Time to Get My Ash in Gear

Whoa!  Part of my post disappeared.  I hope it comes through.  Don’t want to have to re-edit a THIRD time!

Happy Ash Wednesday!

Do you say “Happy Ash Wednesday”?  What exactly is Ash Wednesday?  And why is it called Ash Wednesday?  Am I supposed to burn something?  I really should have paid more attention in Sunday school all those years ago.  I get that it’s the start of Lent and that there are 40 days until Easter and that people go to church and get black crosses marked on their forehead.  (I actually went to church often enough one year that I did get marked.)  But I’m not religious enough to “get” it.  I have never given up something for Lent.  I could give up coffee, but someone could get hurt.

Actually, I lied.  My understanding is that whatever you give up must be a strong enough sacrifice.  For some, coffee is it, but I periodically give up coffee anyhow, usually during the summer months.  I suppose I could give up gambling.  Biloxi is so close by that it could be very tempting…except I’ve got so much going on over the next two months, I don’t have time (or money) to go gambling.  I could give up all alcoholic beverages, but I did that when I was pregnant.  So let’s see…three times nine months, divided by 40 days equals…close enough to 20 years worth of Lents that I’m NOT giving up my wine.  Besides, if Jesus turned water into wine, should we really be giving it up?

I certainly don’t want Jesus to think I’m being ungrateful.

But, I’m willing to try to give up something this year.  You know those cutesy little crack-like addictive Facebook games?  The ones you play when you just want to veg out for about 10 minutes and two hours later, you’re still trying to beat your own top score?  Well that’s it!  Time for me to get my Ash in gear.  No more Bejeweled Blitz, Panda Jam, or Candy Crush.  Those puppies and birdies are going to have to find someone else to save them in Pet Rescue Saga.  One of my other Facebook friends can have the top score in Zuma Blitz.  I’ve got writing and laundry to do.  That pile of dishes won’t do themselves.  My theme for the next 40 days is Git ‘R Done!

Oh no!  I’ve said it out loud!  It’s in writing!  Now I have to do it.  Crap.  Where’s that delete key?

Your turn, dear readers…Do you observe the lenten season?  Do you give up something?  If you didn’t, would you consider it this year?  And what would you NEVER give up?


About Micki Gibson

Young Adult fiction writer
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14 Responses to Time to Get My Ash in Gear

  1. jeff7salter says:

    Great title for your blog.
    Love the comment, “somebody might get hurt”. Yeah, if I had to do without caffeine, there would be heads rolling.


    • Micki Gibson says:

      Titles are my weak spot, but I figure if it gives me a chuckle, I’ll go with it. As I was reading your reply, I was tying my shoes. All in the name of getting my Ash in gear. 🙂


  2. Yeah, love the ‘somebody might get hurt’ line, too. Lenten laws used to be a lot stricter; they were trying to get people back into gear, take 40 days, and give up something that just gives you pleasure, like candy,(you could indulge on Sundays), just to think of Christ’s sacrifice.I know people who give up reading certain types of books, like their favorite bodice-rippers,or certain types of TV shows,like shoot-’em-ups. Like instead of abstaining from meat on Fridays throughout the year, many people who still concern themselves with Lent often cut back on going out to eat, going to the movies, bungee jumping or whatever else floats their boats and they give the money to others or charity, or they find themselves giving more of their time to helping others.Not such a bad idea.
    I will have to contend with my husband turning down every ‘goodie’ in the house and there was fish on our plates and fish sandwiches in his lunchbox today, and will be every Friday, for sure.(We like fish; it isn’t penitential. Shrimp-stuffed Twice Baked potatoes beats corn dogs any day for me.) I’ll be making lentil , bean and vegetable soups more in the upcoming weeks, but we like them, too.
    I have had to watch my diet severely lately., so ‘giving up’ is kind of on the menu, anyway.Sacrifice may be good for the soul at times, but I can tell you, when push comes to shove and life hands you lemons, a piece of lemon meringue pie can be good for the soul!
    “Ash in gear”! Micki, you crack me up!


    • Micki Gibson says:

      I try to avoid the give up food route. I should be doing that anyhow, since many of my clothes are fitting more snugly than I’d like. Eating out less is difficult given that we’ve got 3 kids involved in quite a few activities, but eating at home is certainly better for our wallets and waistlines. And since I live on the Gulf Coast, fresh fish is readily available. Well, as far as getting my “ash” in gear, the rain kicked in and cut my walk short, but on the bright side, I met my new neighbor and had a lovely chat, so still productive.


  3. Iris B says:

    Well, didn’t I just give up tequila ? Yeah, na …. i’m not big on giving up, I admit it. I could try and give up my fizzy drinks, but as you with your coffee …. that could be dangerous – for the others!
    And as for Ash Wednesday …. I vaguely remember that it’s because people marked a cross on their forheeads with ashes … but dont’ ask me, though, why they did that ….


    • Looks like I am to be the group’s official “explainer of all things Catholic”.

      The sign of the cross put upon people’s foreheads by a priest,(usually),or deacon,( or a religious or lay person drafted for the duty if there are many people.) People do not put it their themselves. (The ashes are made from the blessed palms from the previous Palm Sunday.)
      The standard formula that is said when the cross is being put on the forehead is: “Remember [man]that you are [thou art] dust and to dust you[thou] will return” or “Repent and believe in the Gospel”. It opens the season of Lent, when the fasting, prayers, penance are to begin. It’s where the humbling begins,(or is supposed to, anyway!) To make one’s ‘Easter duty’, a person needs to go to confession during Lent
      or Easter season, (if they are aware of ‘serious’ sin) and receive Communion. This is the minimal requirement to be ‘in good standing with the Church’. Many people do more, many more do less.


  4. Any time. It all isn’t as odd as most people think when you get the facts.Maybe a little ritualistic for some, but it IS Christianity, and what all Christian churches stemmed from.I will admit that we do have a number of people who are superstitious and in some places, get it all mixed up with unchristian practices. I like to stick with official doctrine.That’s what you’ll hear from me. Feel free to ask…shoot, feel free to ague,(but not here!)


  5. Let me rephrase that..I’m sure all agree to disagree;I’m sure we all have respect for each other’s feelings and beliefs.


  6. Good luck with the sacrifice of the games. I don’t play any of them so I can’t say that I can empathize with how hard it will be for you but if you need to have someone draw you away from it, let me know. I’m there.


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