A Fresh Start

It seems most everyone I know is doing some sort of cleansing these days. A few years back I would have thought that meant scrubbing the kitchen sink or bathroom floors, but in today’s culture it usually means “detoxing” or ridding the body of harmful chemicals or other unhealthy substances that may build up over time. This cleansing is typically done with special diets of juices or fasting, or maybe a combination of both. After doing a bit more research on the subject though, I decided it was not for me.

The thought of a lifestyle cleanse though . . . that was another matter.

I’ve never given up anything for Lent in the past, but this year it seemed important to me — almost urgent. There was a growing hunger for peace and rest and also a deep yearning for spiritual renewal. I had to do something. As Ash Wednesday approached, I began analyzing many of my daily habits and considered what I might give up sacrificially. I needed to find something that when removed, would have a significant impact on my life. There was only one “toxin” that immediately sprang to mind, but I quickly made excuses and pushed it aside. I could always find reasons to stay connected to Facebook.

In the end, my resistance to unplugging proved to me why it was so necessary. It was time. I thoughtfully planned my exit and even wrote a post explaining why I would be absent for six weeks. Thinking back, that in itself is kind of scary. Certainly there would be ways for my friends and family to reach me if they didn’t see me online! I posted my exit strategy a week ahead of my departure, and in doing so I discovered others who had been secretly longing to do the same thing. (Hopefully they are not reading this, because if they are, then I guess they changed their minds or were unable to make the break.) Note: This blog auto-posts to my Facebook page via WordPress, so no, I am not cheating. 🙂

Have I missed it so far? I can honestly say, not very much. I’ve caught myself several times right before habitually tapping on the familiar blue app on my iPad for a morning update. And right about now I am wondering about the chatter I am missing about the upcoming March snowstorm threatening our region. But here I am, blogging again. My husband and I have been spending more time together. I am reading a Lenten devotion and learning to be still again. I sip coffee while watching birds at our feeder. I am rediscovering things I had overlooked or neglected while scrolling through my news feed.

I’m also realizing that six weeks is really not enough time for a complete detox, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. I’ll let you know what I discover along the way.