Daily Archives: March 3, 2014

my first fast

Growing up, my family, not to mention the church I was raised in, paid little attention to giving things up during the season of Lent or fasting, for that matter. This year, I’ll be fasting from an over-abundance of social media and enternmainment. Now. I don’t being going cold turkey. Let me explain.

I’m on the phone and the computer all day at the office. What excuse do I have to continue to be on it, surfing the net, filling time with mindless videos on YouTube or Netflix, when I could be spending that time with God instead? None. That’s just it.

With that being said, I’m taking a sporadic hiatus.

  • Between 4 PM and 8 AM on any given day (basically overnight), my goal is to not be finding myself in the mist of said mindless internet usage. That means no Facebook. No Twitter. No surfing the web unless it’s an absolute need — paying bills, finding a yellow bridesmaid’s dress for a summer wedding, a face-time date I already had scheduled with a friend, blogging (necessary blogging), renewing books online, etc.
  • One night a week, I’m allowing myself to catch up on shows that I enjoy watching (not to be mindlessly lost, but to watch them before they expire…unless I’ve caught up by now). This one also depends on my internet accessibility. It’s pretty sketchy where I live and if I can’t connect, I won’t be watching anything.
  • One afternoon each week — a Saturday or Sunday when I don’t have plans — I will allow myself to watch ONE faith-message based movie: i.e. October Baby, Ultimate Gift, Ultimate Life, Courageous, etc.
  • One night a week, I will allow myself to go out, alone – date night with Jesus. Doesn’t matter what it is — visiting a coffee shop with my Bible and journal in two, going out for dinner somewhere with the same items, dressing up (who says I can’t), going for a long walk or a hike even. I’ve done this before and I highly recommend it…to anyone, not just us awesome single ladies.
  • All that time I used to or would normally spend in front of the computer or TV, I’ll be spending focused on Jesus. Whether it be getting out into nature and going for a walk weather finally warms up (it is March after all), reading his Word (my Bible), journaling, prayer, reading books about Christian living, grace and faith in God, writing — maybe I’ll work on that novel, reading inspirational fiction (something with God at its center) or volunteering.
  • I will still be blogging, but only between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM and only once or twice during those given days. I may share an article or post a tweet or status update during that time. I will not be “checking in” anywhere outside of those hours. I do have limited access to social media and email at the office and will sporadically be checking in during those hours…note: sporadically.

I’m both excited, filled with anticipation, and terrified to see what God will do with my heart and life during those 40 days. Maybe it’ll be a lifelong choice I’ll make going forward. I need more quiet in my life, more days unplugged and not connected to the internet for a few hours (thus the basic phone).

And I’m reaching out to my social realm of friends to aid in keeping me accountable. If you’re reading this and seeking the same, leave me a comment. I’ll get back to you. If you’re a friend and have my number, text me. *Hugs to all…and here’s to the next 40 days. May God bless them!

“The Sound That Saved Us All” by Anthony Skinner

Book Review: Emma of Aurora by Jane Kirkpatrick – the detailed hisory of this book is phenomenal

732156When I first requested this review copy, I didn’t realize that the book came as a volume. I’m half-way through the second book and have been enjoying the adventure this story has brought me on from the get-go. Although I’m not quite finished, I needed to get the word out as it is well worth the read.

The novels are written in the first person and in such a way that it literally feels as though you are experiencing everything the protagonist does. The details in the text also go above and beyond anything I’ve read in a long time. The time period and personalities are both very believable and realistic, showing that the author has done their research (paired with the incredible gift of their own imagination and the ability to write, of course).

The story is written with heart, adventure and gripping action. Jane also captures what we see in our own culture today, or at least what I’ve seen and experienced in my own life. Emma’s culture believes much as my own did (small-town America) did when I was growing up and since I share the same views of being in the world and not of it made this story come alive for me in ways that others don’t.

Jane Kirkpatrick paints Emma’s story in a historical setting. Her life isn’t perfect, but in the imperfection, God shines through. I think readers will appreciate the rich detail and our protagonist’s longing to live a life pleasing to God. Having this come as a volume to read at one time is a huge plus too for those who like to read an entire series together rather than having to hunt down the other books in the series. This was a great read!

I received this book from WaterBrook Multnomah for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own.