Ash Wednesday is finally here. I know this because I now have ashes on my shirt sleeve, pants, van door, front window and smeared all over my childrens‘ lovely little heads.

Mass was fabulous – we joined Will at the school Mass this morning. I always chuckle a little at the kids checking each other’s ashes out. “Hey, yours is smeared.” “Mine’s already coming off!” “You can hardly see yours.” And on and on.

So, looking for a way to make Lent well, LENT? Here’s a few ideas. Some are mine, some I stole – all are good bull.

TOP TEN: MAKING LENT COUNT

1. Fill a grocery sack for the local food pantry. We did it this morning and it cost us like an extra $8 bucks. The kids will help me deliver the goodies at the food bank on Thursday. We should be doing that every month.

2. Sign up to be an organ donor – and let those you love know about your choice.

3. Make Sunday a day of rest. Don’t make other people work on this holy day. That’s right, no filling up your car with gas, no runs to the grocery store or to Lowe’s for that home improvement project. Go outside, hit some balls with your kids or stay inside and color some masterpieces.

4. Establish a family game night once a week.

5. Don’t eat out. And, yes, a Route 44 Vanilla DP from Sonic DOES count…even if a friend picks it up for you 🙂

6. Attend Stations of the Cross on a Friday night at your local parish.

7. Turn off the TV one night a week…better yet, cancel cable. Amazingly, we did this for several years when we lived in Indy. It was good stuff, believe it or not. We found that we filled that time with things that were a lot more meaningful.

8. Send a handwritten card to friend or family member. No, the inbox on facebook does NOT count. Scott calls this the “ministry of the unexpected note.” Think about the last time you got a card in the mail for no reason at all, no special occasion, no birthday. Somebody sent you a card because they loved you and wanted you to know. Saweet, wasn’t it? I bet you smiled, a lot, that day. Go do that for somebody else.

9. If you can actually do #7, maybe you can jump on the bikes (or in my case, push the double stroller) on a walk with the family. A little exercise, a little talking with the hubby and some fresh air for the kiddos. Win-win-win.

10. Research some local charities and make a difference in one of them. Maybe you can give some of your treasure, or maybe you can attend an event or serve them in another way. Ask your kids what they care about and maybe they’ll come up with something they want to support.

Bottom line? Don’t make this Lent about you…make it about glorifying someone else for a change. We could all do a little more of that.

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