40Acts – Doing Lent Generously

40Acts - Doing Lent Generously

I decided that this year would also be the one when I actively tried to take part in 40acts. I get the emails sent to me each Lent but often for one reason or another I don’t manage to do it. While Jaxon eats his breakfast in the morning I get reading the email so I can figure out how we can fit our day around the tasks for the day. 

Lent 2016 kicked off on Wednesday after Shrove Tuesday. Chris was on top form and made Overnight Oats so that I could have Slimming World friendly pancakes, while he had gluten free ones and I think Our Sidekick had normal ones. We didn’t have any plain Mullerlight yoghurt (or equivalent) so I ended up with banana and custard flavoured Overnight Oats before putting any topping onto my pancakes. I spent some syns on chocolate spread as a couple of my pancakes did end up a little burnt. I added banana too so I had free food as well – all in all it was a good meal and we might have to have pancakes more often with a bit of planning.

I have been meaning to cut out Diet Cola and it’s not been working so I decided that I would pull my finger out and get on with it when Lent started. This didn’t start out quite right as I messed up on the first day (and then again at Community Group on Thursday) but on both days I did drink less than I usually have been doing so it was almost like a phase out rather than a cold turkey moment (it’s now almost midday on Saturday and I haven’t had any Diet Cola today even though there is a bottle in the kitchen right now).

I decided that this year would also be the one when I tried to take part in 40acts. I get the emails sent to me each Lent but often for one reason or another I don’t manage to do it. While Jaxon eats his breakfast in the morning I get reading the email so I can figure out how we can fit our day around the tasks for the day.

Day One (Wednesday 10th February)

Find a notepad and pen – sketch out your social circles: friends, family, colleagues, sports teams, church. Notice how they might overlap, or be completely disconnected. Stretch yourself – include the circles of people that you *could* plug into a little better, with more effort. Stick your doodle up somewhere in your house, as a reminder for the next 40days of the people God has placed into your life. They’re your opportunity to practise generosity

I started this one on Wednesday but even this was a bit of a challenge. I started but was struggling, not because I didn’t know the circles I’m part of but actually because there seems to be so many! It’s certainly something I probably need to sit down and work on some more – especially as, at the moment it’s still a sheet of rough scribbles.

Day Two (Thursday 11th February)

Grab some rubber gloves and a bin bag, and hit the streets for a community clean-up. If you want to get really fancy, you could even use separate bags for plastics and paper, and drop them off at your local recycling point when you’re done.

This one I actually did on Friday as Jaxon and I spent most of Thursday at home. On the way between our house and my Dad’s house (the route I walk is less than an a mile) before we both walked to Grandad’s house, I’d managed to fill a carrier bag nearly 3/4s full of rubbish. I collected a few more items on the way to Grandad’s house and then a few more on the way home again. In the end, my carrier bag was full. 


There were empty lager cans, energy drink cans, plastic bottles, cigarette boxes and some other bits of rubbish. In the past, I’ve witnessed people drop rubbish outside my house or post it into the bushes that people have along the front of their gardens and I have told people to come back and pick up their rubbish or have ran down the street after them and given their rubbish back to them. I would honestly prefer that they come up my driveway to put the rubbish in my household bin rather than them drop it on the pavement outside my house or post it into the conifers that are at the front of my garden. It upsets me how little respect people have for the world around them sometimes,

Day Three (Friday 12th February)

 Find an excuse to make a local connection today. Take a quick detour to a small local shop or, if the local supermarket is more your thing, take extra time at the checkout to connect with the person who serves you. Learn their name, ask them how they are, or simply thank them for their help. Try to remember their face for next time. In other words, plant a tiny seed of community today.

Where possible we try to use the loca corner shop rather than the two larger supermarkets near our house. 

I went into the shop on my way home from my Grandad’s but even though I’d skim read the task above I forgot to ask. I chatted to the lady in the shop and she spoke to Jaxon too but I forgot to ask her l, her name. So this one I will do again in the week coming.

Day Four (Saturday 13th February)
The task arrived in my inbox and while Jaxon ate his breakfast and the boys started on their respective missions for the day I sat and read the challenge. I wasn’t sure what to do so I settled on the Amber challenge. 

40acts is a community of over 75,000 people, and all of us have individual needs. Build community online today – find a fellow 40activist and see if they have a need you could meet.

I got chatting to a couple of people between Facebook and Twitter about their current needs. Today I’ve even praying for a lady who is doing the preach at her church tomorrow, I chatted to a lady from Swindon about homemade jam and marmalade and then to a young lady who was excited they her step (or could have been half brother) was joining in. 

The boys and I spent time sorting this out, tidying the house or hanging with Jaxon so I’m pretty sure that kind of counts as the green goal but I did complete the Amber one by my earlier conversations. 

This evening a friend of mine invited me to join a group that she’d made of people they are doing 40acts which is really cool. I think is coming together is a good thing and means we can encourage each other on. Yay!

Are you taking part in the 40acts challenge? What’s been your favourite so far? Did you have a least favourite? 


    • Hannah says:

      Good morning Andy. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Are you doing 40acts this Lent? Have a great day!

  1. HelenSaying says:

    My favourite thing is the unknown quantity…never quite knowing where the day will take you. Sometimes way out of the comfort zone .. but it is good to be stretched… and an amazing feeling when a plan comes together.

Leave a Reply