A happy birthday, laudable links, and thoughts about Lent

Today is Mittu’s birthday!

Hope you’re having a wonderful birthday! You are a sweet, lovely addition to our family — I can’t imagine our family without you!

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They went for a super-quick trip back to see Mittu’s mom and friends in OK for her birthday, and we’ll celebrate here when they get back.

This is one of those areas as a relatively new mother-in-law where I’m never quite sure what to do. Do we do the birthday traditions we always do? Or would they rather do something different? We’ve tried to always keep the lines of communications and options open, to offer but to let them know we won’t be offended if they want to make other plans.

We’re dog-sitting little Spresso, who doesn’t quite understand what’s going on. He finally stopped barking, but I haven’t seen him lie down or even sit down yet. We did take him back to their house to sleep at night — he’s used to being alone in their laundry room at night, so we felt he’d probably feel more at home there. As excitable as he is normally, I can only imagine how he’ll react when they get back! Our dog, Suzie, doesn’t quite know what to make of him.

I didn’t get a nap yesterday like I thought I would except for briefly dozing off in the computer chair, but I did fall asleep on the couch about 8:30 or so. I woke up and went to bed around 4 and then woke up again I think around 7 this morning. So I think I’m caught up again! I feel back-to-normal now.

On Saturday I often share interesting links I’ve seen through the week, and today just have a few:

Arguments Against Anxiety by Justin Taylor. I don’t know who Justin Taylor is and failed to note where I saw the link to this, but this is a great list.

A Whole New Perspective on the children’s song “Zacchaeus” by Mocha With Linda.

Bobbi at Blogging Along has some good thoughts in a Lenten Rant. I’ve never quite understood Lent, even though I was in the Lutheran church as a child and then again a few years as a teen, or felt compelled to observe it since there is no example or instruction about it in the Bible. Christ fasted for 40 days, but that was at the beginning of His public ministry and was nowhere near the time of His death or resurrection. I can see how it could be a deep spiritual exercise, but giving up something for 40 days just to say I did so for Lent doesn’t seem to be so. No offense to anyone who does observe it and gain from it spiritually.

I do, however, like the idea of reading through the narratives of Christ’s last week on earth, His death, and resurrection in the weeks leading up to Easter (or Resurrection Sunday, as some prefer to call it). BibleGateway has a daily plan for that here: you can click on different days in the calendar on the top left if you’re behind, and you can click on a drop-down menu for the Bible version you prefer.

I mentioned yesterday I ordered  Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter, various thoughts and essays from as far back as Jonathan Edwards, C. H. Spurgeon, and Martin Luther up to current day John Mac Arthur and others, covering different aspects of Christ’s death and resurrection, compiled by Nancy Guthrie. It just arrived yesterday, and I flipped through it a bit and am looking forward to delving into it. I’m in Genesis right now in my Bible reading and want to get to the end of that before taking a break for this book.

Last Saturday there were a few inches of snow on the ground: this Saturday it’s sunny and shirt-sleeve warm. I love it.

Happy Saturday!

7 thoughts on “A happy birthday, laudable links, and thoughts about Lent

  1. Since I am an experience mother-in-law, I can answer your question. Celebrate birthdays YOUR way; your daughter-in-law can/will celebrate HER way in the future, or she might chose to adapt some of your ways.

  2. Hope Mittu had a very happy birthday!!

    As for Lent, as Catholics we believe “Lent as a 40-day season developed in the fourth century from three merging sources. The first was the ancient paschal fast that began as a two-day observance before Easter but was gradually lengthened to 40 days. The second was the catechumenate as a process of preparation for Baptism, including an intense period of preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation to be celebrated at Easter. The third was the Order of Penitents, which was modeled on the catechumenate and sought a second conversion for those who had fallen back into serious sin after Baptism. As the catechumens (candidates for Baptism) entered their final period of preparation for Baptism, the penitents and the rest of the community accompanied them on their journey and prepared to renew their baptismal vows at Easter.

    Lent, then, is radically baptismal”. (They said it better than I could)

    We are supposed to give up things that take us away from God (not really give up “candy” just to deny ourselves). That’s why I gave up Facebook for Lent this year. I was spending too much time on Facebook and not enough time reading the bible and praying. So instead of playing Facebook games, I’m using that time to renew my faith. I should be doing that anyway, but I got off track.

    You can read more about Lent and Lenten practices here: http://www.catholic.org/clife/lent/faq.php

    (Reading and relearning the meaning of Lent is part of my renewl process)

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