I'd been doing some thinking over the last few days about the season of Lent and if I would be giving up anything this year for the 40 day period leading up to Easter. The purpose of Lent is to spend time preparing your heart for the coming of Easter and Christ's sacrifice.
I gave up Diet Pepsi one year and I have to be honest I didn't feel closer to God...I felt closer to committing a crime, I'm just being honest. While I was mulling all of this over, I came across this blog post over at White House Black Shutters and it got me thinking. The idea behind Lent is to give something up that hinders you from closeness to Christ, something that gets in your way, keeps you from being focused on Him, what is that for me? If I'm honest its busyness, the constant need to be cleaning, straightening, organizing, getting it just right. If the Rev is reading, this is probably where he is getting excited, envisioning 40 days revisiting his pre-Bachelor days, when he could leave clothes laying around and drink from plastic cups, as I just let it all go. Sorry honey, not happening.
Part of the feeling like everything is never done is stuff...we have too much stuff - an overflowing basement, a closet with clothes we haven't worn since we hung them there 7 years ago, boxes that never got unpacked when we moved in, scraps of paper waiting to be filed. We have things that we don't need, things that could benefit others, we spend too much time not being able to put our hands on something because we just put it wherever since the logical place is full. So I'm taking the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge, and this year for Lent, I'm giving up stuff - taking back our house, our family time, and my time with the Lord, one bag at a time. This is not a "religious" challenge, anyone can play along. Ann Marie even has charts, printables and a Facebook support group to make the process easier. You're probably going to spring clean anyway, why not get started now?