Giving Up but Gaining More
This year for lent I gave up social media. No Facebook, no Instagram and No Twitter. Not being on these platforms was trickier than thought. To avoid the temptation, I deleted the Aps from my phone, and you wouldn’t believe it! One of the Aps started sending me notifications through my email! It's an addiction and social media companies know it.
I didn’t realize how many times I checked my phone for notifications and updates. So much that my weekly screen time went down 4 hours per day! How did I not see social media can affect our lives so much? While there can be some positive to social media, I also see that it's taken away my time from other things in life.
So what am I doing with my extra 4 hours? I’ve used this time to spend more with family, to pray and to read. I’ve also discovered some new authors for my family that have surprisingly added a great amount of zeal to our library. So I wanted to share just a few with you.
Children’s author Maria Riley, has a new series called Adventures with the Saints where she follows three children, Becca, Luke and Joshua who go on adventures and encounter the saints in their lives. My daughter Molly and I have enjoyed this series together. We are currently reading St. Therese , The Sleeping Saint. This is perfect for children ages 6-10. You can also check out her website at mariarileyauthor.com
For Sci-Fi and Young adults.
If you like science fiction, fantasy, religion and even some humor, Karina Fabian is sure to please. She has a variety of novels for young-adult readers to adult-fiction. Everything from dragons who solve mysteries, zombie apocalypse, to nuns saving the galaxies. My older kids are currently reviewing her six part series. Dragon Eye. Murder Most Picante is the first in the series and introduces Vern a young and vulnerable Faerie dragon who finds himself on the wrong side of the interdimensional gap. This is an excellent story for young-readers and I can’t wait for my girls to finish the series. You can follow Fabian on karinafabian.com
AND...if you sign up for Karina’s news letter she sends you a free book! WHO WOULDN'T LOVE THAT!
My new favorite fiction author is Irene Hannon.
She has several books out and when I find that even with my extra hours I still don’t have time to sit down and read, I can easily listen to her stories on audible. I'm currently listening/reading the Hope Harbor Series. There are about nine books in this series. It’s a little mix of romance, friendship, faith and new discoveries that center around the towns people of Hobe Harbor just near Coos Bay in Oregon. You can easily pick any book in the series and follow along.
Since Lent is a time for reflection, I’ve been diving into the writings of Sr. Miriam James in her Lenten book Restore: A Guided Lent Journal for Prayer and Meditation that walks us through the journey of prayer fasting and almsgiving. Sr. Miriam James, was a former Division one volleyball player who through child trauma and addiction discovered her inner desires to follow God. I love this book because the reflections and journaling allow me to delve into deeper reflection of Lent in our own struggles yet look back over the growth in the journey. Its also simple enough that I don’t have to follow each day, so if I miss a day, I can pick up and still follow along. Sr. Miriam also has a podcast with two other women called Abiding Together Podcast. There weekly discussions are deep yet light enough to follow along.
So now that I have all of this new found time, my bookshelf has been fuller and its given me more time to read, appreciate my family, dive into spiritual writings, but not overload my plate just to refill it with new things. I’ve realized that I’ve missed out on a lot of opportunities, and sometimes that just sitting and being is really what I needed most.
When lent is over I’ll probably return to social media but I think I’ll just visit it on occasion rather than daily. (not sure if I'll add my Aps back- too tempting to return to old habits)
But since I have discoverred new books, I'd love to know more.
If there’s a book you’d like me to review or a topic you think I should look into exploring, send me a friendly message and I’d be happy to include on my blog.
Wishing you a happy and restorative Lent.