It’s winter and the Lenten season begins with Ash Wednesday. I’ve been thinking about what I want to do or not do for Lent this year. For those who may not know, Lent is the 40 day period before Easter and reminds us of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert. Lent is about prayer, sacrifice and almsgiving all in preparation for the Easter celebration.
As a child, I would give up something each year as my way of sacrifice – television, (That was really hard, because no one else in my family did it with me.) chocolate, soda, etc. With a child’s perspective, I didn’t think giving up tv or soda was positive, when in fact it was. So as a teenager, I started trying to do something that was hard and positive. In my mind, making my bed every morning, emptying the dishwasher every time, washing all our family’s clothes for 40 days was positive. I felt like I was doing something good and it was hard for my teenage self. Now as an adult, I can see how giving up and doing something positive and hard are all similar shades of Lenten commitment.
I recently came across the concept of 40 Bags in 40 Days on The Larson Lingo blog. I’d never heard of 40 bags before and started to do some research and found a lot of people loading up 40 bags for 40 days. Then I found more information on the Simply Catholic site. Hmmm…. I kept thinking and wondering… Could this be my Lenten commitment this year? Can I do this? I’d sure like to do this. Hmmm…. more pondering.
What is 40 Bags in 40 Days all about? For 40 days during Lent, I’d clear out, throw out, organize and donate 40 bags of stuff that I don’t need in my house or in my life. M-a-j-o-r spring clean. The idea is to sacrifice some time to de-clutter my home, de-clutter my mind (because I’m not looking at the pile of stuff on my desk and wishing it would organize itself), and donate what’s worthy to charity and open some space in my mind and heart for prayer. Sacrifice. Almsgiving. Prayer. Yes, I’m still pondering. Are you, too? Pondering I mean.
How do I make this Lenten commitment successful for me? I’m a list girl. Yes, I know. Shocking. I made a list of areas to tackle like 1) laundry room 2) linen closet 3) junk drawer, etc. I would clean until I reach 40 days and 40 bags. I tried to make my list realistic, by only listing 31 things, so I can add more time if needed for a certain spot. Plus spring break also falls during Lent and we’ll be out of town. Ya know, I can’t clean my freezer when I’m in a different state. My list is manageable and achievable (I hope), because I’m motivated and these spots are driving me coo coo. Very coo coo. But I know life happens…The kids get sick, Mr. Rosey is out of town, so I sleep poorly and I’m pooped the next day, I have a ton of laundry to do… you get the idea. I will give myself some grace. I will give myself some space to do what inspires me that day. The point is to keep working to de-clutter… to open space in my home, mind and heart.
Commit! I do think I can focus over the Lenten season and get rid of stuff we don’t need. De-clutter. Simplify. Donate. Breathe. Pray. Rejoice. It would be great if someone else wants to do this with me. Are you still pondering? Wouldn’t it be fun if we could tackle both our homes together? To support, to share. I’m hoping Mr. Rosey and the Girlies might jump in and help a little bit too. So that’s my plan for Lent – starting today it’s 40 bags in 40 days. Goodbye junk. Hello Easter.