Sunday, February 19, 2012

Giving it away during Lent

This week marks the beginning of Lent, a time in the Church year in which Christians make extra efforts to examine their lives and meditate on the message of the Gospel, in order to prepare for Easter.

Many people will know the routine question "What are you giving up for Lent?" It harks back to an important spiritual discipline of fasting prior to a feast day. Many people give up wine, or chocolate or coffee and it certainly makes them think frequently of their discipline and their faith.
For a couple of years now my DH and I have made it our practice not to give things up, but give them away, during Lent. The idea is to develop our 'generosity muscles" and bless others with our surplus.

It starts with extra donations to our favourite charities : St Bartholemew's house, a local homeless persons shelter; UNICEF the United Nations charity supporting children of the world, and Caritas an overseas aid and development organisation.

Then we move on to our possessions - Lent is a great time for clearing things out, deciding what we don't need, and giving it to those who do.
We got an early start this week by giving away a set of outdoor tables and chairs to a local Youth Group project. We still have the lovely bench pictured above - and the new table and chairs in my last post, so we were happy to give the surplus to such a good cause.

I will be going through my clothes to donate to local op shops.

I am thinking of removing some of the many casserole dishes from my kitchen - I have favourite ones, and ones which rarely get used. The same with cake pans. Why not bless someone else with the surplus?

There is also the quilting projects I intend to give away...I think it is time I started finding out which charities locally would like a quilt... I am thinking maybe a local women's refuge. This Lent I intend to find out who might like something I had made, and what suggestions they have for sizes and fabrics etc.

DH and I really enjoy the opportunity to focus on living simply, giving more and expecting less. What are you doing for Lent?

1 comment:

Roslyn said...

I haven't seen your blog before but I enjoyed visiting, we have a lot of things in common! I love to bless others with the works of my hands and with our "surfeit"!