We took this picture New Year’s Eve. Oh to think of all of the resolves I was resolving at that moment. I don’t know about you, but I was doing great, walking the line of healthy living, religious expansion, and all things almost perfect. Until Mardi Gras season hits, and I’m a goner.
Late nights working on the float, parties, obligations, here and there, fast food (ugh-I don’t even eat fast food), all leave me wishing, begging for Lent to begin.
Here I am writing to you on Ash Wednesday ready for a reset.
I am not only craving my routine back, but a sense of normalcy where I can plan meals again. Where I can omit the sugar, gluten, and processed foods. Where I can limit all things unhealthy. Where I can meditate and practice yoga regularly again.
But not only that, I need to revisit Jesus’ 40 days in the desert. As a Christian, Lent represents what He went through, and how we should go through our own desert during this time.
That said, most people, “give up” something, which I plan to do, along with fasting and praying more. But, I was always of the mindset of “giving” something during this time also.
Rourke usually goes to Stations of the Cross once a week. Erin volunteers at the food kitchen and has continued to volunteer monthly. I made these Lenten bags last year and have actually continued to make them to keep in my car throughout the year. (And, some “gifts” might actually turn into habits like this.)
I thought I would share some ideas if you are looking to join me. Some I have tried and some I am offering from recommendations from others. And, most do not cost a dime but are worth more than gold.
- You can find volunteer opportunities at: United Way and Volunteer Match.
- You can clean out and donate items to help others: Eyeglasses to Lions Club, cellphones to Wounded Warrior Project, shoes to Soles4Souls, coats to One Warm Coat, handbags to Purses for Nurses, computers to Computers with Causes, and household items (including gently use appliances, furniture and building supplies) to Habitat for Humanity.
- You can visit someone that is lonely or homebound.
- You can tutor a child.
- You can run errands for a friend in need.
- You can pray for your enemies and do something kind for them.
- You can collect coins to donate to a particular cause like the one here.
- You can give up plastic to help the planet.
- You can pick up litter in a designated area once a week.
- You can walk dogs at the animal shelter.
There are so many, many ways you can give back during Lent.
So, in addition to resetting my health and routine, I look forward to resetting my religious Lenten walk to Easter.
I will leave you with a few verses to encourage your journey, too….
“But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you.” -Matthew 5:44
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” -John 13:7
“Doing what is right and fair pleases the Lord more than an offering.” -Proverbs 21:3
“And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” -1 Corinthians 13:13
“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it.” -Hebrews 13:2
How do you plan to spend your Lenten journey? Do you have any more “giving” ideas to share?