Finishing our journey through Lent with some reflections on the fast <3

I hope you had a beautiful Easter celebration weekend. 

We started ours off on Friday with two services, one at our church and one at St. Paul’s which were different and both good experiences to set our minds on the remembrance of the gift of Hope and Life that we have been given. 

Saturday morning we hopped in the car and headed for a much needed reunion with Russ’s brother and wife, Randy and Sonja. We were delighted to see their three/plus spouses and two great nephews. Minnesota was kind and we were able to enjoy spring like temperatures and watch the last piles of snow melt in their yard. 

I promised one niece-in-law, who had put her hair up and was at the end of a long day chasing a toddler and feeding a baby every few hours, that I wouldn’t post this pic…but I guess I meant on the Book of Face so I hope if she ever sees, she isn’t upset with me <3

We played games, played outside and inside, ate delicious food and enjoyed just being in each other’s company. 

For today, I wanted to take a minute and process with you the thoughts I have gleaned from giving up social media (with exceptions of posting these, responding to any of your comments and sharing my Friday posts for the store where I work) for Lent.

I know I have touched on a few of these, but I want to reinforce what I gained from this “fast.”

<3 I learned early on that I had used social media during Covid as a means of feeling “connected” during that time of isolation. As the barriers to connecting person to person fell away, the convenience and safety of social media type connecting was appealing to me. 

While you have to know me a little better to understand, I am wired as an introvert. Interaction with humans can drain me. Does drain me. I love people and I enjoy conversations and such, but these consume my energy. 

I also absorb all the emotions, thoughts and moods of those around me. I feel and think through what everyone in the circle is possibly feeling and thinking and this is emotionally exhausting at times. 

The closer you are to me, the more intense this absorption is. 

With social media, I can choose my level of energy to expend on “relationships.” I can scroll past anything that is causing me angst or focus on people I don’t even know but follow and feel I am “connecting” without as much cost to myself. 

Taking a break from this during Lent, I was able to see how destructive this was as it is an unnatural form of “fellowship.” It never really fills the heart beyond the next post scrolled to. 

<3 Another thing I learned was how deceptive it is. Without seeing so much of what others were doing, wearing, creating, saying, cooking; I found I was much more content with my lot as well as doing more of the things I love to do. 

I walked more, read more, talked to others more. 

I had more time to get things done each day and I thought more clearly. I need to note here that I also became more aware of my loneliness or feeling ignored by people more. And this is important. 

With social media, we can open up one of these and feel like we are in some group. We don’t have to feel alone and forgotten and this is not really good for the soul. We need to have times where we feel like no one is really thinking of us and in our aloneness, return to God. 

I realized how much my prayer and conversations with God have suffered as I increased filling my time scrolling…sigh. So I began to remember how to talk to Him about things or just be quiet in His presence. 

If I saw or thought of something to share with someone, I would have to stop and think – who would appreciate knowing this information or having me share it with them? My sharing was more personal and intentional, as it should be. 

<3 I did miss helping promote some of the small businesses that rely on social media for their advertising. But I also realized that the world does not need me as a contributor of all things. The engine of social media marched along quite happily without me, as did I without it. 

No one suffered nor mentioned they missed seeing my photos or reading my “funny thoughts” that I so often feel compelled to share. 

This was good for me to realize. 

It also helped me to really ask what my motive is so many times in my personal and additional posts that I make beyond this place where I know God has called me to share. 

The results?

Well, I have enjoyed catching up on a few of my favorites who posted pics whilst I was on the fast. I have loved seeing “Spring” inspiration from some accounts that I follow. I have a renewed awareness of the need to respect the time limits I set up for these and consider them the same as taking a few minutes to look through a pretty magazine and glean a couple of ideas or “see” a few friends I haven’t run into for a while. 

Mostly I want to remind myself what I learned – social media is simply a tool. Not one that fixes loneliness, brings comfort, teaches me wisdom, understands what I really need instead of giving me what I want and is not my “community of fellowship that refines and grows me.” 

It doesn’t do any of those things that I was allowing it to become.

It is a little slice of our culture that can be both entertaining and upsetting and it must be a very small portion of my daily intake. It can not replace intentional relationship building and conversations that need to take place with real people in real time. 

There is a place on your phone where you can set a limit on time per day. Right now I have 20 minutes set for Instagram, which in the past I have ignored, but now I will take seriously. If you are feeling like Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or whatever is taking up too much of your time, I encourage you to fast a while and take note of what is driving you to spend time on these platforms and then seek to fill that need with God. 

He will lead us into healthy and refining relationships with Himself and with real live people who are all around us <3 

What did you learn during Lent?

Share it with someone today <3

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