Stepping Back

It’s Ash Wednesday today, but I’m writing this on Shrove Tuesday, for reasons you will soon see.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve become very curved in on myself this winter. I’ve become very focused on myself and my personal pursuits, often to the detriment of attention that my family or others need or deserve. January and February have been my excuse, as well as the Big Work Thing and illness. To be fair, those a pretty good excuses. But I’m better now, work is into a good pattern, and it’s now March. And Lent is a good time for facing down our excuses.

So I’m praying about letting go of a few things for this season of Lent. Do you mind if I share them with you, for accountability purposes? Not because I’m awesome for giving up a lot of things – quite the opposite. These are my struggles, and it’s a season for being real about our struggles.

Probably the biggest will be to cut down on blogging. If you had told me in December that I would write a blog post for every day in January and February, I wouldn’t have believed you. I got into a groove, and it was really fun. However, it takes up a lot of time, and it can be an excuse for me to spend too much time and creative energy on crafting. I won’t stop crafting, but I’ll cut back to one post a week (on Sunday – Sundays aren’t part of Lent, you know). I’m still on Instagram, Facebook, and Ravelry, but we plan to cut back severely on phone usage during Lent as well, so it will be less.

I’ve even become literally inward: I haven’t gotten outside much at all this winter, even though it’s been a much milder winter than last year. I’ve become a little removed from the reality of my geography. So I want to commit to spending at least 15 minutes outside every day during Lent.

You live in the Arctic, Rebecca. Get a grip.

After all this conviction about being curved in on myself, this one is pretty silly, but the timing coincides, and it’s knitterly. I’ll be participating in willfulmina’s chill Lenten KAL on Instagram. The timing was good: since I’ve recently finished several projects, it’s a good time to start a bigger project. I’ve been wanting to knit “Galadriel’s Mirror” by Susan Pandorf for a very long time, and I have some Araucania Huasco I’ve planned for years now to use on it. This is hardly a discipline, and I don’t know that I’ll finish it by Easter, but you may want to participate too, so I thought I’d mention it. Besides, Lent isn’t just a time for giving up bad things, but also for doing positive things, like being outside.

Huasco is a sprongy 3-ply superfine merino, perfect for all those twisted stitches. VERY penitential, I know.

There are other things our family will do to set aside some distractions and renew our commitment to each other. But the above are just practices for me. Jared reminded me yesterday that the point of giving anything up for Lent is to better love God and your neighbor. I hope these will help me make more room to do that.

That said, I’ll miss these daily shares! Thank you so much for reading. That is a very pale expression of the deep appreciation I feel for the time you spend here in my online living room, reading and commenting. 
How about you? How is God calling you out of yourself and deeper into life this Lent?

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