At the beginning of Lent, apart from giving up some things this time, I decided to take up the “40acts challenge” to do Lent generously…We saw how I (barely?) managed with the first 5 acts…let’s see if I was any better with the next 5…

(In red was what the challenge said to do and in blue was what crossed my mind when I read it…followed by what I actually did do)

act #6: nurture yourself

It may seem selfish, but taking time to nurture yourself – spending time in the Bible, speaking to God, honing your skills, recharging your batteries – is actually a way to ensure your generosity is effective. You can’t give out of what you haven’t got. So take time to invest in yourself today. Put aside time each day to be alone with God.

Amen! This one I can do!

What I actually did do:

On the night that this was “act of the day”, we actually had a Parish Lenten Recollection, which I went to. The following day we had our VYA weekly session, which I also went to. And throughout Lent, we’re still continuing with our Bible Studies & regular weekly stuff so I am considering this done! Finally…

Verdict: DONE!

act #7: be spontaneous

Leave a gift on someone’s doorstep, ring the bell and then hide behind a tree and watch their reaction. Offer free hugs or free prayers. If someone tells you they could do with a holiday, buy them one. There’s a massive amount of joy in spontaneous, outrageous generosity. The wackier the better. Why not use this day to be truly spontaneous! Take it as an opportunity to put kindness at the forefront of your mind. It’s easy to be kind to your friends. It’s harder in a crowd of strangers. Today I am going to try and do as many spontaneous acts of kindness that I can, it doesn’t have to be a huge gesture – even just smiling! Don’t be yourself – be someone a little nicer.

All the above I can do…but buying someone a holiday? I can barely buy myself one!

What I actually did do:

The most spontaneous thing I did this day was tell some people how I felt (a positive one of course) 🙂 But apart from that, been smiling to people and giving hugs and organizing parties for others – but currently, limited to people I actually care for. Guess I should extend it more to others too…I shall try my bestest!

Verdict: DONE, but could do better!

act #8: donate your holiday

What would your ideal holiday destination be? Could you donate a day’s leave to give your time and skills elsewhere? You may not get a suntan, but we’re pretty sure you’ll get a warm glow anyway. Take a look at the charities you know who are engaged in Christian mission. Find out if they’re struggling at this time and take a day’s holiday this Easter to spend volunteering for them in whichever way would help them most.

Panicked when I read donate and holiday in the same sentence – until I read it and realised it meant to take time off to help out – that I can do 🙂

What I actually did do:

I did this once before actually. I took I think 2 days off work to help with a Youth Festival of Praise in the Parish – never regretted it. And, if circumstances surrounding work and my leaves allow, I may do something similar again…but as part of this Act, all I can promise is that I’ll take time off from the non-important things (instead of taking leave from work) to help out with Church work. So, done? 😀

Verdict: DONE!

act #9: shop locally

Make a point of using your local shops as much as you can. They are often a point where the community meets and you stand a much better chance of meeting people you know. You’ll also be helping to support trade and business in your area. It’s simple: this week see how many of the things in your weekly shop you can buy in local shops.

My local shop – the shop at the end of the road that I normally just go for in cases of emergencies?

What I actually did do:

Ok, so I’m not the one who usually does the shopping for the household, but yeah, for my personal stuff, I’ll go to that shop just down the road for Lent. Done!

Verdict: DONE!

act #10: go screen-free

In the age of digital and online communication, it’s surprising how little time we can spend communicating with the person sitting next to us on the sofa of an evening. Switch off the TV / laptop / mobile phone, dust off that favourite board game and have evening of good old fashioned interaction. Perhaps have a screen-free day or screen-free evening.

I’m already giving up social networks for Lent. 😀

What I actually did do:

I am giving up social networks for Lent. 😀 This is SO done!!!

Verdict: DONE!

So there you have it, 5 out of 5 done!

Now THAT’s what I’m talking about! ;D

So, until the next post,

40 days, 40 reflections, 40 simple acts…