What to give up for Lent?

I could list about 50 things I could give-up for Lent. But will I start with what I will not give up which is coffee. My sweet child, my 11-year-old son told me I could give up coffee and wine for Lent. My response was, “do you want live to see the end of Lent?” I thought about giving up sugar and had the same immediate response. Even my family said not to give-up sugar, coffee or wine either. They are wise people.

I struggle to maintain a sugar free diet, which right now is the not the time to head down that path. I need a good solid week where I can truly devote, plan and prepare to detox from sugar but in the midst of work, a family wedding, spring break travel, etc. I know I will set myself up for failure then be mad at myself for not seeing it through (while being miserable, tired, hungry, etc.)

Maybe online shopping. That would be good to give-up for 40 days. I think that might be doable until I have to buy wedding and shower gifts and I don’t have time to run to town to get gifts. Maybe clothing shopping, I will give up clothing shopping online and in the physical store for 40 days. I can do that! Maybe.

However, I am excellent at committing my-self to work and work in the evenings and over the weekend, etc. I can’t commit to a sugar free diet or going 40 days without wine, but I can commit myself to work every night and weekend. That is depressing.

A co-worker of mine said that her minister shared that Lent should be about thinking how you to give to others. So instead of giving up something for yourself, think about how you can give each day to someone. I do like this idea as well. I just want to make sure that whatever I do, I do it well and that I am completely committed because I don’t want to fail.

Beside the regular ideas such as giving up chocolate, ice cream, cuss words, etc. I want to do something that is meaningful to me and that helps someone else. That possibly improves my own clarity of faith, health and mindfulness while also doing something kind or a kind act each day. It is only 40 days!

I love to organize and purge my house of clutter or just plain old stuff. Cleansing of the clutter, cleaning of the mind. I work my way through each room, putting away piles of clutter, sorting clothing and drawers, and getting rid of what we don’t need or use.  Cleanings of clutter is also a way to really dig into living with more appreciation, and confronting the material wealth that surrounds you.  To let it go, or minimize so you can fill your heart and home with what really matters to you.

So, I decided to start with cleaning and organizing drawers, rooms, closets. Items are going to be donated, and tubs of clothing that can go to friends and family members, but a purge of what is not needed or used. I am going to stop all non-needed purchases. I will mindfully reduce my sugar intake. I will seek opportunities to help others, and to give of myself.

So, wherever Lent leads you this year, I hope you can grow, as person from your experiences and look to seek out opportunities to give to others.

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