The night before Lent and all through Sparkland my friends (even non practicing Catholics and Christians such as myself) were down to the wire deciding what to “give up” for Lent. In the past I have denied myself all kinds of things (some quite silly such as chocolate which was very immature of me since I can quite easily give “up” something I don’t LOVE) and then there was the year before last when I boldly gave up COFFEE (my family was counting the days to Easter I can just tell you with assurance.)
The truth is that the concept of giving something up for Lent seems somehow not quite up front to me. For ME.
Now some of my friends - OK many of you are going to comment that what I HAVE decided to DO for Lent isn’t new to me at all and so it’s not valid either but hey....it’s my choice and I’m good with it and, after all, I’m NOT a Catholic. What if I tried giving instead of giving up? I could be more generous with my time, my patience, my compassion and do a random act of kindness every day.
For 46 days I will give out extra compliments, make a point of holding doors for people and let others go ahead of me in traffic and in the grocery store checkout line.
Giving of yourself feels good all year long.
Whatever you decide to take on or give up for Lent, we challenge you to commit yourself to the season and remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. In changing up some of our daily routines, we’re forced to re-think the muscle memory in our lives. Why do we do what we do? Perhaps you’ll remember what Lent is truly about and how you’re growing closer to God through each day and each sacrifice.
Here are some ideas and something else that I’ve signed up to do during Lent that should be great fun. whattogiveupforlent.com
I will get a different “assignment” every day for 40 days - how awesome is that?
And here are a couple lists....
Things you could give up for Lent:
Television (or certain shows)
The radio (all the time, certain time of day, etc.)
Favorite foods (pizza, ice cream, etc.)
Debt (using credit cards)
Certain books/magazines (read ones that will help you grow spiritually)
Social Media sites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.)
Working overtime (unnecessarily)
Things to add during Lent:
Going to Mass more than once a week
Praying the Rosary
Attending weekly Stations of the Cross
Making time for personal prayer with the Lord
Praying with your family
Going to Confession
Commitment to exercise
Making time for your spouse/children
Sacrificing for your spouse/children
Affirming those around you (daily or weekly)
Being a better friend
Works of Mercy (feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, etc.)
Getting enough sleep at night
Being on time