Monday, March 3, 2014

Preparing for Lent

Can you believe tomorrow is Mardi Gras?! Lent really snuck up on me this year! Frank and I have been discussing all weekend what we're going to give up (or do) for Lent and we still haven't decided.

Frank's theory is, "Whatever your significant other gives up, you kind of give up too," because no one wants to be the jerk noshing alone on ice cream while your spouse casts you baleful glances of envy. (Not that I would ever do that...) So this year we're trying to decide on penances together. We'll see how that goes!

If you're in the same undecided camp as we are, I rounded up a few resources to give you some ideas:

Simcha's list of Lenten rookie mistakes

Kathryn shares How to make Lent 40 days of awesome

Kendra has the greatest list of 66 Things to Give Up or Take Up for Lent (in beginner, intermediate, and advanced)

I laughed over Catholic Vote's 40 things you should give up for Lent

Aleteia has some nice suggestions for Last-minute Lent

And in case you want to try a really difficult cool idea, I was inspired by one family's "year without a purchase." Do you think you could make it through Lent without a purchase? I don't know if I could!

These are just a tiny handful of all the great articles out there. What are some of your favorite resources to prepare for Lent?

Have a great Fat Tuesday! We'll be enjoying classic Polish paczki (pronounced punch-key) at our church's Mardi Gras party. Confession: I've never actually had paczki before, but it seems to be a pretty huge deal here in Chicago! What do you and your family do to celebrate Mardi Gras?

From the archives
2013: Ash Wednesday without a pope
2012: "Catholic identification day"


  1. Their first year of marriage, my sister and her hubby gave up buying anything made in China. (although they did it as a New Year's Resolution, not a Lenten resolution) I don't know HOW they did it, but they managed to stick with it all year. The only times they caved was for a car part when their car needed it and for a cell phone (Viktorija did extensive research on the cell phone to make sure it wasn't made in China, but then after it got there she found out that one part of it had been made "outside of the U.S."

  2. Ha ha, so true what Frank said! I actually listed off a list of things to Peter that might not be advisable for him to do if he valued my sanity. lol.

  3. I'm kind of giving up breakfasts for Lent. I have hypoglycemia so I can't just not eat breakfast, so I'm drinking green smoothies every day for breakfast instead, so I should still get the nutritional value. But I'm used to having like, eggs and bacon for breakfast everyday. :p Last year for Lent, I gave up my bed and slept on the floor! That was my first successful Lent ever!

    1. Those are some really good ideas! The sleeping on the floor one sounds especially intense, and I bet this year it will take a lot of discipline to get up early and prepare your smoothie.

  4. I'm generally pretty terrible at sticking with my Lenten commitments but we'll see how this year goes. Also I recently moved to the East Coast and could not find a paczki anywhere (not even the little polish store). I'm almost starting to wonder if that's a tradition more often observed in the Midwest? I could always find paczki in Michigan.

    1. I've heard the same thing from other friends on the East Coast. Maybe it is just a Midwest thing? Oddly enough we never had paczki growing up (probably because we're not Polish!) but I think it might have to become a Barber family tradition, especially now that we live in super-Polish Chicago.