Reasons to be Cheerful (or what I’m doing for Lent)

I’ve spent that past few days wondering what I should do for Lent.  Do I give up something? Or do I do something?

To give up something implies that that something can be a negative in our lives, it could be something that we use as a crutch or it could be something that we feel prevents us from focusing on God.  So I could have given up the old chocolate but today is Valentine’s Day – you never know I might get some chocolate.  But I’ve found that in the past when I’ve given up something like that I will find something else equally as bad as a substitute for example the year I gave up alcohol (NEVER EVER AGAIN – unless my health dictates that I have to) my consumption of cakes rocketed.

I did think of maybe healthy eating in general but then I’ve got a few meals out coming up and you could have the argument of use those as your “Sundays” (God rested on the Sabbath so during Lent apparently you can have Sundays off) but what’s the betting I would fall off the wagon completely and then spend ages beating myself up over it. (Odds high!)

So that lead me down the path of doing something positive.  I did think I could spend the whole of Lent knitting bootees for Ruth Mailbag charity but to be honest I’m a little still “knitted out for others” after the Stitch Solihull KAL which I only just finished last week.  Sorry I know there isn’t a photo of it on here or on Rav but I ended up being so sick of it that I’m so pleased that it has a new home and is loved.

I did think about the focusing on God more aspect of Lent and I was going to share some of my thoughts on a particular subject regarding prayer but then I became a little chicken as I felt that by opening myself out I would be judge, ridiculed etc.  To be honest I’ve been down a lot lately.  I hate winter at the best of times and the recent snow fall over the past few days has sent me on the rollercoaster again.  So no I decided maybe not.

Last year I did follow some of 40Acts but the suggestion they made yesterday as part of their theme of living generously was to make a bag of little bits and pieces that may be useful to give out to others – so like having tissues to hand to pass to someone with a cold or a coffee card to give to a homeless person etc.  The thing is I carry lots of bags – one of my nick names is the bad lady.  To have another one with those bits in? Not to mention the expense of filling it in the first place – I think I will pass.

So by yesterday evening, on Ash Wednesday itself I still had not decided what to do.  Hubby made a suggestion that we should go to a service at a different church.  The time of the service suited us better – it meant that I could go straight from work, and since it is such a lovely little church I agreed.   Now this church is small and old.  It does have a small church hall which is where the toilets were.  Unfortunately the hall reached a state where it was deemed unusable.  So space inside the church was found for a small kitchen and a toilet. At the end of a wonderful service I decided before heading home that I should go.  Inside the toilet was a framed poster proudly displaying that it was twinned with another toilet in developing country. This toilet had three and a bit walls – the bit was where you went in.  The walls were made out of mud and it was obvious that the toilet would be in fact a hole in the floor.  Then it struck me what I should do for Lent.  A basic need that I take for granted is in fact a luxury for some.  It made me feel humble and it also made me feel grateful.  I do try and make an effort to say Thank you when someone does something for me but I should be thankful for everything.  As a Christian I am called to be grateful.  So each day I am going to find something that I am grateful for and post it on here, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Yesterday I was thankful for the gift of a toilet.

Today being Valentine’s Day I am grateful for all the love that I receive from you dear reader, my family, my friends, my tweeps, the people I come into contact with, my husband and God.  I love you all too! X

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