2.15.2016

lent

I am practicing Lent for the first time, ever. I find Catholicism to be a rich, beautiful branch (some may say, the trunk) of Christianity. I love the idea of giving up something that distracts from Christ. The idea of giving up two things has been pulsing in my heart lately, for months. Though it may seem silly to put such weight on seemingly frivolous subjects, to me this Lenten season is so much more than just abstaining from something that makes me feel a little guilty. I've been feeling God call me to put a break on two things heavily, and I figured now was as good a time as any to obey: social media and purchasing wants.

Here's why I'm giving them up.

Social media is so distracting to me. I find myself checking my phone at any quiet moment during the day -- first thing in the morning, meal time, when the kids have quiet play time in their room, while I'm making meals, or even just to catch a breath in between kissing ouchies and sweeping the floor and folding laundry. It's not like I have all the time in the world to sit on my butt and peruse Facebook, but often my day turns into just that. Social media is like crack to me, I'm embarrassed to admit, and it sucks me in! It's quick, it's available in a click, and it's easy to pick up and put down again in a moment. I tell my kids movies and computer games are like junk food for the brain. Once I pop, I can't stop.

Buying wants means anything from those cute sticky notes in the dollar aisle at Target, a cup of coffee at Barnes & Noble, or cheap and adorable home decor at Marshall's (so dangerous). This also ties in with my social media crack -- I love home decor and I'm always looking at decor on Pinterest and Instagram. In actuality, I don't spend a lot of money on things, and I don't think buying something now and then is bad. But when it contributes to a sense of discontent, and thinking, "If only I had this new throw pillow, my living room would look perfect," or "all I want to do right now is relax and just spend ten bucks at a thrift store," then to me, there's a problem. If I'm spending a chunk of my time scrolling through cute homes on Pinterest, but feel there isn't enough time in my day to pray for my kids and crack open my Bible, there's a problem.

This Lent, I really want to shift my focus. I think part of the reason these two things have been on my heart is because I really yearn for simplicity and order. I get overwhelmed with housework and noise, but I know social media contributes to this a lot. For whatever reason, I am very short with my kids when I'm using social media -- I yell more and my patience is zapped. And refraining from buying little things while I'm out and about will be a great lesson in restraint and self-control.

I want my focus to be on my family and on Christ. I hope Lent teaches me a good lesson... I'm on day 5 and already thinking of giving up social media for good. Of course, I'll see how I feel about that in another 35 days... :) My mind is so quiet, and for the record, my home has been in perfect order for five days straight. And I don't think this is a coincidence!

3 comments:

  1. Hey,

    Just dropped by to say that it is NOT a coincidence.

    I am battling giving up my laptop, I know I am a bad parent when it is on all the time (I keep it in the kitchen, to watch Youtube videos or listen to talks, audiobooks etc. when cooking. I realised that cooking takes forever like this, if I don't have it on I finish everything much quicker). When I take breaks from it I read a lot more to my kids, we play, I have time for books that are waiting for me, my house is not messy, I have a lot of patience with the little ones, and I feel better, you know, mentally.

    Somehow I always fall right back in the trap. To be clear, I don't want to give it up completely, I just want to be able to use it as a tool, and not for escaping :(.

    Whitney I read your blog since River was only a baby, I think I check it at least weekly, if not daily. I discovered you on Youtube (ha!) when I was researching cloth diapers. I remember that your videos helped me make my final decision, you made everything sound so easy :). And it was. So thanks.

    I really hope you find the peace that you are looking for...I hope I do too. I look forward to your next post.

    Lots of love,
    Amy

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  2. Whitney! I've missed seeing you on social media, but I'm so with you on giving it up. I just gave up Facebook, but I'm already feeling so much better. I am really feeling that I will not go back to using it the way I used to. There's a reason we feel like crack addicts - because it's designed that way. They know exactly how to manipulate our emotions to keep us coming back (I just read an article about it this morning, but now I can't find it again.)

    And I think your second 'thing' is great, too. We make so many mindless, emotional purchases and it can be damaging in so many ways (emotionally, spiritually, financially, ecologically.) I think it's so wise to be mindful of our purchases.

    I hope you've been having a fruitful Lent!

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