1. DON’T BUY ANYTHING THAT YOU DON’T NEED.
If you can live without it, you don’t need it. Put the money that you would have spent into a jar. You will be surprised at how quickly you build up your savings. I even wrote a book about how to save money (it was actually how we saved enough for me to quit teaching and be a stay at home mom)
Be sure to look at how much you saved after the 40 days & put some into savings, but donate the rest.
You could even try to earn more money with these work at home jobs.
2- THROW AWAY 40 THINGS FOR 40 DAYS
Every day, you walk around your house and collect 40 things to donate or throw away… every day. (Try donating, because you are helping others).
3- 40 DAYS OF HOME ORGANIZATION
Last year I wrote a book called FREED FROM CLUTTER –
it is a day by day cleaning & decluttering guide that lasts through lent. Every day during lent, I take you into one room of my home and I show you how I organized it. (It also includes other things, like organizing the refrigerator, art supplies for your kids, school work, outdoor things, the office, and much more!) You can buy the book HERE instead of trying to go through the 40 days of posts and then the other 5 of de-cluttering posts. :)
4- NO GOSSIPING
None! If someone says something negative about another person, either say something nice or don’t say anything at all. You would think this is going to be SO easy, but when you can’t say anything negative about anyone else, you realize how often it happens, sadly.
I find myself saying “Ugh. The clerk at the store today was really rude today.” or “I wish Mickey (my husband) would have given the boys a bath before I got home from the store.” or even “Wow- those kids are really loud at that table, when while we are out to eat… I wonder if their Mom is going to tell them to be a little quieter at dinner?” Simple things like that make this one really hard. It sort of goes along with #10, which you will see in a minute.
5- NO EATING AFTER DINNER
This one is hard for me, so it really makes me think about Lent because I can see just a glimpse of how Jesus struggled when he was hungry. I eat most of my snacks in the evening, when I am watching TV with my husband. This year, I plan on letting myself have one bowl of YoNanas every night, since it is only frozen fruit.
6- NO SODA
This one is easy & not really out-of-the-box, but it is my struggle, so I had to include it. I have one diet coke a day, when it is not Lent, so it is my sacrifice. It is harder than most people think, since it is such a habit & routine of mine (I just stop on the way home from preschool at McDonalds & grab a diet coke… every day) Luckily, I have the soda stream & it gets me through that first week or two (I use the flavored water drink mixes). The rest is easy.
7- SAY 3 NICE THINGS TO YOUR SPOUSE AND KIDS EVERY DAY.
You may think this is easy, but try to say things that aren’t the normal “Thanks” or “You look nice.” or “Good job.” Try to do 3 out-of-the-box things: “I love how you always help the kids.” or “I love how you work hard on your homework, even when it is tough tonight. You are a hard worker” ps- here is why playing with your kids is SO important and what you can do during these 40 days!
8- DON’T EAT OUT
Try to make easy crockpot meals, like this French Dip Sandwich recipe or this Chicken Salsa recipe… video below:
9- REPLACE 30 MINUTES OF TV TIME WITH 30 EXTRA MINUTES OF DEVOTION/PRAYER TIME.
Read a devotional or bible story with your family and have a discussion about it. Even young kids can get involved in this. Here is a great devotional for kids: (read a devotion every night)
devotional for kids
10- DO NOT COMPLAIN.
We often complain and whine about things, but we need to try to have a positive outlook on things. I tried this one year and it was VERY hard. You don’t realize how much you complain until you give it up… “Do everything without arguing or complaining…” Philippians 2:14 NIV
This year we started trying to be a little more aware of chemicals by switching out chemicals for more natural products. (Ps- that link is to ePantry, where I buy my toiletries & house cleaning products… I can’t say enough about them!!) This one was actually harder than you would think, too. You can’t imagine how often I reach for chemicals to clean! I started using Essential oils, too (which I thought was crazy until I tried the Deep Relief Roll-On for my back, when I threw it out this year… and it worked over night. Now I am completely hooked! lol! I use it for every ache or pain!)