Today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. We attended a morning mass at a nearby Catholic church, a first experience for Serena. The elaborate liturgy was quite different than what we're used to; we had ashes marked on our foreheads in the sign of a cross by the priest to signify repentance to God.
Back at home, we marked the 40 days of Lent leading up to Easter on our calendar. Serena decided to give up playing a very special new computer game she just got, and I would give up my daily dosage of black tea for Lent.
"But Mommy is a crrrankerank when she doesn't have tea, especially in the morning!"
Maybe I should just give up being nice to my family...
According to tradition, the 40-day observance represents the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert where He was tempted by Satan. We looked up other references of "forty" in the Bible and found that it's quite a popular number! (Check out Genesis 7:4 & 12, Exodus 34:28, Numbers 13:25. Numbers 32:13, Joshua 4:13, Judges 13:1, 2 Chronicles 9:30, 2 Samuel 5:3, Acts 1:3)
We also stumbled upon the legend of the Lenten Pretzel - who knew the twisty loops of pretzels are supposed to cross like the folded arms of children in prayer!