Thursday, March 3, 2016

Lent Is Under Way


     It's begun...Lent. Each year I give up something and try to add something. But this year is going different for me. I had a hard time thinking about what to give up. Not because I'm perfect, far from it, just ask my husband!­čśë But because I didn't feel a calling. I don't drink soda or alcohol. I don't eat a ton of sweets (I purposely don't buy them, or I'd devour them). I don't watch a lot of tv. I don't seem to have any bad habits....unless you count my collection of stuff!  So, I was really stuck as what to give up.  I'm definitely working on clearing out our excess, but I need something more.  Something that brings me closer to God.

     Then I attended mass at a different church (St. Bridgette's) and the young priest (Father Romke) had an excellent homily.  He started with a story about how the Msgr. of the church was asking the parish and other priests to give up television.  The young priest had a really hard time with this and admitted that he told the Pastor NO!  He couldn't be told to give up tv because he'd miss the Cubs spring training and he LOVES the cubs.  He would do just about anything else but couldn't give up his precious Cubbies.

     But this young priest felt silly after telling the Pastor this.  He felt bad and couldn't quite figure out why.  So, of course he prayed about it.  It was then that he realized that Lent isn't about giving random things up.  It's about giving up the really hard stuff AND replacing it with something that brings you closer to God.  Just like Jesus gave up the really hard stuff (his life) to bring US closer to God!  So this young priest, knew what he must do.  He was going to give up his Cubbies but he also knew that he needed to purposefully fill that space with something important.  Otherwise, he'd fill it with something else that didn't have any real meaning.

     That's when it hit me.  I immediately knew what I needed to give up.  I need to give up my computer/screen time.  Like I said, I don't watch a lot of tv but I'm constantly on my phone or computer.  I'm always checking emails, checking facebook, seeing who posted what.  It's not that I'm on the screen it's about WHEN I'm on the screen.  I realized that while I'm doing this, I'm missing out on playing more with the kids.  I'm showing them that the screen time is more important because I'm saying "Just a moment." ALL. THE. TIME---I'm on the screen and they're asking me to play or asking me for help.  This is not what I want my kids to think.  Because they're infinitely more important to me.

     So, I've decided to give up screen time during the day and this includes my phone.  While my kids are awake, I am going to do my BEST to stay off the electronics.  Yes, I'll use the computer after they've gone to bed and I'm sure I'll catch up on facebook while they're napping.  Yes, I'll use my phone during the day to snap pics but I won't post them until later.  But I need to use my daylight and waking hours in a better way.  I was a different mom when my two older kids were little- we had a dial up modem, no facebook and only about 25 channels on the tv.  I had way fewer distractions!

     Since I'm giving this up, I need to fill the time with something of substance.  I need to fill this time with my family and with God.  Who else wants to try this out?  I really think it will make us better parents and will be better for our kiddos.  And just because Lent started a few weeks ago, doesn't mean you can't start now!

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