Every year since I was young I have given up something or promised “to do” something for Lent. Lent is the period of 40 days before Easter (not including Sundays), and it starts with Ash Wednesday, which this year is today, February 13th. The purpose of giving something up is to be focused less on this world and to prepare our hearts to welcome the risen Christ. In previous years I have committed to daily Bible reading, given up swearing (not this year, sorry), and one year I even gave up sugar.
A couple of weeks ago, at my yearly checkup, my doctor recommended I give up diet soda (not for Lent, just because it’s not good for me). I cut back, but had not actually quit yet. Then, yesterday I saw another blogger say that she was committing to drinking only water in order to bring attention to the plight of people throughout the world who do not have access to clean, safe water.
I felt a mental nudge on reading this, so I decided to write this blog post. I am committing to drinking only water for Lent. I will, however, be allowing myself one glass of iced tea a day, and a glass of wine on my birthday (which always falls during Lent) and other special occasions. I will be collecting the money I have saved by not drinking soda and donating it to WaterAid.
Did you know that nearly 800 million people do not have access to it and 2.5 billion have nowhere safe and clean to go to the toilet? WaterAid works with local organizations, using practical, sustainable solutions to provide safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene education to the poorest people in developing countries.
I have estimated I will save about $25, which when donated to WaterAid, will pay for one person in one of the world’s poorest countries to gain access to safe, clean water and sanitation for life.
Update: It’s Easter Sunday and although I didn’t totally give up my diet soda, I did drink more than 8 glasses of water every day. I made my donation of $25 today to WaterAid.
In addition, during the month of February, when you donate, WaterAid will give you the option of either printing a valentine or having one mailed to the recipient of your choice, informing them of your gift on their behalf. What a thoughtful gift for your favorite valentine!! Check out all the options available here.
What are you giving up/ committing to for Lent? How can you turn your introspection outwards? Let me know your plans in the comments below.