The Lenten season is officially upon us. It really snuck up on my this year. I usually spend some time thinking and praying about what the season will look like for me as an individual and us as a family. But before I knew it, Pancake Day was here. (Fat Tuesday/Madri Gras is called Pancake Day in Europe/UK. You make a pancake, which is really a crepe, sprinkle with lemon juice and caster sugar and eat away. To me, it is pretty gross, but everyone does it over there)
For those unfamiliar with the season, I found this definition of Lent that actually sums it up pretty well:
Lent is a time when many Christians observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ - his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection.
Lent is commonly associated with giving up things like pop or ice cream, but at the heart of the season, it is meant to be a time of reflection and meditation on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Historically people have done that a variety of ways from specific foods, fasting, even self mutiliation and our modern church has their own take on the season. In our family it looks like this- Rhys and I both 'sacrifice' something while trying to take on the habit of continued reflection and meditation on the Word of God. Some years are more successful than others, but I find Lent a good time to be 'forced' to stop, slow down, reflect and really take stock of my hearts.
This year my precious husband is giving up ice cream. For those that do not know Rhys really well, that is a pretty huge deal. He eats ice cream every single day. Seriously folks, an overflowing bowl of ice cream every. single. day. It will be a sacrifice for him. I have decided to give up all the apps on my iPhone. I feel really foolish for writing that in a public setting for a number of reasons. One, I feel it is a little sad that I just used the sentence 'apps on my iPhone.' Two, it is also sad that I am so obsessive about said apps that it will actually be a sacrifice to not use them. Things like facebook, pinterest and the like. Sad? uh, probably.
One of my new years goals was to delete the facebook app from my phone so I would be fully present during the day. That has not happened. I don't mean to say that I am constantly on my phone, but it is, without a doubt, my biggest time waster. If I am really honest (again, feeling embarrassed and pathetic) whenever I am rushed or feeling too busy to get everything done, it is because I have wasted my time reading blogs, looking at pinterest or checking facebook. None of those things are inherently wrong, but the way I choose to poorly manage my time in relation to them is.
So last night before I went to sleep I deleted my apps. No more facebook, no more pinterest, no more blogger (or blog reading) for the entire Lenten season. Just to clarify, as my husband was confused, I am not giving up blogging or facebook for Lent. I am just not going to look at them on my iPhone. That might seem inconsequential to some of you, but in my world- that is a big deal! (again, sad but true)
Rhys doenst think I can do. Eleri asked me the other day to put my phone down. What do those things say? That I am communicating to my family that time spent with a tiny, electronic, black box is more important than they are. Clearly, Lent or not, it was time for the phone to go.
I am hoping that this season will prove to be a full and refreshing time. A chance to refocus and re-evaluate where energy, effort and heart really are. I know that there will be times- like waiting in doctors offices or nap time, when I really want the apps. But for cases such as those, I did leave one app on my phone. The Holy Bible. Time to catch up on my Bible reading and really meditate on scripture instead of catching up on what someone I once knew back in high school did last night.
Here is to a great Lenten season for everyone!