Friday, 24 February 2017

Lent challenge, Lent books.

Lent is coming!

It’s Shrove Tuesday this week and Ash Wednesday on March 1st.

In our house we will definitely be having pancakes on Tuesday, then on Wednesday we’re starting our Lent thing.

This year we’re going to do Ann Marie’s 40 bags in 40 days challenge from the intentional living blog White House Black Shutters

If you fancied doing it too, she’s made a printable for it here if you’d find that helpful. As we already live a fairly minimalist lifestyle, we didn’t think it would be possible to get together 40 bags individually, even if we took turns at counting in taking out the trash on dustbin day, but we thought we could manage it – and certainly benefit from it – as a household.

Actually we got excited talking about it yesterday and started eyeing up all the things to go – and had pancakes for tea, too – but decided to hold our fire and start bagging on Wednesday. Oh, yes.

Will take photos of our progress.

Meanwhile, if you are someone who likes to read a book through Lent, you might enjoy either of these that I wrote (pics are linked to Amazon UK, titles in text to US Amazon).

The Hardest Thing To Do  is a novel, 4th in my Hawk & Dove series.

The Wilderness Within You is part of my experimentation fusing fiction and reflection, and is a book of reflections on biblical themes written as fictional narratives – conversations with Jesus. An online reviewer for CLC bookshops described it as perhaps the most “off the wall “ Lent book I have seen for awhile, which made me happy, and it was one of our diocesan bishop’s books chosen for Lent the year it came out.

Both are Lent books, with a chapter for each of the days from Ash Wednesday through to Easter day.

But how about you? Are you doing anything special to observe Lent this year?


Julie B. said...

I love those books. :) I also like the idea of making room during Lent in our physical spaces like this, which leads somehow to more room in our minds and hearts, etc. I have pared so much over the last few years, I'm not sure I could fill a bag a day. But there are still things that need to go, and that thought makes me happy. Maybe two bags a week? The last bit of paring I want to do involves large pieces of furniture, but that will happen in a year or two. I am looking forward to Lent this year because I have joined a liturgical church that gathers together frequently during Lent, and observes this season like no other church I've been in. I will have ashes on my forehead for the first time in my life. I feel like a child who is discovering new wonders and it's thrilling and humbling. I am praying about what to let go of at Lent... so far I think whatever it is will be the time wasters in my days. God bless you and yours, dear Ember. xoxo

Pen Wilcock said...

Let go of the time wasters? What a splendid thought!

Intrigued about your new church affiliation - so many, in these troubled times, are finding deep solace in the rhythms and peace of traditional liturgy; something akin to the tides of the sea. xx

Deborah said...

I don't have 40 bags of stuff left :-D

Pen Wilcock said...

No - you have brilliantly with all your de-cluttering!

When I first heard of this challenge I just dismissed it from my mind, thinking the same thing. I don't think I could have done it by myself even if I put one thing in each bag - it was only doing it as a household that made it thinkable. But then I was surprised, once I put my mind to it, how many inconsequential bits and pieces had crept into my life. x

gretchen said...

let's see . . . lenten reading, two favourites that have been read before and are much underlined, 'the ladder of the beatitudes' by jim forest and 'the illumined life' by frederica mathewes-green. both books always help me get back to the basics which seems to be my lenten practice every year. as for the 40/40 challenge, even my husband is up for that. he will tackle his downstairs hermitage and i will once again scour my upstairs hermitage. you would think that, after all this time and continued downsizing, we couldn't possibly come up with 40 bags of Stuff. bet we can. we are looking forward to the prospect of having even less :) i recently watched the documentary 'minimalism' on netflix. it was excellent motivation for the 40/40 challenge! wishing you and all your readers a blessed and holy lent.

Elin said...

I have already posted our Lent thing. The short version is, we will eat more vegetarian food. We will not do a full meat free Lent but only cook meat on Sundays. We will eat meat leftovers and meat broth but I assume most meals will be vegetarian/vegan. It will be a big change for us even though we have cut down meat considerably these last months.

The Swedish tradition for the Tuesday before lent is to eat "semlor", a type of wheat bun with almonds and cream.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Gretchen - let us know how you get on with your 40 bags!

Hi Elin - yes, I found your nutrition plan really inspiring.


Deborah said...

I shall never be truly minimalist as long as there are buttons and ribbons and beads and stuff :-D

Pen Wilcock said...

LOL! Well, I think you are, but you also need the tools of your trade. x

Deborah said...

I watched a movie called Equals. It was set in a future world where emotions were outlawed and everyone seemed to wear white or beige/grey. The apartments people lived in were SO cool. Totally white with buttons on the wall labelled Eat, Sleep, Live, when you press the sleep a bed slides out from the wall, when you press eat then a table/bench/sofa section slides out and the bed is stashed away. They led really boring lives but I did like the apartment :-D

You can see it on this picture here...he's sitting at the table/sofa part after it's slid out into place. I love the concept of sliding stuff away when you've finished using that part of the apartment :-D,0,1123,561&dpr=1.5&auto=format,compress&q=75

I'd need one with a craft section though :-D

Pen Wilcock said...

Interesting! I've never been attracted to those apartments where everything is packed away, due to my slobby habits of wanting to crash out on the bed with a coffee and a biscuit at intervals throughout the day! x

Deborah said...

My dislike of dusting is greater than the inconvenience of having to slide a bed out of the wall :-D

Pen Wilcock said...

Ah yes - that resonates with me! People often think minimalists must be keen on housework and tidying, to live in such neatly ordered circumstances - actually it's the powerful loathing of housework in quantity that does it. I don't mind sweeping a room or wiping down a table, but I detest vacuum cleaners (the noise) and having to move things or get behind things to clean does my head in.

Nearly Martha said...

Have "The Wilderness Within" which I have been saving and is primed and ready to go!!

Pen Wilcock said...


I hope you enjoy it!


Mairin said...

40 bags to fill ... it would make a difference what size these bags are?

Pen Wilcock said...

Ann Marie says the challenge is for any size of bag. Some of ours will be tiny - a little bag of earrings, for example. Others will be bigger - like clothes for the charity shop. I'm going to take some photos to show you. x