Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Lent, Day 1

the heart of Lent is to experience what your life, specifically your spiritual one, could be like if you let go of something that you don't need. for christians we give that space over to God but i think there everyone who wants to be or do better could benefit from this exercise.

i've decided not only to give up Facbeook for 40 days, but also my impatience with my kids. i realized after posting that on twitter that the definition needs a little expanding upon. what i mean is that i no longer want to be controlled by my children being well, children. children are slow, stubborn (they have the patience of an Ent to wait you out!), messy, self-centered, loud, and in your way. but that is the nature of a child and i need to give them freedom to be a child (though certainly guide and correct them and all that). what i've noticed today, is that when i'm reminding myself to be patient with them i realize that almost every time the fight is something that could be prevented if i say, started lunch 15 minutes earlier and let them dawdle and pick at their food in a way that appeals to them. instead i start it when it makes sense to me and spend the next 30 minutes shrieking EAT! EAT! by being more mindful of the whole situation, as naturally to undertake this kind of thing you HAVE to be lest my adultness take over, i give us both freedom. them to be a child and live at, what appears to me to be a messy, slow pace of life and for me to be way, way less angry and demanding. we both enjoy life more so win/win.

i am already seeing what i already knew, that facebook and several other sites were major life/time suckers. i spent 15 minutes checking my email and doing a Lenten reading then put the computer away. i realize how void of silence and stillness my life has. i can rationalize this away with "well i have children!" and "well i have to work!" & etc. but really, i am fearful of doing nothing. i fear boredom. i don't exactly know where this comes from, maybe i will find out in the next 39 days?

one thing i've also noticed already is how much of a slave i am to my default. to attempt to wean yourself off of something with sheer will is um very difficult to say the least. i have never felt addicted to something really, well not "in bondage" to something i guess. like, i could quit if i wanted to! oh yeah, we'll let's just see how that works shall we? my reaction in every down minute is to fidget with some technology or somehow have an input of information so to turn down the volume on my whole life? it feels like there is an echo in my house and head. but that is what Lent is about! when you start to veer towards what you are attempting to resist, let that discomfort redirect you to God and let it start a conversation about something. earlier today i was thinking about that song (phrase?) "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." but my brain said "you don't know what's got YOU until it's gone."


Elise said...

I'm not sure about your interpretation of a Lenten fast. Traditionally, the idea was to give up a nourishing but "luxury" food item, like meat. I get the Facebook aspect, it's one of our modern day luxuries that feels essential.

But the other part of Lent is the feast that follows it; the celebration of the connection to God and all his gifts, with a special appreciation gained for the one abstained from for 40 days. Abstaining from demonstrating impatience with your kids is certainly a laudable goal, but would you really celebrate the end of Lent with a feast of impatience and thanking God for the gift of impatience?

madelyn said...

that's cool; I am trying to think of what I could try to do without but I don't know.
hey how did you get your "goodreads" thing on your page?

jenny mae. said...

well food is not something that i feel keeps me from experiencing a deeper relationship with God. i can see the spirit of Lent from that point of view but i don't think i would get as much out of it as the non-literal fasting. does that make sense? for me, giving up meat wouldn't be very uncomfortable nor do i think it would particularly make me grow closer to the Lord. but giving up my idle time and spending it in prayer and study works for me. and also reflecting on the grace of Jesus (specifically on the cross) convicts me that i have no right to be impatience and overly stern with my children. of course it's not something that i plan on "feasting" when easter comes though :)

also i will add, i am not nor attend a capital C Catholic church.