40 Days of Lent

A giant thank you to my delightful friend Grace for sharing this with me. An alternative to giving something up for Lent… and instead… taking something on.

Lent – in reality – is all about preparing yourself for the death and the resurrection of Jesus. Typically it’s about fasting or giving up a luxury as a penitence. But I think we’ve gotten a little past that and more towards giving things up for your own reasons. I don’t want to eat chocolate because it’s all going straight to my waist – so that’s out for 40 days! Lent. The fast food diet.

No judging here. I’ve done my fair share of that – fast food, caffeine, no sweets, giving this or that up selfishly… but this year – I decided to make it actually more about preparing myself for the coming of Christ and less about my own selfish desires.

So I present to you – the 40 Days of Lent list. This is a great way to do one thing a day that actually gives something away (pride, money, earthly treasures) – but also will make for a great daily reminder of what Lent is actually about.

So if you’re looking for something to ‘give up’ still and you accidentally already had your morning dose of caffeine… might I suggest you give this a whirl?! And let me know if you do – we can encourage each other!

Happy Lent friends!

Day 1: Pray for your enemies.
Day 2: Walk, carpool, bike or bus it.
Day 3: Don’t turn on the car radio.
Day 4: Give $20 to a non-profit of your choosing.
Day 5: Take 5 minutes of silence at noon.
Day 6: Look out the window until you find something of beauty you had not noticed before.
Day 7: Give 5 items of clothing to Goodwill.
Day 8: No bitching day.
Day 9: Do someone else’s chore.
Day 10: Buy a few $5 fast food gift cards to give to homeless people you encounter.
Day 11: Call an old friend.
Day 12: Pray the Paper (pray for people and situations in today’s news).
Day 13: Read Psalm 139.
Day 14: Pay a few sincere compliments.
Day 15: Bring your own mug.
Day 16: Write down a goal for your week, month or year. Put it on the fridge.
Day 17: Forgive someone.
Day 18: Internet diet.
Day 19: Change one light in your house to a compact fluorescent.
Day 20: Check out morning and evening prayer at The Daily Office. http://dailyoffice.org/
Day 21: Ask for help.
Day 22: Tell someone what you are grateful for.
Day 23: Introduce yourself to a neighbor.
Day 24: Read Psalm 121.
Day 25: Bake a cake.
Day 26: No shopping day.
Day 27: Check on an elderly member of your neighborhood.
Day 28: Light a candle.
Day 29: Write a thank you note to your favorite teacher.
Day 30: Invest in canvas shopping bags.
Day 31: Check out the blog on givemore.com.
Day 32: Donate art supplies to your local elementary school.
Day 33: Read John 8:1-11.
Day 34: Worship at a friend’s mosque, synagogue or church and look for the beauty.
Day 35: Confess a secret.
Day 36: No sugar day – where else is there sweetness in your life?
Day 37: Give $20 to a local non-profit.
Day 38: Educate yourself about a saint http://www.catholic.org/saints.
Day 39: Pray for peace.
Day 40: Pray for your enemies (you probably have new ones by now) then decide which of these exercises you’ll keep for good.

**Update: This originally came from redletterchristians. Always want to make sure the source gets proper shout outs!**

One thought on “40 Days of Lent

  1. Cathy Maddox says:

    Betsy, this is awesome!!! Thanks for the inspiration and ideas. I’m going to do this, because I NEVER give up something for Lent. It’s like New Year’s Resolutions – hmmmm, haven’t made one of those for years also! I did try giving up nagging for Lent one year – lasted 2 whole days!! Thanks again –

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