On Ash Wednesday, I outlined my goals for Lent. Here’s how I fared on Day 6……
Five Things for Which I Am Thankful (listed in no particular order):
- Being six-feet tall. I read a book when I worked at Tall Girl that said that tall people live longer, have higher IQs, and get paid more than their shorter counterparts (among hundreds of other tall trivia). I can’t vouch for any of that, but it sounds cool! My height may make clothes shopping more difficult, but it has provided me with multiple advantages (most notably, its contribution to my college volleyball scholarship) throughout my life.
- My puffy, purple, looks-like-it-belongs-to-a-fifth-grader winter coat that I haven’t worn in years. It really is dorky-looking, but it is so warm and comfortable. And the sleeves are actually long enough for my Stretch Armstrong arms! So many people don’t have enough money to buy warm coats. Leaving it in a closet for 8 years solely because of its appearance is a luxury they wish they could have. If I don’t wear it this winter, I will donate it.
- Disposable income. I have plans to get a pedicure, highlights, and a brow wax in the near future. Millions of people don’t make enough money to cover the basic necessities, let alone pay for such frivolous things.
- A functional cell phone. I complain that my 4G data plan deactivates itself, disallowing me to check my e-mail or Facebook when I’m on-the-go. But I still am able to make and receive calls and text messages. I’m willing to bet that millions of lives could have been saved or crimes solved if people had just had a means to call for help. I need to stop being ungrateful over some dysfunctional bells and whistles. (I also need to have Verizon reimburse me for a couple months’ worth of charges.)
- The woman behind me in a Walmart checkout lane. Nearly two years ago, I was 38 weeks pregnant and flat broke. I was hungry, and there was no food left in the apartment. When the cashier told me that I could not have the $76.16 worth of food she had scanned because my debit card had been declined due to overdraft, I was mortified. I was also scared, and trying to conceal tears and a gigantic lump in my throat. Before I could exit the store, the cashier approached me to say that the woman who was in line behind me bought a gift card worth $76.16 and asked her to give it to me. I have no idea who she was. I hope the Lord has blessed her 100 fold.
Fasting Research of the Day: Tullamore Parish 24-Hour Fast for Repentence
I’ve learned that people fast for several reasons, like repentance, mourning, or preparation. Today, I typed “fasting, repentance” into my search engine, and chose the first related article. The subject matter was disconcerting, but I did gain a better understanding of why people fast in order to repent.
The priests (and some parishioners) of Tullamore Parish in Ireland underwent a 24-hour period of fasting and prayer because of covered-up clerical sexual abuse against children. The purpose was to acknowledge the parishioners’ “pain, disappointment, hurt and anger,” and ask God’s forgiveness. In a letter written by Tullamore’s priests, they said, “We emphasise that our act of Penance was not intended as a judgement on the actions or on the failures of others. Rather, it was an intended as a plea to all that we work together to build up the Body of Christ, his Church.”
In a bulletin posted on the church door during the fast, they said, “We hope that this fast will help to bring healing and reconciliation to the lives of all who have been affected by the scandal of child abuse in any way. We pray that recognising hurt and anger will lead to reconciliation within the Church, and that reconciliation will bring new hope to all of us, as we strive to move forward as true disciples of Jesus Christ.”
Nonprofit/Charity of the Day: World Hunger Relief, Inc.
World Hunger Relief, Inc. teaches people to farm using both livestock and produce in order to maintain a sustainable food source. I’ve heard of this organization before so I was surprised to see that it is run by only six staff members and ten interns, yet provides services in 20 countries on four continents. I feel like I must have read those numbers incorrectly, but I’m not seeing any information that says otherwise. They do train live-in volunteers, so maybe that is how they are able to reach so many places (??).
Swear Jar Contribution: $0.50
Stockpile Item to Donate: Carmex Moisturizing Lip Balm and True Shimmer Tropical Chapstick
If anyone else is doing something special for Lent and could use some encouragement, please feel free to leave a comment about it!
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