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Elizabeth

I've written about why I think giving something up (or taking something on) for Lent is good for everybody, whether they belong to a religion that advocates it or not. It just seems like a good healthy opportunity to examine and test yourself. The added spiritual gifts the practice brings to people of faith is just a plus. I am likely to make a dietary commitment, because if you want to grab my attention and focus it on something specific, my mouth is the way to get it. However, an idea I always like to share (because I think it is cool) is that one year my daughter gave up gossip. She was an adult at the time but working in a gossip-y office. I can honestly say it made a long-term change in her - just shining the light on it, and how she discovered it wasn't just a matter of not saying things but also a matter of purposefully not hearing things. She became comfortable shutting down a conversation that was veering into "well, you know, so-and-so did such-and-such because reasons I'm guessing at" territory.

I should say, I think your penance and your Lenten idea are really fantastic practices - both spiritually and just for life. VERY cool. Good luck! In our church we write our Lenten promises on flash paper and burn them up in the front of the church after we get our ashes :-)

Soni

I love this idea! Conscious living, with the intention of doing good every day and taking better care of yourself. Excellent.

suburbancorrespondent

Whew! It's a tall order, but I bet you can do it. My daughter had that headache thing. Then she had a cold thing. Then she had a sore throat thing. Then she had a sleep-all-day fever thing. All in the past 4 weeks. I can't even take her to the doctor because I can't remember what she had when. It's embarrassing. And, yeah, I'm waiting for my turn now.

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution, who never sleeps and drinks way too much coffee. She works from home as Social Media Programs Manager for SheKnows, and is the mom to six kids, most of whom play instruments, sing or dance and all of whom are much smarter than she will ever be. In other words, her house is never ever quiet or still. A concentration of asthma, food allergies, spectrum disorders and learning disabilities means that she spends an awful lot of time second guessing herself and Dr. Googling, as well as learning to cook everything the family might like to eat. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, boxing (she has her Black Belt in Muay Thai), sleeping, exploring coffee shops, photography, ballet class and cooking. She excels in being a smart mouth and has her major in sarcasm, with a dual minor in BS studies and avoiding laundry.