We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. ~Isaiah 64:8

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Family Fasting for Lent

Lately, I've been listening to some Orthodox speakers.  You may or may not know this, but the Orthodox do some serious fasting all year long.  Some things I've learned recently from these speakers:

  • Fasting in community helps us keep our commitments.
  • The apostles (and Jesus) fasted from food (rather than scroll-reading or sheep-tipping), so we are following their lead - always a wise thing.
  • Learning to control our appetite (for food) is a good training ground for learning to control our other passions
  • Plan the meal for the weakest member and those who wish to fast more strictly can do so.
Is discussing ones fasting a bit like "tooting one's own horn"?  I don't know.  But I do know I'm very thankful for the many bloggers and websites that have discussed fasting and shared ideas and recipes.  So, I'm going to risk it share with you all our fasting plan in the case it might help your family. 

This Lent our family has decided to fast together.  We will forgo all meat and some of us will go a bit further and forgo all animal products.  

I've gathered some good websites with meal ideas and gone through my own recipes to come up with a list of  fasting meals for our family.  



If you have other ideas or resources, I'd love to hear from you!  Leave a comment!


Amy said...

I'm glad you shared what your family will do for Lent. I'm greatly encouraged to know that there is a community of believers around the world participating!

I was wondering about how you handle Sundays. I love that the Lord's day is set aside from the 40 days of Lent to celebrate the resurrection. It's often provided a much needed reprieve and perspective; however, there are also times were it's made it more difficult to be disciplined come Monday morning. Like if I've finally gotten my body to not hanker for coffee and then I have a few cups on Sunday, it's so hard to start back up again. What have you done?

Also, when you say "family," do you mean your 1 year too?

Also, I don't get the reference to sheep-tipping?!

Kerry said...

Hi, Amy! I've not decided about Sundays. I think I will let the kids decide what they want to do about that. In some ways it is easier to just keep on with the fast, in other ways it is harder.

In the past I've taken the Sunday reprieve if I felt I needed it. Better to take it and avoid giving in to temptation later in the week. :)

And, yes, to some degree th 18 month old will be fasting right along with us. She pretty much eats what we eat anyway, so she'll keep on doing that. My first baby was on a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet for the first few years of his life and grew quite healthily. (is that a word?) The kids won't be entirely forgoing animal products - they will still get dairy. It is extremely easy to give kids plenty of protein when you include dairy. :)

Sheep-tipping was my attempt at an obviously bad joke. You know they were shepherds, so it is like cow-tipping...only sheep. :) quite a groaner of a joke, huh? The point being, of course, that Lent is for more than just giving up a bad habit or unethical activity. And the scroll-reading was supposed to somehow equate with "watching TV". :)

Amy said...

I'm laughing now!!!!

Thanks for sharing!

Jessica said...

I like this:
"The apostles (and Jesus) fasted from food (rather than scroll-reading or sheep-tipping), so we are following their lead - always a wise thing."
It fits in with the idea that has me fascinated this Lent: that fasting is just ordinary, it's just one of those things that we all are supposed to do, like tithing or attending church.

Thanks for the link - and for your own list of menu ideas. Your soups and sandwiches look especially good.

Amy said...

back again to say your menu ideas sound great. Hope you'll post some recipes of favorites!!

DebD said...

I love that last bullet point. I've never heard that before, although looking back it is exactly the advice my priest gave me our first Lent - only he worded it differently. I will have to use this with the kids when the groan that their younger brother is eating something not on the "usual" lenten menu ;)

I also never know what to share or not. I have food allergies and a mixed tradition family, so I would probably shock some of my Orthodox sister's with our lax Lenten menu. But, you are greatly encouraging me.

If you haven't already found it you may also enjoy this blog:


And remember Lent is not just a time to give up food, it is a time when we should "abstain from biting and devouring our brother." St. John Chrysostom.

~liz said...

the second bullet point in your first list really struck a chord in me. of COURSE they didn't fast from scroll-reading...we should follow suit. great point. i'm sharing it at my blog this week, if that's okay! :)

DebD said...

I'd love to see some reviews of any of your tofu recipes. I have only attempted tofu a few times but want to incorporate it more.

Kerry said...

Hi, Liz! I'm not sure how I found your blog (maybe through Jessica at Homemaking through the Church Year?), but I am enjoying it! Thanks for the link, too.

Deb - you are in luck! I've got the Tofu and Broccoli with peanut sauce on the menu for this week. I'll let you know how we like it.