Monday, February 23, 2009

Forty Trash Bag Challenge for Lent

I am a member of the Yahoo group for Flylady and also of and today in our email updates there was a note from a lady about decluttering for Lent. It really resonated with me as to what I need to do to help myself be less stressed and bogged down. I always think of giving up food for lent, but this made more sense to me for this year. Clutter really weighs you down mentally, emotionally and tends to make you tired just looking at all you have to do. I thought this was a good way to tackle some of the clutter and bless others at the same time. Below is the letter that was enclosed that describes the process. Anyone want to join me?

Dear FlyLady,

I picked up this handout at church recently: The Forty Trash Bag
Challenge. It looked like a great idea, and it fit right in with the
Decluttering for Lent email I just got in my inbox. Here is the Forty
Trash Bag Challenge:

Every day during Lent this year, empty one bag of 'stuff' that is no
longer needed from your house, totaling a loss of forty bags of stuff!

1.) Taking a look at the size of your family and household, with an
acknowledgement of how much 'stuff' is present, make a prudential
choice on the size of bag to be employed during this challenge. Bag
size should be small enough that the goal of 40 bags during the season
of Lent is able to be accomplished, while not being too big that you
are left with nothing. We must still live in the world, after all!

2.) If smaller children are a part of your family, a 'gauge' may be
helpful to keep them engaged and help them keep track of progress. As
part of your preparations, make a 'paper chain' of forty numbered
links. As each new bag is started, place a new link in the bottom of
the bag. This way, as the chain gets smaller, there is a greater sense
of accomplishment.

3.) This challenge necessarily involves sacrifice. Each member of the
family should be encouraged to give something to each bag, or there
could be designated bags for each member of the family.

4.) Instead of just throwing things away, recycling is a great way to
encourage good stewardship of the gifts we have been given, as it
symbolizes that we are passing along our gifts to others. Families
with children are encouraged to pass along clothes that no longer fit
or toys that sit dormant in a closet to families in need instead of
just throwing them away.

5.) Units of count need not necessarily be trash bags, either; however
they should be equivalent. For example, a box of gently used toys or
clothes could equate one bag off the chain. A stack of books donated
to the parish library is another easy equivalent.

As the family accepts this challenge together, bonds will be created
that will last a lifetime. Lessons are also learned not just by
saying, but by putting it into practice. Here, the simple lesson will
last throughout life that having fewer things can lead to a greater
contentment in life.

(Credit due to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati for this handout on
vocations and family faith formation)

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