Today marks the start of the Lenten season in the church calendar. Although I’m not Catholic, my church observes this season, starting with an Ash Wednesday service. In 2012, I chose to give up negativity and the snooze button. One went better than the other. You can probably figure out which.
I really struggled with figuring out what I wanted to do to honor this season in 2013. The standards of sweets and social media just didn’t seem right. I don’t want to give something up simply for the sake of giving something up. I want it to be something that will help me grow as a person, but also in my faith.
I kept coming back to one of my February goals, to be present. I knew that somehow, my Lenten season needed to tie into that.
What I’ve become increasingly aware of is just how much my iPhone is something I have out and available, something I’m always checking. When I’m out to lunch, it’s sitting on the table. As I write this post, it’s sitting next to me. I am constantly checking my phone, often unnecessarily.
So, I’m unplugging. To be clear, I’m not going to not use my phone for the next six weeks. I don’t have a landline, so that would be unrealistic. But, I want to be more aware of when I’m using it. I don’t need to have it readily available all the time. When I’m at dinner, I want to put it away and engage, be it simply on my meal if I’m eating alone, or with my company when I’m out to eat with friends or family. I’m going to delete the games that take away so much time (I’m looking at you, Words with Friends). I’m still going to Instagram and I’m still going to Tweet. But, I don’t need to check my feeds all. the. time. I shouldn’t need to charge my phone every night because I use the battery up that much.
For Lent 2013, I’m going to make an effort to unplug and be present.
I am also going to read through Gabrielle Bernstein’s latest book, May Cause Miracles.
I had actually started reading through this a couple weeks back, but for whatever reason, it kept getting pushed aside. What a better time to read through a book laid out over forty days than a season that is forty days long?! I know that Lent is actually longer than forty days because Sundays aren’t counted, but it will give me a little flexibility if I miss a few days between now and Easter.
I seriously contemplated not doing anything to practice Lent this year, but the more I think about the decisions I’ve made, the more excited I am about the change this season will do in my heart and in my soul.
Are you giving anything up (or adding anything in!) for Lent?
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