Lent 2019.

Friends, it’s almost Lent ~ that time-honored, sacred tradition where we all give up Coke, or chocolate, or something else we’re addicted to, between Ash Wednesday and Holy Thursday.

How very holy of us to put our soda addictions on hold for 40 whole days.

By the way, did you know that it doesn’t go all the way to Easter?  Just to Holy Thursday?  That’s a good thing, because my church does this Mediterranean feast on Maundy Thursday and it is insanely good.  I’d sure hate to miss that if I gave up eating, or hummus, or baklava, or red wine, or having my feet washed by a member of the clergy.  I look forward to that service every year.

I didn’t grow up giving something up for Lent.  From my young perspective, my church wanted nothing to do with anything that remotely reminded them of Catholicism, or the liturgical year.  I feel like I really missed out.  But my sweet little Episcopalian church is making up for lost time.

But I digress…

Let’s get to the point here.

I have a couple friends who are interested in giving up sugar for Lent.  I think it’s a great idea.  But I also want to ADD something to my life for Lent as well.  I’d like to add meditation.  Prayer.  Whatever you want to call it.  I prefer meditation because prayer gives the connotation that I would be talking, or talking back, to God.  I would much prefer staying quiet so I can receive all the goodness from that precious and quiet time.  I do believe I have heard my voice enough.  (This is coming from a person who has a business called RAISE YOUR VOICE)

Again, I digress….

Who’s in for giving up sugar???  YAHOO!!!

I’m sure everyone is just clamoring to reply and say “I AM!!!  OHH MEE MEE MEEEEEEE!!!!”

Now, let’s not all jump in line at once.  I know you all are just dying to give up the world’s most addictive substance.  The toxin that has been added to every – single – thing.  Even toothpaste.  The hidden reason why MacDonald’s french fries are off-the-charts addictive ~ and amazing.  (They add cocaine to the salt ~ oops ~ I mean sugar).

If you ever make french fries at home, mix sugar in with your salt and find out how true this is.

Except do it before Ash Wednesday!!  Ha ha ha…

This is a really important and difficult time for me to actively stick with anything healthy, because I am a paid church musician.  In the biz, we say, “I have a church job”.  I spoke with some Chinese choral conductors who sat in on my rehearsal the other day, and even the Chinese call it a “church job”.  Isn’t that crazy?  It can sometimes feel like a dreaded, necessary fate we singers all have to accept, but in my lucky case, it is a gorgeous church, with a fantastic group of singers, and an extremely good-looking director (spoiler alert:  it’s my husband ~ ha ha ha).

I do complain about it, though.  Holy Week is more like Holy Hell Week.  So many services, so many traditions, so many high notes.  It is VERY easy to forget about the meaning of the season.  In fact, every single Easter, I get to that Sunday and I think, “what just happened?”

I REALLY don’t want to do that this year.  I want to fully immerse myself in the week of events, and take some time out to truly think about something other than the to-do list, and, well, my selfish self.

In the days leading up to March 6 (that’s Ash Wednesday this year, BTW) I’m going to get my house ready, and my recipes too.  I don’t think there will be much change in my recipes, except there will be no wine or any other alcoholic beverage creeping into our lives.  And I will make sure we are all distracted by beautiful recipes that make you think, “what sugar?”

One book that really helped me go off sugar the last time I did it was this one…


What’s the first thing you notice on the cover of this book?  HER LEGS.  Sheesh.  If I go off sugar for Lent, will my legs look like that in the end?

I’ll be dictating her gentle advice to you along the way.  I think she has a really nice way of tricking you into going off sugar by focusing on other delicious foods you might not usually allow yourself to eat.  This could get out of hand, but it’s worth it, just to distract yourself away from the stuff, because it turns out that sugar is even more addictive than bacon.

She’s got some great recipes, too.




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