Lent 2014: Finding space

Recently, I’ve been kind of obsessed with reading minimalism blogs. It’s a very cool online community, and the posts have some wonderful ideas about things to do to create more space in your life for the things that matter to you. Prioritization is something that I really struggle with, so I like the idea of creating more space in life for things that are really important.

For both me and my family, Lent is usually an important season. No, we’re not Catholic, but it’s a good way for us to reconnect with God and pay closer attention to the things that we allow into our lives. I’m in what feels like a very transitional place right now–I’ve been spending the semester in DC, and I’ll be returning to Pittsburgh around Easter and then returning home–so I think this Lent is a good time for me to pay very close attention to how I’m spending my time and resources. Here are the things that will help me do that.

What I eat
I will give up junk food for Lent, because I’m spending way too much money on crap and I’m not taking care of my body.
For the same reasons, I’ll drink only water, tea, coffee, or milk (in addition to what is at my house that I’ve already bought, just to minimize waste).
I will fast at least two meals on Fridays and use that time to pray.

What I buy
I will not buy something unless I’m replacing something that I’ve used up or worn out, or have another legitimate need for.

What I do
I will limit myself to three hours of screen time a day (not including being in the office) so that I can get off the internet and back into the real world. This is also an effort to limit procrastination.

It’s a lot to bite off, but I really want to make some space in my life. A while back, I did some reflecting and recognized that these are the five things that matter to me: God, people, my health, education, and professional development. The last two tend to get a lot of attention, but I don’t spend nearly as much time and resources on the first three as I want to and need to.

I want to find the space this Lent to obey God, serve others, and take care of myself. I don’t usually broadcast the things I do for Lent, but I’m taking enough on that I really want some accountability. I’m going to make a concentrated effort to blog more than once a week–if I have to bend my screen time rule for that, I will–but I sometimes have trouble with that consistency.

So, if you read this far and you feel comfortable doing it, call me out if you haven’t heard from me on this blog in a while. Ask how I’m doing. And hey, if you’re doing a tough fast and want some accountability, let me in on it. We’re all in it together, and a supportive community can do a lot to help you stay on track–and remember why you’re doing it.

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