Each year I honor Lent differently. One year I gave up Diet Coke (per my husband's suggestion - sometimes it really sucks to have someone who knows exactly what is going to hurt you the most). One year Matt & I designated days to fast and pray together, a commitment that proved all the more challenging as I was nursing at the time (nursing = HUNGRYALLTHETIME).
This year Lent is coming at the absolute most perfect time for me. I am not even two weeks into life with my third born and while I have never felt so full of love, I also feel terribly distant from God. I haven't opened my Bible in over a week, and my prayer life has taken the form of frequent cries for help from my exhaustion. I should be leaning into God now more than ever, and instead I am beating myself up for not doing all the stupid things I think I should be doing because I am sinking in the depend-only-on-myself-the-control-freak pit of quicksand.
So it's time to snap out of it. And since I am spending between 4 and 5 hours every day nursing this delightful little baby girl, I have the perfect opportunity to spend some time with my Jesus.
Here's the plan. And yes, y'all are invited to hold me accountable. Girlfriend needs a butt whoopin'.
- I will check my personal email and facebook accounts no more than 2 times a day.
- I will check my blog reader no more than once a day.
- I will use my iPhone for the basics only: phone, text messaging, weather, maps, contacts, calendar, alarm.
- I will not use my iPhone to check email or facebook. Nor will I use it to play any games.
INSTEAD, I will . . .
- Read my Bible.
- Read my Bible app or Christianity Today app on my iPhone.
- Read a Christian book or devotional.
- Read one of the downloaded reading plans on my Bible app on my iPhone (YouVersion rocks).
- Complete my BSF lessons.
It's important to note that I have put several restrictions on my iPhone usage but I have also given myself several exceptions. Reason being, my iPhone was practically made to be used while I'm nursing. When I have only one hand available, it's much easier to read on my iPhone than it is to open a book.
The two things I have not limited are the television and general Internet usage. I can honestly say that over 75% of my downtime is spent checking my email, facebook, and blogs. And much of the time I spend nursing I am simultaneously playing a game on my iPhone. Those four things need to be limited. They are the time sucks in my life. I don't watch a lot of television, and when I do, I am usually watching an episode of Parenthood or a Buckeye basketball game with my husband - it's one of the few things we do together after the kids are in bed.
Finally, we are kicking off the Lenten season today at the Catholic church down the street. We are going to get ashes as a family. It's a gorgeous church in walking distance, and it will be the perfect place to set the tone for this beautiful season of remembering Jesus and the life He gave us.
What about you? Are you honoring Lent in any specific ways?