Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. This is the lead up to Easter, and a time to realign our hearts with God, reflecting on His character and on our faith walk.
Many people chose to give something up for Lent, as a reminder of this season. A way to be reminded of all the Jesus did for us in dying on the cross. I think this is an important ritual and each year I spend time considering what I should give up for Lent. In previous years, I think I have tried to take out things I enjoy, like chocolate or sugar and tried to 'suffer' through Lent, and then binge on Easter day. While I have certainly had times of intimacy with God through those Lent seasons, I also believe there can be something added to our lives in the season of Lent as a way to celebrate.
This year, I am doing a few smaller things to draw me closer to God's heart - I am going to keep those just between Jesus and I. But as a couple Jeremy and I have decided that during this season of Lent we want more time together, to pray, to laugh, to read the stack of marriage books we have on our shelves, to know one another better. We believe that our television has become an easy way out of conversation, and a wall to intimacy in our home.
One night a week, on Thursdays we excitedly gather around our TV to watch a few of our favourite shows; Bones, The Office and Outsourced. My darling hubs and I do not have much crossover in our TV enjoyment, so this is a sweet time of laughing together. But otherwise, our TV watching is a pretty solo experience, and it keeps us from having quality time together. We use it as a filler, not switching it on for a specific show, but rather having it on and then finding something that can keep our attention for the next 30 minutes.
We are giving ourselves Thursday nights (in lieu of Sundays) but otherwise our TV is not going to be on in the evenings. We want anything we watch on the television to be adding to our lives not taking something away.
Last night was day one. And it was wonderful. It took my mind a while to get used to the lack of stimulation. When I was writing an email, I was only writing an email. It was weird.
We were tooth brushed, PJ-ed and in bed at a decent hour, without the distraction of the box.
We read to each other from a book that we are studying with our friends and then we had a really good prayer time before we fell asleep...earlier than we have in a long time.
It was such a sweet time and I am so looking forward to the next 40 days of un-distracted evenings. I know that it will strengthen us, and I pray that we will grow in intimacy in our marriage as well as our relationship with God.
I know it will give us time to get on with the things we have had on a list of 'when we have time we will do it' projects. Things we want to do or learn together. I am really looking forward to this season, and hope that God changes our hearts as we make room for Him.
Are you doing anything for Lent this year? Have you done anything that really blessed you in previous years? I love that this season can be such a personal time of reflection and faith.