Sunday, March 09, 2008

Lent begins

Lent has begun for Eastern Orthodox believers. As I never really paid much attention to it being either pregnant or just flat-out refusing to do it, I thought it began two weeks ago with meat-fare Sunday. I stopped drinking alcohol and started cooking vegetarian meals. We stopped having sex. Today I was chatting up a priest after church and I said that so far, so good on abstaining. He was confused, "But the full abstaining from everything starts tonight. You can still have wine until tonight-- we cut our meat two weeks ago and today milk products and everything else." Argh!

No one checks to see if you are fooling around with your spouse and your kids don't announce to the church that Mom and Dad made a lasagna with real cheese or had gyros sandwiches. It's all voluntary. We do this in observance of what Christ went through voluntarily, as well. At the end of six weeks, food that you abstained from really does taste wonderful. Romance is even better. You stop having sex but you think of other ways to show affection-- if it's too much, years ago a priest said to just not wait the entire time. When my husband and I had just converted, six weeks without was impossible. Now having been married for ten years and being busy with life-- it's less bad. We will deliberately find other ways to show affection.

I've been covering my hair for the past three weeks. I've felt called to covering my hair for years. I have pretty red hair, but I've just wanted to cover it. You don't mess with what God wants you to do. Years ago I tried and failed-- it was about me. "Look at me! I'm so modest!" I decided that if I ever did it again that it wouldn't attract a lot of attention and I'd be able to just do it. I came to Headcoverings by Devorah one day while surfing and my 12 year old loved the designs as did I and she asked me to buy one for her, which I did. Then I bought a bunch! They feel right on me, then I started reading more about why women would cover their hair. My husband doesn't care one way or the other-- he said he'll tell me if it looks wrong. I used to look like a little church mouse covering my hair! He says that now it's just different. I am staying with it. I already dress conservatively-- this was just waiting for the right time.

I used to be very rude about some of the women in church who covered their hair. Today we were comparing where we buy our head coverings. It wasn't a fellow Christian who got me to wear them-- it was Devorah. She wasn't even speaking to me directly!

School is out for the week. The roads are muddy. It will be a very long week. I did find someone nearby who owns a kiln. I have clay that is "real"-- it behaves well for a kiln. I am having the kids make some bowls and will be drying them then taking them over to the lady who has a kiln. This will be fun for them.


Emperor Ropi said...

I hope resistance of enjoys won't depress or disturb you.

Tea N. Crumpet said...

Within reason, longing is good!

steve said...

Nobody in the Anglican, or even the Roman Catholic tradition (well, maybe a few extremists)would call for abstaining from sex within marriage during Lent. It's hard on the couple, and hard on the marriage. If you two can handle it, fine. But I can't imagine Jesus, or even Paul ("better to marry than to burn") issuing such an edict.

Good luck keeping Lent. But I wouldn't feel too guilty about what John Donne (an honest-to-God saint in my Church) called being "Canonized by Love."

Tea N. Crumpet said...

Steve-- I know your faith, and I want to tell you, we don't think that abstaining from all the good things will get us into Heaven or that God gives a rat's ass about us doing not doing it. according to our beliefs, Christ voluntarily chose to suffer for us. We take these six weeks and abstain from them if we chose, just like He did.

We don't beat ourselves up over it if we don't, but let me tell you, on Pascha, food tastes better. My husband used to work up on the slope and just as it was after he'd been gone a while, you wait that long and it's wonderful! I don't think I would willingly go for more than six weeks and if we break it, c'est la vie-- we experience Heaven that much earlier! I've been teasing him that I will make him eat raw oysters at the feast and see how many work that night! He does take the next day off just to relax after the crazy week.

That first beer after to long, a glass of Baily's-- it's really good! (I don't mix alcohol; one of my friends at church and I are planning to pour for each other and toast the end of Lent!)

Going vegetarian like this for six weeks is really good for the body anyway. The kids don't fast-- they eat regular school-type lunches, but they get good food. They like helping me make things for dinner since vegan meals lend themselves to chopping and mixing.

Naomi Joy said...

You are Jewish? That is awesome!

Lent does sound really good actually. I think it would be extremely challenging...but everything is better after not having it for awhile. And vegetarian food is good for awhile too.

However about covering opinion is different on that, but
I do have friends who feel the same as you. I feel God gave women their hair to be their covering...and that is why I do not believe hair should be cut because you are taking away God's covering.

Tea N. Crumpet said...

LOL-- not Jewish Naomi Joy! We are like Catholics-- we were one with the Catholics until the Great Schism in 1096. Horrible wars were fought between Christians.

Good point on the hair being our covering. I can't get mine long so this is compensating!