Traveling Light for Lent

I had what is now frequently – and I think quaintly – described as a “fundamentalist” upbringing. We were pretty fundamental in our views about a host of things, including the rituals of mainline denominations.

Some years ago I became curious about the feasts and fasts of the religious calendar year. I had conversations with friends whose churches faithfully marked and celebrated those days. From them I learned that these were not rituals at all. They were signposts throughout the year that urged: “Remember the Lord here.”

And they do.



I decided to observe the 40 days of Lent. That first year I gave up dessert.

Before you chuckle and try to pat me on the head, may I say that Lenten resolutions are acts that either:

  • the doing of, or,
  • the refraining from

serve to remind us of the Lord’s sacrifice.

Believe me, with my sweet tooth, I thought about the Lord a lot during that first Lenten season.

This year I was thinking, thinking, how shall I observe Lent?

Then I had a conversation with a friend about stuff. Boxes of stuff that needed going through. Accumulation. Excess.

This is a rather painful subject for me. Several years ago, after the sudden death of my father, my siblings and I had to liquidate the aggregation of 57 years of marriage in the space of 2 weeks. Trying to navigate through those physical reminders of their lives and make those hundreds of decisions while deep in grief was, and I do not overstate this, a nightmare.

I have often thought since those terrible days: What if I get hit by the proverbial truck tomorrow? Would I want my husband and children to be faced with the garage? Or my cupboards or drawers or boxes?


I decided that I would begin decumulating. This is a word I made up, but it states perfectly my point.


More truth.

Since I have not been decumulating rapidly enough, I decided to make it my Lenten resolution. Each week during Lent (this year February 13 – March 30) I will:

  • throw away
  • give away
  • or list on Craigslist or eBay

one or more stored items.


I will go through one box in my garage.

And as I do, I will remember that Jesus, my Great Example, traveled light. He calls me to take up my cross of discipleship and follow Him. That can be difficult tethered to large quantities of the Things of Life.

My stuff is my responsibility. So, self, deal with it.

And remember the Lord as you do.

Have you made a resolution for Lent? If so, would you be willing to share it here? Click “Leave a Comment” above.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Linda Romano on February 20, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Great idea, Debra! I have thought exactly the same thing about all the “stuff” I’ve stored that is either not needed, not wanted, out of style, etc. I wouldn’t want my kids to have to deal with it all should something happen to me. I think I will join you in this Lenten pursuit and begin the purging process (just as soon as I get over this awful cold that seems to have found a home in my chest!).


  2. We always think we’ll “get to it.” No time like the present 🙂


  3. Great post sister Deb! God is speaking to me on the same thing! Less stuff equals more of Him! Less stuff equals more abundance! Thanks again!


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