we’re going on a lent Godventure- will you join us?!

What are you doing for Lent this year? Will you do anything at all? Will you give something up, fast or take something up? What does it actually mean to you? Anything??? Or is it just another date/commitment to have to endure?

Well me and my family will be going on a Godventure this lent by taking part in 40acts together with our very own sticker book too. Will you join us?

Jesus did the ultimate act of generosity when He gave up His own life for us on the cross, and I want to catch more of His heart for people this year, as well as helping my beautiful boys catch that too. I have taken part in 40acts on my own for a couple of years, and every year have grown in my love of being generous to others, that I want to share that with my family too.

It won’t always be easy, and I know some days the tasks might be too hard or scary, but what is the point in spending lent doing something easy?! Why not dedicate it to the Lord this year and see what amazing stories and testimonies He can do through you and your family.

p.s. Here are the links to sign up and where to get your very own sticker book. Why not comment below if you are planning to take part – Lent starts on the 10th Feb!

www.40acts.org.uk
http://godventure.co.uk/product/exploring-generosity-with-godventure-and-40acts-2-for-10/

The beginning of a 40 acts legacy

Now I am well aware that I have missed a few days challenges in the last week, that some I have thought “well I don’t really need to do that” or “its not practical enough”, but today I really wanted to share a story about the beginning of my 40 acts legacy, the beginning of something special that has started in the these last 40 days.

Day 2 was a great day for me in 40 acts – only 1 day in and the challenge pushed me to do something I had been stalling on for ages.  To invite my closest neighbours to my bi-monthly pudding club.  I got a giant kick up the backside, printed out the invites and wandered around the estate with my one year old putting them through doors.  

Then I heard nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  I had put my number on them for RSVP’s but heard absolutely nothing for weeks.  The night of pudding club was drawing near and I feared all my efforts would be for nothing.  Then I got a text from some neighbours I didn’t know well saying they couldn’t come.  A bit disappointing but it had opened up communications with them further.  Then my next door neighbour said that he and his wife were definitely attending.  Awesome!  So one couple would be there, and I was happy with that.

But the day of the pudding club two other sets of neighbours texted me to say they were also coming and it ended up being a really lovely night of connections, conversation and pudding.  I think sometimes I am scared of over-stepping the mark and becoming too friendly.  Of putting out too many invites.  But then I have to remind myself that God has called me to be a catalyst, to be the one that extends the invitation time and time again until the person that really needs it gets it.

So perhaps I have not achieved every day in my 40 acts challenge (only a few days left now!) but I really think that this is the start of some amazing relationships with my neighbours.  There were talks last night of having neighbourhood BBQ’s in the summer and doing pudding club round different houses.  All because I got the push to invite them through 40 acts.

P.S here is a pic of my creme egg cheesecake to make you all hungry…..

  

Scrap the Schedule – Act #33

So yesterday was all about bigging up people in your life and bragging about others, so I chose to brag about my amazing lifegroup via facebook.  That was a really fun act to do and you could clearly and quickly see the results of people’s reactions.

Today is a bit more vague, and all about scrapping the everyday schedule to make sure you spend time with those who matter.  We should never become too busy to spend time with others, and in light of some recent news I am going to choose to spend more time with my amazing family (and take extra time to chill out and protect my family to be….).


I have also tried to make sure I arrange to catch up with some great friends who perhaps I don’t always have time to see.  So who are you going to catch up with today???

In Courage – Acts #31

I was tidying out an ottoman in my spare bedroom the other day and came across a big pile of my old letter writing things – cards, pretty paper, stickers etc.  It made me smile, as it was from a time when I used to write to my friends from summer camp or my relatives who lived far away.  I haven’t done that for such a long time.  And I wondered – who could I write some letters to?  On the same day I received a really lovely parcel and handwritten letter from a uni friend, and it cheered my day right up!  God was clearly telling me that I needed to write some letters.
 
And then Act number 31 popped up on my computer with one of the options being to write a letter to a persecuted christian.  What an amazing God we have and what an amazing answer to my thoughts and feelings of the day before!!  I had also been reading some of Paul’s letters and thinking “isn’t it a real shame that we don’t write such encouraging things to our Christian friends who are scattered throughout the world?”.  You see distance didn’t separate Paul from others back then, so it definitely shouldn’t separate us now.
 
So this week I am going to sit down with my writing supplies and write some letters of encouragement, both to persecuted christians who I don’t know, but I think also to some of my christian friends who are scattered throughout the world. 
 
If you want to do the same then please take a look at this website for details on how to do so:

 

Bless the Boss – Act #29

 

 

Well we are now heading in to the last couple of weeks of 40 acts and I am both loving it and struggling!  Today’s challenge was all about blessing your boss, and I know that I am really blessed to have the boss that I have.  Unfortunately for me, we all work from home so that made this challenge a bit more tricky.  I couldn’t just make her a cuppa or leave a nice present on her desk as we are miles apart!!  But I am hopefully meeting up on Wednesday when I will plan a suitable way to bless and thank her.

 
In the meantime, I took the opportunity to say a big thank you and shout out to my big bosses at work through twitter, and also to the leaders of my church.
 
In other news, I did pretty poorly on the last two acts.  I have yet to complete act #27 which is about widening my circle and including those who I may not normally.  To be honest, I felt this was one to do at a different time as I don’t want people to feel like I am contacting them or including them just because I don’t like them!  So I will figure out a way to do this more privately and personally when the moment comes along.
 
I also failed at act #28 which was about practically helping someone out on Saturday – again I claim the child excuse!!!!  
 
 

Things I have learnt from 40acts so far (and Bear Hug – Act #26!)

I was going to write just a normal post today, talking about the days challenge and what not, but then God prompted me to think a little deeper about this journey so far and to start deciding what things I might take with me into normal life.  Some of the acts were great as one off declarations of generosity, (lets face it, we can’t spend every day giving cake to the postman or taking in flowers for the teacher at school), but some of them are building blocks for a lifestyle of generosity.

 At our Lifegroup we chatted about how generosity is more than just money or things, it is from our hearts and I can really feel my heart changing over this lent period.  Here are some things that I would really like to continue in my life after Easter:

  1. Praying through my social media feeds.  This was such a great idea, and an amazing way to integrate my life online with my spiritual life.  Every morning now when I check facebook/twitter I will endeavour to pray for any status’ or news updates that I am prompted to.
  2. Keeping a generosity kit with me.  I quickly used up the items that I put in my generosity kit on day 1, but it got me thinking that if I carried things around with me then I would be able to seize any generosity moment that comes my way.  So I now keep in my nappy bag some thank you cards and I am planning to buy some chocolate or biscuits each week as a stock pile to hand out.  Oh and don’t forget the post its!!  These will be a stock item too to leave notes of encouragement wherever I go.
  3. Chocolate Tuesday.  Who needs an excuse to eat and share chocolate!!  I may well adopt this once a month…..
I am sure there are more things that I will carry on, and I still have a few acts to catch up on, such as keeping the steps to the canal near my house clean and tidy and connecting with different generations in my community.  What things have you taken from 40 acts so far, or from reading through my online journal of it?!  Please do comment below.
 
All that is left is to complete today’s challenge – Bear Hug.  So I am sending this hug to all my readers as you never know who might need one today.
 
 

Serve the Server – Act #25

Serve the Server

 

Well over half way now in my 40 acts challenge, and I am loving how my perspectives on every day activities are changing.  Sometimes I feel a little scared when I open the morning email as to what I might be asked to do and whether I have the courage to do it, but more and more I am stepping out to at least attempt it, and I think that is what matters.

Today’s challenge was all about serving those who serve you – showing them respect and honouring them in whatever way you can.  The blog had a great example of letting your waiter order on your behalf, but as I am too poor to eat out frequently I had to look closer to home!  

Every Wednesday (as I have previously blogged about) I go along to a local play centre for Toddler Time.  It is a bit chaotic, and not always very friendly, but the staff there are lovely and I want to build up that relationship with them.  One day I went along and the poor staff were having to empty the entire ball pool as a child had been sick in it.  All the balls needed hosing down before it was safe for others to return.  And the mum whose child had been sick had the cheek to complain about the play centre and the staff!!!  They were just carrying on, doing a horrible job but doing it with a smile.  So today I wanted to write them a card to let them know their hard work had been noticed.

I slipped it on top of the cash register quickly whilst I was leaving, but I am sure they discovered it!

I also managed a couple of extra things – I planted a post it note for my mum friend who was having a bit of a rough day.  He son found it whilst we were there so I had to explain it!  But I think she was touched by the thought.  I also gave away some DVD’s to my friend (all of the One Tree Hill boxsets) so I guess that ticks one of the boxes on the Hold It Lightly challenge we had.

Chocs away! #act24

Yes I am very behind on my 40 acts updates this week, but having been away on holiday to Scotland for a few days I hope you will forgive me.  Although I may not have achieved all of the last few challenges, they are definitely providing me with food for thought as to how I can be generous in my everyday life.  For example, act 20 was all about talking to strangers and those who you meet everyday.  Well that particular day I spent most of it in the car driving to Scotland so didn’t meet many strangers!  But I have been purposefully saying hello since then to people I pass by.

Act 21 was about being silly and being generous with laughter and smiles!  What a fab ideas, and I always strive to be someone who puts a smile on the faces of others.

Act 22 was called give it time, and about giving your time to others.  I chose to give more time over to God, in particular the first minutes after I wake up to devote to prayer (something I keep meaning to do and forgetting).

Act 23 was one of my favourites too and challenged us to pray over our social media feeds – I felt particularly moved by God to pray for one friend whose statuses always trouble me.  I am hoping that those prayers make a real impact in their life, but I will now look at checking my Facebook and Twitter feeds as an opportunity to pray over every status I read and every news update.

Finally!!!!! On to today’s challenges!  Chocolate Tueday.  Today we were tasked with giving away chocolate.  That is all (and who needs more than that?!).  So out I trotted with toddler in tow to the local garage and picked up a pack of fudge bars.  I also wrote some post it notes (still working through that pack of 100) and deposited them in lockers at the swimming pool, on the local bridge and on the road sign into my estate.  Really praying they reach the right people.

 

In Touch – act #19

In Touch

So yesterday’s challenge was all about reaching out to prisoners and those in hiding from domestic violence.  Whether that be by writing a letter, visiting or making a donation to those who work within these capacities, I had to do something.  I wanted to take a step to look at the prison thing, but within my time constraints it was just too complicated with lots of red tape.  So instead, the name of a women’s project close to where I used to live popped into my head.



So today I will be writing a letter of encouragement to be sent to the Pathway Project in Lichfield, which looks after women escaping domestic violence.  At Shine last year we donated unused toiletries and gifts to the women, so it feels quite nice to continue doing something for them.  If anyone else wants to do this, there is a PO Box address that you can send things to:

Pathway Project
PO Box 4168
Lichfield
WS13 8WY

BOGOF and Apologise – act #17 and #18

BOGOF and Apologise

ARRRRHHHHHHHH – I seem to be falling more and more behind on keeping you up to date on my 40 acts challenge.  So this is me apologising (and completing act #18….) for not being a reliable blogger and for failing to complete these acts properly.  Some days it seems really easy to be generous and to think outside the box, but other days I am tired and stuck in the house and find it really difficult.  
 
I struggled with the Buy One Get One Free challenge because I shop at Aldi where there are no BOGOF offers, everything is just cheap!!  But that is no excuse.  So as a one off act of generosity (just to make me feel as if I am actually doing all of them!!) I am offering to buy someone a free piece of wall art from my lovely friend’s business.  All you need to do is be the first person to comment below and then I will sort it out.  Please read more about it below….    
 
“For anyone looking for ways to bring the word of God into your home, please take a look at my lovely friend’s business venture – she will create bible based wall art to design, or you can buy ready designed ones off ebay.
I have one on the wall in my lounge and it is definitely a door opener/talking point for those who come to my house!
 
This one is my particular favourite….