Lent 2009

So I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking about what to give up for Lent this year.  I couldn’t think of anything creative, so I was going to go for deprivation by means of soda elimination.  My Coke Zero/Diet Dr. Pepper/Diet Pepsi/Diet 7Up/Diet-who-cares-as-long-as-it’s-carbonated-and-calorie-free addiction.  I would certainly feel deprived.  I just couldn’t think of anything else.

Then, in church on Sunday, the minister talked a little bit about the Law of Attraction.  I hadn’t thought much about the Law of Attraction before, much less how that law would translate into spiritual practice.  Here’s an excerpt from the bulletin: “Our attention is attracted to that in the world around us that is of the same nature as the primary attitude on which we focus.”  In other words, when you find out you are pregnant, suddenly every other person you see is pregnant.  When you break up with your boyfriend, every third person you meet is smooching on the fourth person. 

So during the meditation I was praying about what God wanted to introduce into my life during this Lenten season–what I could use prayer and the Law of Attraction to attain.  And the word that kept coming into my head was Peace.  I long for peace.  I don’t have peace.  I am quite possibly the most anxious person on this planet. 

Perhaps the Law of Attraction doesn’t sound very “spiritual” to you, but if you think about it…it makes sense.  If I spend my waking moments obsessing and worrying and stressing and otherwise feeding the chaos in my brain, do you suppose there’s any peace there?  No.  There’s not.  And I’m pretty sure God has a pretty hard time tripping over my mental clutter to step in with a blessing of peace. 

What contributes to my chaos?  Well, I just wrote out a list, but I decided not to share my list.  Not because there’s anything terribly personal on that list, but I think I’m ashamed of my internal chaos or something.  Hmmmm….

Here’s one thing that was on my list, though: the Internet. I don’t think I spend that much timeon the Internet each day, but almost every time I walk in the living room I jiggle my mouse on my laptop to see if anyone has emailed me or if anyone on one of my doula listserves has anything interesting to say or if some highly fascinating newsletter has dumped itself in my mailbox…you get the idea.  Then there’s Facebook.  It’s so fun catching up with people.  I may not have had a meaningful conversation with them in years, but I can tell you what they’ve had for lunch and how many Girl Scout cookies they just ate for dessert. 

I’m pretty sure that going without the Internet for 40 days is going to be hard.  Really hard.  At least I can indulge myself on Sundays.  I am going to allow myself to get on-line once each day to check and see if I have any emails from prospective or current clients, but all those other emails are going to have to wait. 

My fingers are already twitching, and it’s not even Ash Wednesday yet. 

Maybe I should start using my Twitter account.  I can do that over my phone, right?  And if you really need to tell me how many Thin Mints you snarfed after your pb&j or how many cups of coffee you needed to make it through today, just text me or call me or show up on my doorstep.  I will either be coasting peacefully and prayerfully through my day or I’ll be curled up in a corner shaking and drooling and typing invisible letters on an invisible laptop.

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I firmly believe that Lent isn’t just about taking away something from our lives to make more room for God–I think it can also be adding something to our lives.  As a family, we are committing ourselves to adding the practice of complimenting each individual in our household each day for something that we appreciate about them.  I am also going to be reading, for the third year in a row, Organic God: Lenten Meditations on the Words of Jesus by Kate Moorehead.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Very good post, Jill. The law of attraction thing, it is interesting to think about isn’t it. I am curious about when you started following Lent. You can drop me an email about it if you want to … next month of course! 🙂

    Reply

  2. Posted by Leslie on February 24, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Jill, I receive these free items from currclick.com. This week is a lenten activity. i glanced through it and thought that it looks really good. I want to hurry up and print it off since it starts tomorrow. It is a family lenten tree to get everyone focusing on Jesus and His death and resurrection just like the Christmas Advent. You can find it at currclick.com. On the left column it show it as the free activity. By signing up you receive a free activity each week which do look nice, this is the first one I will be able to use, the others I have downloaded until my kids are older. Just wanted to let you know about this.

    Reply

  3. Faith, I started following Lent 2 years ago, when the pastor of our church in Wichita encouraged us to give up something for Lent. The Easter season at Wheatland was so incredibly meaningful–much more so than I can ever remember. I haven’t done very well the past two years, though. 😉 We’ll see how I do this year.
    Leslie, Thank you so much for the info! I just printed off the book. I am anxious to read over it and go through it with Amelie this year.
    I can actually blog and facebook and email on sundays, btw. 🙂

    Reply

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