Heavens to Murgatroyd, She’s Talking Religion…

It is rapidly approaching that time of year for me to temporarily put down the excess in my life – the things I think I NEED when in reality they are things that I just desperately WANT – and to use that time to do the best I can to explore and improve my Faith. For Lent (beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 13th), I will be giving up my daily touchstone: Facebook. For those of you who use FB as a business contact list, or a place to play online games, this might seem like a trivial sacrifice; something akin to giving up chocolate. For me, I will be giving up the small window of joy I receive when I can see a friend, or a sister, or a cousin, from across the world, post a photo of themselves or their child, or post an update to their day as they are maybe waking up and I am going to bed. I will be giving up that warm feeling when my family and friends comment, laugh, or commiserate about my day. Living, as I have for the last year, in such an isolated place, Facebook has become my main link to my small extended family living in Australia, Germany, Hawaii, Florida, and Taiwan, and the only way to get all my busy friends who live in dozens of other countries, to come to one virtual meeting place to visit. It is truly the only thing that I love so much (other than my family), that I will miss keenly. Honestly, I’ve been living without wine for weeks now, have lived without coffee/caffeine before, and have given up different food groups with no problem. Facebook is my one connection to every single one of my friends and family who do not live in Jasper (pretty much the rest of the world). And while I crave that human connection, leaving it for 40 days will give me clarity and focus. I will email, text, call, write letters, and make a renewed effort to write my blog.

Easter will be on March 31st. I have been a shitty Christian for most of the year, and I need to contemplate why that is, and what I can do about it. It’s not so cool or popular to admit that I am grateful for the love that has come into my life and that I truly believe much of my good fortune came from God answering the only two wishes I ever wished in my whole life. Wish #1 was prayed on every first star I saw, every night from when I was a sad, unwanted 13 years old until I was 25: “Please Lord, give me a family that will love me as much as I love them.” It began to come true when Emily was born, through my meeting Markus, continued with the arrival of Hanna, and was finally complete upon the birth of Simon. Wish #2 began 19 years ago, and is still whispered up to the first star every night, including tonight: “Dear Lord, please watch over my family, and keep us safe and happy, and in love, and healthy, and kind to eachother, and having fun every day.” And as my prayers are answered, I think it’s only appropriate for me to say Thank You and return some of that love.

So, on February 13th, I will delete the Facebook app from my computer and phone, and I will ask that you email or snailmail or just go on enjoying your life for the remainder of the 40 days until Easter. I will also be enjoying my time away, living life and being present and prepared to listen to any messages to my soul.

Whoever your God is, or whatever you choose to believe, I wish you Peace. And here, help yourself to a slice of love. I have plenty to share.

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