I'm Back! + Thoughts on Lent

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March 06, 2017
After a long blogging break, I'm back! Maybe for a long time, maybe just for a little. It's kind of funny, I haven't even opened up blogger in months and it took me a little while to remember where I get my images and what font I've been using and what not. Blogging is such a fun outlet for me but I let it become more than it needs to be sometimes...I just want this to be an outlet when I want it, nothing more, nothing less.

As Lent began a few days ago, I'm a bit surprised with myself that I didn't even consider giving something up this year. I rarely end up giving something up, but being the goal-setter that I am, I usually enjoy the thought process. But I think I've realized that I usually tend to make it about myself--what I can be seen doing, what I can talk about in conversation, what I'll get out of my choice. Which, of course, is so so wrong when you think of what Lent is supposed to be about--a time of turning our hearts back to God (away from ourselves!).

And then I started thinking about what it might look like to add something to my life instead of giving something up. That thought didn't go very far until just this morning, I heard an interview with writer Jonathan Fields. He was talking about his philosophy of giving, not just in money, but in time, attention, care, and emotions. He summed it up in what he calls the "Give 30 Project".

To participate, you choose a day. You can choose it a month in advance or when you wake up, but on a given day, you designate that day to be for giving. Throughout that whole day, any time you have an opportunity to give (and you can decide whether money is or isn't part of this) and you can give in under 30 seconds, you do it, whether it's holding a door, helping wipe up a spill, saying a kind word, etc. Jonathan said he makes it a goal to give 30 times on a giving day. At first, that sounded to me like quite a commitment...but that's still only 15 minutes of my time. I can handle that.

Jonathan even talked about something called a "giving glow". Of course, we shouldn't give just because it makes us feel like we're glowing from the inside out, but let's not try to pretend that isn't a great perk. We're called to give to others because we then can follow God's example as the ultimate giver. James 1:17 says that "every good and perfect gift is from...the Father of lights." When we give, no matter the medium or recipient, we imitate God's heart and obey God's commands. That's a good enough reason to me!

So as much as I dislike setting goals after a designated start date, I'll be giving for lent in the Give 30 spirit and method. Not giving up, just giving. Join me?

A little more on Jonathan Fields. You can read another interview he did with Not Salmon blog, visit his website, The Good Life Project, or download a free chapter of his new book How to Live a Good Life.
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