As you may know, right now we Christians are at the beginning of a season of introspection and sacrifice known as Lent.
It's a time when we remember the ultimate sacrifice Jesus Christ made for mankind.
And, traditionally, we (at least the Catholic contingent with which I'm familiar) fast on the first and second to last days of Lent and we also abstain from meat on all of the Fridays during the 40 days of the holy season.
Typically, we also choose to make some type of sacrifice for the duration of Lent. For many, the process includes "giving stuff up." As in, denying yourself something you really like or want for the duration of Lent.
For example, my sister Gina will forego her favorite soda, Diet Coke, for the next month and ten days.
"I am also going to try to have more patience," she said, then added, with a laugh, "And I was going to give up chocolate too but my family and coworkers begged me not to!"
Actually, it must be our shared DNA because I, too, am trying not to "give something up" so much as I'm trying to provide more charity to those around me.
And, as she had to hang on to her chocolate obsession for the wellbeing and sanity of her family and colleagues, so, too, did I have to retain my coffee craving.
It might have gotten quite ugly otherwise.
As for my best friend Chris Ruggieri of Warren, she said that she was raised not to "give up" something so much as to give back something - to the community, to the needy, to friends and family.
My other buddy, Mary Hazen, also of Warren, said, " I try to read the bible more often."
She then said, "But the most important thing about Lent is that it is a reminder to me that we are in are 'Earth Suits' now and that we will not live on this earth forever ... We must strive to get to our heavenly home where our soul will live forever with Christ."
Mary was also the one who recently sent me a hilarious e-mail titled "Church Ladies with Typewriters."
It contains church bulletin bloopers. Here is a sampling:
"The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals." That one seems particularly timely.
"The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'" I'm pretty sure He's not lost.
"Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands." Are these women married or what?
"For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs." Well, then, how do they know they need the nursery?
"Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get." Music to the choir director's ears, I'm sure.
"Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days." Yep, that ought to do it.
"The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility." Well, that IS the best kind of hostility.
"Potluck supper Sunday at 5 p.m. - prayer and medication to follow." Hmm. Wonder what's in the pot?
"Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. Please use the back door." Way to build 'em up!
"The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new campaign slogan last Sunday: 'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours.'" Not touching that one.
Perhaps the "Church Ladies" ought to consider giving up their typewriters for Lent.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.