A week into Lent, it's not too late to consider these less conventional options.
There are a few particularly memorable Lenten seasons in my life. There was the Lent I decided to sleep on the floor. Without a pillow. That didn’t last long. It ended up with me just giving up pillows, and moving from the floor to sleeping on my bed. It was still penitential, but was not as intense as I originally intended.
Then, there was the Lent I set out to handwrite a letter to a different person each day. Again, I realized I had bitten off more than I could chew. Since then, I’ve become better at gauging what I can actually handle in my current season of life.
If giving up chocolate or Facebook is your regular go-to sacrifice, and you would prefer something new this season, I’ve rounded up a few ideas especially for women. These won’t be too difficult, hopefully, and they target pride and vanity and sloth — three vices that make it harder to get closer to Jesus. And getting closer to Jesus is the goal.
So without further ado, here are 6 penitential options you may not have considered …
1Take down decorative mirrors until Easter
Having fewer opportunities to look at yourself in the mirror might help you worry less about how you look at any given moment. Then you can have more head space to think about others. Or better yet, you may have more head space to say a few more quick, spontaneous prayers throughout the day.
2Say goodbye to fun purchases
We’re talking new clothes, new plants, new shoes, new books, etc. If you don’t need it to survive, don’t buy it. And to make it more meaningful, don’t just stop there. When you come across something you want to buy, be it online, or, well, online, try donating the exact cost of the item to your favorite charity.
Consider going without make up for 40 days to simplify your life during Lent. Or, if you don’t wear makeup regularly, try adding a few minutes to your morning routine by styling your hair or wearing some makeup. You probably lean one of two ways — either focusing too much on getting ready or not focusing enough on it. A happy middle ground is the most healthy for your spiritual life– not obsessing over but also not neglecting your appearance.
4Groundhog day that one chore
Pick your least favorite household chore and do it more often throughout Lent. Set a time (for example: every Tuesday and Saturday, I will wash the kitchen floor) and stick to it.
5Give up selfies
Similar to taking down mirrors, this practice may be a harder habit to break as you most likely can’t get rid of your phone for Lent. Try hiding the camera icon or disabling it in the first week to make breaking the habit easier. Giving up taking selfies for a while is another step towards thinking less about yourself and more about God and the world around you.
Happy fasting, and have a blessed Lent!