Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lent 2014

I am writing this blog post on a notepad. It is an actual notepad made of paper. Weird, right?!?

Why am I writing a blog on a notepad (to be typed into the computer later)? Well, because my family has decided to to ban the use of electronics on the Sundays during Lent.

The Sunday before Ash Wednesday, the wife and children were in our church's version of Sunday School learning about Lent. I was not there, so I'm not sure exactly how it went down, but apparently the kids thought it would be a good idea to sacrifice the use of electronics on Sundays. It became a family decision.

When they told me about this, I suggested that we should give up desserts. I meant we should give up desserts instead of electronics, but somehow it became we would give up electronics on Sundays and desserts the rest of the days.

Oh well.

Personally, I had already thought about giving up coffee during Lent (or really any caffeinated food or beverage).

Quite frankly, giving up dessert is in no way a sacrifice to me. I don't really eat dessert except on special occasions. My kids both have birthdays during this Lenten time period, which was a potential pain point for the kids, but we decided that it would be ok to allow dessert-eating for birthday parties ....

Sort of how Jesus had friends over a couple times for cake and ice cream during his 40 days and nights in the desert (I totally wanted to add a second "s" to "desert" there).

I generally drink a bunch of coffee at work, and I know caffeine is considered highly addictive, but giving up coffee is not tough for me either. I've given up caffeine before with no negative side-effects. I drink coffee at work mostly out of habit because it is something that is free. I've never felt the addictive nature of that drug.

This "no electronics on Sunday thing" is painful, though. For our purposes, "no electronics" means nothing that has an internet connection. Our T.V. is connected to the internet, but even if it wasn't that would be banned as well.

So, the microwave is allowed. The bread machine is allowed. The radio and CD players are allowed. The timer on the cup-stacking pad is allowed. Hopefully you see the distinction.

Here are some things that are not allowed:

  • Last Sunday, my son and I were at the store. My other son and his mom were at Confirmation class. I could not look up on our Google Calendar what time Confirmation was over so that we could be home at the same time as them. I could not even call my wife as my cell phone (and hers) was banned.

  • The Blackhawks are playing the Red Wings today. I can't watch that game. OUCH.

  • Since Christmas, I've been reading books on my tablet. Now I can't. Actually, this is giving me a chance to catch-up on BYO and Zymurgy reading. Good thing I have not gone totally electronic on those yet.

  • If the kids get bored, I can't let them play on the computer or watch T.V. (and we have extra kids this weekend).

  • We have to drop the extra kids off. If we are going to be late, we can't call the parents. If they are going to be late, they can't call us. 

  • I can't listen to my brewing podcasts.

  • If I brew, I can't use my brewing software. I'll have to remember to print out directions before 12AM and if I need to adjust something during brew day, I can't use the various brewing calculators.

  • I can't type out this blog. By the way, I have forgotten how to write some cursive letters. 

  • Monday morning, my email inboxes will have way too much junk in them.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. I guess I didn't quite realize how much I've taken these thing for-granted.


3/26/2014 ... NOTE: I didn't type this out until a week and a half after writing it up. I post-dated the time stamp to the 16 when I actually wrote it on paper.

I watched the Blackhawks beat the Redwings starting at exactly 12AM that Monday morning, zooming through lots of the game on the DVR.

We were able to keep ourselves busy not only the Sunday that I wrote this up, but the following Sunday as well. My wife and kids even flew on this past Sunday without the use of electronics to entertain them on the plane. It does seem more peaceful and quiet on Sundays knowing that we can't watch T.V. or play on the computer or tablets. It is actually sort of cool.

None of the pictures in this blog were taken on the Sunday I wrote this up. I just don't like to do a blog post without pictures.

Anyway ... Go Blackhawks!


  1. It's funny the things you can accomplish unplugged... though, I dint unplug often...

    Sucks about the game!

  2. Good to hear from you, Allen. I keep wondering when I will be able to read about that beer camp experience from you. Any time soon?