Ash Wednesday begins tomorrow, kicking off 40 days of the Lenten season when one would normally fast and abstain.

I grew up in a Catholic home and every year my mother would tell us that aside from fasting and not eating red meat, we should abstain from a passion or a desire.

So, my brother and I would usually go the route of not drinking sodas, chips or being better kids and doing all our chores without compliant. And while all these things are just fine, now that I am older I thought it would be a better idea if I took on something that I wouldn’t normally do throughout the Lenten season or my everyday life for that matter.  

While a lot of grown ups are giving up social media, chocolate, alcohol, etc…I thought I would step out of that box and instead take on a different task during the next 40 days in observance of Lent.

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    Spending Money On Others

    All that money that you normally spend on eating out, or at a local coffee house, instead collect it and donate it to a favorite charity. Give a few bucks each day for 40 days.

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    We all lead busy lives but if you make an effort you can find the time to volunteer at a local hospital, charity, school or animal shelter.

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    Reconnect With Others

    This may be a great time to reach out to all those family members and or friends that you just don’t talk to as often. Because we all live such busy lives it’s easy to get separated. Set a time every evening and reconnect with the loved ones in your life, whether it’s by phone or by writing a simple ‘thinking of you’ letter; the message is what counts.

    **If you already talk to everyone – take this time to write an encouraging letter to those in your life. A hand-written letter means so much.

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    Act of Kindness

    There are so many people in need that all you have to do is look around. Perhaps there is an elderly neighbor who needs their lawn mowed or weeds pulled out, or a friend who needs a baby sitter. Walking someone’s pet or running an errand for someone who takes the bus. Offering to do random acts of kindness can be the best way to fill your soul with joy.

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    Lent is the season for forgiveness and reconciliation. If there is someone in your life that you need to reconcile with then this may be the time do so. This is probably the hardest of all to do. Even if you are not planning to continue a relationship with the other person, you may want to simply express that you have put the ordeal behind you and that you forgive that person and reconcile. Your soul will be the better for it.