In an effort to understand Lent and the ashes and such that we were NOT participating in on Wednesday at my parent’s church, I looked up some stuff…yes, I was googling in church. What?
I glanced through some info about returning to dust, representation of our sins and forgiveness, a chance to be “born again”, etc. Sounds great for some, and church members happily wore their ashes on their foreheads and gossiped about others during the church dinner.
I was looking for something else, however. I need a project, people. I need something to distract myself from the less pleasant aspects of my current life and to kick me in the ass to find more positive things to focus on. So I kept looking, until I found what works for me.
From a more metaphysical point of view, Lent is seen as an opportunity to release some of that attachment to STUFF and material things, and a chance to clear out the mental, emotional, and physical clutter to make room for a more spiritual aspect to life.
Ironically, the universe has been conspiring to make sure that I do this, and I find myself with the opportunity to make a lot of changes, be of service to my family, and to rearrange our life here on the prairie in a way that feels more genuine and manageable to me.
However, teaching a 4 year old to deepen her spiritual connection to the universe and all that entails is not really a task I am up for. So to put it in context, I started with what I consider the most basic of the principles I want Grace to know: Kindness to others, to herself, and to the world around us.
Hence the “40 Acts of Kindness in 40 days” project... it is providing me with lots of teachable moments talking about what we already do that is kind, thinking up ideas of ways to be kind, learning to GIVE (she’s a bit hesitant on this one) and mainly how much fun it can be to surprise someone else with a bit of unexpected kindness.
Today we are cleaning and de-cluttering anyway, so I’m asking Grace to pick a few things she is willing to give away… so far she picked her absolute favorite pink sparkly hat (I know she does not intend to give this away, she is feeling around for what I’m “expecting” of her, I can tell) a book that is “too scary”, and a plastic water bottle missing it’s lid. Well, I think the book is a good place to start. We’ll be working on not giving away beloved items/or crap.
We might go drop pennies at the park also to leave for other kids to find. Grace seems to REALLY like this idea.
This weekend we’ll be making ourselves some type of chart to keep track of our project together… any ideas?