Thursday, 25 February 2016

Lenten Acts

Day 2: No Scrubs

Today's challenges were all about cleaning up for other people (see here)

Well, I have been trying to put extra effort into filling, running and emptying the dishwasher at home.  This seems to have been working - right now the dishwasher is empty and there are only a few dishes to go into it.  It's probably cheating, but I think I also managed to have a reasonable attitude about doing my allotted chores on the annual weekend away we have with our dance group.

Day 3: Roots

Today's challenges were about investing in our home communities (details here)

I struggled to figure this one out.  And then I remembered that I teach an evening dance class for vulnerable adults who cannot live independently.  It's actually a total blessing for me to run this class - no matter how miserable the weather or tired I am feeling, the class is always fun and we are always glad to see each other.  Perhaps there are other places I could volunteer, but with a full-time job, part-time business and all that goes with attempting to pretend I am a proper grown-up, being paid to tutor a class fits right now and it's not quite the sort of thing it would be straightforward to volunteer to do in any case.

Day 4: 999

Today's challenges were about meeting immediate needs (suggestions here)

Another toughie, especially as I was on a weekend away when this challenge was laid down.  I like to think I was meeting the immediate needs of the group to be fed, watered and entertained, but that's in a very 'first world problems' kind of a way.  I did later have a look at the wanted ads posted at work, but none of them were in my power to grant, so I picked up some items for the foodbank at church in the next shop I did.  That should really be a more regular donation, I am out of the habit of picking things up when I shop and am even worse at remembering to take them over to church.

Day 5: Quiche?

Today's challenges were about sharing food (like this)

I suppose I managed this one, Beloved was feeling ill so I did the cooking and we typically eat together.  I really do believe in sharing food and I provided quite a bit of it for the previously-mentioned weekend away, but I don' think wither of these really counts as the kind of sacrificial giving and spiritual preparation is meant to be all about.  I did later take on baking some goodies for my colleagues for another member of the team, but again, that's a very comfortable activity in an environment that is utterly familiar to me.

Day 6: Cupboard Love

Today's challenges were about passing on things in our cupboards (charity collections, people in our circles)

I've been intending to do this for quite some time.  Reading these challenges made me think of a number of items that could be passed on.  And I still haven't done it!  Perhaps tonight, as I am packing for yet another trip, I can pack an additional bag or box for passing on.  It's also ages since I went to a clothing or jewellery swap and I do enjoy those.  Perhaps this is the year to make a foray into organising one...

Day 7: All ears

Today's challenges were all about listening to others (in person, on the phone, other ways)

I missed this one on the day in question and it was unnaturally quiet in our house due to Beloved's lingering lurgy affecting her throat and voice.  We do sometimes joke that we should get out more and see other people, so I expect there are people who could do with touching base.  It was really nice to skype recently with a friend who moved away to a different country.  Perhaps I'll phone my Mum...

Day 8:  Dirty cash

Today's challenges were about what we do with our money (specifically giving and budgeting)

I nipped over to Acts435 and made a few donations.  I love that site - it's like shopping to help people.  I am also considering my regular giving at the moment and trying to find the balance between giving regularly and automatically and physically handing over cash or making a spontaneous gift when something resonates with me.

Day 9: Dial up

Today's challenges were all about prayer (especially for needs in the news)

This was sort-of-easy but it did help boost the things that prompt me to pray.  I habitually pray on seeing or hearing an emergency vehicle, so offering something up over news articles seemed like something of an extension of that.

Day 10: Spur on

Today's challenges were all about being encouraging (anonymously and in person)

I tried to give verbal encouragements, but I think they might have been a bit vague.  Perhaps I will branch out into encouraging facebook posts.  They have a weird in-person yet also public character.

Day 11:  L.O.V.E

Today's challenges were rolled into one about expressing love (in ways that the recipient will appreciate)

Big fat fail here.  Must do better.

Day 12:  Chocolate Tuesday

Today's challenges were all about giving away chocolate (chocolate, chocolate, chocolate)

I tried to give chocolate to people at a meeting I went to but there was competitor cake and chocolate came second.  Then I put the chocolate out for all the people in my corridor at work.  It all disappeared, so I hope that has lead to a few people feeling blessed.  Although, what's the deal with suggesting chocolate-based challenges in Lent when there's a chance that folks will have given it up for the duration?  I'm not sure how I feel about my intended blessing being someone's moment of temptation.

Day 13:  Second fiddle

Today's challenges were about putting someone else first (here)

I'm not totally sure about this one. I did try to put it into practice by attending more specifically to Beloved's needs, and at least one of my gestures was noticed and appreciated, but I don't know whether it is a good move to suggest that people cave in and don't work through to find a solution for something that they are going to have to live with.  Additionally, a number of the people following the 40Acts challenges will be women and I don't think that equating letting someone have their way with love and sacrifice is wise for anyone in an abusive relationship.

Day 14: Acknowledge

Today's challenge is about acknowledging someone who has had an influence on your life (perhaps a relative or teacher)

I'm working on this one!

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