Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday also known as the first day of Lent. For the next 40 days, a number of people will be giving up something to take part in the lead up to Easter. I’m not a Catholic so I don’t go to the church to have ashes put on my forehead although I think that tradition is quite nice. I have a number of friends who will be walking around with this mark all day.

I also don’t usually give up anything for Lent but I do try to use the period to attempt to fix some habit or personality issue that I perceive I  have. Sadly, I haven’t been really successful in making life time changes – I have read somewhere that you can form a new habit in 30 days but I’m not sure I agree with that. I plan to test the theory yet again this year as I am going to try to not be so dang sensitive. I find as I get older that I’ve become someone who seems to wear her heart on her sleeve. I wasn’t this way before but for some reason, it’s been true for the last few years.

I tend to invest everything I am into every endeavor I undertake and that includes friendships. I’m finding as I age that this is not the norm for people and as a result, I’ve been in situations where I get hurt (feelings, not physical).

I’ve decided to try to change a little and not invest so deeply so fast. I’ve got a new mantra I’m going to try in this Lenten period and it’s “surface, surface, surface.” I am going to endeavor to keep things on a surface level. Once I master that and learn to take my time in diving in deep, I think I will be better off and my heart may hurt less.

What about you? Any ashes for your forehead? Any Lenten traditions?


14 responses to “Ash Wednesday

  1. As a Catholic by choice,I have done the ashes on the forehead, but not for some time.I live in North Central Kentucky, where there had been many towns almost exclusively Catholic,so much so that it had been called “The Holy Land of the South. Where I live had been the seat of the first diocese west of the Alleghenies,(the city church is a minor Basilica now), there are Motherhouses of several orders of nuns and the famous Monastery of Gethsemane is in the area, but my biggest surprise when I arrived here 20 years ago was the practice of the Baptist in not eating meat on Ash Wednesday.[Hence my food and entertaining blog came into being.]
    We’ll be doing the meat-free days and this year I am going to cheat and use Lent as an excuse for sticking to eating less ‘junk’,(i.e.”diet”). My husband is a very good ‘Cradle Catholic’ boy and will give up all chocolate and most desserts again,I am sure. Many people don’t realize that one can ‘take on’ good works in lieu of ‘giving up’ , and that is the idea as to why the no-meat year-round Fridays are no longer enforced; people are supposed to be helping others or doing something spiritual instead.
    I used to get to extra devotions, but health issues and grandchildren make it rather difficult most of the time,(if you can find churches that still have them.)
    I hope you have a fruitful Lent.

  2. I am not Catholic and never practice Lenten traditions. I am a Fundamental Baptist. lol

    I will make a change, do well, and them something gets in the way, and I stop. I need to exercise every day. I was doing well, but then I had three cancer surgeries which were successful, so I need to get back to the exercising.

    My wife wears her feelings on her sleeves and I have had to hug her a lot this month as family members keep disappointing her. She is also a major controller, so her chances of getting her feelings hurt are high. I am still trying to get through to her, not that I am so perfect, but I am the calm one outwardly.

    I wish you well.

    • I’m with you, HMN- I try something new and it’s hard to keep it up.
      I am like your wife in both ways- heart on sleeve and control. It’s a hard personality type to have for sure. I’m glad you’re her steadying force.

  3. I don’t do Lent anymore, but I’ve always looked at it as you do. It’s a chance for introspection, reflection and making self-improvement. Kind of the second layer after New Year’s eh? It does make me think about my beliefs more and I think that’s good for all of us.
    Frank, I think I’d like your wife. I, too, try to control. Working on that. Not too successfully, but I’m trying. 🙂

  4. Make a habit in 30 days, well maybe but it seems me to take less one to break it. At least the good ones. I was going to start walking, did for a few days then the rains came and I stopped. I have never used this time to reflect I just seem to do it on and off all year.

    And, Jillian I hate that you get hurt and bet your family does too but you give so much and to the friends and family that appreciate and love you its priceless.

    • I agree that it’s easier to break a habit than learn a new one- been there way too many times. LOL

      Thanks for the nice compliment – I am glad to have friends like you who do love me and all my quirks!

  5. Oh hugs, Jillian. It hurts so much to be let down by people you love, but when you have a naturally open and giving heart it seems to come with the territory.

    As far as Lent goes, I don’t do anything specific but this year it just happens that I’m working on my tendency to procrastinate. So far it’s working and things are getting done around here that might still be waiting if I hadn’t made the decision to get on with it 🙂

    • You’re right about that hurt thing, Tricia. It seems to also be in the air lately. A lot of people I know are saying they’ve been hurt recently.

      Good luck with the procrastination. That can be a bugaboo. I do it on occasion myself. LOL

  6. Feel for you, Jillian, when you get let down. Know that feeling only too well but as I get older I try not to let get to me as I was fond of doing in the past. I’ve got to the stage I suffer fools even less gladly than before and try to cast them out. I have never done anything for Lent by way of giving up but agree it is another opportunity after New Year to try something new, some new resolution. Mine was getting out every day for a walk. So far, so good. Must try hard now to keep it up. 🙂

  7. Valerie J. Patterson

    I’m sorry you’ve had your heart broken by people you trusted. It’s the worst feeling. My dad always told me I wore my heart too close to the surface, and I’ve been like that since I was a kid. Be careful on changing, Jillian, because you don’t want to lose what makes you the person you are. I rather like you as you are! 😛

    • I’ve been that way a long time, too Valerie but it seems to be getting worse. Or it did til I took it by the horns. Lol. Thanks for liking me as I am. I like you too! Jillian


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