Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season. Though I’m a Methodist, I’m a full believer in Catholic guilt, so I typically give up something I love during Lent. But this year, I decided to do something a little different. Now that my oldest is five (which means that she is a woman of the world and ready to move out, in her opinion), I wanted to make it more meaningful for her. She and I had a lengthy discussion about Lent on the way to school yesterday morning (while she was giggling over the words “Fat Tuesday”), and decided together that it might mean even more to God if we were do take up something, rather than give up something. Our decision (inspired in part by Pinterest, because isn’t everything) was to embark on 40 Days of Kindness.
40 Days of Kindness means, for us, to do at least one random act of kindness for strangers each week during the season of Lent. It has to be something that we can do as a family, and that will bring a simple joy to others. Thanks once again to Pinterest and the giving heart of my oldest girl, here are the ideas that we have come up with so far:
-Bake cookies for the local firefighters and deliver them
-Write letters of thanks (with pictures from the girls) to soldiers stationed overseas
-Bring in the trash cans for our neighbors whenever possible
-Donate food to a food pantry (my version of inviting the homeless to dinner, which is what L originally suggested)
-Hide dollar bills in the toy section of the dollar store for kids to find
-Buy art supplies to donate to the children’s hospital nearby
-Bake cookies and draw pictures for the elderly people living in a nearby retirement home
-Go through a drive-thru and pay for the person’s order behind us in line
-Pick up litter in the park
We kicked it off this morning; after the little girls and I dropped L off at school, C and I took it upon ourselves to bring in our own trash cans (as a random act of kindness for my hubby) and those of our next door neighbor. C really got a kick out of helping me push their trash can up to their covered area, and I tried not to think about the germs that were infiltrating her pudgy little hands. And I almost succeeded.
This afternoon L and I researched where to send letters to soldiers, but haven’t found a good answer so far. We’ll keep looking into it, and hopefully be able to get our letters and pictures out this week.
Stay tuned for updates over the coming weeks of our 40 Days of Kindness!