I decided to give up social media for Lent.
Well, really Chris and I gave up dessert for Lent. But then we went to Ash Wednesday service and the pastor gave this sermon about making space for God and before I knew it, I was up and getting ashes and then back in my pew deleting Instagram on my phone, while Chris looked on in surprise.
Make that delight. For a nerd, Chris is actually quite the luddite. He rarely goes on Facebook, hates to have the computer on when he's not working and uses a flip phone where the most advanced feature is a pill reminder. For real. He was thrilled with my less-time-online plan.
I love technology (cue the Napolean Dynamite soundtrack). I love reading status updates, blogs, and articles in online magazines. I've been connecting here locally since we moved through group websites and community organizations. I get joy by following my friends as they work for social justice, push babies out into the world and wax poetic about their favorite bands that I will never listen to.
But as soon as I cut all of that out, I realized it wasn't just a joy. It was also a crutch, one I didn't need. I was loving the feeling of being connected without actually connecting in real ways. And I was tuning out my babies a lot more than I'd like to admit.
Another startling realization: when I stopped spending so much time consuming other people's stories and pictures and ideas, I felt the urge to create my own. That first week I wrote a song, something that's always been life-giving for me but a practice I hadn't made time for since I had kids. I had the desire to write again, to piece words together into stories for the pleasure of it. I began to sense God's presence in new ways, in the faces of my babies, in the changing season here in Boulder, in my marriage. I laid awake in bed at night, alive with ideas about writing and making and connecting and speaking.
Isn't that just like Jesus to take an empty place and bring it to life?
And thus, Songbird and a Nerd was born. It's my hope that this will be a place of creativity, truth-telling and hope.
Lent is over. I'm excited about rejoining my "online life" - seeing who adopted a shelter pet and took an amazing trip that necessitated multiple pictures of sunsets. But I'm also eager to leave space, space to notice what's happening right in front of me, space to reflect on God's goodness in each day, space to attend to my sweet little ones who are changing all the time,
space to write,
space to dream,
space to create a new way.
Lent is over. Easter has come. The promise of a new life, filled with grace, arrives in the resurrected body of Jesus. Grace to make a new way, springing up.