Lent, Relentless Pursuit of Jesus, and Mental Strength

Last week at our Ash Wednesday service (which is new to me since I grew up Southern Baptist- I thought only Catholic people did this!), I was thinking through this huge desire to get off of social media and spend more time relentlessly pursuing Jesus instead. I was like “this would be the perfect thing to fast from for Lent!”

I am so distracted. It affects my health in all the ways- mental/emotional, spiritual, and physical. I waste so much time. I struggle to even read a book because I’m just always scrolling on social media.

I deactivated my FB account that night and deleted the app along with Instagram and Be Real (the ones I’m on the most).

Well, the next day I re-activated again and re-downloaded the apps. I’m home alone ALL the time and found myself kind of lonely/bored.

Gosh! Why is it SO hard to live without these apps/websites/different types of social media?

I have tried so many times.

When I decided last night that I wanted to pursue wellness in a more powerful way, I realized I needed to do something.

In addition to wanting to focus on a relentless pursuit of Jesus, if I’m going to focus more on health all around, I’m going to need to be more focused.

Last night I decided to try something else. I unfollowed every single friend and most groups. The only groups that I’m still following are Street Parking and a 75 Soft one. Oh, and a women’s group with-in the camp where I live. Other than that, there’s really nothing to look at on Facebook!

I also logged out of my main Instagram account and am only using my fitness and nutrition one! I follow very few people so there’s not much to scroll through.

So far this has been really great. I will give it more time, but I have already noticed myself being off of these apps/websites a lot more!

What Does a Relentless Pursuit of Jesus Look Like?

I’m still figuring this out. I remember the college days in which I was always worshipping, praying, studying God’s word. That’s what I want. Life is so different now, though, than it was then. It was so much easier to be focused.

I’m currently going through a really awesome devotional that I bought this past week. It’s beautiful and full of truth and practical ways to pursue it. The author has a new podcast that goes with it!

In addition to this devotional, I am also going through The Life of Jesus study on She Reads Truth, and I prayer journal every morning. My favorite part of working from home is having this time every morning.

Can you tell what my favorite coffee cup is?

We have been getting involved in church again. Like, really involved. We went from never going (we live over an hour away, one way!) to be being there pretty much every Sunday and Wednesday evening! It has made a profound impact on our family. I have noticed myself praying a lot more, spending time in worship, and just being more in a more intimate relationship with Jesus. Robert and I seem to be growing closer spiritually. My kids are seeing a difference and really questioning why we are there so much (mentioning that it’s hard). We knew it would be hard for them, but we feel it’s worth the hard.

Karis and Ethan are going through the confirmation class. Last Sunday we left to go to church at 8:00am and didn’t get home till about 9:00pm. It was a long day, but we really enjoyed the day! We had church at 9:30am (amazing service, worship, and message), the kids had youth Sunday school afterwards (Robert and I went to a ministry called Faith and Friends), then we had lunch with my parents, went to the arcade, went to Starbucks, dropped the two older kids off at the church for class, bought groceries, then ended the day by going to youth group that evening (all of us- we played kickball and had a blast)! We definitely can’t do that every Sunday, but it was great.

Being a part of a church is VERY different than being involved at camp. The purposes are different. I think both are important! One is where we live and is our literal community and the other is where we worship, learn about God’s Word, and fellowship outside of our home community.

Mental Toughness/Mental Strength

So. To touch on something from my previous post, the goal of a “75 Hard” challenge is “mental toughness.”

I realized today that I know I have mental toughness because I got through my depression/anxiety and still have a job! I didn’t quit (or even take a leave of absence) despite how hard it was/how bad I felt mentally. It was also especially hard because we were going through a really tough situation in our family involving mental health (in addition to my struggles). So, I KNOW I can do these hard things as well!

A Pursuit of Hobbies Again

Now that I have some more time, I am pursuing my hobbies again. I am going to start working on my raised beds again soon. I need to spend time tilling the soil, adding new soil, compost, etc. The soil was not great last year, and I know it needs some work to improve.

I have removed the stakes from the corners of the beds since I took this picture. They were there because we had chicken wire wrapped around them to keep the chickens out. Now that we don’t have the chickens, it’s a lot easier to manage them!

I mentioned this in my last post, but I have been enjoying spending more time in the kitchen making things from scratch. A little over a week ago, I made homemade granola, homemade bread (with freshly ground flour), banana muffins (from the same flour), smoothie bags, homemade Greek yogurt, etc. I LOVE when I’m feeling well mentally and I am in the kitchen!

I am also trying to be outside more. It has been beautiful, warm, and sunny! It’s so good for my mental health.

I’m super happy at the moment. I feel more confident, like I can do hard things, closer to Jesus, healthier, and like maybe this life is pretty great. I’m so grateful to be out of the depression that I was in for so long.

Like always (and for everything), I will always take things one day at a time! I never know what tomorrow will be like, but I also trust that even when it’s hard, I will come out on the other side like I always have! The darkness only lasts so long!

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