Lent 2014

As I start this blog I can’t help feeling an overwhelming sense of deja vu. I feel like I’ve already written this post, which is odd because I most certainly have never endeavored to do anything like this project before.

As most of you know the Lenten season begins today, March 5th with Ash Wednesday. and goes until April 19th, Holy Saturday. It is common practice to “give something up” for Lent, a practice that even those who aren’t church go-ers often participate in. There are two beliefs for the fasting. The first is that you fast as a form of penitence for your sins. The second theory is that the fasting is a reminder of the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert being tempted. I’m not sure that these two things really have to be mutually exclusive. 

This year for Lent I have decided to do two things. The first thing I am doing is giving up Facebook and Twitter. I’ll be honest these two vices are big distractions in my life. I am actually glad at the excuse to forgo them for 40 days. Granted, just because I am glad at the excuse, does not mean it will be easy. I do believe them both to be a source of negative energy in my life, and in many ways they ‘tempt’ me to sin. They evoke gossip and judgements about people in my life. They steal time away from more noble pursuits. And while it is never something I intend, they also may serve as a platform for boastfulness. So for these reasons, I am giving them up. I am allowing myself to stay on some social media (Goodreads, Instagram) because I feel like I don’t waste nearly the amount of energy or time on them, and I feel like they are positive outlets for my passions in life.

The next thing I am doing is a more ‘contemporary’ view of Lent

Instead of fasting, I will be indulging. Indulging in the word of God that is, and indulging in the interpretation of it by other spiritual leaders. Each day I will devote the time to reading the selected passages from my YouVersion bible app. It’s a program that will lead you through the Bible in a year. I’ve gotten behind so I’m actually only in Exodus right now (Pharoh Pharoh just let his people go!- please get the camp song reference there). The next thing I am adding is reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. I knew I wanted to add a devotional type activity, and this book actually works well for it. It’s 40 chapters I believe.  And I believe the version I am getting (coming in the mail today) will have those little bar codes you can scan with your phone to get additional content online. I am a little tentative because I feel like I’ve heard negative things about Rick Warren for some reason, but I am optimistic about the experience.

I know that Lent should be a time of sacrifice and so I can’t help but feel like I’m doing it a little bit “wrong” that I am actually excited and happy about the changes this Lent season may bring to my life. It is what it is though. What are you giving up for Lent? Are you adding something? Please let me know what you’re up to and what you think of my plans. I’d love the feedback!

 

Getting Things Done: Doctors and Bloodwork

One of the things on my (massive) To-Do List was to schedule a physical and get blood work done. I haven’t been to get blood-work done since I was about twelve. (I know). I did actually had blood drawn when I was nineteen and in the ER for stomach pain, but I don’t know what they tested in that blood test. I just remember that they told me my levels were all normal. I am assuming it wasn’t anything like blood-sugar, cholesterol, or the traditional “clinical” blood-work.

On Monday I decided it was time to bite the bullet. I knew if I went ahead and did it I’d at least have it done before tax-season got into full swing, and I’d be able to go into any baby making with a clear conscience. I normally dread the doctor. I’ve been known to actually cancel appointments because I was having a bad day and couldn’t be bothered with going to the doctor on top of it all.  Somehow though, I didn’t dread this appointment at all.

On the way over to the doctor’s appointment I found myself feeling a little nervous. And honestly, looking back, I can’t tell you what for. I really can’t. (Which is probably a good thing). I was listening to K-Love on the radio. (I turned in on after Christmas since I was missing my Christmas music, and then they kept mentioning this “30 Day Challenge” and I’d already been listening to it for about 2 weeks straight so I figured, why not?) And while some people might not buy it, I just prayed and asked God to please just take away this small bit of anxiety I was feeling and I asked him to please just give me an easy appointment. I was only about 60 seconds away from the doctor’s office by the time I finished my request.

When I walked in the door I was literally greeted the second I walked up to the window. Even though my insurance and name had changed I was processed quickly and given paperwork to fill out. Before I could even finish filling out the paperwork the triage nurse came for me and we started the blood pressure, weight, and entry questionnaire type things. When she finished she told me the P.A. would be in with me shortly and honestly within 5 minutes she was there in the room with me. I got a small lecture about my weight (I’m at the top of my BMI- which I knew, partially it’s because I’ve gotten lazy about exercising, partially because I do genuinely just have a big frame). But that was it. Other than that she had nothing negative to say. She gave me paperwork for routine blood-work which she doesn’t expect to see any huge problems with based on my answers to her questions.

I hate blood work but I am oddly (or maybe not so oddly) at peace about having done. I plan on asking the phlebotomist to just take whichever arm she wants and then asking to let me please just be in my own world. I’m a little worried about what the results might be, but I am trying to again put my faith in God (just like I did for the doctor’s appointment) that everything will come back fine and that even if something is off, it will be easily manageable. I got the (almost) exact appointment I wanted, for 7:45am on Monday.

If you’re wondering why I am sharing this with you the answer is that I wanted to share the fact that I conquered a fear. (Well, I’m technically still in the process of conquering it.) And I conquered my fear by asking God for help.