God hates me.
Okay, so no, He doesn't. God doesn't hate me.
But, I am giving up pleasure reading for Lent. So, it FEELS like He is punishing me, right now. Oddly enough, I joked to some of my friends about how Corey once asked me to give up reading for Lent, and we all laughed and laughed. I think God heard me. I think He also heard my husband's heart. And, as always, He hears mine. So, if He hears all that, I can trust Him.
The kicker, for me, was when I heard myself tell God, "But reading is the only thing that brings me real pleasure in a day." Ok, for one, that is a slight exaggeration. But, only a slight one. Second, shouldn't God and my family and about a billion other things be what brings me the most pleasure in a day? So, fine. God wins. Corey wins. I will give up reading for Lent.
I have spent the last hour arguing with God about this whole thing. Working out rules up front, so that there is less room to wiggle over the next 40 days. Here are a few "exceptions" to the no reading rule...
Studying... I am involved in a study on Esther, a Disciple group (that is Bible anyway) and a Creative Call study. Also, I am teaching Bad Girls of the Bible for the10th and 11th grade girls' small group. These things are fine, because they are set amounts of reading per week.
Book Group... I joined the church book group. We read one book per month. I have already read the book we will discuss in March, so that is not a problem, but I need to read the book for the first week of April. I believe it is a book by Barak Obama, so it isn't even something I would normally choose. I can read that book, because that group is important for other reasons, reading aside. It is a chance at fellowship with members of our church that I do not get to spend time with otherwise.
Audio Books... I listen to Magic Treehouse books with the boys in the van. This is fine. Also, when traveling to my Mom's over Spring Break, I will use audio books on the drive. Again, fine. These are not taking time away from anything else and do not require me to sit and stare at a book.
This may be the scariest 40 days of my life.