Today is Ash Wednesday. The season of penance, reflection, and fasting to prepare for Easter Sunday. I went to a service this afternoon to get ashes. Ashes are placed on the forehead to remind us to “turn from sin.” It should be a time to remind ourselves to be better people. Lent is a season to change habits, do good for others and just be a good person.
Although Lent is thought by most to be 40 days long, it actually lasts for 46 days but the Sundays aren’t counted. I have never understood this. As a child, I was taught that there were no “breaks” during lent. It was the full time from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday. When I was a kid, I gave up gum every single year. Bubblegum was one of my favorite things so it was never easy. As I got older it was chocolate, desserts or sweets. That always made my Easter basket filled with sweet goodies so much more rewarding on Easter morning!
Now, as an adult, although I do give up something most years, I also try to do something during Lent. Last year, I did a purge. I made myself get rid of, donate or throw away something everyday. This year, I decided not to give anything up. Instead, I am going to do 40 Random Acts of Kindness. I am looking forward to coming up with some good ones. I did my first one today, anonymously. Those are probably going to be the ones that are more fun. It is not about being acknowledged for being kind, but just spreading the kindness in the hopes that the recipient will do the same.