This will be the first year I receive my ashes on Ash Wednesday...everyone I've told has been shocked to hear that. Even my nonreligious friends have gotten them. But for some reason my mom never took my brother or I. (I guess because we had school?) I don't know...but I do know that now that I am on my own & have "the time" I am going to go to mass and participate in this day. It's such a mix of emotions. On one hand I am so excited, and then on the other I am nervous because of the forwardness of this silent sign that sits on our foreheads. I am pretty sure I'll get looks, as I attend a very liberal school. It's the unexpectedness that scares me...will there be negative reactions? jokes? disrespect? Or maybe people will just think I got a smudge on my head and laugh to themselves.
I am not afraid of these possible reactions, just uneasy by the unfamiliarity. I imagine the feeling will be similar to wearing a head covering or hijab in public. That's always an awkward place to be- ALL EYES ARE ON YOU! I am such a shy person and I hate being in the spotlight, but I'm sure Jesus didn't want His spotlight either...being the butt of people's jokes and suffering public humiliation and torture. While being an oddity may feel like pain & torture tomorrow, it compares not an ounce to what Christ suffered for me. That's why I am partially excited and looking forward to it...I want to wear them, be distinguished as a Catholic, and stand up for my Savior to the world who rejects Him like He will stand up to the Father in my denfense on Judgement Day. It'll be interesting...I'll keep you posted on how it goes ;)
And to touch back on Lent, I have pretty much devised my sacrifices.
- No facebook (eek! rip my heart out! haha but I do waste too many hours on there)
- Limiting tv to 1 show a day, I need to spend more time in the Word and not mindlessly watching tv
- No desserts.
- Working more on my new year's resolution to stop swearing & cleanse my heart of impurities (like the ones I listed in my Purity Challenge Post) like anger, gossip, pride, vanity, etc. & work on forgiving more.
- And I want to use my time that I gain from my above sacrifices to put toward my spiritual and physical health. I plan to do the rosary more, aiming for 3 times a week, keep up with my Bible-in-a-year readings, and to attend Church every Sunday. I also want to continue working out 3 times a week, I have been lax with my health in the past and I really need to take care of this body, this temple, I have been lent by God. (ties in with no desserts...I need to learn & practice moderation!)
I hope this Lenten season will be productive and enlightening, I wish you all the best with your sacrifices and lives in general. May God bless you this Lent and give you the strength to follow through with your sacrfices in preparation for His death & ressurection!
Love & peace always,