40acts: 40 days of Lent, 40 challenges of generosity

Lent is traditionally a time when we focus on giving up something – such as chocolate, alcohol or meat. Last year, I took part in 40 acts, a generosity challenge from Stewardship that focuses on the giving side of giving up in Lent – 40 different challenges across the 40 days of Lent. I looked forward to the email each day, to discovering what the challenge for the day would be. Some were easier than others and several took me right out of my comfort zone but I managed to complete all 40 of the challenges (albeit some more fully than others) and it made me more mindful of the little things that I could do each day to make a small difference to those around me.

40 acts: 40 days of Lent, 40 challenges of generosity - Little Hearts, Big Love

Last year’s challenges included the following:

  • Committing to doing one green thing to help the environment.
  • Baking cakes and giving them out to people.
  • Leaving a note of encouragement in a random place for a stranger to find.
  • Offering to pray for someone.
  • Going offline and turning my phone off for a day in order to focus on connecting with people face-to-face.
  • Giving flowers to someone for no reason.
  • Meeting a need locally, e.g. donating to the local food bank.
  • Having a clear out and re-gifting possessions to a local charity shop.
  • Sharing my story.


40acts was what prompted me to start this blog. I had taken part in a writing challenge for several years which involved writing exactly 100 words each day and was blogging about 40acts in 100-word posts each day. Whilst I enjoyed the challenge, I also found the constraints of the 100 word format frustrating at times and I wanted to be able to share my story without having to be so concise – and lo! my blog was born. Who would have thought almost a year later, I’d be blogging so frequently having discovered a wonderful community of fellow bloggers that I never knew existed and what a blessing it has been to be part of this community. Who knows where my 40acts journey will lead this year?

You can find more about the 40acts challenge on their website where you can also sign up to receive their daily emails. This year is the 5th year that 40 acts has been running – last year over 46,000 people signed up and contributed to 1.8 million small acts of generosity. I’ll be taking part again this year – would be great if you could join me!

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40 thoughts on “40acts: 40 days of Lent, 40 challenges of generosity

  1. What a lovely idea. I have a blogger friend that is giving up coffee. Just shows how addicted I am that I would rather all of the 40 acts for the last 4 years than give up my coffee. 😉
    How lovely to discover where your blog started. I love reading everyone’s back story, mainly because I’m nosy by nature. #twinklytuesday

    1. Thank you – I’m also giving up coffee and definitely have found today more of a struggle – am hoping it will get easier! 🙂

  2. This sounds lovely. My children and I have just been discussing our Lenten challenges over breakfast. we have decided to give something up (in my case chocolate!) but also to challenge ourselves to help people across Lent. My 9 year old is currently making a list of exactly what we can do to fulfil this challenge. I will keep you posted! Good luck with yours. X

  3. Great post. I have never heard of this before but coincidently have a post coming out tomorrow where I’m not giving something up but doing something positive instead. Love the idea around this. I’m sure it’ll be easy to integrate into my positive 40 days

  4. I’ve never heard of this before but it sounds great! Love the idea of doing something positive rather than just giving something up. Although I am giving up chocolate too as have eaten way too much recently

    1. Good luck with giving up chocolate and hope you enjoy the challenge if you do decide to take it on 🙂

  5. I love this idea! Every year my Husband says we should be doing this instead of giving up something ‘dumb’…Im forwarding it to him, thanks!

  6. What a great idea,. I usually try to make some changes to my lifestyle for Lent, usually I try to do something rather than give something up, so be more positive, read more or be less of a nag (haha that never happens) but I really love this idea =)

  7. Wow, I’d never heard of the 40 acts before but it sounds really lovely. I am going to pop over and have a look and see if I can do it too. Thanks for the inspiration x

  8. This sounds like such a lovely idea – I will pop over and have a look although I can’t guarantee that I can do it all but may give it a go. I feel like I’m doing a heck of a lot at the minute hehe!! Thanks so much for linking up with #twinklytuesday xx

    1. They have three levels this year depending on how involved you want to get with the challenges so you might find the ‘green’ challenge level do-able if you do sign up. Lovely to link up to #twinklytuesday 🙂

  9. Such great ideas! I will be sharing these with friends. I love the idea of doing for others over yourself. It is a thought that I think is often missed. Thank you!
    #Visiting from #twinklytuesday 🙂

  10. I use to be very good at this. Now I just have .. I am not strong enough to do something for lent. Sorry I am giving up even before I could start. Good luck with this and I will be reading about your journey =) #sharewithme

    1. Thanks Merlinda – sometimes we just have to focus on getting through the day without putting extra pressures on ourselves. I hope Lent will be kind to you x

  11. What an amazing idea and great that it helped you to create your blog. I was talking to colleagues at work today about giving things up for lent and one of them mentioned about doing something positive instead. I think I like this idea a lot more #Sharewithme

  12. Grace says – What a great idea. I think that us kids should pledge for Lent to give a cuddle everyday to a family member. Nothing’s better than a cuddle…… #sharewithme

  13. What a lovely idea and I look forward to hearing all about this 🙂 #sharewithme

  14. What a lovely idea! The minute I commit to giving something up I feel like I fail. I like this because you give and I can focus on others instead of myself. #sharewithme

  15. Love this idea. I’d much sooner do 40 acts of generosity than give up something for 40 days. I am going to check out the website now. Thanks for sharing.

  16. What a lovely idea hunny. Your heart is so full of love. I love this. Thank you ever so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

  17. Lovely idea; I’ll be checking out the website. Lent is such a fab opportunity for really focused reflection on a range of things; a time to pause and consider how we are living our lives. Thanks for sharing. I might return to check out your 100 words site; a real challenge that must have been. #TheList24

    1. Thank you – I love the positive focus of this challenge and am enjoying taking part again so far 🙂

  18. What a lovely idea – i now feel so lame just giving up chocolate!! Great post and really interesting to hear about how you started up with blogging 🙂

    Thanks for linking up love xx #Thelist

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