Lent: Flight into the Desert

I say, “If only I had wings like a dove that I might fly away and find rest.
Far away I would flee; I would stay in the desert.
I would soon find a shelter from the raging wind and storm.”

Recently I have felt so restless, so buffeted by raging winds and storms. My soul longs for peace, for a refuge. Right now the desert has a very great appeal. And so to the desert of Lent. The deliberate renunciation and flight into the shelter of the fast where suddenly the choices become fewer and life becomes simpler.

This Lent I’ve got a few things I want to do. First, I’m going to fast from social media. No Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or Google Reader. Nothing that will push content at me. I will continue to write in this space—but not participate in blog memes like Jen’s 7 Quick Takes and Like Mother Like Daughter’s pretty funny happy real. I want to focus on writing for me and not writing for others. I will check my email—but only once a day. I might visit a few of the blogs that I love but again, I’m going to restrict the amount of time I give myself to read online. I’m going to replace that time with prayer and spiritual reading.

I also have wanted to take up the Forty Bags in Forty Days challenge. I want to declutter and get rid of things we don’t need. This house is too small and we have too many things. More, I have come to realize that excessive worry about these things is troubling to my spiritual health. I want to detach and focus on trusting in God. I want to stop hoarding books and clothes out of a fear that someday we might want them. I want to make this home more of a haven for my family and I’ve realized that my inability to get rid of the stuff is making this home less homely, less hospitable. I’ve got a plan of all the spots in the house that need attention and oh am I eager to get started.

I want to spend more time in prayer. I want to try to get to daily Mass once a week. I want to spend more time reading with Bella and Sophie and Ben (and maybe Anthony too!)

I plan to try to give up sweet things as well just because it always seems to make Easter sweeter if I have been abstaining from chocolate. The few times I’ve not done so it was not fun. It isn’t at all about losing weight. Rather this too is about simplicity and focusing on the good foods we have and not the automatic reach for the sweets when I’m stressed or tired or bored because I need to fill in a gap in my day.

And so here we go…. into the desert.

 

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