Ok, so Lent is a time for preperation and giving stuff up to help us move on spiritually. Traditionally we have associated it with laying aside stuff we enjoy for a while in a sacrificial way. Well, partly because of where I am right now and partly because of where I want to prepare to move onto I feel that this year I want to turn Lent into a bit of a feel good fest and give up being a miserable bint. I have come up with a list of 40 things I intend doing over Lent, (not in any particular order), and ways in which I intend to use them to develop my faith aswell as my physical and emotional well being. Not sure if anybody else will find it useful, but thought I’d share my ideas.
Putting them up now so people have them in advance of next week.
1) Decorate the living space – make my bedroom a room which reflects who I am and has positive messages in.(Reflect on the way God cares about our environment. Also give away anything unwanted / not needed to charity)
2) Over Lent read one non-uni fiction book of my choice. (Reflect on the plot / themes and what they have to say about faith in the (extra)ordinary).
3) Go to an Art gallery. (Reflect on spirituality in art)
4) Go and see a film. (Reflect on spirituality of themes)
5) Choose one unhealthy snack food / drink and remove it from the diet – replacing with something more healthy. (Reflect on the way Christ makes changes to our lives, through action of the cross and redemption)
6) Go for a walk on the beach or in the countryside. (Reflect of awsome beauty of God beyond our understanding and comprehension)
7) Mak a playlist of music to “chill with God” with (Reflect on spirituality in music)
8 ) Have a long soak in a bath with essential oils. (Reflecting on cleansing and revitalising nature of God’s sacrifice on the cross).
9) Get a pretty postcard and write a card to myself sharing a really happy memory. (Remember and reflect on God in the good times)
10) Send a postcard to somebody who has been a positive influence on your life thanking them. (Reflect on the people God has given us)
11) Buy a bunch of pretty flowers to put in your front room in rememberance of those who you’ve lost. (Remember/reflect on God and the fragility of life)
12) Have a hair cut. (Reflect on the way God sometimes needs to trim our lives)
13) Read a magazine, article, etc on a favourite hobby. (Reflect that our abilities and interests are a gift from God)
14) Have a meal with friends. (Reflect on and give thanks to God for friendship).
15) Go through the wardrobe and see what I’ll never wear again. (Reflect on need to sometimes just move on – also remember to help the charity shop if you can).
16) Go through book, music, dvd collection and decide if it needs a detox. (Reflect on what is good and not so good for us to ingest sometimes aswell as themes).
17) Write 3 good things about yourself on a bit of paper. (Reflect on the good stuff God has given you)
18) Find a picture of a fave place or person and put it on as a screen saver. (Reflect on beauty)
19) Have a buy nothing day. (Reflect on how much more than we need that we actually have)
20) Hug somebody (appropriately). (Recognise the healing power of touch and reflect on the power of God’s touch)
21) Go to a museum /heritage site (Reflect on God of the past)
22) Make yourself a special lunch to have eat at work (Reflect on God of the present)
23) Write a poem or story about an ambition/dream you have (Reflect on God of the future)
24) Write a letter / e-mail a friend living over 100 miles away. (Reflect on the way God is still there even when he seems distant)
25) Phone a friend and listen to them talking about themselves. (Reflect on the power of listening to God talking about himself).
26) Buy a coffee for a Big Issue vendor (aswell as buying the magazine) – (Reflect on all being of worth to God and on the power of giving)
27) Write a campaign letter about something you feel strongly about – social justice type thing (Reflect on the cross being for the community aswell as for the individual)
28) Have a no computer day (Re-engage with God and the real world)
29) Visit a church/ cathedral / abbey you like. (Reflect on why it was built, by whom and those who have lived and worshipped in it over the years and their example)
30)Take a photo of yourself now (Reflect on the way you have been changing spiritually aswell as physically)
31) Draw a timeline of your life noting down achievements and good memories aswell as key events (Reflect on all God has done for you)
32) Paint a picture or write something (Reflect on God giving us creativity and a love of art as a gift aswell as something to play with)
33) Go swimming/ exercise (Reflect on how our bodies are a gift from God)
34) Have a lie in (Reflect on the need to rest in God)
35) Watch the news (Reflect on suffering and give thanks for our own situations. Realise somehow, somewhere God is in it all)
36) Indulge with a good body lotion or handcream. (Reflect on how God replenishes us as a result of the ressurection)
37) Watch a funny kids film on DVD (with or without child present). (Reflect on how we need a child like faith and on the gift of laughter)
38) Go to a coffee shop and have something really indulgent. (Reflect on how God lavishes his love on us)
39) See a sunrise or a sunset (Reflect on the mystery and beauty of Christ)
40) Go and sit in apparently miserable industrial area and start seeing the beauty of it. (Remember God is at work and beautiful in what is at first glance really ugly)