For the majority of my life I gave up candy or chocolate for Lent. After years of doing that, it really didn’t seem to be a challenge.

One year I DID give up McDonald’s sweet tea! I admit … that WAS a challenge. In fact, the dear hubster even stopped and got one for me after Easter Vigil Mass so I could drink it at midnight! I don’t know if he did that to be the awesome hubster he is or if he just felt that after 40 days of no sweet tea I needed some definite sweetening up!

But for the most part, we can all live without some sugar or chocolate for 40 days. I don’t think that’s what Jesus meant for Lenten sacrifice. To me, Lent means giving up a sin and DOING something about it!

If you’re going to give up the sin of gossip, then I think you need to DO something about it as well … say something NICE about the person. We can find something nice about everyone if we look deep enough. (Find some lemonade in those lemons!)

Last year I made the effort to do a random act of kindness every day. It wasn’t hard, but it took thought and effort. It was probably the most rewarding Lent I ever experienced.

I find that one of my biggest sins is in clutter. I can find all the excuses imaginable to not do something about it, including working too many hours, being exhausted when I do get home, wanting to just relax on the weekend … I could go on and on.

So this year I’m going to give up that sin and DO something about it. Even it’s just 15 minutes a day. Surely I can keep up enough energy to de-clutter for 15 minutes. I’ve joined a challenge on Facebook called “40 Bags in 40 Days Decluttering Challenge” started by The goal is to choose 40 spots in your home/work/life to de-clutter on each day of Lent. Isn’t that a phenomenal idea?

This project came into my life at the perfect time. (I find that happens a lot!) I’ve been soul searching a great deal lately about minimalizing my life (is that even a word???). I love to look at pictures of homes that are neat and uncluttered. I always sigh and think, “Wouldn’t that be awesome?

So here we are, going into the 3rd day of Lent and I haven’t started the challenge yet (it’s been an insane week with something going on every single evening!). I know I won’t be perfect at it, but I do know that I’m going to give it my all. I will make up for my 3 days of failure on Saturday.

To start, I’m actually going to go around the house and take “before” pictures of all the little things I want to clean up. And then to hold myself accountable I’m going to post the before and after pictures … that WILL be difficult because it’s embarrassing … my pantry, my kitchen junk drawer, the bathroom closet, all those stupid socks! It makes my stomach churn. But doing it in bits and pieces won’t be so bad. The entire room doesn’t have to be done in one session. Pantry one day, junk drawer another. Bathroom closet one day, medicine cabinet another day, sink drawers another.

I can do this!

What do you do for Lent?