Yes, I know today, February 10, 2016 is Ash Wednesday, and on this day many Christians choose to give something up for the next 40 days until we celebrate Christ’s resurrection and new life on Easter.
What I am thinking about today, and I hope no one takes this idea as sacrilegious as I mean nothing of the sort. But I wondered, what if we make, in addition to this tradition or to stand in as a substitute, the idea of giving something each day for the next 40 days, until Easter comes.
If you choose to participate, please drop me a line or post it on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, or any other social media you use, and use the hashtag #givingforLent. Here’s a random list of ideas for you to give to the someones, loved ones, and anyones in your life.
- Give thanks. You pick to whom.
- Give undeserved forgiveness.
- Give your time.
- Give chocolate bars and cover the wrapping with something you’ve painted or covered in happy wrappings.
- Give a courage talk to someone who needs it.
- Give joy in the form of a letter. This may involve sprinkles and cut-up magazine images taped on paper.
- Give a found note. To do this, write a note the size of a sticky note, put it in an envelope you’ve made and leave it for someone to discover – on a sink in a restroom, a seat on the bus. You get to pick what to say. But be sure to give it your best shot.
- Give a call to someone who deserves your thanks for life-changing reasons known only to you.
- Give a dollar to the tip jar the next time you buy coffee at a coffee shop.
- Give a piece of jewelry to someone who’d love it.
- Give grace to someone when you’re having a bad day.
- Give space to that son, daughter, spouse, or parents, who might be needing it today.
- Give encouragement. Spoken, written, or in some other actionable way.
- Give a random meal to the person in line in back of you at the fast food place you visit.
- Give your legs a stretch. Go for a walk. Listen for the birds, the wind. Try to find the color red in nature.
- Give your goals a fresh look. Do one thing on your list.
- Give God a try. Ask Him to boldly show up in your life and look for Him to do so. It won’t show up in ways you’ll expect. It will show up as God shows up.
- Give yourself a soaking bath, a beverage of your choice, light some twinkling lights or candles, and yeah, don’t bring your smart phone or tablet in the bathroom. Give yourself some silence and time to reflect. (and if you live in Minnesota like I do, a chance to warm up.)
- Give a call to your mother. Just because it’s not Mother’s Day.
- Give a call to your father and say, “I just called to say, ‘I love you.'”
- Give your brother a hand with something, whether it’s helping him change the brakes on his car or tear down paneling in his basement.
- Give a friend a roll of blue masking tape and a gift card for a gallon of paint to a home improvement store with a note taped (in blue) that you will either paint a room of her choice or watch her kids while she does.
- Give a teacher some classroom time to do projects she or he never gets time to do.
- Give someone a lemon tree.
- Give someone a flowering plant or force some bulbs.
- Give someone your full attention for 10 minutes without looking at your techy life partner.
- Give someone a bottle of nail polish. Yellow, blue, orange, purple, sparkly?
- Give someone a lift to chemotherapy.
- Give someone who’s just finished cancer treatments a luncheon or dessert get-together with friends to CELEBRATE the gift of life.
- Give your dog two extra treats today.
- Give the gift of clean sheets to your family.
- Give someone something you make today.
- Give someone the gift of your laugh.
- Give birth to your dreams. You’re the only one who can.
- Give yourself a cup of tea and yeah, get out the fancy teapot, the cosy, the baby teaspoon from someone’s collection of them (maybe from a state you wish you were in right now?), the good tea and china cup and truly enjoy each sip.
- Give yourself the gift of memory. Write down what you did today – and maybe what you didn’t.
- Give your neighbor a knock on the door and hand them something just for them: a rose, a half-dozen cookies you’ve bought or made, or my favorite, Dove chocolate.
- Give someone patience, even when you don’t feel like it.
- Give someone permission to merge onto the highway by giving them plenty of room.
- Give yourself a good night’s sleep. Before you close your eyes, ask God to bring to mind those people who you judged today and ask forgiveness. Ask God to bring to mind those whom He’s worried about and could use your prayers before you slumber.
Hope you have a blessed and reflective and joyous Lenten season. I am so grateful to the time you give to my words. I am truly blessed by you!