Wednesday, March 9, 2011

40 Bags in 40 Days

The Christian season of Lent begins today, on Ash Wednesday. While we Presbyterians don't focus heavily on giving up things for Lent, this challenge really spoke to me. In short, the challenge is to purge your home of 40 bags (size of your choosing) of whatever-you-need-to-get-rid-of during Lent. In recent years Christians have often been encouraged to add something spiritually beneficial to their lives rather than making a token sacrifice that really doesn't have much to do with our faith lives. My giving up french fries a couple of years ago (40 days of torture) probably benefited my arteries, but didn't do much in the way of bringing me closer to the savior.

My 2011 word of the year, a la Ali Edwards, is simplify. Less stuff in my life means more space and time for the people and the Lord that I love. Our house is small and we're not packrats (except for Annamarie, bless her heart), so forty bags sounds like a lot. But I'd bet I can get a quarter of that from our craft/computer room, and I'll enjoy this room a lot more when it's less cluttered.

My first bag is actually a box. I've been reorganizing my scrapbook supplies and some purging is overdue. Anyone want this box?

I'm excited about this challenge, and I'm going to keep track of my progress, including how I dispose of the stuff. I am a big fan of Freecycle, which keeps useful items out of the landfill and ideally gets things to people who really want or need them, rather than into the giant pile of stuff at the Salvation Army store. (I do take donations there as well, but usually only if I want it gone immediately.) By Easter, I hope to be 40 bags lighter in my home and my soul.

So who wants to join me?