I have been thinking about what to give up for Lent for a few weeks now. And this list is a great one to get ideas from:
Fasting ideas for Lent
Over the years I have given up lots of different things.
- There are the standard items I could banish such as chocolate, desserts, or soda. While I certainly love each of these, the purpose of Lent is not to try to lose weight.
- I could give up Facebook but I already have basically done that (my New Year's resolution) or speeding. (This one simply isn't realistic...have you ever tried to drive on post only 10mph past every pedestrian you encounter?).
- I could give up TV or candy bars; but these two things are not vices of mine.
- I could give up biting my nails; but I have been trying to break this habit for 30 years.
I have also in years past dedicated the season of Lent to doing something.
- I could say nightly prayers with the kids. Night time routines aren't exactly smooth here.
- I could set aside more time to volunteer each week of Lent (but I felt this would be more of a sacrifice on my family).
- Last year I focused on giving at least two meaningful compliments each day to people I encountered. (In the process of doing a task that was really hard for me, I was able to bless another person.)
I believe that giving up something for Lent is supposed to be something that is hard, cleansing, and beneficial to myself, my spiritualness, and my family.
So I have decided to do something really out of my box. Something that is going to be painful for me.
My dear friend at West Point shared with me the idea of 40 bags in 40 days. If you know me, than you know that I love my stuff. And while my home is pretty tidy at first glance, if you open any closet or cupboard you will find they are stuffed...with stuff. Stuff that I like. Stuff that I used one time a long time ago. Stuff that I might need sometime soon. Stuff that requires constant reorganization. Stuff that takes time away from my family while I reorganize it...
But for some weird reason I am attached to all of this stuff. I can remember where I got nearly each piece of stuff in our home. I know who gave the kids each toy, each outfit they can no longer wear, each book that they have grown too old for.
And...here's a shocker...I am pretty sentimental.
Hard. Cleansing. Beneficial.
40 bags in 40 days is my dedication for Lent.
My disclaimer: Baby steps. Plastic grocery bags are the size I am opting for. And can I count the big giant item I gave up a few weeks ago in my 40? And do I get Sundays off?