Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Love Lent and I'm Pretty Sure I Love You, Too

I just don't always show it. Or know it.

I love the season of Lent. In the past, I've written about how in my younger, wilder days, I'd give up booze for a week or two and feel pretty sanctimonious about it. I got older and fatter and thought those coffees I gave up were not only trimming my waist, they were earning me direct communion with the Almighty.

I was a pretty silly rabbit, wasn't I?

I love Lent because it means simplicity. It means reflection and observing our rhythms and habits and assessing the ones that work, don't work, and the ones that just downright hinder us. (I have a heap o' those, I'm afraid.)

Around this time each year, I get addicted to Facebook. In previous years, it was because I was in Alaska and the winter days made getting out impossible. Lately, it's because I'm not working and being home with the tinies makes me nearly insane with isolation and facebook seems a cheap, easy substitute. Except that it's not. Too much facebook makes me competitive, judgmental  and dismissive of others. It also makes me self obsessed, but I'm pretty sure I'm wired that way... air can make me self obsessed in the right conditions. That part's true.

I love Lent because we focus on God. Our family. Church. Traditions. Prayer. Spring. Being together. You know, those things...

And I love Lent because I always step away from social networks and realize how I abuse them. I stalk people. Mock people. Compare myself to them and let jealousy rear it's ugly head. But during Lent, I have 40 days to remember that we're all part of the human experience no matter how emo our FB posts are or how annoying all those self portraits really get. Forty days away gives me perspective on the ones that matter (the ones who live here with me) and the ones who don't. (Funny how I always clear out my friends list after the hiatus...at this rate I'll be the one person on FB with twelve friends...ha!)

The kids and I will go to Shrove Tuesday Pancake night at our church and talk about what we're going to do for Lent. I think Boy Wonder is giving up computer time. I'll talk about Facebook and being online in general. We'll talk about how we'll do good deeds for others and we'll map out just what that will look like. We'll decide (or I'll decide for them, hahaha) that the television will get turned off at a certain time each night and we'll read, or draw, or paint, or play games together. They'll fuss at first, but then they'll love it. They always do.

I'll wonder what my friends are up to online, but then I'll get into our new routines and habits and I'll hope they're all doing well and I'll pray for good things to happen for them this year. And then I won't miss Facebook so much.

I'll pray for productivity and focus this season. I'll pray to honor the time...all the glorious, maddening, exhausting, exhilarating time I get with these tiny humans and be grateful. I'll work hard to be a better person. In general. Overall.

And I'll probably give up coffee, too. Just to be sure Jesus know's I'm serrrrrious about it all. :)


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