From Ash Wednesday to Easter, many solemnly mark their foreheads with ash, “fasting” (or abstaining from certain foods or physical pleasures) for 40 days. This is done to supposedly imitate Jesus Christ’s 40-day fast in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-2). Some give up smoking. Others give up chewing gum. Still others give up over-eating or cursing. People vow to give up anything, as long as it prepares them for Easter.
While we don't annually observe Lent, there had been several specific things that I had been seeking God's direction on and fasting is a commonly accepted form of deliberate listening. Because I am nursing I can do no form of fasting as it was traditionally done, but decided to seek something that I could give up. The thing that entered my mind instantly was the Internet. I knew it was becoming a problem. I was turning to the Internet for inspiration, encouragement, guidance,affirmation and escape. These are all things that I should be getting from God, the Bible, healthy relationships, nature, my family!!!! So, I decided that this was what I needed to do.
At first it was V.E.R.Y. hard. I felt anxiety even. So pathetic. But it's true. I replaced all my spare time that I would have spent on the computer sitting at the table w/ my Bible, praying or investing in my children.
There were 3 specific questions I brought to the Lord asking for direction. It blew me away how clearly and quickly He answered me!!!! The way the Lord speaks to us is different for everyone I suppose. I never heard an audible voice, but my heart was so full of His breath that I knew the Spirit was leading me. Circumstances fit too perfectly together to be called circumstances! I know it was God's hand. The answer to each question was NOT what I expected to hear...and not necessarily what I wanted to hear. The direction for all three were so far from what I was thinking and hoping that I know it wasn't from me. And the peace I feel with each one is truly testament to the fact that I have "heard" God's answers and not my own. There is NO way I could feel peace about these choices were they not from my Father.
I learned so much self discipline! Haha! Because of the direction God was leading me I wanted to do research SO BADLY!!!! It was very good for me. I just had to pray and trust! I'm a google-aholic! So learning to rely on God and having to WAIT was a valuable lesson for me.
Towards the end of the first 30 days I was starting to enjoy the lack of my shackles ;) It was nice to have the extra time I had been wasting in from of the screen to spend w/ my kiddos, my Father or just taking care to things that needed to be taken care of!!! I will still get on the Internet to check some blogs and I will certainly be blogging (I have a lot to catch up on :s ) but I am going to work really hard not to get sucked in again. Pinterest is going to be the hardest thing to have self discipline w/! HA!
So, that's where I've been. It has possibly been some of the longest 47 days of my life, but it was worth it! And I may even observe Lent again next year. Who knows.