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Long Ago and Oh So Far Away...

That's what my social media absence reminds me of. Times far gone. When I decided that on February 14th, Ash Wednesday, I would begin a Lenten fast journey of no social media and no games on my phone, etc., I had no idea how I would react. Of course, like I am sure many of us do, I was certain that it would be no problem. Nothing could have been farther from the truth.


As I began, I was in the first couple of days thinking this was no problem whatsoever. Then the urgent need to go online and scroll through everyone's life suddenly hit me. But wait, I can do this, I told myself. Then I wanted to "kill" time by playing my favorite games on my phone. NOPE, I told myself. And it was at that moment that I suddenly realized that I was having social media withdrawal symptoms. As smart as I am, I thought, who knew there was such a thing!


Yeah, but I knew. And I also knew that the bottom line was that I just never really wanted to face it. I wanted to say, oh so nonchalantly and innocently, that I just wanted to be able to follow the lives of the people I care about. But that flimsy excuse had no bearing on the games I played incessantly on my phone. And I realized my days of excuses had just run out.


So this indeed became a journey through time of discovery and a purposeful lack of doing those mindless things, led to many blessings on my life over the past nearly three months now. I am not in the habit of picking a word at the beginning of each year, but for some reason, Renewal has been a word I can't let go of and so it has unintentionally become my word for 2024. And I have found myself living into that word.


First, thank you to everyone who hasn't heard from me and was concerned about my health. I am stepping carefully through good news with high hopes that in June, I will be finally over with these past few years. Health was one of the things I chose to concentrate on. during my hiatus. I started by taking up my son's nudging to start juicing with him and eating more healthily. I started to try and walk the dogs (huskies if you don't know and one a puppy) on mild hikes, but hikes for me nonetheless, on trails in parks throughout the county. I joined the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens with a dog friendly membership and while I need one of the boys to go with me, it is a beautiful place with lots of trails to explore, gorgeous views, and other dogs to meet. I became so much more observant about things that are around me when I got a smart bird feeder to review for Amazon. As I watched the birds when I got the notifications they were at the feeder, I wondered what else I was missing (I hope you enjoy the video of birds I got during this time.)


Then thanks to a friend at church, I was introduced to Cardio Drumming. Now, if you know me, you know that I am a closet drummer, and the story of why I was never allowed to drum is lengthy and for another time. But exercise is once again creeping back slowly as my body allows for it and I love how it energizes when I am not overdoing it.


Then, without the games to so easily jump on to and get lost in hours of competitive triumphs with myself, I picked up a bunch of books and read, and read and read. Again, if you know me, you know I have been working on a crime novel since I was relegated to bed during my pregnancy with Braeden (21 years ago) and I sat down and dedicated time each day to working on it...finishing my first draft...second draft...third draft...and currently working on the fourth. I even have had the opportunity to begin the writing of my next spiritual book that will take a humorous walk through life as I know it. And my poetry, which was waning into the abyss, came back as a flood of inspiration. These things that I love, reading and writing and studying, are something I had almost lost as I was trapped in the lost land of social media and arcade games.


My prayer life has improved. My time with my kids as improved. My work in my ministries has improved. My conscious discernment of things in my life that are and should be important to me has improved. Overall, this time has blessed me in a way that I never could have imagined and I highly recommend everyone try it, for even just a small amount of time.


So, here is some poetry, once again, for you and your life of reflective journaling. I hope this blesses each of you greatly.


"Testimony is,

A spirit of promised hope,

As it becomes real."


"Possibilities,

Breathe new life into my soul,

Renewal has come."





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