i believe this is the first year that i've really observed the season of lent...really thought about what it means; learning about what i am and what i believe. i attended a very liturgical ash wednesday service at an episcopal church in our neighborhood. i wanted to be alone and where i didn't know anyone and to feel somewhat out of place. and that is what happened. but i also felt "in-place". in a place where i can recognize the somber reality of my sinful self. the frailty of my body on earth. the need for God. for a Savior. for it is by dust i was born and to dust i shall return.

i have had--multiple times--the impulse to check facebook. my online social sphere. i "gave it up" for lent (except on the sabbath). and although it seems like such a silly, insignificant thing to sacrifice; it wasn't. it hasn't been. it's been so easy to tangle myself into the superficial reality the online world can offer. i ignore time to be still, silent, rest, read, play, sleep, be with God, listen to God, pray for others, write, sing, and so on. and here i am on the computer writing on our blog, but there isn't an addictive nature of writing in this space. the potency of the desire to feel connected through facebook was what drew me to it at least a dozen times in a day; to withdraw myself from thought or feeling--it was sort of a numbing agent. and this time away will allow me to reanalyze facebook, to gain a healthier relationship with it. i hope to gain the sense of freedom from this thing i gave up. and through this discipline i hope to live in the freedom of Christ. and that every time i feel the pull to check facebook, that i would remember that this is a sacrifice. but that i would also see the bigger picture; the ultimate sacrifice that was given for me. a sinner.

12 “Even now,” declares the LORD,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

13 Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
14 Who knows? He may turn and relent
and leave behind a blessing—
grain offerings and drink offerings
for the LORD your God.

--Joel 2:12-14