Today is Ash Wednesday and marks the start of the Christian Lenten season. While I am not Catholic, I think Lent is an important time in our Christian walk as it is a dedicated time for us to prepare ourselves for Easter (I wrote on this last year) and really dwell of the Lord. Part of this preparation typically involves some sort of fasting, or giving something up for the 40 days leading up to Easter. I’ve decided this year I am going to, once again, give up alcohol for Lent and make a concerted effort to cut out fast food and all the junk food I’ve been eating of late (the second will take more preparation and planning than I’m accustomed to when it comes to food. So it’ll certainly be a challenge).

But I don’t want to just give something up, I want to give something back. My mom is really the one who brought this approach to my attention and I really love it. So I am planning to write a note, or a card, or even an email, to someone every day for the next 40 days to just tell them I love them, or am proud of them, or encouraged by them. I think we have really become so isolated from each other in many ways because of technology but also because we are just constantly pushing to reach the next milestone or goal and we don’t often take the time to celebrate what has been accomplished. I want to offer encouragement and support, in God’s name, this Lenten season.

So my question for you is are you giving anything up this year? Is there a particular reason you’ve chosen this to give up? And would you consider adding to your Lent commitment something to give back? It doesn’t have to be anything huge…but just something to take things beyond just yourself. Afterall, what better way to improve yourself than by helping to build up others around you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

photo by Fadi Habib.

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