Here’s a nifty piece that might be of help if you find fasting to be mysterious and frustrating and hard to connect with God and other people:
1. Don’t buy anything that you don’t NEED.
If you can live without it, you don’t need it. Give it up for Lent. Put the money that you would have spent into a jar. You will be surprised at how quickly you build up your savings. I even wrote a book about how to save money (it was actually how we saved enough for me to quit teaching and be a stay at home mom). Be sure to look at how much you saved after the 40 days & put some into savings, but donate the rest.
You could even try to earn more money (and donate some of it) with these work at home jobs.
2- Throw Away 40 things for 40 days
Every day, you walk around your house and collect 40 things to donate or throw away… every day, until Lent ends. (Try donating, because you are helping others). Print these 40 things in 40 days cards to help you with your daily journey.
FIND THESE CARDS HERE.
Go a step further this year. I have a declutter course that would be perfect for Lent! It is a day by day cleaning & decluttering guide that lasts through Lent. You can do 40 tasks or follow my program and just work through Lent. It’s a way for me to free up the things that hold me back… material things. Be sure to GIVE to others through donation after your organization.
4- No Gossiping.
Give up gossiping for Lent. That means you cannot do any gossiping. None! If someone says something negative about another person, either say something nice or don’t say anything at all. You would think this is going to be SO easy, but when you can’t say anything negative about anyone else, you realize how often it happens, sadly.I find myself saying “Ugh. The clerk at the store today was really rude today.” or “I wish Mickey (my husband) would have given the boys a bath before I got home from the store.” or even “Wow- those kids are really loud at that table, when while we are out to eat… I wonder if their Mom is going to tell them to be a little quieter at dinner?” Simple things like that make this one really hard. It sort of goes along with #10, which you will see in a minute.
5- No eating after dinner
This one is hard for me, so it really makes me think about Lent because I can see just a glimpse of how Jesus struggled when he was hungry. I eat most of my snacks in the evening when I am watching TV with my husband. This year, I plan on letting myself have one bowl of YoNanas every night since it is only frozen fruit. ( Trust me, with my ice cream cravings, this is a mini-sacrifice all on its own. haha .)6- Give up Soda for Lent
This one is easy & not really out-of-the-box, but it is my struggle, so I had to include it. I have one diet coke a day when it is not Lent, so it is my sacrifice. It is harder than most people think since it is such a habit & routine of mine (I just stop on the way home from preschool at McDonald’s & grab a diet coke… every day). Luckily, I have the soda stream & it gets me through that first week or two (I use the flavored water drink mixes). The rest is easy.
7. Say 3 nice things to your spouse & kids daily.
You may think this is easy, but try to say things that aren’t the normal “Thanks” or “You look nice.” or “Good job.” Try to do 3 out-of-the-box things during Lent this year “I love how you always help the kids.” or “I love how you work hard on your homework, even when it is tough tonight. You are a hard worker” Try to say this important word to your kids. Remember… your words become their inner voice.Try this 40+ Printable Card pack. (They are perfect for 40 days of getting-to-know-you ideas & words of affirmation)8- Don’t eat out for 40 days.
Try to make easy crockpot meals, like this French Dip Sandwich recipe or this Chicken Salsa recipe.
You can try this: 42 Days of real food – this course is filled with 21 days of recipes, menu plans, grocery lists & more (Pay once, do it twice so you can have 42 days) �
9- Replace 30 minutes of TV time with 30 extra minutes of devotion/prayer time.
Read a devotional or bible story with your family and have a discussion about it. Even young kids can get involved in this. You can print out & make these prayer hands:
Or you can find a great devotional for kids (like this one) and read a devotion every night.10- Do not complain.
We often complain and whine about things, but we need to try to have a positive outlook on things. I tried this one year and it was VERY hard. You don’t realize how much you complain until you give it up… “Do everything without arguing or complaining…” Philippians 2:14 NIV
Instead, use this time for daily prayer. You could even try these daily prayer cards (we use them). Print them out, cut them apart and follow one card each day: