Easter things lined the isles - already. It's not even March, Valentine's Day just behind us. I shake my head at the obvious need to be occupied with anything but now. But I am just the same, as I resist doughnuts and cookies, anything that appeals to me, to bring me happiness or make me feel better. Or so I think.
It usually comes at night, after a full day and my body and heart are tired from caring for a toddler and growing a baby. And all the distractions are gone. The blame falls on my husband. He wasn't enough: didn't listen, talk, fill-in-the-blank enough to make me feel full, happy.
And it comes near my birthday, visits, holidays, anything tied with expectations. The day did not go perfect, so-n-so was not thoughtful. And I'm left disappointed again.
This emptiness... it's so hard to fill. I try to fill it with food, plans, clothes, my husband, daughter, and even my unborn child. Or movies, books, blogs - you name it! The world always has something to offer to "fill" the emptiness we feel... or at least distract us from it.
A wonderful marriage book given to my husband and me by my in-laws, Love and War by John and Staci Eldredge, explained that our hearts are like sponges. They can be filled up, soaked and heavy. But eventually, and quickly, they dry up and are empty again. And we long for more. The wonderful weekend we spent means nothing come Tuesday evening when I feel need more of my husband, like I need food and air.
But even he can't fill my heart. Not completely. And not my children, food, clothes, activities, friends and sunshine all put together. Only Jesus can truly make my heart complete. I know that. I have known that. A dear friend once told me, even before I met my husband, that you will still feel lonely in marriage. And I was able to believe her because I was not currently in love. I had my head on straight. I've always remembered that, but lately I have not been able to put it in practice. Logically, I know I should turn to Christ. My mind does, but my heart holds back. And, honestly, I don't know why.
Tomorrow Lent will begin. In the Orthodox Church, Lent is taken very seriously. It involves fasting from meat and dairy, but more so from sin and whatever else draws us away from Christ. I certainly need a time like this. Personally, I will not be fasting from meat and dairy because right now my body needs the nutrients these foods provide. But I will be taking measures to draw closer to Christ. More prayer. More reading. More quiet.
Maybe I'll be on here, maybe I won't. I'm not making a rule to not be on the Internet, but I'm definitely going to cut it down. In fact, God has already done that by shutting down our laptop for good. My husband brings his work laptop home in the evenings and weekends, but that doesn't allow much time, so that is already built in. And it's a good break to take.
Whatever you are planning to do to prepare for the Resurrection of our Lord, may it be blessed! May it help you to fill your heart with Christ - the only true filler. Pray for me that my efforts will do the same for me.