Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Forty Days And Counting

Hoo Boy.  Those Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Bun Pancakes were goood.  Shrove Tuesday is finished and Ash Wednesday is here.

Lent is here?
How did that happen?
I mean I was just here enjoying my pancakes and all of a sudden Lent?
I'm not ready...  I mean I'm ready...but not prepared.

I haven't  figured out how I am going to spend the next forty days.  I had planned on thinking long and hard about what I would be doing to prepare during Lent and what do you know? Between Valentine cookie dough, dirty laundry, and the Olympics,  Ash Wednesday is here, and despite my good intentions I've only given it a few fleeting thoughts.

This is not good, not good at all.

I figured that this year, when asked "So? what are you giving up for Lent?" I would be able to answer with some new and amazing Lenten resolution that had, up until that point, never been thought of before.  It would be the fireworks of Lenten resolutions!  I'm all about high drama; I even have a degree to prove it.

But as usual Life got a little messy, and while I was trying to tidy, Lent snuck up on me. Fortunately for me there are a lot of Catholics out there who do not procrastinate.  Sarah over at Clover Lane is one of them.

After reading her Lenten post today I was thrilled with two of her Lenten resolutions.  One was called 40 bags in 40 days.

I liked it so much I have decided to follow her purging plan, and fill forty bags in forty days and rid my house of unnecessary clutter.  If I happened to be one of the disciples and Jesus decided to pop in unexpectedly at Easter I will have my house ready!  You will be a witness to my de-cluttering as I work on one small project at a time.

I love the idea that I am preparing my home over the next forty days for a surprise visit.  If I were to open my door to a knock on Easter Morning and it happened to be Jesus, what kind of home would I want to be inviting him in to?

Now in terms of a more personal home... what kind of house cleaning do I need to do on the inside?   I have decided to work on a No Negativity resolution for the next 40 days.  To start, I will follow Sarah's lead and read a chapter of Proverbs every day. 
This is a snippet from her post and it intrigued me enough to decide on giving Proverbs a try:

Don't you just love Proverbs?  Even if you aren't religious, they are just beautiful snippets of knowledge, plainly written, univerally true...all those little things you want to teach your children about life.

One family resolution which was decided by the girls is in fact a no desserts policy, as since Christmas our need for daily sweets seems to have escalated.  We will have a small treat on Sunday's and find healthier ways of satisfying our sweet tooth during the week.

And while most people think of Lent as that time of year when chocolate or sweets or steak are no longer on the menu. (as written about in a post by The Confused Homemaker)  We obviously agree.  But I want this time of waiting to make a difference in our lives and not just our midsections.  It's my hope that this Lenten season will help to make us a stronger, happier, and a more actively christian family.  I haven't quite figured out how yet, but as we work on it together I will fill you in on our progress.

My hope is that, this time of stepping back from the "I Wants" in our life and practicing some self discipline, will allow us to appreciate how much we have to be thankful for here at Bungalow'56.

Now I have a lot to get done.  We have a very important visitor arriving in 40 days, and I hear he has been known for his surprise visits.



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  1. Thanks for the link and good luck. To help with the 40 days thing, here's what I did. I wrote out every little area of my home that needs decluttering...broke it down so I have 40 area for 40 days. That makes it so much easier! Today I just have to do the bathroom cabinet, tommorow, my side of the closet, the next day, my husband's side....working through the entire house a little at a time. Just a tip! Of course, I might have the time to fly through a whole week in one day if I have no other obligations, and Patrick is in a good mood, but it makes me feel so much less overwhelmed!

  2. Dana - Great post. I really enjoyed Sarah's post yesterday too. Her post was inspiring, and so was yours. I'm giving up chocolate but want to find something a little more fulfilling too. Ash Wednesday snuck up on me too this year - I can't believe we are more than half way through February already (not that I am complaining, I'm ready for Spring!).

  3. Thanks for the inspirational ideas. Our couple's bible study group just finished a study titled "Proverbs & Parables: God's Wisdom for Living," published by WaterBrook Press. I would highly-recommend this study which "parallels the truths of Old Testament proverbs with New Testament parables and applies them to contemporary living."

    I'll await progress reports on your 40-day plan to de-clutter.

    As always, it's a joy to read your blog posts.

  4. Thanks for the link-love! I'm inspired by the idea of 40 bags in 40 days. We declutter our home as part of Lent, material decluttering reflects the spiritual decluttering that is going on. But wow 40 is something I didn't consider.

    I love the idea of stepping back from the "wants", it's so hard in today's world to do this & I think having the Church liturgical season helps us do this.

  5. The last two years, I gave up cursing for Lent and I was mindful, but not perfect. This year, I am unsure as to what to give up or do.

  6. Hi Dana! Your blog is terrific! I love your writing and your photography. I must try PW's pancakes! Good for you for purging...I'll be back to visit! Thanks for your comments on my blog also....


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