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The night before Lent and all through Sparkland...

Monday, February 11, 2013

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’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.

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.)
Eating out
Soft drinks/caffeine/coffee
Debt (using credit cards)
Certain books/magazines (read ones that will help you grow spiritually)
Social Media sites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.)
Computer use/bloggingp
Road rage
Swearing/foul language
Working overtime (unnecessarily)
Social Networking

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
Quiet time
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
Staying positive
Works of Mercy (feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, etc.)
Getting enough sleep at night
Being on time

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am not catholic but this year I am going to give something up. I am going to give up snacking between meals. I need to get back on track and using lent as a way for me, may just work.

    Your choice is great. So many times we get too involved in our own lives and forget to share kindness to others. You do this well and I am sure that you will go beyond your normal acts of kindness during the next 46 days. emoticon
    1927 days ago
  • 4CYNDI
    Thank you for such a wonderful blog on Lent and what choices you are making for this year. Like you I am not Catholic. I sometimes participate and other years do nothing. It all depends on how I'm feeling.

    So, I'm not sure this year what I'll be doing if anything. As it falls early this year I haven't really thought about it. However adding something or focusing on the positive instead of a negative always works better for me.

    Have fun and good luck!
    1927 days ago
    quite a list and you give a 1000 ways ecery day part if you for all of us!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    1928 days ago
  • DAS92687
    I hope it's an inspirational journey for you emoticon
    1929 days ago
    I take on a daily devotion.

    This year I am taking the suggestion of a lady at church: write one note a day to someone you have not contacted in a while just to let them know you care about them.

    May have you a blessed Lenten season.

    1929 days ago
    emoticon That is really something to think about...I like this!

    You are right...what about "doing" something special for lent and then it is a opening doors and such. Great idea!

    What about giving out 46 spark goodies!

    1929 days ago
    You're actually giving up what I pray to be able to give up one day: selfishness. I long to think less about myself and more about others and God. Lent, after all, altho a human invention (you won't find it in the Bible - you won't find the word "Easter," either!), is intended to shift our focus from ourselves to God. Just like most human inventions ("rituals," etc), it became twisted into something it is not.

    Isaiah 58 has much to say about fasting, and the intent of fasting. While I do not fast during lent, we do start the year w/ a week of fasting. I hope next year to truly embrace the Isaiah 58 kind of fast!

    Good blog, Kal.
    Good Lent to you (or however they greet each other).
    1929 days ago
    Great blog! I can imagine it would be self-sacrifice to be nice for Lent for that many days! LOL

    I'm not Catholic either but a few of my friends and I will give up something and the money we would've spent on that, goes for missionary work.
    1929 days ago
  • SAASHA17
    nice fun idea...will sign up for that app too..thanks for sharing..and so true on the whole concept of LENT...

    1929 days ago
    Well, I have the same mindset as you . . . I'm more into what can I do vs. what can I give up. Great blog!

    1929 days ago
    Ha- I usually give up CHOCOLATE for Lent. However I am a hard core chocolate lover and believe me there is a lot of suffering involved! I might have an addiction...

    I love the idea of adding. I was thinking of giving something else up this season (along with the chocolate) love the idea of adding something....

    Thank you for the food for thought. Only 46 days without my love. My cocoa bean. emoticon emoticon
    1929 days ago
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