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I’ve never given anything up for lent before. It’s just not something my family did growing up. It wasn’t until I met my Catholic husband that I was curious about it.
I’ve watched him give something up for 40 days for the last two years and this year, I’m feeling closer to God than ever so I participated too.
The women’s bible study I was in was reading a book called Without Rival, by Lisa Bevere. (Stay tuned because soon I’m going to do a post on how that book can be a lifeline for heart moms.)
I believe in this book so much I’m going to just leave the link right here for you. Seriously. It will change your life.
Without Rival talks about how we as women compare ourselves to others and are constantly competing with each other.
We do it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
We see the woman at the grocery store or in the pick up line to get our kids and she is in her workout clothes and we wonder why we can’t be that thin, or dedicated, or big chested.
Maybe that exact example doesn’t apply to you like it does me, maybe you compare yourself to others in a different way. Maybe you are envious of someone else’s big house, or fancy car. We all do it in some way, and Facebook is extremely toxic for that.
People only display their highlight reels on Facebook. Rarely ever do people post the real nitty gritty, every day hard times they go through.
And it was getting depressing for me as a heart mom, and just a mom in general.
I was constantly comparing my older son’s development to other kids in my mommy groups. I was comparing myself as a mother to every mom that seemed like they had it so together. I was comparing something as small as my maternity pictures to other women’s that I’ve seen.
I was too fat. Or my outfit wasn’t cute enough. Or I was just jealous of the fact that they could afford a professional photographer and we had to take our own.
And it would stay with me for weeks. I would go back and look at a certain picture and just dwell on that fact that I can’t take a good picture to save my life. I would go back and re-watch the video a mom posted of her child counting to ten in Spanish and be sad that all my son can say is “mama”. And then be even more sad because I don’t know if he is actually saying “mama” because he knows I’m his mom or if he is just saying the sounds.
It was depressing.
So when lent came up in the middle of reading Without Rival, I knew what I needed to do. Lisa Bevere was practically slapping me in the face telling me I needed to give up the toxicity in my life that is taking away from enjoying my family.
And I did it. The first few days were a lot harder than I expected. I found myself constantly tempted to log back in to my account just for a quick peek.
But then I actually started finishing everything on my To-Do list for the day. I wasn’t putting my workouts off anymore. My husband gave up Facebook too (and beer but that one didn’t stick) and our relationship has flourished because our noses aren’t stuck in our phones.
A lot of realizations surfaced during this 40 days that really opened my eyes to how much I was craving approval of others. How many “likes” I had seemed so important.
A good friend of mine gave me the cutest heartbeat necklace as a gift and I found myself immediately wanting to post it on Facebook. Then I took a step back.
What did I need to post it for? Likes? So people can see that I have a friend?
The only thing that matters is our friendship in real life.
Real, true good friends in life are hard to find. I can count mine on one hand. You don’t need others to see that you have good friends, instead, hold them near and dear to your heart.
Now that lent is over, yes I am back on Facebook because I have one mommy group that is special to me and have been there for me with my son through all of his heart surgeries and I missed those women.
However, I am not on nearly as much as I was before. In fact, most of the time I forget I even have a Facebook altogether. I turned my notifications off so my phone isn’t constantly buzzing with temptation. I deleted all of the mommy groups I was in except for the one. I “un-liked” a lot of the pages that I’ve clicked on over the years, and I deleted people on my friends list that I haven’t talked to in at least a year.
It is so freeing not being consumed by what everyone else is doing.
If you realize that this is you, you are constantly comparing yourself to others and knowing you need a change, give up Facebook. Give up Instagram. Give up whatever it is that is hurting your growth as the person God made you to be.
I promise it will change your life.