate again this year. I was doing some research online today regarding observing Lent, and Jason astutely pointed out, "You're not Catholic."
Indeed, I am very much an Evangelical. Grew up half pentecostal, half Conservative Baptist (how's that for an interesting blend?), went to a Baptist college, and spent this morning at a Calvary Chapel church where we have attended the last ten years. There's very little liturgy in my background, although I can appreciate faiths that have strong liturgical aspects.
And I certainly appreciate the tradition of Lent that the Catholic church has passed down. The act of giving up something, the reminder of a greater sacrifice, the focus on preparing for Easter. Most evangelicals don't practice Lent, because of historical reasons, and for other theological reasons. However, I think there's a lot of value--and not just religious value--in spending several weeks reflecting on life, on faith, on sacrifice.
I'm really excited about observing Lent this year, even though I'm not doing the full observance of fasting and no-meat-Fridays (we hardly ever eat meat anyway). However, in my own way I'm participating, and I found an excellent online resource to help guide me through the next seven weeks. I convinced Jason to observe Lent this year too, plus Sydney and I will be going through the Family Countdown to Easter ("Momma! It has stickers! STICKERS!") since she's old enough to do some of the activities and understand some of the ideas about Easter.
Obviously, me observing Lent doesn't make me a better person than someone who doesn't observe it. I'm not doing it to gain points with God; I'm not doing it out of a sense of obligation; I'm not doing it to impress other people. I'm doing it because I want to, because my life needs this right now. Maybe next year we won't observe Lent, but this year...
...well, eat some chocolate for me. Better yet, eat some black and white mousse torte. It's so good.