As you may (or may not) know, depending on your own person beliefs, today is Ash Wednesday.
Ash Wednesday symbolizes the first day of what Western Christianity celebrates as Lent.
Now, I'm sure that I won't be able to give an explanation of Lent great justice, so intend, I'm going to just paste in a copy of an e-mail I received from my church which will explain it.
What is Lent and why does it last forty days?
Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means "spring." The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.
Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.
Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter" and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection.
Wa-la. There you are.
A much better put together explanation than I could have ever come up with.
In fact, I didn't even know the part about Sundays not being involved.
We learn something new every day!
Now, why am I writing about Lent? Other than it's starting today...
I want to share my thoughts on it, as well as tell you what my plan is for Lent and for the self-examination and reflection.
I'm hoping sharing will help to keep me accountable.
You can do that for me, right?
This year, I'm choosing to give something up for Lent.
I'm choosing to do so because I'm hoping that by giving this up, I will have more time to dedicate to my relationship with God.
I'm hoping to have more time to read the word, read devotional books, pray, meditate on scripture, etc.
So what is it that I'm planning on giving up to allow this to happen?
Yep. Social media.
I'm currently 18 days into a "No Facebook February" and I'm kind of liking the change.
I'm going to continue doing this and expand it to other social media.
No Linkedin (Which I hardly use anyway).
I will be deleting all of these applications off of my phone from now until the day after Easter.
Instead of wasting all of my time on these apps, I'm going to spend more time with God.
I plan to:
Read a couple Christian books (perhaps my new one from my hubby?)
Spend more time in the scriptures, reading and meditation on the word
This means that instead of these apps, I'll be using these other ones a whole lot more:
Kindle (I have some Christian books on there)
PS. If you haven't heard of Instapray, I recommend it.
It's semi-like other social media like Instagram and Twitter where you can post things and repost things, but they are prayers.
I like it, but I don't spend enough time on it.
The only social media I will continue to use is YouTube and Pinterest.
I do not use these apps very much to begin with and I don't really use them for social purposes.
I watch videos on YouTube occasionally and I have to use Pinterest coming up in March for crafts for school.
That's the only time I'm on Pinterest anyway, looking up crafts and bulletin boards for work.
I don't actually scroll through them anymore.
But yep, there's my plan!
Praying that this goes well and I can devote a lot more time to things that actually matter.
Are you doing anything for Lent?