It's Saturday night. I'm starting this post a little after 7:30. My 4 kids are in bed and I believe at least 3 of them are already asleep. I am listening to the hum (or more appropriately, the clanks) of my dryer. The house smells of cleaner- carpet cleaner. My living room carpet looks fantastic. I am enjoying a quiet house and time to myself.
It could be a perfect night. Except that nothing is quite right.
My alone time a result of my husband being gone to a dinner where I am supposed to be his date. My living room carpet was freshly cleaned today to remove the stain and stench of vomit. The dryer is running because I am still washing and drying clothes from a day that consisted of several clothes changes. Three out of my 4 kids threw up today. Two of them spent a good part of the night being sick.
I spent much of the day struggling with a bad attitude. And then, I gave in to it.
I came downstairs and considered checking my husband's facebook page. What? Yep. I didn't. This time.
I had a brief conversation today with my husband about whether or not my facebook fast has been good for me. I have succeeded in staying off facebook (except for a few times when I have looked over his shoulder). Is that enough to call it a successful fast. I don't know.
I do know that I have developed a longing for more. I want to be doing more. I want to be more dedicated. I don't want to let little struggles overwhelm me. When I am down and out, I want to pull from a higher source. I don't always do that. I didn't today.
Lent represents Jesus's 40 days in the wilderness. He was tested. He was offered the chance to be an earthly king. The wilderness-or desert- was a place of solitude and struggle. That's the way I think of it, anyway.
When Jesus went into the desert, he pushed aside all of the expectations and hopes of those around him. My Lent season means depriving myself of many "around" me. I am not connecting regularly with friends on facebook. My Lent experience is about deprivation. Since it is such a shallow deprivation compared to how little some in the world have, I hesitate to describe it that way. I am depriving myself of something and when I think about what that means in my everyday life, I shudder. I realize more and more that I am a slave to my desires. I want. I need. I deserve. Really, it's shockingly true to recognize the selfishness of my thoughts.
I deserve a Starbucks because, I took care of sick kids.
I deserve a date because, it has been so long since I have been on one.
I deserve sympathy because I have had a tough 2 days.
It is ridiculous. I admit I think that way way too often.
This Lent season, this hard-to-explain-to-friends-facebook-fast, is more than it appears on the surface. I thought I would be accomplishing more. I am struggling more.
It is a season of soul-searching. It is a time of reflection. I am slowly and sadly acknowledging that I am not what I long to be. It's a burden. But, it's also a beautiful struggle.
I have hope. I recognize emptiness in my life. I realize I long for things that amount to nothing. The world is in me. Desires that amount to death abound.
I have hope. In my vain attempt at creating discipline, I see my need for a Saviour.
My need is real.
And so, I press on through my Lent fast and my selfishness thoughts, looking forward to celebrating resurrection on Easter Sunday.