Wednesday, March 5, 2014


These are Will's new shoes, which in real life are a bit redder than pink, but equally as bright as they look here. He's still working up the chutzpah to wear them to school.

So today is Ash Wednesday, and my forehead is scrawled with an ashen cross. This is perhaps my favorite liturgical season. Christmas, for all of its joys, is just too busy and finds me cranky on too many days. It's my dream to one day keep a very simple, contemplative Advent season, but that day is a way's away.

But a contemplative Lent is possible. I have a stack of books for my Lenten reading and a Lenten practice already planned. This year, I'm doing an Internet fast. I'll post here on Wednesdays and Sundays (and comment on blogs on those days as well), but otherwise will stay clear of the Web that ensnares me on a regular basis.

My rules are as follows: I can check email three times a day, and during those times I can also check the weather and if I have any library business to do online, I can do that as well. But otherwise, I'm staying off.

For the most part, I find the Internet to be a distracting distraction, an attractive nuisance. Most of my time spend online is wasted time (except when visiting my blog friends, of course!). At any given moment, I can think of a hundred things I need to look up or follow a trail of crumbs that goes on for miles. I'll sit down to check the weather, and forty-five minutes later I'm still on my computer, reading book reviews or catching up with latest news of the Royals.

And then I wonder where all of my times goes.

I would rather my time go to books or prayer or meditation or walking. I could work on a new quilt or dig a new row in the garden. I could, heaven forfend, clean the bathroom. I could write my mother-in-law a letter or give my dad a call.

Really, I'm looking forward to staying offline, to living my life in a nondigital sort of way. Today was good. I did my work in the morning, walked the dog, went to church, read for two hours, and planted peas, then made dinner. I didn't make the Internet at all.

It will be interesting to see how this fast affects me. I'll be back on Sunday to give you an update. Until then, shalom!


Pom Pom said...

I'm eager to hear how it goes and what you end up thinking. I love your thinking.

Heather said...

I need to follow your lead and give up the internet (mostly). It is such a time sucker.

Snazzy shoes!

RedSetter said...

Do whatever works I say. The internet is a dreadful distraction but I've found it a blessing while I've been stuck at home nursing my knee as it has been my window on the world. I reckon we should always audit what is serving our higher purpose and for each of us it will different at different stages. I wish you well on your Lenten fast and look forward to hearing how you get on when you come back online.

Jo said...

Hi Frances, I was going to wish you happy Lent, but it hardly seems appropriate. Happy reading?
I either devour one fascinating thing I have discovered on the interwebs, just like reading a novel, with no self-restraint, or go for days without checking email, blog, or anything. Thus my internet behaviour mirrors my behaviour in the rest of life - unpredictable and flaky!

wayside wanderer said...

Nice shoes. I hope you share the titles of some of your books. I have one I'm is the Lent part of my Advent devo. Handy, eh?

Tracy said...

Something I've always deeply admired about you is your commitment to a very intentional Lenten period. So much so that when I came across a free devotional for my Kindle app I 'bought' it. We're away for a long weekend from today so I may very well have a little meander through it.

All the best with you internet fast. Food has been hard enough!!! I'll look forward to your reflections, because you reflect so much deeper than I do!!! My "Reflective Practitioner" lecturer would agree.

Fiona said...

I know what you mean about the Internet taking time from other things. Wish you well on your Lenten fast

GretchenJoanna said...

You have so many good ideas for structuring your good intentions, which many of us could do well to emulate. God bless you, Dear Frances - and may He help us all to know Him.