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40 Days of . . . .Joy

Posted Mar 04 2014 9:44pm
 I was thinking about what to write about today and it occurred to me that the Season of Lent is upon us and I hadn't given it much thought.  Somehow the calendar seems to be going at warp speed and I just can't keep up with it.  I still can't grasp that it is actually March!  Anyway, I was thinking of some of my Lent challenges in the past.  Sometimes I ADD things during the 40 days, like our Push-Up Challenge.  Last year, I observed 40 Days of Grace in an effort to stop any negative body image thoughts.  Since I've been on the 21 Day Sugar Detox (which I am going to give an overview on I promise!) I think I'll just try to continue going so giving up sweets wasn't something that seemed to challenge me.  What about you?  Have you given it thought?  If you are looking for some healthy ways to observe the 40 Days of Lent,  I have a few listed below and then I am going to share with you my hope for the next 40 Days.  Maybe you can find something here  to observe, reflect upon deliberate upon for these 40 Days. 

In light of being health minded, this can be a great time to give up some unhealthy habits that might be harmful or at least counterproductive to living well.  So, whether you observe Lent or not,  this might be your time to see how you do without some unhealthy practices or adding in some healthy ones.  

Give Up Smoking and Tobacco.    I'm thinking this one is a "no brainer".  We are all far too educated on the harm that tobacco does to our bodies.  Did you know that within 20 minutes of your last cigarette your blood pressure and pulse will start to stabilize? Eight hours after your last cigarette, carbon monoxide levels will reduce and oxygen will increase within the body. Just 24 hours after your last smoke your body has already reduced its chance of having a heart attacl.  In 72 after your last cigarette your bronchial tubes are becoming less restricted. With 40 days of not smoking your lung capacity will increase by 30 percent.  That's huge!  The same goes for any other form of tobacco.  It may not be an easy thing to quit, but the results are so very important.  The harm and death rate due to tobacco related illness is staggering.  I don't mean to sound over the top here, but this is a topic that is near to my heart.  I have seen such horrible,  negative effects of tobacco on loved ones and just can't grasp the fact that a person would want to continue to harm themselves. 

Have a Meatless Day.  The reasons to skip out on meat can be two-fold.  It can do good for the planet and it can reduce the fat and hormones you consume.  You can go meatless for the entire 40 days or simply incorporate meatless meals into your week.  Either way, you will be adding more vegetables and other forms of  protein to your diet.  Your heart health can improve, you may have more energy and may be a little lighter at the end of the 40 days.  

Give Up Screentime. Sitting at the computer or watching TV isn't really unhealthy,  but it does require a lot of sitting.  AND sitting is the new smoking, you know.  I think trading the screen time for other activities would be a much more fun and healthy way to spend time.  Trading the sitting watching TV with getting some movement in from taking a walk, playing with the kiddos, going to the gym or, I'm just going to say it, cleaning the house,  tends to make us all feel better in the long run - and look at all the things you can get done!  

Say No to French Fries. Or any fast food, actually.  Try this for just 40 days and report back.  I'm betting your waist and wallet will benefit, not to mention your arteries, cholesterol and heart.  

Get Out of Bed. We all need our sleep and I'm right in front of the line telling you to get into bed and get your zzz's.  Since you're not watching TV you should be pooped from all that extra movement you're doing, right?  What I am encouraging is to get up a little early to "seize the day".  For 40 days try to get up a little earlier to begin your day with time for you.  Time to eat a healthy breakfast, walk the dog, have a devotion, enjoy the quiet, or even get in a little exercise.  Having a little extra time in the mornings to do some healthy things for yourself is a great way to begin the day.  
see more here

So, looking at these things which do you think you'd like to do?  Which do you think I'll do?
Actually, I'm not going for any of these ideas.  During these 40 Days of Lent I'm going for. . .  

Picture Everyday I intend to choose joy and find joy in each day
Picture Then I intend to give joy
And, why, you might ask.  Well, because. . . .
Picture Because Happiness just isn't quite enough. Isn't that a great title?
I just love the word joy.  It makes me think of something so pure and fun and happy just bubbling up inside of you.  It keeps bubbling up and just spills all over onto everything and everyone.  I think we all have that inside of us, but we forget about it.  Life can be hard and sometimes it just stinks.  We can get caught up in the sad or bad times,  or just in life and all the chaos and busyness that it brings.  We can get caught up in the mundane routine or simply just lose focus.  I'm thinking that if I focus on all of the things around that bring me and others joy, I will not have time to consider issues that might bring me down.   After all, what good does it do to simply focus on the negative?  I have yet to see how that makes anything better.  So, for the next 40 Days I am making a conscience decision to find joy in each day.  (I'm going to be singing "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart . . .down in my heart to stay!"  Remember that one?)

  
Picture This photo brings me such joy and it's the perfect example of pure joy! I hope I haven't offended anyone by putting it here . . . .
Anything on the list appeal to you?  Do you practice Lent?  Do you add something or give up something? What brings you joy?  Aren't those just the cutest boys ever - I know I'm partial!


Have a Wonderful Wednesday!  
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