Today, we begin our Lenten pilgrimage in a 40 day trek to the cross, where we remember the sufferings of Christ and His stubborn love toward us.

The penitential season of Lent reminds us that we are not what we should be.  It’s a time of stripping away, peeling back the layers that keep us from seeing ourselves rightly.

It’s easy to think I’m  kind, generous, temperate, disciplined and loving when life is good, there’s plenty of excess, and I’m not being tested.

But Lent reminds me that I’m none of those things and that I must lean hard into Jesus who is kind, generous, temperate and loving in my place.

One of the ways I know I need Him so desperately is when I try to practice a Lenten discipline—I’ve fasted from chocolate, coffee, social media, sugar, bread, wine.  Those periods where I try to deny myself something reminds me that I’ve constructed a house of cards that seems to be standing on the firm foundation of caffeine and sugar and Moscato.  If you’ve never practiced a time of fasting/self-control,  I urge you to try it.  If nothing else, you’ll realize, like me, that you’re not very disciplined and self-controlled.  And that is the beginning of repentance.

This year, I’ve decided to partner with Blood:Water Mission and some other awesome bloggers to do something different.

It’s called 40 Days of Water and it goes something like this:  you forego the expensive latte, the glass of wine at dinner, the diet coke at lunch and donate the money you would spend on your drinks to provide clean water for folks in Uganda.  You can sign up here to participate with me and I’d be so honored to walk alongside you to build a well together—with the excess money we often spend so mindlessly, we don’t even realize we do it.

You can be as specific as you’d like and even give up every drink but water for Lent but don’t fall into the trap of legalism.  The focus of this is the people in Uganda who need clean water.   Keep track of the money you would have been spending on those drinks and donate that money at the end of the 40 Days to the Blood:Water Mission for the Agali community in northern Uganda.

You can sign up to join the 40 Days of Water with me (I’d be so honored!),  follow Blood:Water on Twitter, with the hashtag #40Days and on Instagram at @bloodwatermission, with the hashtag #40days.  You can also join their facebook page for inspiring links and updates on their work in Africa.

When you turn on your faucet this morning to get a drink or wash the dishes or take a shower, say a prayer of thanks, that it’s just that easy to access the basic necessities of life.  You didn’t have to walk miles to get it, it was clean when it came out of the faucet, it cost you very little.  And then say a prayer for those who don’t have that luxury.

Forty Days of Water – 2013 from Blood:Water Mission on Vimeo.


(Blood:Water Mission is a nonprofit started by the Nashville based group  Jars of Clay to bring clean water and blood to Africans in need and those infected by the HIV virus.)


Anne Jackson wrote a 40 Days of Water Journal that you can download, that will walk you through the 40 days with inspiration, facts and reflections on the water project.

In whatever way you can participate, I will be grateful.

If nothing else, pray that our brothers and sisters who struggle for life’s basic necessities will have clean water to drink and will learn about Jesus, who came to bring us all His life-giving water so that we would never thirst again.

For every person that signs up with me for the 40 Day program, I’ll donate an additional $2 per person at the end of the 40 Days. Just leave me a note in the comments that you are planning to support the clean water program in Uganda!

49 comments on “40 Days of Water”

  1. Edie-this is such a good thing. I will be joining along. Besides my morning coffee I drink mostly water all day because it’s what is best for me. Sometimes, I even complain that I have to drink so much water due to kidney trouble. How spoiled I am. Instead of being thankful for the life sustaining water that is available to me in abundance, I complain. How spoiled I am when there are so many who don’t have access to this precious resource.
    Blesses Lent to you.
    Hugs 🙂

  2. Hi! I’m willing to give this a try. I’m almost certain I will fail, but it’s for a great cause and I know I’ll benefit as well! I’m going to share this article on my FB page if that’s ok? The more the better!

  3. Thank you for doing this. I love Uganda so much my freckles are starting to blend together and my skin is getting darker 🙂 I was there last summer and will be there again this summer. God totally broke me into a million pieces and has since been putting me back together again. The LORD has given me the opportunity to start a ministry called Margre’ts Voice (Isaiah 1:17), a sponsorship program for widows in Bunga Village, Uganda. . . so that mama’s dont have to prostitute themselves out to feed their babies, so that mama’s don’t have to give their kids up for adoption b/c they can’t afford to feed them a meager diet of rice and beans. Also we are currently trying to get these women to making things that we can sell here state side. They are a precious, precious people. Thank you for loving Uganda and giving of yourself so that others can have life. You can “like” Margrets Voice on facebook to find out more information.

  4. Hey Edie! Thanks so much for this challenge….my thoughts this morning were to just give up my coke at lunch for Lent. This really has me thinking now! Just posted it on my FB to gt the word out. Really looking forward to leaning more into HIm to remember why we are doing this. Have a great day, my friend!

  5. What a great choice of a cause to support. I have good friends from medical school who live and work in a mission hospital at the end of a long, remote road in Bundobugyo, uganda. They deal with constant power outages, outbreaks of measels and even ebola, uprisings across the border in the Congo which threaten their safety, local tribal uprisings, and the constant influx of utter disease and need. They have trouble with their water line to the hospital sometimes as well, esp during tribal uprisings when some have sabetauged it. I cannot imagine running a hospital without clean water. I care for poor and homeless patients here in a free clinic, seeing them in the back of a medical van (no kidding), and I feel like Mcgyver sometimes, with limited resources, and deal with fear and worry that I won’t be able to meet my patient’s needs. But then I remember my friends in Uganda, their bravery, their long-term commitment to follow Christ’s call to give their lives away in a crowded hospital they’ve patched together out of scraps and love. Oh, dear, oh dear; sometimes all I can pray is Come quickly, Lord Jesus. In the meantime, I will join you in your 40 days of water.

  6. I will be joining you in this. As a new mom, I dont think I’d be my best self without coffee but it will be homemade coffee, rather than going out and buying it. And just water other than that. I am thankful for the awareness you are bringing with this. Count me in! May I share it?

  7. We did a VERY similar program a few years back with other people in church! It was very rewarding because there was enough money raised for a new well! We may do it again, now that I read it here Miss Edie!
    Also, a side note, I LOVE your ebook! And I was shouting YES when I read the section about bed linens, lol! (Among other sections, lol) but sooo agree with you on down pillows, duvet cover on down comforter and making your bed a place you WANT to be! I wanted to tell you that I too have Italian and Egyptian cotton sheets, but that was before I tried Bamboo sheets….. WOW! They are hard to describe in detail, but basically HEAVEN! You can find them too at Tuesday Morning! They were half the price there than anywhere else! 🙂

  8. I LOVE this. Thank you for sharing! I will be participating along with you. I had planned on giving up wine anyway, so this is a great way to re-distribute those funds.

  9. I struggled to fill my water bottle as I was preparing my lunch. I haven’t had a Coke all week so just one won’t be bad, I promise I won’t have another, I told myself. I didn’t do it. As I thought about today being the start of lent I decided to shift my focus off myself and onto Christ. So I filled my water bottle, sat down with my sandwich and iPad and opened up your blog. Wow! God’s pretty quick with some confirmation and encouragement. Needless to say I am signed up and 1 Coke has been added to my tracker!! Thanks Edie for encouraging me in many areas of my life!!

  10. I’m in – no coffee, (this’ll be the hardest) and no diet coke for Lent…what a wonderful challenge/idea! Thank you!

  11. Edie, thank you so much for sharing this! My husband and I are both participating with you and are giving up our 84,000 {slight exaggeration} trips to the coffee pot every day and will be donating weekly what we usually spend on endless bags of coffee. One of my best friends is actually serving on a missions team as a pediatric nurse in South Sudan right now, and I know just how precious clean water is for them and the lengths to which they go to get it. This is such a worthy cause.

  12. Has anyone had a difficult time signing up on the website? I have been unable to do so…always says “Only lower case letters and numbers allowed.” But, one must put the “@” in for email address…????

  13. Thank you for the idea. I love this and signed up today.

    Romans 12:1-2
    “…present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God…”

  14. So awesome! I totally just wrote about doing this last night before going to bed. Go figure, it was a bit of a rough night with both my girls and during the time I was rocking my sick babe back to sleep I just happened to read your blog post. To say that I was giddy is quite the understatement. So yes, you can count me in as walking alongside you during this Lenten season. 🙂

  15. Hello – I am a new reader. I plan to give up my daily route 44 diet vanilla cokes from Sonic and will donate the money I save toward the water project.

  16. Will definitely be joining you!! What a tangible and easy way to show some love to Uganda.. Will also be showing my children this website..Thanks

  17. Yes, I’m in! I am giving up my lunch soda and will give to the water project! Thanks for the extra encouragement that this provides!

  18. Thank you so much for sharing this! Even though I mostly only drink water, I do like to splurge once a week on some mocha poison from the ‘Bucks. So none of that for me. And I will try to remember to say a little prayer of gratitude every time I drink my water. So easy to forget what a gift that is.

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