This Lent was really awesome. If you’ll remember, I gave up social media (Facebook and Twitter), eating out and decided to write 40 notes of gratitude (give or take) during the Lenten season. How’d I fare?
Well, I’m blaming the stumble onto FB on my sweet Aggies. I logged on and posted four words I never thought I’d say, “Aggies are National Champions” and dadgumit if I didn’t get called out on it. Talk about the Lent police. I stayed away from Twitter, though.
As a family, we gave up eating out and while we did eat out during our trek to San Antonio, as a family we held out until Monday. Chuy’s was calling our name.
As for my 40 notes of gratitude, I didn’t miss a day. I did forget to put postage on one and it got sent back, but I finally did get it back in the mail. I think it still counts, right?
What did I learn? Discipline, frugality and gratefulness.
At first social media detox was hard. I mean, I went from checking my accounts multiple times a day and posting updates / tweets daily to nothing. For a bit, I felt totally disconnected. Then I heard God chuckle as if to say, “Told ya.” In the moments when I would usually be scrolling through my iPhone, I was listening to my kids or reading a quick daily devotional. I forgot my phone, a lot, during those 40 days. Now that Easter is here, while I’m enjoying catching up with friends, reading 40-day-old messages and posts, I found out that I didn’t really *miss* anything.
The urge to eat out got tough on the days when everyone was tired and we had a full after-school schedule. But we did it. I actually made menus and cooked things I haven’t made in YEARS. We ate great and got used to not eating out. The thing I feared I would dread the most – meal planning – turned out to be fun again. Trust me, there were some days when I dragged my not-so-happy hiney to the kitchen to cook. But as we were cleaning dishes and loading the dishwasher I felt accomplishment. Ultimately, I felt God present in our home because I knew what we were doing was honoring him. We were spending time together as a family.
Those notes. Wow, those notes. I didn’t start out with a pre-determined list of people. I just wrote to someone who was on my heart that day. Somedays it was someone I’d known all my life, others to people I’d just met, a neighbor here, a high school classmate there, doctors, police officers, coaches and relatives. There was no rhyme or reason. The most unexpected part was getting a note in return. One, in particular, was from the OB who delivered Will. I’m telling you now, Dr. Teter hung the moon. His note back to me was completely unexpected and so awesome. Gratitude does do the heart good. It makes you complain less and be thankful more.
Ultimately, this Lent really helped soften and shape my heart. I still have a long way to go, but I’m getting there…