Well, it's been quite a while but with good reason. I was out on the road for most of last week and then worked most of the weekend. Hopefully this respite will have allowed me a great deal of introspection. Don't hold your breath.
Being on the road last week allowed me something I hadn't had in a long, long time: cable. Eric, Pete, and I don't do cable. For us, it's a wasted expense. We're not home very often and barely get to watch what we have on those precious 4 channels we do get. So, there's no reason to buy extra channels. We do rent a lot of movies (Martian Child= adorable, The Brave One= Jodi Foster goes nuts) but we have just decided it's not necessary. So what this has meant for me throughout lent is that I have had no temptation for E! Entertainment Television, Vh1's Best Week Ever, or any of the other multitude of gossip shows. On Monday when I went to see mom and dad, I saw all of those options and was completely overwhelmed. And what does my mom do? Turns on "The Soup" on E, of course. Well, no one argues with their Momma, right!? OK, so maybe I am using her as an excuse. She did say I could turn it. But I watched 20 minutes of Soup. It's funny, it's interesting, and it's against the rules in lent. Oops.
I had another "oops" moment last week. I was standing in line to buy bananas and chicken breasts at Wal-Mart and before I realized that I had picked up People, flipped to Christina Aguilara's baby photos, and looked at every page. Yeah, oops. I really did this without any thought. That's the sad part. Her nursery was adorable and I loved every second. But it was hard to feel guilty for something I didn't realize I had done until it was over. I know there should be a religious discussion inserted here about the relevance of that statement, but I will spare you. Mostly I will tell you that I have held on to that one piece of gossip all week and shared it with the world as a talking point. Why is that? Why do I feel I have to talk about that sort of stuff, even when I have committed not to even be looking at it?
The Oscars also happened last night. I love movies. LOVE movies. And I love dresses. And beautiful hair, and costly jewels borrowed just for the night. I love the whole thing. So I allowed myself, guilt-free, to watch the Oscars. I got on oscar.com today to watch the fashion, but I did not get on any sites to see what they thought about the fashion or any other gossip for that matter. It's a tough journey.
I am doing a study right now on learning how to pray. Why is it that talking about other people to other people comes so easy but talking to God about anything comes so difficult? He is our maker, creator, father, resting place, shepherd, and so much more. Yet, it's hard for most of us to even feel competent enough to pull together a two-minute conversation with this amazing deity. To me, the struggle comes from many places. One, being a busy person myself, I figure the creator of this and every universe has to be busy. Why does he want to hear how much I adore him, or why I am frustrated, or what I need. He knows the basics. He needs to spend his time worrying about Sudan or babies addicted to drugs, not to a small-town, relatively comfortable, self-centered working wife, right? Plus, sometimes prayer reveals what's really in my heart and sometimes I don't want to know. I mean, it makes me realize how much I worry about silly things. I want to have eloquent, deeply meaningful prayers worthy of being cross-stitched onto some old lady's pillow. Instead, I come out sounding like a bratty teenager. I just want to be more. I guess that's what it comes down to. I can't pray until I am more and I can't be more until I pray for God's guidance. I must overcome that little annoyance called pride. UGH!
Here's to humility. JWS