I LOVE Lent

Sunday, February 3, 2013
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I know that probably seems weird to most of you.  But I can be very disciplined IF I have a reason to be. Otherwise, not so much.

I used to be so organized and so neat.  Seriously, somehow with two children underfoot I was still easily able to maintain a high level of organization and efficiency.   But that all changed about 6 years ago!!!  I am not sure if it was really adding a third child or my adrenal exhaustion and thyroid issues (which cause me to tire very easily) but I am no longer that person.  I am just as messy and unorganized as everyone else now!

So, Lent gives me a time and a purpose to really focus on some goals and grow closer to the Lord in the process.  In past years, I have given up blogging (which gave me more time for God and my family) and shopping (which was very difficult and very revealing about priorities).  One of my Lenten sacrifices for the last two years has been "40 bags in 40 days".  I try to pick a spot or room in my house each day to de-clutter.  You would think after doing this for a few years, there would not be much clutter left---WRONG!  I am DYING to get started and actually got a jump start on Kate's closet yesterday.  There is so much that accumulates in your life and for me, stuff can get in the way of living a life closer to the Lord.

People have asked me how getting rid of 40 bags of excess can bring one closer to God.  For me, when my house is organized, it is easier for me to pray, read the Bible and do my devotionals.  I feel more peaceful.  But more than that...I pray while I clean and purge.  I donate tons of the kids clothes and books and toys and things we don't use anymore to those in need.  And that is all good.

Also, my kids do a Lenten Jar....

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They pull a slip of paper out each morning and do nice deeds for others during Lent.

I have not completely decided what to do for Lent this year.  I am definitely doing the 40 bags in 40 days.  While it is not easy and I don't like it about day 15, I am so happy when it is complete.  But I am trying to decide what else to work on over Lent this year.  Have you given it any thought?

And while mostly it is Catholics who do something for Lent, any Christian can use Lent as a time to draw near to God.  It is not about being Catholic or getting into heaven, it is about honoring the sacrifices God has made for us.  Lent begins this year on February 13th.  I have a label on the sidebar for my past Lent posts, if you'd like to read them.

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.   James 4:8


19 comments:

  1. I like the jar idea! The 4th child did me in and crazy now that we are adopting from China because I am sure it will only get worse. Oh well, adopting is a good thing right! More important than an imaculate house. I really try to keep the clutter down because I find it really does have an effect on all areas of your life. Have a great Sunday an Happy Lent!

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  2. I'm not Catholic, but I'm always inspired by your approach to Lent. You hit the nail on the head I think. I love the "jar" idea for the kids. I like to listen to Praise and Worship sometimes when I'm cleaning/purging..seems to help me do as much inside as I do in my external environment.

    Gin =)

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  3. I love Lent as well, and I'm Protestant. Last year was my first time participating and I gave up social media. It was so calming. I'm not sure what I'm giving up this year, but a friend of mine gave me a Terri Maxwell bible study that I plan on doing during Lent.

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  4. this is a great post. i've been thinking about it too. i love your idea of 40 bags in 40 days. i could do that. what i really want to give up is control.
    control over everything. so hard for me.:)

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  5. I remember reading about Lent a few years ago on your blog and asked you about it. I'm not Catholic, but love the purpose it stands for and the reasoning behind it. I'll have to think of what to give up for Lent. Do you give up just one thing, or is it something new each day? How long does Lent last and when does it start/end? I assume it is started and ended with prayer????

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    1. Susan...I have observed Lent my whole life and people all do it differently. Most people choose to either give up something they enjoy like social media or TV or chocolate. Some people DO something like volunteer once a week or read the Bible daily or try to do something nice each day for another person. It is a conscious effort to remember how Christ suffered for us. It can be daily or weekly. It should be something that feels like a sacrifice of sorts so that we recall the Lord's sacrifice for us. You do not need to begin and end with a prayer. God knows what you are doing and why. And someone wrote a great post once about if you don't succeed at your Lenten sacrifice (or you do) it doesn't matter. It is the point of trying to get closer to God. A lot of churches here observe Lent even though they are not Catholic.

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    2. Sounds wonderful and Catholic or not, I'm going to do it. Sorry...when does it start and how long does it last?

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    3. Lent begins on February 13th and it lasts until Easter day. It lasts for 40 days as Sundays are not counted as Lent days and some people take a break from their Lenten sacrifice on Sundays.

      Good for you. Please let me know how it goes!

      Kim

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    4. I wrote it on the calendar. My husband saw it and said, "LENT BEGINS!?" I explained Lent to the children and to him the way you explained it to me and everyone is eager to begin a new tradition of observing Lent. Well, Jack Jack isn't eager to give up ANYTHING, but he said he'd try it. This is a big deal for us because as members of the LDS aka Mormon religion, we do not observe Lent, but we are Christians.

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  6. I love Lent too - this is a great blog post Kim. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. I haven't done anything for Lent in a long time. The 40 bags project sounds like something up my alley since I have been meaning to de-clutter our home for a while and Lent might just be the time to do it.
    Thanks for this post.

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  8. I forgot! I did this with you last year. Thank you for the reminder:))) I will be joining you again.

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  9. What size bags do you have to use? And do they have to be full?

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    1. Good question...I know people who use a small grocery bag to clean small areas (like a desk or car) and then larger bags cleaning a pantry or closet. I don't think it matters. I think the goal is to spend a little time everyday ridding our selves of some of the martial stuff that gets in our way.

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  10. I too am Catholic and sometimes have a difficult time in thinking what I can do for Lent. Thanks for such a wonderful idea. I will try it this year.

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  11. I am Catholic also, and sometimes have a difficult time coming up with something that truly makes a difference in my soul during Lent. Your ideas are wonderful. Thank you

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  12. Love the jar idea!
    I look forward to hearing about what you are going to focus your 40 days on, I'm sure God will place something on your heart if he hasn't already.

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  13. Keep us posted! I love hearing what you decide:)

    Also, what is your black countertop? Soapstone? Does it hold up well? It looks honed but I can't tell... Have you enjoyed your marble island? I love the look and feel of polished marble but it seems the honed holds up to wear better. I'm not sure I would be okay with lots of etching and staining- but it doesn't look like you have that? I know you all use it as much as I would:) Lastly, do the marble backsplash tiles and light grout hold up to splatters and cleaning?

    I've done so much research and changed my kitchen design several times- I'm hoping that maybe your answers will help me make a decision! We LOVE having people over, and I refuse to be neurotic- making my family and friends use coasters on my countertops:) We live in, entertain, and cook in our house everyday so, while I want a certain look, I do not want to skimp on function. Please help!!

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Thank you for your kindness.