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According to my very official source (dictionary.com) Lent is(in the Christian religion), beginning on Ash Wednesday and lasting 40 weekdays to Easter, observed by Roman Catholic, Anglican, and certain other churches.
For the past several years I have been doing something instead of giving up something. Yes, just the opposite of what most people do. I have friends who give up soda, one who goes off Facebook, and another who gives up sweets. I think it’s great to give up something that you don’t need, that’s not good for you, or is just a show of sacrifice to better yourself. But …
What about adding something that is good for you?
For two years my kids and I picked up trash in our neighborhood as our Lent activity. Now, we didn’t do this every day, but if we saw trash we picked it up: at the Home Depot parking lot, at our school, while on a walk to the playground. Then, at least one time, we went on a long walk in a designated area and picked up every piece of trash we saw.
I’m not the only one who adds something. I was on Fire Mom’s (of StopDropand Blog.com) Instagram feed the other day where she posted, “My Lenten activity: Walking Callie at least one mile every day to spend some quiet time with God. I went through many things to take away but what I really need this Lent is to walk, quite literally, with God. And so I will. #40daysdogandgod.”
I love this! Not only is this good for her body (and good exercise for her dog!), but it’s great for her mentally and spiritually.
One year I did both: gave up something (sugar) and did something. I decided that I needed motivation to do something good for me — thus, the no sugar. I’ve done this twice before (against my will) and came out better for not having sugar. It was hard, but at least I tried.
Lent is a great excuse to do something hard. There is purpose and a goal — getting to and celebrating Easter! I’m not sure what my “doing something” is going to be yet, but I just can’t let this opportunity pass without adding something good.
Do you celebrate by giving or giving up?