I’m doing something a bit different this year for lent.
Well, it’s day #10 and so far I’ve kept up with my plan. I’ve sent a postcard to foreign lands, given someone a Thomas the Tank Engine book, baked someone biscuits, written letters and emails and surprised someone with new slipper socks.
It’s nice, doing things for people for no reason other than I’m thinking about them. Some of the recipiants didn’t realise what I am doing for lent so it was a total surprise (spot the folk who don’t have internet/read my blog!) which was actually really nice.
For example, I sent my grandparents a parcel of fancy biscuits and jam and got a very surprised and pleased phone call to say thank you (right in the middle of trying to change a particularly delightful nappy, I might add) – this meant we got to have an unexpected chat too. It was short but sweet and I was left with a nice glow inside because I knew I’d made their day a bit brighter and showed them just how much they mean to me.
Some days it has been quite hard to think of what to do that each person would appreciate – I want each person (or, in some cases ‘people’) to feel special, even if it’s just for a minute or two because they are special to me – even if I don’t keep in close contact with them all the time.
People aren’t necessarily recieving their letters etc. on the day I have set aside for them – but I make sure I post them on that day. It depends on whether they live close enough by for me to deliver their things by hand or if their gift is available to be ordered for a specific day. A lot of it is down to Royal Mail so I don’t doubt it’ll get spread out a bit!
I’ll update again in a week or so to let you know how I’m getting on – for now I’m off to do a bit more work on tomorrow’s gift so that it’s ready to post on time!
It was Shrove Tuesday yesterday and I spectacularly failed to eat any pancakes despite feeding Caius some for breakfast. I am planning a pancake session later this week though, when the kids are home.
So that makes today the first day of Lent, a 40 day stretch of thoughtfulness and build up to Easter in respect of Christ’s sacrifice in the desert where everyone traditionally fasts after using all the luxuries up in their pancakes. Giving something up is supposed to focus your mind and bring you closer to God and the story of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice as you sacrifice something too.
This year I don’t feel that giving something up would make me anything other than resentful as I’m already on a bit of a healthy eating push and resenting that. Also, I couldn’t think of anything to give up that I consumed regularly enough for it to be a conscious effort every day and so I had an idea – instead of giving something up, I will do something every day instead. Something different that requires enough thought that it is a bit of a challenge.
With this in mind I wrote down a list of the dates between now and Easter and made the discovery that Lent is actually not 40 days long at all, but 46. A quick delve into the internet told me that this is because Sundays don’t count – do you hear me everyone? YOU CAN EAT CHOCOLATE/DRINK WINE ON SUNDAYS IN LENT! You are not allowed to fast on a Sunday by tradition so the 40 days are made up of all the days between Shrove Tuesday and Easter that aren’t Sundays. Awesome.
So, after adapting my list to no longer include Sundays, I was ready to go.
Next to every day, I have written a name of a friend or family member and on each day I am going to do something for that person. It could be anything – write them a letter, send them an email, give them a present, make them something – whatever I come up with. Just something that makes me stop and think about that person and appreciate them – it is very easy to not speak to a friend you don’t live near to for weeks, even months and I’m very guilty of it. I’m hoping that by setting myself this challenge, I will make up for some of the time I haven’t made enough effort in regards to friends and family. We are all guilty of it and, as the last couple of weeks have highlighted, we don’t always have ‘tomorrow’ to remember to make that phone call or send that letter.
I’m going to try and do it now.
I’m rubbish at Lent. There, I’ve said it. I have no staying power at all, I start out with the best of intentions and usually fail by the end of the first day (or second if I’m lucky) – a bit like New Years Resolutions.
With that in mind I’ve decided to approach Lent a bit differently this year. Instead of giving one thing up for the 40 days I’m going to do a series of challenges or activities instead. I was thinking of doing 4 different 10-day challenges and having not come up with any better ideas since I was thinking that, I have just this second decided that’s what I’m going to do.
So for the first ten days (22nd Feb – 2nd March) my challenge is:
Read at least one new piece of Poetry a day
There are several poetry books in my parents’ house that I have never touched. I write poetry – I should read it more. I have no excuse not to stick to this one, even though I’m off adventuring in the middle of it, I will still have train trips and quiet moments where I can sit and indulge in some new verses.
I will report back in 10 days on how I did and try to think up what my next mini Lent Project will be.