Friday, February 26, 2010

Did You Say Lent?

Last year a couple of friends silently challenged me to observe Lent. I say silently, because it was not their words but their actions that made me stop and think about the ways that I celebrate the resurrection of my Savior.

I am not Catholic, so I never gave Lent much thought, but when I saw what the Lenten season did in my friends hearts and lives, I could not ignore it. I asked myself, “Do I live my life in ways that are pleasing to God? Could I use Lent to be a time where I focus on my relationship with Christ and really look at what has come between me and God?”

As an “Evangelical” I would have told you, “You do not need Lent to do those things!” And it is true, but how often do I really do that? And why not take a time of year to really focus on that? We do it for Christmas and we shout “Jesus is the reason for the Season!” We even celebrate Easter at a set time of the year. So why not take Lent to be a purposeful time to seek the Lord with all my heart and look into what is inside. Why not get rid of all the “clutter” of life?

So Andy and I decided that we would keep Lent this year. There are some things that we are giving up and some things that we hope to do.

We are done with pop (goodbye sweet cherry cokes!) No eating after 8:00 pm (our waistlines will be thankful for that one!) We want to read more, and write more, and go to bed early. We want to make time for prayer and journaling.

There is one thing that I have known for a while, but have done nothing about. It is in fact an addiction that I know must people would laugh at and brush off as no big deal. Well, at least I did. This is my addiction to the internet, facebook, on-line forums, blogs I follow, and e-mails. Yes, I know, crazy huh? But it is what it is. So, I decided that I will only be on-line one hour a day.

Funny, I thought one hour would be plenty of time, but doing this has showed me how much of my time is wasted on a screen and on-line relationships, all along, sacrificing my family, and my “people” relationships. Let me tell you, one hour goes by fast! I am realizing how much of my day is spent somewhere that is not “here,” somewhere that is not “present.” And the reality of my addiction stares me in the face. I dream about being on my computer, I find myself going through the day thinking, “I need to check my e-mail” or “I should check my sister’s fcaebook page and see if she posted anything about her graduation,” or “I should check on-line and see if Jerry Spinelli has a new book.” You get it, you might even shake your head in agreement because you know exactly what I am talking about.

This is good for me, it opens so much space and time just to be, and to do the things I need to do. Another thing we are doing (just Andy and I) is no TV. There are 2 shows that we watch (Lost and 24) but we will be watching them on-line so we are not tempted to leave the TV on. And we are also going through withdrawals.

But there are things that I am able to do now. Things like laundry, playing, reading, writing. The things that I always want to do but am “too busy” to get done. Well, I think I am discovering that much of my time is busy and taken up by a screen.

So I am wondering, maybe after 40 days this will be a boundary that I will keep, something that will continue. I am open to a life change that is good for me and my family, and so far, after only a few days, it is!

And for those of you wondering, this blog post was written not during my on-line time, but true free time and saved for a later time when I would actually be on-line and logging in to blogger J


  1. Oh, I resonate with this Ellen. I think it's great that you are doing Lent this year.

  2. Anonymous7:58 PM

    Ellen, I stumbled upon your blog through reading the amazing story you wrote in the MOPS newsletter. The title grabbed me in a heartbeat as I have a little guy with Down syndrome sitting about 3 ft away from me as I type this. I feel like we could be long lost sisters with similar life paths and beliefs! We also have an adopted daughter although she is from Ethiopia. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your article in the newsletter and how it was so encouraging to know that other have had similar thoughts and wresstled with their selfish heart because of this and yet how huge of a blessing our son has been. I admit there are still times when some of these selfish thoughts still rear their head especially as he gets older and the gap between him and the other kids his age gets bigger. I am constantly being challenged to accept him as he is, just as my God accepts me. Would love to hear from you, although I realize you online time is limited right now because of Lent, I on the other hand am lenting red wine! My e-mail is God bless and thanks for all you are doing for the DS community!

  3. Hi Ellen! I can't wait to see you guys in 2 weeks! I feel very honored that you sent me a facebook message during your 1 hour internet time :) BTW Noe and I got rid of TV 4 years ago and I think it was one of the best things we ever did. If there is something we really want to see - like Lost and 24 (LOVE THEM!) we watch them on line. We have also found that no TV mean no commercials and no commercials means the kids aren't begging for the toys they didn't know they "needed". See you soon! - Keila

  4. Ooh, this was a bit convicting! Thanks for the "silent" challenge to all of us who read this. Love you guys!


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