Works For Me Wednesday- Sacrifice for Lent

I gotta be honest. Initially I had no intention of giving up anything for Lent. I grew up Methodist where we followed a liturgical calendar, but have been at a non denominational church so long, I kind of forget to celebrate the whole Lenten season and just kind of focus on Easter. We do the Resurection Eggs. We read the story in the bible, but we don’t really do much with Ash Wednesday or Maundy Thursday.

I was joking on Twitter and Facebook today that I was celebrating “Fat Tuesday” by eating fattening things all day long. So it only seemed fitting that the hubby called on his way home to say he was stopping by Krispy Kreme (just like his ancestors in the motherland) to bring home paczki to celebrate his Polish roots on Fat Tuesday. I just looked at it as an excuse to eat donuts.

So before we served donuts to the girls, we had to discover why exactly these paczki‘s were significant. Thank you oh wise Wikipedia:

Traditionally, the reason for making pączki was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, because they were forbidden to be consumed due to Catholic fasting practices during Lent.

So we launched into a discussion with the kiddos about why people sacrifice for Lent. How the sacrifice is to remind of us Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice and how when we want the thing we gave up we are to think of Jesus and how he suffered for us. We told them our church doesn’t really do that and…… Lily piped up, “I want to give up something for Lent. I want to give up TV.”

I don’t know why our first instinct was to discourage her, but that’s what we did. Are you sure, we asked. It is a really long time, we said. She insisted. And I wondered what we were doing questioning her little spirit’s desire to honor God this way. So I said I would join her. Not with the TV thing because shamefully my throat starts to close up when I think about missing Lost and American Idol. Yeah, I know. Obviously I have a long way to go.

So I am going to be giving up sweets. During the season of Reese’s Eggs and discounted Valentine’s candy. And I am going to hopefully have some great conversations with Lily along the way. Probably not with Hannah who declared loudly that she was going to give up her eyeball for Lent. A sacrifice for sure, but possibly a sign she might be a tad to young to get the whole concept. Lily possibly is too, but I can’t wait to see what she teaches me during the next 40 days. I am not naive enough to think that it will be the other way around.

For more tips on what works for others, head over to We Are That Family.


  1. Oh, that’s fabulous. My first encounter with Lenten sacrifice was when my dad’s mother asked me what I was giving up for Lent and I said, huh?

    Both he and I were seriously schooled that day. She was furious that he hadn’t even bothered to teach me that much of his faith.

    I’ve given up a number of things since then: chocolate, soda, sweets, TV, etc., etc., etc. A couple of years ago, though, I came across the writings of Barbara Crafton and she convinced me that instead of giving something up, I could also adopt a “discipline” for the 40 days. I’ve taken to reading devotionals (different ones every year) for the Lenten season. It feels different than the sacrifice, but it works for me.
    .-= Beth´s last blog ..Top Ten Success Strategies for Online Students =-.

  2. My 5 year old wants to give up eating his boogers. Hopefully this will be a resolution that will last beyond Easter!
    .-= Bridget´s last blog ..Some where along the way I lost myself. =-.

  3. honey…i’m giving up chocolate…so if you need any moral support – i got your back!

    :) we can have bad attitudes together!
    .-= lisa aka thebeadgirl´s last blog ..Haiti Relief Necklace =-.

  4. sugar is way harder. you can dvr lost. or is makeup stuff not allowed?
    .-= melissa stover´s last blog ..“I wanna dance” ~ I Heart Faces photo challenge =-.

  5. I will be praying for you. And I’d join you but I’m a really rotten friend. And LOOOK, CHOCOLATE BUNNIES!

    I was raised Catholic, and each year I would surprise my parents with my fabulous lenten ideas. I tried to give up my little brother, broccoli, chores, you know, sacrifices like that.

    Which reminds me, I need to call my dad for the weekly apology for everything I put my parents through.
    .-= Fiddledeedee´s last blog ..At least he can catch a cold =-.

    • Yeah I haven’t done so well with the sweets today. They were sampling brownies at Costco and I downed 2 before it even registered. Clearly I am not very good at this.

  6. I’m still cracking up over the eyeball thing. I like her! LOL!

    I grew up in a Methodist church then non-denomination also so Lent is a bit foreign to me. I never really participate but it does put me into ‘deep thought’ mode more often than normal. *I’m usually shallow* Maybe I should try sacrificing this year and see how I grow from it. Hmmmm…
    .-= Jenny86753oh9´s last blog ..WFMW – Cooking with Spices =-.

  7. Seriously. I was logging on to post my “lent” experience this morning and yours was practially word for word like mine.

    I love the kids and how they keep us in check! I linked back to you, too, since it nuts how similar out stories are.

    Although I would not have thought to associate it with WFMW had I not read your post. (Kinda ripping that idea off….) :)
    .-= Kelli´s last blog ..Lent for my 5 year old. =-.

  8. Like you, I grew up Methodist, without much Lent education. Friends often failed their Lent sacrifices in high school, but I never really followed suit. This year, without even realizing it was Fat Tues. I decided to give up added sugars and sweets for 30 days. Although I’m not going to promise it will now be for the 40 days of Lent, I will be doing my best and feeling comraderie with the rest of the Lenten sacrificers. P.S. I love the eyeball comment. Good thing she can’t really do that!
    .-= Jelli´s last blog ..Chocolate Shortbread =-.

  9. My husband is catholic and typically give up soda for Lent. This year, however, he has decided to attend church weekly (which is seen as more of a challenge for him and our busy family than a sacrifice.) I’m actually thinking of giving something up… but it can’t be chocolate. I have joined him in his Lenten sacrifices, but I think it’s important for me to start doing so.
    .-= Jamie´s last blog ..Works for Me Wednesday: Paper Plates =-.

  10. TV?! Brave girl (and her mommy)!

    I’m Catholic so I typically give something up. This year it’s my “midnight” snacking. Every night I have dessert after dinner but then once the kids are in bed I have an ice cream sandwich. Then after that I eat Twizzlers till the cows come home. I’m not giving up the ice cream sandwich (that’s for my sanity–and it’s portion-controlled) but I’m giving up the Twizzlers and any additional snacking.
    .-= Eos Mom´s last blog ..Resolution Progress Report =-.

  11. We don’t do anything for Lent either. Nor have our kids brought up anything about it. I would have the same reaction as you if it were TV though! Good for Lily :)
    .-= Veronica´s last blog ..I made an old man cry… =-.

  12. I’ve learned to love Lent because I learn so much from it. Often the thing I feared I couldn’t do without turns out to be much less important than I thought.

    I’m impressed by Lily and look forward to hearing what she’ll learn about other ways to spend her TV time. My son is 5 and hasn’t yet offered to do a Lenten fast; I won’t push it until he’s older, but I’ll be thrilled if he chooses one himself.
    .-= ‘Becca´s last blog ..40-Day Free Trial! =-.

    • She is in school all week so she doesn’t watch much TV, but the weekends will be interesting. Now my 3 yo? A little TV here and there keeps mommy sane. She will not be making any sacrifices cause it would only punish mommy ;)

  13. you know it’s more than 40 days, right? sundays don’t count, since technically every sunday is a resurrection day. :) not sure if that means you should give yourself (and your daughter) the day off on sundays during lent, or if you should just make your lenten season of abstinence a little longer. either way, if she can count to 40… you should give her the heads up. :)

    happy fasting.
    .-= Erin G´s last blog ..Our Future (NotSoMuch) Olympian =-.

  14. that’s awesome. I have totally let this season get away from me…going to talk with my boys tonight…not sure they’ll offer up a sacrifice but ya never know…I still haven’t decided what mine will be!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..My View on The View =-.

  15. I have given up tv in the past for lent… I take that back – I have limited myself to 1 hr… and it was a great experience. However this year I am also going the ‘sweets’ route which I decided late last night. (I just couldn’t do TV … which probably means I really should do TV) Unfortunately, I have have already botched it up after eating two chocolates at MOPS this morning before I realized what I was doing. Can I have a do-over? :)

  16. I really enjoyed this post. It is amazing how our kids can speak conviction to our hearts. I am participating Lent this year for the 2nd time. I will pray for you. Pray for me, too?
    .-= Jane Anne´s last blog ..I Prayed for You, Momma =-.

  17. Fantastic!! I love all of the sacrifices – especially the eyeball. Maybe she’s really deep and is thinking an entire plucking of the eyeball is not necessary to keep herself pure; but maybe a good 40 days will do the trick.
    If you really want to get into the whole Fat Tuesday thing (I mean understand it) you can borrow my book “Jewish Spirituality for Christians” – as it turns out, we totally stole that whole thing from them when they cleaned out the leavened bread etc for Passover.
    .-= Jen @ BigBinder´s last blog ..I’m Ready! =-.

  18. We are doing weekly resolutions for Lent, if we decide we want to continue doing one, that is an option. I was raised Baptist and never even heard about Lent, now that I’m a Catholic I am slowly learning what and how to do.

    DS, the younger, decided to give up sweets until he and his dad watch a race (either NASCAR or motocross). That would work out to be Sunday. This is his first attempt. He has already been faced with reaching for an Oreo today (one of two left) and stopped himself just before doing it.

    Thanks for posting this on the WWFM site. Good food for thought.
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..SOUP =-.

  19. Can’t stop laughing at giving up the eyeball for Lent!

    I grew up Baptist, but go to a Methodist church now & while we observe Lent, we’re not really encouraged to give up anything really. I usually do pick something to give up, but this year I’m just focusing on not going crazy living in my parents’ house. I think God will understand & condone my current self-preservation mode. :)

    I did give up sweet tea one year. BRUTAL!

  20. oh amanda says:

    Kids are awesome! I’ve never celebrated Lent growing up much more non-denom. But what a cool thing you guys are doing! (And way to go out on a Krispy Kreme!)
    .-= oh amanda´s last blog ..Lost Season 6 Episode 4 The Substitute =-.

  21. I just posted about paczkis, too funny. I had no idea how they got started though, very interesting.

    Good luck this Lent!
    .-= Tired Mom Tesa´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday – Our Olympic Moment =-.

  22. Sorry, I hit enter too soon!

    That’s fabulous! As a Catholic I am trying a more protestant approach and am trying to DO something, something positive, instead of giving something up.

    Isn’t it so amazing and rewarding how our kids can teach us more about religion and faith then we tech them.
    .-= MamaB´s last blog ..Wednesday Words of Wisdom =-.

    • I don’t necessarily know that adding something is a “more Protestant” approach. In our parish (Catholic), it is suggested to us several times each Lent to add something instead of just taking away something.
      .-= Angie @ Many Little Blessings´s last blog ..7 Quick Takes: February 19, 2010 (Vol. 30) =-.

  23. kelly says:

    hey jill,
    i’m also giving up sugar and facebook for lent…honestly sugar is going to be much harder. seems like everywhere i turn i see sugary treats!

    but i am looking forward to more physical wellness (detoxing my body from sugar) but also to create more reliance on God, to not go to a piece of chocolate cake for a pick-me-up but to find my fulfillment in more prayer, rest with God. so i’ll be thinking of ya when i struggle with my cravings…

  24. I have always observed Lent, having grown up as an Episcopalian and then converting to Catholicism in my thirties. This year, we are adding in daily exercise and daily family prayer. Plus, I am giving up the computer for one day each week. That part really, really scares me. I figured if it made me that nervous, it probably meant it was something I needed to do.
    .-= Angie @ Many Little Blessings´s last blog ..7 Quick Takes: February 19, 2010 (Vol. 30) =-.

  25. Jill,
    What an awesome testimony! I’ve had this wdw open for weeks and finally read it. If you’re interested in reading what other people are doing for Lent, folks linked up their posts here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/02/12/the-what-are-you-doing-for-lent-carnival/ and I have some ideas for kids here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/02/17/mary-and-martha-moment-celebrating-lent-with-children/

    :) Katie
    PS – I’ll miss you guys tomorrow!!! (and I see you got that plug-in for Feedburner – nice, eh?)
    .-= Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship´s last blog ..My Story: The Final List of the Last Year’s Changes =-.

  26. Rev. Roger Cary says:

    As a new Pastor and also a fairly new Methodist, I also grew up not fully understanding this season. As I studied for my first Ash Wednesday service I read that this year might be better to challenge members of my 2 congregations to take something up instead of giving something up. The challenge I issued and am trying to follow myself is of giving up 5 minutes a day and praying for a specific person, someone that I may have some hard feelings for. I am not praying for them to change to meet my standards, but rather that God will richly bless them and use them to his purpose and will.
    I know this may seem a bit too easy, but actually, in the midst of all of our busy lives, it is much harder than one thinks it is. I might suggest that each of us that does not want to give up sweets, tv, etc., try this approach.

    God bless all of you and I look forward to following more posts.

  27. I had read your entry to my 11 yr. old over breakfast that morning and that began a discussion about Lent and what He did for us. Youngest decided to give up his Legos. Now for him this is a really BIG deal because he can play with them for hours, which is a really big deal since his siblings are older. He has done an excellent job with this and while we thought it would be something extremely difficult for him, he has found other ways to occupy his need to build and create.
    .-= Lynnet´s last blog ..$100 SavingsCoupon Book and expired coupons =-.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge