Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Something Different For Lent This Year

Other years as Lent approaches I have felt an urging or a sense about something I should give up that year. One year it was caffeine; another it was chocolate; last year it was sweets & Facebook. But, this year I haven't felt strongly about anything in particular.

So, I've been somewhat perplexed. Do I repeat something I did before for the sake of giving something up? Do I just 'skip' Lent this year? Do I need to pray harder that God would show me what He would have me sacrifice this year?

Then, a Facebook friend posted about Lent and was asking what other people were doing this year. And, she shared this idea... and it's one that resonates with me. She said that she was challenging herself to bless someone else in some way each day of Lent.

40 Days of Blessing Others. I like it. I like it a lot.

These blessings can be small. They don't have to be extravagant. Here are some of the things I've thought of...
  • Cook a my children's favorite meal
  • Do a chore that is normally my husband's (like putting out the trash on trash night)
  • Send a note of encouragement to someone
  • Compliment a stranger
  • Give a waitress a truly generous tip
  • Allow someone in front of me when waiting in a line
  • Visit someone who is lonely
  • Offer to babysit for someone for an hour or two
  • Make a doublebatch meal and take the extra to a friend
  • Smile at someone who is not
  • Make an extra donation to a charity/ministry
  • Put little 'I love you' notes in my children's lunches
Simple things. Things of kindness and thoughtfulness that we should look to do on a regular basis anyway. And, in making small sacrifices of time, effort, and/or money I can bless someone and prepare my heart for Easter.

This year I also am planning to continue something that I heard about for the first time last year - 40 Bags in 40 Days. If you haven't heard of this before, it's a way of helping to purge and clear your home of things that aren't either needed or loved. The idea is to fill a bag ( the size bag is up to you) each day of things that you can give away or donate. I also love this idea because it's a way of blessing others with your donations and decluttering our homes, our lives, our minds at the same time.

So, what are you doing for Lent this year?


  1. I love this is as well!! As soon as I read what you wrote it made beautiful sense. I think I am going to have to join you in both of them.

    Thank you, my blogging friend, for sharing this with me!


  2. I like the idea of doing something nice for someone. I never understood the sacrifices of Lent...all our debt is paid, and nothing can make us more acceptable to the Father if we are trusting Jesus as our Savior. It's all or nothing (I'm preaching to the choir here I know).

    I love looking forward to Easter Sunday, it's the best holiday of all!!!

  3. Love both these ideas Karen! I'm not sure I could come up with a bag a day...but I'd like to try.
    Your second idea got me thinking that maybe I would do 40 thank you notes/ notes of appreciation....thanks!

  4. Excellent ideas! It sounds like you'll have a wonderful Lent experience!

    This year I'm trying to capture a moment each day that reminds me of my blessings or of God's impact in my life. So far so good. It's already got me thinking.

  5. Great ideas, instead of giving something up, you are putting things in (your life that is!). Way to go. Love this plan.

  6. oh, karen, i just LOVE this idea of a "pay it forward" act of kindness each day of Lent ... love it love it love it and will definitely be taking this on as part of my consciousness throughout Lent - seems so obvious, yet it never crossed my mind - thank you!


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