I'm not READY!!!!!

Lent. Auuuuuuugh!

In the past, Lent has meant a huge amount of mental anguish between following the fast (which includes ALL my favorite foods like bread and bread and bread and some pasta) or following my doctor's diet, which feels like: Ech. Very anti-climactic and hard because it does NOT include bread and also doesn't really feel like fasting per se, when the rest of the community is eating the opposite. I know that in years past I've come to Pascha feeling sick and wearing maternity clothes from becoming so bloated in my belly from the carbs. Yech. But I also know the anti-climnactic feeling of looking at those eggs in the Pascha basket and thinking: Not more eggs! Because the low carb diet I'd been on included too many of them for too long.

So how do I find the balance?

I think I like to go around feeling pious by doing certain things (like eating bread durning lent) when deep down I know that I'm being utterly unspiritual and catering precisely to my own pre-diabetic passions. God help me.

I wish I could spend my time posting delicious recipes of our family's fasting menu. Instead, I'll be struggling with providing three different diets to my family (mine, B's and everyone else's which includes some serious Asperger's-related food aversion issues). I guess I'll write about the struggle. It's just so NOT neat and tidy, so NOT well organized and so NOT perfect.

I will say this: I am going to try this year, to fast. But I'm going to try to do this without the bread or pasta or potatoes. Also, I'm allergic to nuts. So I can't have peanut butter or anything like that.

I'm going to be hungry. (I weep to think of it).

I think it will be good for me to be hungry. (

And I'm going to fail.

I think it will be good for me to fail.

Forget external piety and forget "rules" (even though those "rules" do provide a framework for...something). This is about repentance and drawing closer to God. And we all know that I have a lot of repentance that needs to happen.

I hope Lent gives me that space to repent. I hope lent gives me that space to weep. I hope lent give me that space to draw closer to God.

But right now, I don't feel like I'm ready and I feel more tired than repentant. Honestly. Perhaps it is precisely the un-readiness that puts me in the place I need to be.

Lord, have mercy on me a sinner!

(But at least I can make my blog look lenten. ;-)


Anonymous said…
Even for those of us who are able to organize family menus that mirror the Church's fasting prescriptions...the reality isn't pretty either. It seems to me that God knows how to bring each of us to the end of ourselves and, as you wrote at the end of this post, that is where we need to be to begin the spiritual work of repentance. So be encouraged.

We have two children in our family who have life-threatening allergies to nuts. It makes things even more difficult during the fasts. But what can you do? God knows how to save us.

Have a blessed Lent.
Anonymous said…
Alana, I think you may find this post on "Asceticism and the Eucharist," by Fr. Gregory Jensen, encouraging. It may be helpful in the struggle not to be overly focused on (and thus discouraged by) the dietary details of Lent.

amy said…
God Bless you, Alana. I plan to be hungry and crying right along with you...
Matushka Monica said…
The untidyness is the reality. My heart aches with you. Lord have mercy.
Anonymous said…
I'm not ready either. I'm kinda dreading the whole thing, actually.

(a different anonymous poster)
Neuropoet said…
I'm not ready... i really want to be ready... Our family has so many food and health issues anyway - I'm not sure how this Lent is going to go - not at all. Then, with my boys' OCD on top of the spectrum issues... eating is always complicated - and it would be really easy for them to turn Lent into an OCD nightmare. *sigh* I will definitely have many opportunities for increased times of prayer... even if they consist of mainly cries for help. :)