The Daily Dash: February 14, 2018 {#AshWednesday & #ValentinesDay}

by brenna

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It’s not often religious and romantic holidays overlap…

The Daily Dash: February 14, 2018 {#AshWednesday & #ValentinesDay}

* At least 15 dead in Broward County high school shooting
* Today is Ash Wednesday & Valentine’s Day
* Shaun White wins gold medal in snowboarding, has to discuss past sexual misconduct allegations

Beware of competing calls once the call of God grips you – Oswald Chambers

I can’t remember when (if every) Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday have overlapped. I used to see Ash Wednesday was a purely Catholic holiday, but I’ve come to understand the significance better since then. For those of you who don’t know, Ash Wednesday is the seventh Wednesday before Easter and marks the start of the Christian practice of Lent, the 40 days that lead up to Easter (believe it or not, I found that explanation on Twitter!).

During the 40 days of Lent, many will choose to ‘give up’ something in their lives, believing that every time they want that thing (whether sugar, coffee, social media, etc), they will instead turn their attention to Jesus. While I don’t believe as a Christian that I HAVE TO observe that practice, I believe there is power in self-discipline and developing new habits. I also believe that when you add new, positive things to your life, the negative naturally begin to fall away.

That being said, I’m going to adopt an exercise my friend Kathryne told me she did for lent a few years ago: I’m going to handwrite a letter to someone new each day who’s made a difference in my life. I’m also challenging my family to get rid of one thing every day for the 40 days of Lent that they could live without. At the end of the 40 days, I want us to look at what we’ve gathered and see if we can do something positive with our excess or, at the very least, recognize just how much we have and how much we can actually live without.

I know today is also Valentine’s Day and I’m not your typical girl who loves flowers and chocolate. Not only do I usually feel guilty about accepting gifts, I find Valentine’s Day a little hard in general. First of all, I’d rather show love and appreciation to the special people in my life every day, not just one day a year. Second of all, this is when our marriage almost fell apart 5 years ago; so while I’m thankful for being able to triumph over the tragedy, there are still pings of hurt that emerge this time of year. I know I’m not alone in experiencing mixed feelings on Valentine’s Day, so for those of you who also struggle, just know you’re not alone!

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The Daily Dash: February 14, 2018 {#AshWednesday & #ValentinesDay}

Hope you make it a great day!

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