Loving my body for Lent

As a former fundamental Baptist, this is only my second year of observing Lent. Lent, when I was growing up, was one of those things that Catholics do because they don’t really believe in Jesus (I don’t think most Baptist preachers actually know any Catholics) and so they are enslaved to law and to rules and boundaries.

I thought, as a Baptist, that I was so lucky to not be enslaved to rules like those Catholics were.

Image

Photo by me.

Funny, considering the fact that when I was thinking this, I likely had on a skirt that had to go past the bottom of knee and a shirt that passed the “two-finger” test. I probably wore a silver ring on my left hand that bore the words “True Love Waits.”

Sitting their with a beam in my own eye, judging the Catholics and their Lent, I could not see how bound to rules I really was.

How bound to rules my body really was.

“Don’t cause your brothers to stumble.” 

“I was addicted to porn because the girls in my youth group wore tight jeans.”

Music should speak to your heart, not your hips.”

A Christian man will be able to tell if a woman is not sexually pure. A good Christian man will not find an impure woman beautiful.” 

When you give your body away, it is like letting someone test-drive you like a car and crash you.”

You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” 

Skin is sin.”

These are the words I heard over and over growing up. Skin is sin. Using my body is sin. My body itself is sin.

These were the words which kept me afraid of the body that was mine. The body that was me. These are the words that made me afraid of the awesome mass of cells and energy and chemical reactions that was my body. These are the words that made me afraid of any emotional or physical actions or reactions that were considered bodily. 

Sweating.

Crying.

A need for touch.

Dancing.

Exercising.

Sexual attraction.

I hid my body under layers of clothes. I crossed my arms and my legs and made myself as small as possible. I didn’t touch. Didn’t dance. I beat myself up whenever my body reacted to someone I found attracted. I heaped on guilt and shame and self-hatred whenever I touched myself.

And when I met my first boyfriend, and he began to treat my body like it belonged to him, I didn’t think I was allowed to stop. After all, my body didn’t belong to me, and I couldn’t use my body to fight back.

I carry over so much baggage from those years of disconnect from my body, from myself. Though I spent my years as a fundamentalist bragging about the freedom I supposedly had in Christ, that freedom was for my soul alone.

Not my body.

Never my body.

Yet, as my blogger friend Suzannah Paul says in this wonderful piece (made even more wonderful because of a reference to one of my favorite genres of music):

Our physical selves were knit by God to be wholly entwined with our spirituality, and the latter doesn’t trump the former. In the Nicene Creed, we affirm the resurrection of the dead. Even in heaven we’ll have bodies, and it makes little sense to live spiritual lives divorced from our bodily ones here on earth. [Emphasis mine]

So, for Lent this year, I’m setting my body free.

I’m setting it free from the hatred that I have directed toward it for years and years. I’m setting it free from any responsibility that the church tries to put on it for the sins of men. I’m setting it free from Platonic associations with the carnal, the base, the non-transcendent.

I’m embracing my body for what it is–one of the amazing manifestations of a universe filled with divine wisdom. Also, me. My body is me. 

I’m loving my body for Lent. I’m letting me be me.

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  • caleigh

    love this. I am still not 100% sure where I stand on Lent itself, but self care is definitely something I am trying to learn to do. It’s hard, it really is, trying to take care of myself when all I’ve ever done is just push myself through pain, and tell myself that it doesn’t matter how I “feel” because that’s just sinful, or wrong, or whatever else I told myself. Thank you for writing this, and thank you for caring for yourself. It gives me courage to keep trying to take care of myself knowing I’m not alone. <3

  • http://twitter.com/SandraHeretic Sandra (@SandraHeretic)

    I grew up Baptist and faux-Baptist in the 70′s and 80′s. We scoffed at Lent back then, too. I went to a Reformed college that had a smattering of Catholic students for whom the college brought in the local priest for the Ash Wednesday mass. I went out of sheer curiosity (and in some fear, these were *Catholics* after all). I was so struck by the idea of Lent that I immediately took up the observance of Lent as a spiritual practice of my own. And Lent has remained with me as a spiritual practice no matter what religion or no religion I lay claim to over the intervening decades. I love Lent; it is the high point of my spiritual year.

    And the disgusting way we were taught to consider our bodies, our “flesh”, as irredeemably “old nature” and “sinful, full of lusts and desires”, wasn’t much different than what you describe. The buzzwords and sound-bite theology to back them up was a little different but the philosophy was the same. I wish I’d understood the “christ dwells in you” as not just a soul thing but the Incarnation it really is. And that the body and the soul are not a duality but a single Being in whom God resides. I wish it hadn’t taken me twenty more years even to hear that idea. I wish that thirty years out, I were better at accepting it completely.

  • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com Basketcase

    I wish this post had gone up weeks and weeks ago.
    While not raised religious, I had serious body-hate issues as a teenager, and they got worse when I joined an evangelical church in university.
    I still struggle.
    And, being now heavily pregnant (baby is due the last day of Lent), I think I might have to take up the same challenge (albeit for slightly different reasons) for the remainder. After so long working on losing some weight I had gained (10kg – I think thats about 22lbs), I hated the weight gain and the massive boobs and the overall whale-like fat feeling of being pregnant.
    And I totally need to stop beating myself up over it. I only have another 4 and a bit weeks to go, and I am never doing this again, and its not good for my mental health to be beating myself up over gaining weight in such a situation – there is no way thats going to be healthy for me when the baby arrives.

    Thank you.

    • http://chasspain.wordpress.com Chas Spain

      I hope everything goes really well for you and the arrival of your baby. It can be such a shock to see what happens to your body during pregnancy (I woke up to find these great breasts strapped onto me – it seemed ridiculous no-one mentioned this in ante-natal classes.)
      Luckily a whole bunch of hormones usually hit you and make you less anxious after childbirth but it can still be very weird.

      Try not to worry too much about your body – it’s just doing its thing (getting enough energy together to feed and care for a baby).

      If it feels really hard to accept the changes going on, then it’s worth finding a good GP or midwife (or another couple of mums) to chat to about this so they can help you prepare a bit more.

  • http://becomingworldly.wordpress.com heatherjanes

    I had a fascinating conversation with some Muslim friends the other day where they said they believe Jesus was a prophet but not the son of God because God just did not have sons in the human sense. Because Jesus was such an important prophet though, you could not expect to get to heaven without believing he was real. I hadn’t known this and found it fascinating.

  • Fern

    Beautiful.

  • http://www.tumblr.com/mixedmetaphors Anna

    This year, after adopting a non-kyriarchal faith in Jesus, I am kind of excited to celebrate Lent. For reasons similar to this post, love and compassion for the body, for being embodied. Right now though, I have no idea what this will look like. Thanks for another great post.

  • Pingback: On being a female body at a Christian college |

  • http://twitter.com/vogelbeere + Yvonne Aburrow (@vogelbeere)

    So sorry to hear that you had such awful experiences with people telling you not to feel sexual attraction and so on. Well done for reclaiming your body in such a positive way.

  • http://craftybrainlint.wordpress.com Annia

    This piece is wonderful. I can totally relate to this, having been raises (kinda) baptist, and attending a strict fundamental baptist school from 6th grade to 12th grade. My parents weren’t so hardcore about the dress issue, but the school pounded it into you every single day, and looked down on those who do not remain in school dress code outside of school. I did not wear a skirt or dress for 5 years after graduating high school.

  • http://gravatar.com/sandyshopefulroom Sandy’s Hopeful Room

    Hi, I truly don’t have enough time right now to read the rest of your post, but you sure have me interested. I have attended Baptist church before our family became Catholic. . .so I am interested in your insights.

    God Bless You!
    SandyO

  • http://patkat80.wordpress.com Katie

    What a great piece about finding the true meaning of Lent – to set ourselves free so we can love God more just as Christ did.

  • http://sarahinthesun.wordpress.com Sarah Roberts

    Powerful truth

  • http://stephinthescreentime.wordpress.com stephinthescreentime

    I love how your blog post is so raw and real. So sorry you had such a tough time. Glad things are better for you.

  • http://objectivismforintellectuals.wordpress.com Sword of Apollo

    I don’t know if you’ve ever read Ayn Rand’s novels, but one of her big themes is mind-body integration. I recommend them if you haven’t read them.

  • http://theworldofomnia.wordpress.com omnia

    This is interesting to read. Especially as a Muslim with no personal insight into Catholicism or Baptism. Thank you, glad you were published.

    • http://theworldofomnia.wordpress.com omnia

      (I ment glad you were pressed *facepalm*)

  • Sam McManus

    This is brilliantly written. I feel as if I were in the room with you while you were writing it. You’re right. It’s not just the Catholic church that puts those constrictions on us. I was raised Seventh-day Adventist with the same issues and same type of structure. Our bodies were the temple of god that we NEVER TALKED ABOUT. No wonder so many of us rebelled in ways that involved our bodies once we got old enough. Kudos.

  • http://tasharatalks.wordpress.com tasharaj

    Absolutely amazing. Every woman should read this blog. Thank you for being so honest!
    http://tasharatalks.com

  • http://bernasvibethewayiseeit.wordpress.com bernasvibe

    **Interesting piece indeed! Reading faster and faster to see reach the end..Your ephipany! @”Sitting their with a beam in my own eye, judging the Catholics and their Lent, I could not see how bound to rules I really was…” So odd for me to read this comment; because just today I had a chat with friends about others judging(usually in error) the religion I practice. And what by faith I am; which is Catholic. What I’ve discovered in my life journey? That most folks who pre-judge anything; usually do so because they just don’t know. Nor do they do the research..I try hard not to judge anyone else’s beliefs. Especially regarding religion. Why? Because NONE of us know what is the right or wrong way to practice a love for GOD. None of us will know until we are DEAD and moved on from this earthly life. Or least that is my opinion. What IF harshly judging others beliefs /practices in GOD; is something that is frowned on by GOD? Judging isn’t something we’re supposed to do anyway..or least if one believes in scripture. I say live and let live..I don’t waste time questioning nor judging what others do to honor GOD. Guess I’m still to busy bonding with and getting closer to my GOD to fret about other folks relationships with him..Again, truly enjoyed reading your thoughts. Stay UPlifted & blessed!

  • http://postcardfromawanderer.wordpress.com postcardfromawanderer.com

    I love your honesty. You must have gone through so much to be able to be so aware and see this after having grown up with these beliefs. Good on you.

  • http://eastmeetsbreast.wordpress.com Britt

    This is cathartic! Congratulations to you on your strength (and honestly powerful writing).

  • http://harasprice.wordpress.com harasprice

    Love reading your blog, and it seems like lovely serendipity to find another Sarah blogging on her fundamentalist background and her current faith journey. Feel free to take a peek at my lent journey blog if you have a few minutes. :-)

  • http://thingsyourealizeafteryougetmarried.wordpress.com Things You Realize After You Get Married

    When I was reading your post, it kinda made me wonder why there is so much division within Christianity itself….But besides that thought, very poetic read on your decision to embrace your body and the Lenten season. Congrats on getting FP! :)

  • http://pezcita.wordpress.com pezcita

    I remember wearing those skirts to church and youth group. “Baptist Burkas” was my pet name for those long, often dark-colored leg shrouds. Coming into the Fundamental Baptist world as a teenager who had previously attended more independent churches, I was uncomfortable with the anti-Catholic attitude so popular in that denomination. When one of the other kids started talking about Lent as something Catholics do because they didn’t trust that Jesus had “given up” everything for them on the cross, I asked, “Don’t they look at it more as a fast?” She’d never thought of it that way before.

  • http://diaryofamadmama.wordpress.com diaryofamadmama

    Wow. Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing! What you wrote really resonated with me. I’ve felt very judged by other Christians in several different churches before and if it wasn’t for my relationship with Christ and knowing that He has accepted me and forgiven me, and doesn’t judge me, I probably wouldn’t want to call myself a Christian because of those experiences. I have a tendency to carry guilt for things that are impossible to achieve. (like feeling like I need to be the perfect wife and the perfect mom, etc.) So even though I’ve missed the beginning of Lent, I think I’ll spend the rest of Lent giving up the need to feel like I need to be perfect and beating myself up when I fail. Thanks for your inspiring post!
    ~Jen

    • http://diaryofamadmama.wordpress.com diaryofamadmama

      Oh and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! :)

  • http://readmoore.wordpress.com Christina Moore

    Great raw honesty!!!! Loved your message. More power to you. I pray this Lenten season is fruitful for you. :)

  • http://juiceyadventures.wordpress.com/ Storm

    I was raised catholic (not religious now, really just a deist) and they do have a lot of rules but remember, catholics have confession. If you slip up, you tell a priest, the priest tells god, all is forgiven unless it’s like murder or rape, then the priest does not have to forgive you. Anyway, I did the whole not eat meat of Friday’s, which I found silly except now I am a vegetarian. To me, lent is a practice of your will, whether you can give something up you’re addicted to or something you love. I like your idea that for lent you’re giving up hating your bodily instints? Though you should do that all the time, not just during lent. In my mind, humans are living creatures with instints to reproduce, unfortunately we also have cognitive thinking so our desire for reproduction is bogged down with morals, relationships, love, and other feelings. When you are attracted to someone, don’t think, I’m gross for that. Think, Huh, I am attracted to that person. I should talk to them and find out if they are attracted to me and if they are a good person. Good luck with Lent. I am personally going to a fish fry on Friday. Not because I am celebrating lent, I just really like a good fish fry.

    • http://abortionprophecy.wordpress.com AbortionProphecy.wordpress.com

      I love being Catholic. I love the Sacrments and the fact that when I go to confession the priest acts ‘in persona Christi’ or ‘in the person of Christ.’ Whose sins you forgive they are forgiven, the Lord said. But most of all I love the Eucharist… As He said, “do this in memory of Me.” I actually think authentic Catholicism is more true to respecting the body and deeply physical bonds through commitment and respect for each other. It’s deep stuff, not shallow sexual opportunism as in the world today.

  • http://thefirstark.wordpress.com The Flaming Firefly

    This was an amazing piece. Love that it was so real and you were so honest. Takes a lot of strength to write so passionately about something so emotional. Good luck with your journey.

  • http://asoulswalk.wordpress.com Soul Walker

    Well said.

  • http://thesurferstokeproject.wordpress.com Natalie

    This was fascinating and beautifully-written. I grew up loosely-Catholic, and your writing gave me an intimate look at a world completely foreign to me. I love when someone writes well and that happens. Your story definitely snapped me to attention, and got me out of the mood I was in. So thank you.

  • http://nadine17.wordpress.com Nadine.Antar

    Reblogged this on Nadine.Antar.

  • http://leowfactor.wordpress.com leowfactor

    This is beautiful, thank you for sharing!

  • http://garlandgregorydean.wordpress.com Gregory Garland

    I think sins the thing our experience of this world’s bound to. Not a bad thing but the thing we experience because we’re alive. I wouldn’t know what to do without sin. I don’t think I’d have the ethic perspective I currently posses without it. Blog on! One day sin will make sense to everyone.

  • Angie Schaffer

    I went to a Baptist school, so I know all about that denomination’s weird restrictions on mind, body, and spirit. For instance, instead of prom, we had sweetheart banquets, where the students just sat around and talked. They weren’t allowed to touch one another. It was all very bizarre.

    I am a Deist now and have finally found my inner peace. I never did think that God was sitting up there in heaven judging us so harshly.

    And don’t restrict “setting your body free” just to Lent…make it a point to do this all 365 days of the year. YOU deserve it. :)

  • http://eurekanaija.wordpress.com Osemhen

    I’m Catholic and for a long time I thought liking boys was wrong. One day, I summoned up the courage to tell my priest in the confessional. He laughed for a long time and then said, “If you don’t like boys, how will you ever get married? It’s okay to like boys. God made you to like boys.” :) For Lent, instead of giving up stuff, I’m trying to cultivate the corresponding virtue. Instead of giving up “chocolates”, I’m “sharing my chocolates” and eating more vegetables.

  • http://wordswithnannaprawn.wordpress.com wordswithnannaprawn

    A beautiful post and the most unconventional approach to Lent I’ve ever encountered. I’m one of those odd rarities that observes a non-religious Lent and just uses the period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday to abstain from crap foods; usually chocs, biscuits and cake, but last year I actually omitted meat and poultry as well. I’ve always thought that a liturgical calendar is the perfect tool for focussing on self discipline regardless of whether you are religious or an atheist, a cleansing and annual detox, and now you’ve turned the whole concept on it’s head and yet you’re anti-discipline example is somehow much more powerful.

  • http://lunesoleil23.wordpress.com Lunesoleil

    Thank You :)

  • http://jnanahodson.wordpress.com Jnana Hodson

    For me, the “strait and narrow” is about finding a balance in our lives spanning both spirit and the flesh, or what one friend likes to call “earthiness.” Religion works best when it’s able to embrace both, rather than deny the body. Of course, we can also see ways our secular society works the other way, denying the spirit. As you detail, the denial can get pretty tangled, especially when faith is undertaken from a legalistic perspective.
    As a Quaker, I’m not bound by a liturgical calendar, but somehow we’ve come to more or less observe Advent and Lent in our household. My wife sees origins in the natural food cycles of the northern hemisphere — a scarcity of food through fall and winter — but we also find value simply in scaling back. We sense no denial in this, either, but rather renewed discovery.
    Closely related is the practice of fasting, which can involve many things other than food. (No TV, for instance.) The importance is in learning to say no to our habits and desires, so that we reclaim our own power. (That would have startled your boyfriend, back when!) On the other hand, the fasting is then countered by feasting, and feasting is something we Americans seem to be doing constantly. Back to balance!
    I like your leap from Lent to sexuality, or its repression. It’s the bigger picture; there’s much more than food at stake. Perhaps you, too, have thought of strict observance of the Sabbath as a matter of dull inactivity. Now for the flip side, as some rabbis argue: it’s for celebration, with a focus on family and friends, food and wine and, yes, sex. (It’s closer to spirituality than many dare admit.)
    The earthy side also includes our money, labor, possessions, wealth, and time — issues that have provided some great discussions from emotional and theological perspectives. I’m posting some of that discussion at Chicken Farmer I Still Love You, and if you care to weigh in, you’ll be most welcome.
    Thanks.

  • http://jacusloxy.wordpress.com Lucky Wreck

    Oops. I accidentally double liked this, but it turned out to be okay, because I double love this post :)

  • http://northernmalewhite.wordpress.com northernmalewhite

    is this about masturbation?

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

      hah! only slightly.

      • http://www.sight66.com Doug Philips

        I thought the same thing.

        Also, I think it’s very funny how non-catholic Christians consider Catholics and vice versa. I was raised catholic and had such an arrogance towards other denominations. Of course, now as as atheist….never mind :)

  • http://rmedina49.wordpress.com rmedina49

    Congrats! That is so awesome!

  • http://asktheyoungprofessional.wordpress.com Katie Robinson

    This is truly inspiring and I love your honesty. I would by lying if I said I never had doubting thoughts about the true sin of using my body in different ways. It is very refreshing to hear the honest struggles of someone else out there and hearing the freedom that comes with the self knowledge gained over times.

  • http://shainayvette.wordpress.com Shaina

    Reblogged this on Calm Chaos and commented:
    What a beautiful post about Lent: Loving my body for Lent

  • http://francisjourney33.wordpress.com francisjourney33

    Hello, I am a fellow convert to the Church myself. I also came from the Baptist roots. It’s more meaningful for us because we try not go through the motions while we are preparing to celebrate the Paschal feast. Your post is one of many ways to celebrate this season. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. We must take care of it.

  • http://momsasaurus.wordpress.com momsasaurus

    Fantastic post! Especially love the part about feeling like your body didn’t belong to you so you had no power to say “stop.” I will keep in mind to make sure my daughters always know their body belongs to them. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  • http://deepthinker52.wordpress.com whatwereyathinkin

    Good for you!! I was raised a Catholic , went to parochial schools all the way through high school. I never saw myself as restricted in any way. I am now a Pentecostal and attend an Assemblies of God church which I love. The only reason I left was the service itself , the mass , left me feeling the same way when I left as I did when I arrived. I wanted to FEEL like I had to been church. The biggest difference is I went to mass it was because I was supposed to. Now I go to church because I want to. Congratulations to you though. If you can’t be at ease with yourself you can’t be at ease with any one else.

  • http://uniyears.wordpress.com Sarah

    Great post! I was brought up as a Catholic, and it was funny hearing about the perspective you had of Catholics when younger. I also think that sometimes adults can get so caught up with bringing children up to have correct morals that they don’t realise just how big an impact it has. Great post, well done!

  • http://georginaguthrie.wordpress.com georginaguthrie

    What a great post! I can imagine that it’s tough being brought up to believe that what is natural is a sin. Thank you for writing this, it’s very inspirational, and a refreshing take on the custom of Lent.

  • http://jasonmin.wordpress.com Jason Ministries

    Thank you for sharing; denominations all have their form of legalism, and unfortunately the members pay the heavy price of shame and guilt for it. After all, why shouldn’t legalism make us feel that way? The law reminds us of our guilt, right? (Galatians 3:10) That is why a healthy relationship with Christ founded on Scriptural truth, and not religious right/tradition, is so freeing to the human mind, body, and soul (John 8:31-36). :) So glad you found your freedom, and I’m also glad that Christ wants a relationship with us and not our religious piety. :)

  • http://shiningbridges.wordpress.com ginapoet

    I wholeheartedly say “Amen” to that!!!

  • http://spillingcoffeendroppingthings.wordpress.com christianarsgreene

    AH thnx for writing this:) I remember feeling very similar (as a reformed Presbyterian); I remember that verse taken out of context so many times, “DO NOT CAUSE YOUR BROTHER TO STUMBLE!” BUT… I wanted to plead, don’t the boys have to take some responsibility also? Do not click on porn sites, DO NOT go buy a girly mag, do not encourage that ugly thought, “Take your thoughts captive!” just like we were to “guard our hearts”! I didn’t dress very provocatively, but I covered up my curves and belly and wore baggy loose ill fitting clothes (the opposite extreme of skinny jeans or tight tops) because I was self-conscious and hiding my natural beauty!! Now I try to find clothes that fit snug, but without the worry and stress “OH NO I will cause other guys to sin!” Um, no, they are responsible for part of this too!! I’m not seducing them, flirting with them, but there are perverts out there who will try to corrupt us gals~!
    Thnx sistah,
    C

    • http://thenecessaryblog.wordpress.com Josephine Rose

      ^ i strongly agree. in extreme cases, i loath how society usually blames the woman victim for enticing the man, as if the man has no power, whatsoever, over his actions.

  • http://laciejohnson.wordpress.com laciejohnson

    Great stuff! Thanks for being honest

  • http://pieinthewoods.wordpress.com UltraViolet

    This is fabulous. So much more affirming of life and self and faith than the typical “I’m giving up caffeine for Lent” option.

  • http://boysblogexpert.wordpress.com sarah10098
  • http://girlseule.wordpress.com girlseule

    Loved this post. Our bodies are the most important thing we have and we are taught at a young age to hate them. Slim down, get rid of “unsightly” hair, and don’t you dare let your body do what it naturally does and carry a little weight on your hips and thighs. Imagine what would happen if we all loved our bodies and took care of them for health and happiness, not to fit a certain ideal. A lot of money is being made out of people being unhappy with their perfectly fine, normal, healthy bodies.

  • http://xristinamaria.wordpress.com xristinamaria

    hello there! i found this some time ago & made it mine, “In Nomine Domini Nostri Jesu Christi” (in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ). we do things, eat or drink or whatever, for the glory of God. it ainʻt easy but keeping in mind/heart, “what would Jesus do had He been in my shoes?”, has always been a great help. it kept me from a lot of trouble ;-) congrats on being pf!

  • http://euphemiankechi.wordpress.com ferenke

    hi,
    i love your write up a lot.i am a catholic and believe in the discipline of lent seasons. but i think it is more important to know the right things of life to do and do it always, not waiting till lent periods.

  • http://ynjkumar.wordpress.com ynjkumar

    Good one Sarah. Check my little attempt to add to this. Thank you.

  • http://ynjkumar.wordpress.com ynjkumar
  • http://ynjkumar.wordpress.com ynjkumar

    Read offering my body for lent @ ynjkumar.wordpress.com

  • http://ifthisonethinghappens.wordpress.com Meg

    Love this!

  • http://afrankangle.wordpress.com aFrankAngle

    It seems to me that you are finding yourself more ways than one. Good for you! … Congratulations on Freshly Pressed.

  • http://sta1986.wordpress.com sta1986

    You may enjoy this publication from The Baptist Times… UK baptists… http://www.baptisttimes.co.uk/index.php/opinion/785-primitive-piety

  • http://ilistenedtothemustntsandiwon.wordpress.com adaym

    Beautiful and deeply honest post. I love the candor!

  • http://patkat80.wordpress.com Katie

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! What a great way to celebrate Lent – by getting rid of the very things that keep us from knowing and loving God – our own inability to love ourselves.

  • http://erindrozdowsky.wordpress.com erindrozdowsky

    coooool

  • http://thetruthhaven.wordpress.com thetruthhaven

    Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;(1 Corinthians 6:19). You should not hate your body rather, you should honor it and glorify God with it at all times by not giving in to carnal desires(masturbation being one of them).

  • http://sapphireartist.wordpress.com sapphireartist

    “Theology of the Body” is another thing us Catholics pine over (JPII). Take a look at it some time. It’s quite an interesting read. :)

    • http://perpetualprude.wordpress.com Perpetual Prude

      I couldn’t agree more. Theology of the Body teaches us to love our bodies, love sex, love desire – but all in the way God truly intended! Happy Lent!

  • http://thekovies.wordpress.com lexiesnana

    Now you truly know that your body is a temple.

  • http://mightwar.wordpress.com mightwar

    I’ve always believed that the body is a gift. It is the means through which I experience the glory and the beauty, the fullness and the wonder of this earth and this life and all that it entails – whether that be good, bad or indifferent. I rejoice that you have reached a point of appreciating what a wonder your body is and as you set out on re-learning your body, I wish you the very best of yourself.

  • http://pastorjonward.wordpress.com pastorjonward

    I resonated with this piece. I would add that there is no division between the body and the soul other than sin, and its corollary – death. Lent is a beautiful time of the Christian year that prepares us for life in so many ways! Christ’s fasting and praying in the wilderness in preparation for his ministry was not to weaken him – and thereby test him, but rather to strengthen him for the road ahead. It is amazing to discover the peace and resolve that come from fasting – not as a denial of the body, but a denial of selfishness for the sake of the other.

    Historically there were several goals of fasting: increased time to spend with God in prayer and the Word, increased funds to give to the poor and needy and increased resolve to enable your yes to be yes and your no, no.

    Another little tidbit is that you don’t fast on Sundays, as they are feast days celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. If you don’t believe me, go add up the number of days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday – it’s more than 40 if you include the Sundays.

  • http://mindyourmorrills.wordpress.com yomamadontworkhere

    Wow, that is awesome. I’m a former fundamentalist Pentecostal and I was told the same things. (Girls wore skirts (below the knee) and nothing form fitting to attract attention and cause men to lust) I’ve come out of all of that and in my journey I’ve struggled with feeling not right in my own body. It helps to read this. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://rachel4848.wordpress.com rachel4848

    Great blog post. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://oyiabrown.wordpress.com OyiaBrown

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

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  • http://vjstracener.wordpress.com vjstracener

    This is awesome. I have had some of the same thoughts growing up first Baptist then Church of Christ. Love yourself, because if you don’t no one else will.

    • http://therosetrinity.wordpress.com therosetrinity

      God will always LOVE you. NO matter what you say or do. Please know that.

  • http://diannecreates.wordpress.com Dianne Aquino

    Beautiful :) Thank you for sharing this. I was raised a Catholic. I was taught the same thing when I was young, that “skin is sin”. just recently, I set my body free. Time to celebrate my body, time to celebrate Me. ;)

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  • http://nikgee.wordpress.com nikgee

    Your words are spot on. As a guy our perspective is different. Better yet said Each individual has a different perspective. But then one common thread is we both have struggled though religion as we seek relationships. To commune with God and creation. Don’t get me wrong I am in no wise negating the bible. It speaks truth. I am Very much against a system that would take that word using it to bind maim, and in some cases destroy it’s fellow man. You are one of the lucky ones seeing your way through this life trap. Never believe a lie. The truth is GOD CREATED ALL OF US WHOLE SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY. And YES it is a good.

  • http://godschick.wordpress.com godschick

    Wow, the honesty. I love it. Beautifully said. Blessings!

  • http://therosetrinity.wordpress.com therosetrinity

    BRAVO! Be who you really are. LOVE. Love yourself. If your really going to let go, make sure it’s in Love, not just sex. God is about Love. Whatever you do, if it’s done with Love, you should have no guilt, ever!

  • http://chavisory.wordpress.com chavisory

    Love it.

    My new Lent tradition is, instead of giving something up, which I feel like sort of ran the course of its usefulness (after coffee, chocolate, alcohol, television), I commit to doing something with positive significance for me. Two years ago I got something done for myself that I’d been putting off for years. Last year I wrote every day for Lent. This year I’m taking steps to get on top of my anxiety-based procrastination. It feels really, really good.

    • http://idealistnigerian.wordpress.com/ adannaya

      Hey this is inspiring. I’ve been trying vegetarianism, sort of for Lent although I don’t see it stopping when Lent ends. I wish you all the best with the procrastination. :)

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  • http://erikweaver.wordpress.com erikweaver

    Good for you!

    IMO I see the root of the problem as a mistaken belief in severe duality. Christians generally mis-read Genesis (and much of the rest of Hebrew bible for that matter). There is no original sin, as in we are wholly evil and corrupt and that all flesh is a sign of a fallen nature.

    No, not at all, creation is good! Sin is an error, having made a mistake. Sin literally means “missing the mark.” That’s all. As all youngsters (and adults!) do from time to time. Our Divine Abba-Amma (Father-Mother) are inclined to educate and forgive mistakes, as do human parents (metaphorically speaking).

    But from what we now call the ancient Gnostics (and possibly in parallel from Zoroastrianism) we Christians -I’m Old Catholic- inherited this misshapen idea that creation is evil! This “Good God, Evil God” duality is not terribly useful nor healthy. It is time to lay aside Original Sin, flagellation, and self-hate. In its place accept that we are living in a good creation, are basically of good nature, and trying to do the best we can, given our youth and lack of spiritual maturity.

    But maturity comes only with time. We humans are collectively doing better as the centuries pass, but we have a long way to go. In the meantime, we can each stop beating ourselves up so much. (And we certainly need to stop beating up others!) Perhaps giving a hug per day should have been my Lent penance? I’ll have to think about that for next year….

  • http://live4unow.wordpress.com sampirt

    Like the idea of Loving your body for lent, but I am now sold on the idea of Loving your body for Life!! that way you can live in it for many lents to come. Check out my blog where I talk about all round well being, to increase your health and all round fitness & lifestyle :) http://live4unow.wordpress.com/

  • http://chatrouletteespanol.wordpress.com Charli Philipp

    nice post! inspiring…

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  • Julia S.

    Great post! thanks for sharing. So happy another woman has discovered how our sexist world is damaging women. take control, choose love!