28 April 2011

Learning During Lent

This year, for Lent, I gave up facebook. For the first two weeks, all I wanted to do was write on this blog about HOW HARD IT WAS. But I was convited that complaining about sacrifice is not the purpose of sacrifice. So I refrained. And writer's block set in. Thus my lag in blogging (if you were wondering).

Overall, signing off of facebook for 50 plus days was the best thing I've done in a long time. It was a hard decision. I'm always tempted to give up something that won't be challening. (Like not eating English peas or cooked carrots. No problem there since I don't care for either!) But I KNEW that the Lord was urging me to change my focus drastically. I think that you could call my obsession with facebook an addiction. I had a discussion with my advisory group at school that it's automatic to sign into facebook whenever a computer is near--and sometimes we don't remember getting there. Yikes!

So on March 9, I signed out of facebook and Husby changed my password. Although temptation was abundant, there was NO WAY I could sign on. Initially, I had an issue with asking for help from him since it removed an element of self-control from the sacrifice, but later decided that it's okay to have help from others when a change needs to be made.

During my time away, we bought a house (which we found in the first few days away). I feel like the Lord blessed this sacrifice. Does he always bless when we sacrifice? Probably not. Would we have found the house if I'd been on facebook? Maybe so. Will I only sacrifice in order to receive a blessing? No way. But I do feel that this is a gift from Him for obedience.

And OH IT WAS HARD when we hit snags in being approved for our mortgage! I came up with clever status updates that I could have posted IF I'D ONLY BEEN ABLE, but I wasn't. I wanted so badly to type a snide comment, but I couldn't. Each time I felt frustrated, my option was to pray about it. I've felt REALLY convicted about this. How often do I turn to facebook or a friend or my husband about a problem before I turn to my God?

Some gave me a hard time--in love, I'm sure--about not being on facebook. I laughed it off. After a couple of weeks of not accessing it approxmiately 3843 times a day, I was out of the loop. Honesly, it was nice. Since Lent ends on Easter--in celebration--I could have signed on as soon as I woke up. Again, I was convicted that the celebration isn't about what we get back that day--in terms of our sacrifice. We celebrate because Jesus rose from the grave; we get our lives back in return for his sacrifice. I decided that I'd sign on that evening, after we'd spent time at church and with friends and family. When I did, I was bored. Since Sunday, I've signed on probably once a day.

For now, it's lost its luster. And I hope that it doesn't become the focus that it was before the sacrifice. I fear that I substitute my "friendships" on facebook for relationships in real life. And relationships are so important to me. I want to talk to people and to write letters and notes of encouragement and not comment on a funny status. I know that taking a [hopefully permanent] step back might mean that I don't know about the fun, daily things in the life of my [actual] friends, but that'll have to be okay. I want to invest in lives and not facebook.

I remember several years ago--before facebook--when my friend, Allison and me would send each other funny cards. I loved choosing the cards and writing a special note, and I loved receiving a special piece of mail addressed to me and not a bill or a piece addressed to "Current Resident." But life has gotten busy, and I've forgotten how sweet a card can be.

My goal is to send handwritten notes to my friends. Hopefully one each week. I have stamps and cute cards. Now, I have time to write without the ever-present facebook.

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