The Lenten season began last Wednesday, Ash Wednesday. It always sneaks up on me. Don't know why... But I've been desiring to become more reflective and observant during this season. I want Christmas and Easter to be more than mere holidays. More than a day or a weekend, a reason to see family and to give gifts. I want to find a balance for my kids. A harmony of fun and exciting Christmas and Eastery things, but also a weightiness and a value. A seriousness even. (suggestions welcome!)
So as Ash Wednesday came and went, I began praying about what I might give up, sacrifice, fast from (better late than never?). I have to admit, I've never had a great understanding of fasting. First of all, I dread it. I mean, who LIKES to go hungry? But I knew that it was more than that. I read what I could in the Scriptures about fasting. I listened to different thoughts/views on it. Then I came across some super helpful things in this book: Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God by Bobby Gross. Here is what has really helped me wrap my mind around fasting: " 'Christian fasting is the voluntary denial of something for a specific period of time for a spiritual purpose.' (the author quotes of Lynne Baab) In this respect, fasting is much like sabbath-keeping: a restriction that creates space for God." That was the light bulb for me. A restriction that creates space for God.
The author goes on to described different kinds of fasting: partial, traditional, complete and variations of these. Obviously being a nursing mama, I need to be careful if I would give up any type or kind of meal. Not really the greatest option right now. Last year I gave up warm beverages, which was tough this time of year. But back to that idea that hit me, I want to create space for God. Then the author also listed different examples of things that he or others have given up for Lent in the past:
Eating desserts and sweets
Buyings expensive coffee drinks
Drinking alcoholic beverages
Reading books and magazines
Wearing colorful jewelry or using make-up
Listening to music or watching movies
After reading "using Facebook" I immediately thought, Well that is so not an issue for me. I'm not on Facebook! Ha. Then I felt the Lord remind me of one thing I do spend much time on the Internet doing. Yes, the blog. This blog, the blog we started for the kiddos, everyone else's blog and from there the blogs that are linked to their blogs and so on. Wow. Yep. That's a lot of time out of my day and night. That would definitely create some space for God.
Well, you can probably tell where I'm going with this. You won't be seeing any blog posts from me for a while. I won't be reading your blog posts either. So, I guess I'll just have to call or email you, actually talk to you to share my life and catch up on yours. Imagine that. So stone age right?
Trust me. I've already tried to talk myself out of it. Gave myself reasons and justified what this was not a good idea. But in the end, I know that pit I felt in my stomach when the thought came into my head was knowing this would be a sacrifice (as pathetic as that may be). This would create space for Him. This would make time to reflect on what He has gone through so I might live a life with Hope. Forgiveness. A purpose. And end to look forward to.
See you on April 24th or shortly thereafter!