My First Lent

Technically, it’s my 40th Lent, but it’s the first one I’ve ever observed.  As a product of a Baptist-heavy nondenominational upbringing, Lent was always a “Catholic thing”.  Now that I’m working for a Free Methodist church-based school, I’m learning that Lent is more than just a Catholic practice… other Christian denominations observe it, as well.

What is Lent?  Well, I’m no Lenten scholar but my understanding of it is this:  Lenten is the season between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday (approximately 40+ days).  It is a time to identify with Christ’s suffering, the time He spent fasting in the desert.  During this time, He was tempted by Satan to use His position as the Son of God to test God’s faithfulness and provision.  Of course, Jesus did not give in to the temptation…  but it was 40 days of  self-denial.

Participating in Lent is not something you’ll find mandated in the Bible.  In fact, the practice of it didn’t begin until a few centuries after the death and resurrection of Christ.  Like other practices and traditions, its practice is more symbolic and acts as a tool to bring us closer to God through prayer and study of scripture.

Usually, during the Lenten season, participants give up something.  It can be dietary sacrifice, such as giving up meat,  sugar, or caffeine.  Others may give up watching TV or listening to secular music.  What is sacrificed is usually  something that is important to the individual and is something they feel will bring them closer to the Lord in its absence.

I know a few people who are giving up Facebook for Lent (what does that say about our culture today?!).  My sister-in-law is giving up sugary drinks.  Several people at the school where I teach are turning either vegan or vegetarian for 40 days (including my carnivorous, hunter-fisherman brother).   I am giving up all my Facebook games.  No Farmville… no Cityville… no Petville… no Frontierville… no “villes” at all.

Why?  Are my Facebook games evil?  No, but they are time-consuming.  It doesn’t matter how quickly I think I’m going to harvest my crops or collect rent, I always end up spending too much time there.  Time that could be much better spent doing… well… just about anything.  The pastor of my home church recently did a sermon on how we spend the time God has given us.  I felt justifiably convicted by this sermon.  I figured Lent would be a good time to see how my life (in all aspects, including spiritually) might be improved if I spent my time more wisely.

How is it going?  So far, so good.  I’m not missing my games too much and I’ve been more productive.  I’ve even had time to write up this blog on Lent!   I now know more about Lent than I did before… there’s the spiritual growth.

Are you participating in Lent?  If so, what are you sacrificing and how is it going?

Random Ramblings

Confession

OK… I admit it… I lied about posting the rest of my family tree blog the “next day”.  The thing is, I’m still doing my research and my family tree is probably not  interesting to anyone else but me.  I’m sure I’ll blog about the subject again, but I’ve got to get my mind organized first.  It’s amazing how many branches diverge off of one tree trunk… I can hardly keep track of who is who in my family anymore.

My Cat

We got our kitten a few weeks ago.  She is adorable!  She is also,  I’m noticing, a bit mentally-challenged.   The first time she saw herself in our  full-length mirror and attacked the “other cat” in the reflection was cute and funny.  Well, she is still attacking herself.   And by “attack”,  I mean full-on, high-speed, battering-ram, flying into the mirror cat-fight!   It’s still funny.   It’s not so cute anymore.  I worry she is going to shatter the mirror with her head!

She can also be found chasing her tail… while trying to balance on the top of a chair back.  This usually results in a nasty spill.  She has fallen into the water-filled bathtub a few times, much to the boys’ delight.  She likes to lick.  She especially likes to lick my legs after I go for a long, sweaty run.

Speaking of Run

I went for a great run today!  I went longer than I had planned but it was worth it.  I discovered some new trails  and the weather couldn’t have been better.   My heel has been bothering me (I have a bone spur in my heel) but I’ve decided that I might as well get used to it.   I’ve had physical therapy and a cortisone shot and neither has completely taken away the pain.  It’s sort of a trade-off… my heel hurts when I run but the rest of me hurts when I don’t.  So, I guess I’ll run.

Virtually Me

I love Facebook.  Where else can you become “friends” with people who hardly gave you the time of day in high school?  Where else can you connect with people who actually live only a few doors down from you?  For a phone-hating, verbally-challenged individual like me, Facebook is a social paradise.   If only I could include my Facebook life on my job resumes!  Who wouldn’t want to hire someone with the following qualifications?

  • Voted “Nicest Person” -by people who don’t really know me- several days in a row
  • Successful farm owner who took a small, four-plot farm and turned it into a thriving business worth millions of “coins”
  • Winner of numerous Bake-Offs in the town of YoVille
  • Supporter of and participant in several worthy committees, such as “We Hate the New Facebook Home Page”, “Six Degrees of Separation”, and “I Don’t Care How Comfortable Crocs are, You Look Like a Dumbass”

It takes a lot of time to have such a successful Facebook life!

So, yesterday I decided to quit two of my three Facebook farms.  I gave away all my Yoville merchandise to a friend and will move out totally once all my cakes have finished baking.  I purged myself of my Roller Coaster Kingdom and got rid of my aquarium.  And you know what?  It felt good!  I only have one farm now and it has no crops so all I have to do is water my flowers and I’m free.

Insomnia?

I don’t have it.   Good night!