Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wasted Wednesday: Getting Personal About Lent

This week's Wasted Wednesday is most definitely a personal blog post.  I try to avoid personal blog posts about my life and stuff because I have had previous blogs where all I did was talk about my personal life and they left me feeling empty and annoyed with myself.  Plus, putting myself out there as I did was a bit strange for me.  I like to think of this blog as a personal one as a whole.  Yes my blog is about reading and my point of view as a reader but with this point of view comes my views as a reader on writing, faith, and many other things.  So after you read a lot of my blog posts, you may know who I am a bit more and it won't be because I am ranting about my day. 
But this blog won't be a rant.  It is actually about Lent.  If you have been following my blog from the beginning, you may remember that I actually gave up Tumblr for Lent last year!  And I also gave up Facebook games.  Lent is 40 days and 40 nights in which Catholics (and other denominations I'm sure) give up something they hold dear to them to understand the sacrifice Jesus made for us and our sins.  The purpose of this time is to essentially help us realize that the things we hold on to tightly are things we can live without if we give ourselves the chance.  Sometimes when we let go of the things we hold on to the tightest, it paves our way to see God more clearly. 
But 40 days and 40 nights is a relatively short amount of time.  It may go by slowly but once it is over, people slowly sink back into their old habits.  Last year when I gave up Tumblr, it almost felt as if a weight was lifted off of my shoulders.  I was happier and content on blogging from my other blog location on blogspot.  But Lent ended and...well, it is obvious I went back into my old habits.  Tumblr, like many other internet hubs, can have effects equivalent to those of drugs.  When you first use it, you think it is just okay and nothing special.  Then you use it more and more and become engrossed in it until you are on it all the time and it is not only bad for your mental health (seriously, do we need to see all these Sherlock and Draco/Harry posts?...if you use Tumblr, you will understand) but it is also bad for your physical health (sitting all day at the computer) and spiritual health. 
So this year, I knew I was most likely going to give up Tumblr but deep down I also knew that just giving Tumblr up wasn't good enough.  What is the point of giving it up for 40 days and 40 nights only to return to it for the rest of the 325 days?!  I don't want to continue this habit of acting better because i gave something up only to return to it.  Yes, Lent has taught me a lot these past years.  Lent has helped me gain understanding of Jesus' sacrifice for my sins.  Lent has taught me that I can live without a lot of things (I also gave up soda one year and YouTube another).  But Lent has also taught me that I will always get these things back.  So am I participating in Lent for me or for God?  I think it has been for me.  But this year, I want to change that.  I want to make Lent about God.
This year I will be giving up Tumblr in a sense.  I am not allowed to be scrolling on Tumblr or posting on Tumblr.  The only day I will be on is Sunday (the day of rest) and that will be to queue some book reviews and maybe post a few of my likes.  I am doing this because in reality, I won't be giving up Tumblr completely.  I want Lent to create in me some lasting habits and not revert me back to my old ones.  So in replacement of Tumblr time, I will take that time and use it for other things. These things are --> read my bible more, read more, exercise, write more, listen more, and change more. 
Over winter break I began reading the bible.  In truth, I have never ever read the bible on my own which is pretty sad.  I was immersed in my faith and watching all kinds of people use their creativity to glorify God and that is what I wanted to do yet how could I do that if I had no knowledge of His word?  I've read Harry Potter five times and while it has taught me a lot and I don't regret it a bit, it also tells me that I need to start putting that same devotion into God because God isn't about following rules and setting aside 15 minutes to be with Him a day.  God is about having a relationship through Jesus and having a spiritual life 24 hours a day.  It is about stepping out of my comfort zone and doing things that will help me live out my purpose. 
So my plan is start everyday with God.  That means I will read my bible and pray and devote my day to God.  While Tumblr is a huge thing I am giving up, I also plan to give up the computer screen more.  While I will have to spend time on the computer for school and communication, I want to spend less time scrolling down Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube...though YouTube is actually very inspiring and I will continue to watch it through the Wii at times.  I will read books more because books often reveal truth about the world and help me understand.  I will also write more so that I can use my creative juices and push myself.  I also will exercise because most of my day is spent sitting and needs to be spent moving.  And finally, I will try my best to step out of my comfort zone more and listen more.  This means I will shut my mouth when I want to argue and I will try to expose myself to all kinds of experiences. 
I don't plan to do this alone though!  Lent is all about learning the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins and I know God will be with me as I try to change my bad habits and learn some good new ones.  Let me know if you are participating in Lent as well!  While Lent is a Catholic tradition (and I said this before, last year), that doesn't mean you can't participate.  I encourage anyone who hasn't ever participated to participate this year because it is good to learn from other branches of belief.  I reviewed a book earlier this year called The Wind Is My Mother and it is all about Native American traditions.  The book taught me a lot about God and about faith and even though I do not identify myself as a Native American, I still can learn from their teachings.
So this my goodbye post to Tumblr.  As I said, Sundays I will update my queue so you may see a book review soon or some reblogs from time to time.  As usual, all my blogs will be posted at my blogspot address which you can find on my Tumblr page.  I plan to take a picture everyday during Lent (maybe more than one sometimes!) so I can show you my journey!  It should be fun!  Talk to you all soon!

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