Ash Wednesday kicked off the Lenten season, and now we begin our journey of preparation as we wait for Easter.
Here at the bakery, we are busy preparing our special treats for the season. This is the time of the year when we add seasonal treats to our cases. It’s a tradition for us to serve Hot Cross Buns from now until Easter. You’ll also find spring themed cookies, Easter cakes, and yummy treats to help you celebrate this season.
During Lent, we often hear about people “giving something up” for 40 days, but this year I’m shifting my focus to be more intentional in my thoughts, prayers, words, and actions.
We all know life is busy as we juggle work, school, children, and all other responsibilities such as grocery shopping, cooking, paying bills. I want to be more intentional in how I spend my time over these next 40ish days to focus on the important things.
I also know this is a heavy time in the world, as many of us watch the horror unfolding in Ukraine, as we climb out of the covid pandemic, as we deal with the impacts of inflation.
As I reflect on my life and my blessings right now, I want to be more present, helpful and loving to all of those around me. I was making a list of some things I’d like to do on my Lenten journey, and I thought perhaps these ideas might help you, too, if you’re feeling the way I am about the world right now. There’s a lot in life we can’t control, but we can be open and receptive to God’s grace, and we can do small things to make a positive difference in our corner of the world.
- Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in awhile.
Maybe a friend moved away. Maybe you haven’t talked to a cousin in awhile. Maybe you haven’t told a family member what they mean to you. This is the perfect time to pick up the phone and reconnect.
- Mend a relationship.
Did you have a falling out with a friend, sibling or neighbor? Is there someone that you hurt, or someone who hurt you and you need to offer forgiveness? This is a great time to work on mending and rebuilding these relationships.
- Volunteer to help others.
Lend a hand at church, volunteer at your child’s school, help a neighbor get their yard ready for spring, or take a meal to someone who just had surgery. This is a great time to give of your own time.
- Start a gratitude journal.
Research shows practicing gratitude is good for our health. During Lent, take a few minutes each day to jot down three things you are thankful for. Big things, small things, everyday moments. Watch how practicing gratitude can change your frame of mind.
- Send more snail mail.
This is the perfect time to be intentional about sending snail mail to others. Drop a friendly note in the mail, send a birthday card to a friend, write a thank you note to a teacher or nurse. Everyone loves to get real mail, but we are often so busy we don’t take the time to write anymore. This is the perfect time to be intentional with our time, and do things that can bring a smile to others.
- Pay it forward.
Good deeds often lead to more good deeds. Pay kindness forward and watch how it impacts those around you. The actions can be simple: hold the door for others when going in and out of a restaurant or shop. Put an extra donation in the collection basket at church. Buy a cup of coffee for the person in line behind you at the coffee shop.
- Practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being completely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods and other practices to help relax the body and reduce stress. Mindfulness can help us be more present in our daily lives, and is also good for our spiritual growth. Mindfulness can help us spend more time in prayer, and can help us open our hearts in new ways as we prepare for Easter.
Maybe these will spark some ideas of things you can do this Lenten season. What else would you add to the list? We’d love to hear – drop a comment below.