Wednesday was the first day of Lent. I am reminded of this by my husband. He was raised Catholic, but attended my Baptist Church before our move, and now attends our Non-Denominational Church. I don't drink or smoke, and the only thing I could think to give up is my rare sweets. I recently heard about taking a different direction during Lent: Doing good. This would be easy peasy since I am addicted to volunteering and enjoy doing things to benefit others. I found many ideas on various blogs and am already doing many of them.
For starters, let's look at some of the less obvious things you might consider giving up:
Comparing yourself with others
Wasting your life on the internet
Checking your smartphone when you’re with people
Driving when you could walk
Then there are the ways to benefit others:
A chapter of the Bible a day. You can get through all 4 Gospels if you read 2 chapters a day and don’t skip Sundays.
10 minutes of meditation a day
Join a Bible study at your parish
20 minutes of Spiritual reading a day
List 5 things you’re grateful for every day
Make a schedule
Call your mother
Volunteer once a week
Give someone a compliment every day
Take someone to lunch every week
Perform an act of charity every day
Spend more time with family.
Give to the poor.
Each week write a thank-you note
Write a poem of praise for each person in your family.
Get a stack of sticky-notes and write one sentence of thanks each day and stick it to the bedroom door of each person in your family so that by Easter they each have 40 sticky-notes.
At dinner each evening ask your family to share one thing for which they are grateful.
Go for a walk each day with a loved one
Exercise each day.
Spend at least half an hour each day in meaningful conversation with your spouse.