My first experience with Lent

I wasn’t raised Catholic or any of the other Protestant denominations that continue to observe the tradition of Lent, so I was completely unfamiliar with it when I first heard it mentioned a few years ago at my church. Since then, I have used Wikipedia and other sites to inform myself of some of the finer details of the season, but I have never been brave enough to observe it personally. Self-denial isn’t my strong suit, I guess.

This year, as Ash Wednesday approached, I began pondering what I might be willing to give up. I thought of this and that, but nothing seemed to really hit the spot until I happened upon the idea of giving up Facebook. “It will be easy,” I thought, as I mustered up as much fortitude as possible.

Although I have frequently opined here about my love/hate relationship with Facebook, I am hopelessly addicted to it. It is usually the first thing I check in the morning when I log onto the internet, and the last site I visit before retiring for the night. I access it several times a day – via my cell phone or computer – and enjoy commenting on the status updates and photos posted by my friends. I try to “accentuate the positive” by remembering that human relationships are always complicated and messy, and I “eliminate the negative” through such simple practices as hiding annoying people and game updates.

So, here I am with almost a month left of Lent, and I’m still suffering withdrawal symptoms. I pacify my urges with Twitter. It’s fun, but it certainly doesn’t fill the niche that Facebook can.

A rather ironic and unfortunate thing happened while I was writing this post. I had another tab open in my browser and mindlessly clicked the Facebook link on a business page. I quickly hit the back button, but not before the profile page appeared. A minor setback. Onward and upward…

It is what it is

Something happened during the few months that we missed church while Honey recuperated from his concussion. Church no longer feels like a priority for me, and I no longer feel like our church is really our church. It was inevitable really, because I have struggled with those feelings for some time now.

Honey still doesn’t remember some of the members, which makes things extremely uncomfortable during the traditional “Passing of the Peace” portion of our service. Imagine if a total stranger embraced you, kissed you on the cheek, and told you they loved you. He deals with his discomfort by running from it – to the restroom or to the car – while I do my best to deal with the questions that get thrown my way in his absence.

Here we are five years after first attending services at the church we ultimately joined in 2009, and instead of thinking, “Maybe we returned too soon,” I’m thinking, “Maybe we shouldn’t have returned at all.”