Have a Great Weekend, friends! I will post our fall trip soon, but for today?…this is enough.
One bar closer to humanity…yes, that’s it.
It’s been a year off of social media, and I have come to realize so much about myself, my friends, my priorities, and my focus.
The fact is that some friends will stick around the whole time and find ways to stay in touch. Some friends will fall away. Some will realize at some point that they missed you–and will go to great lengths to reconnect. Some will never reciprocate friendship, even if you keep trying to reach out.
It used to feel like rejection. Now it just feels like a nudge from God to just move on already. And I have.
Sometimes I reach out again, later down the road, as God prompts my heart. I never give up on people, really. And God uses me, whether I feel received or reciprocated or not. He just does.
So it is a good place for me. To love others out of a place and position of pouring out–whether or not it is ever a two way street.
Isn’t that what Jesus calls us to do? Love our enemies. Love those who seem to not give a flip. Love them anyway.
Another thing I have learned this year is to walk on from those, who would harm me, who wish to bring me pain. I had made some beginning steps in the past several years. But this past year I have walked beyond the point of going back. It has been easier without social media in this realm, especially. It removed the game pieces from play.
It is not cowardly to walk away from people, who want to manipulate you. It is brave.
This year I have been brave. And my other healthy relationships are a testimony to the fact that my bravery has made me healthy and wholly able to walk in the calling Jesus has placed on my life.
He holds my hand every step of the way!
Priority-wise, this year has had its ups and downs. Nature abhors a vacuum. If you do not fill up the space, left by no longer spending time on social media, and without intention, the space will get filled with other unessentials – – hours playing games on my phone or even working more hours than I should. Or working during the wrong time of day and missing my family.
Sometimes my priorities have been wonderfully perfect–homeschooling our Sydney for seven months, taking time for developing friendships–old and new, planning wonderful times with our family and working hard so we could pay for those times.
So as I look forward to another year off of social media (though you can still find me playing around on pinterest and taking pictures on instagram), I anticipate a few things.
1. Better health.
2. Stronger friendships.
3. A return to spending a lot more hours in scripture and prayer.
4. A move of the Spirit in myself and my family.
Friday, our Sydney returns to school. It is a miracle. Her reading is so much improved! Please pray for her. She is excited and a bit scared, too.
Just this week, I got my first new web business since last March. I have done some upkeep and reworking for regular customers. But God has been so amazing in this… I had constant business (more than I could handle!) up until last March. Then we began homeschooling and it completely came to halt. With this week and Sydney returning to school, I am amazed that God would send a new customer. It is just like my God. He held back the tide… And good things happened.
I guess that’s really all. It is good to be alive on this planet.. In this day and time. It is good to walk out God’s calling with Jesus right at our sides. It is good to love, yes and especially those who may never love me back. It is good to walk on from relationships that were poisonous to my soul. It is good. And I Praise Him for it.
I will come back soon with pictures from our fall trip last weekend. Right now I’m typing this on my cell. Yes, my cell. Yes, 679 words long. And I don’t feel like adding more than one picture or editing before I hit publish. 🙂 freedom is a good thing.
Enjoy this taste of Colorado fall, y’all!
So it’s been eight months since I left social media. How’s it going? Do you miss everyone? Will you come back?
Yes, of course!
It’s been so freeing to just be…not think, “Wow. I should take a picture and post this on Facebook.” Or “Ha ha! How funny. How can I tell this in less words on Twitter?”
The age we live in is training us to spout out every little thing that happens. And truly? We are building a lot of sand castles.
For when life happens…and it does.
And when life happens hard…and it will.
People we connect with in social media care on various levels. As much as they care (or don’t) it is never enough to cover our cavernous hurts, needs and pains. They just can’t.
When real life happens, who will be there for us, AND be enough for us to really help, but God alone?
He is the only One who understands the depths and can fully go there with us. Be there FOR us.
And news, even juicy bits of news, cannot satisfy.
Pictures do not tell the whole story.
Articles do not often give the complete picture, but are created to spin us into a tizzy sometimes.
We care more about someone’s plight–a person we don’t know at all–than we do about the need next door.
We like to care from afar. For if we come too close to the need, even walk with someone through it, we may not come out smelling as sweet as we’d like. We might even incur judgment from others for even caring for them in a way that gets our hands dirty, too.
We are missing the point sometimes. Missing out on truly helping and loving others.
And sometimes we are using social media to create a fictitious world that doesn’t even exist or reflect the truth at all. Reality television is not where we want to do life. The pavement outside our doorstep is!
I challenge you to give up social media for a month or more and see for yourselves…test it and see. Who follows you beyond the screen and actually wants to walk alongside you in your dailyness?
Those are the ones who are worth building with…those are the ones who help carry your heavy burdens to God. And they love you enough to be a friend in real life and get their hands dirty even.
I’ll be honest with you– eight months later, less than 5% of the friends I had on Facebook and not even 2% of Twitter have continued with me. I say that to give you a reality check.
These platforms are not reflective of real life friendships. They are business cards mostly. Places for one liners…for marketing… for so many things. But they are not places where true friendship can grow I believe.
So I’ve decided to never go back. This is no longer a sabbatical, but a leaving. It has given me freedom to build again. And I’m loving the life I am living with the friends God has given.
For the record, many of the friendships I have built through blogging and commenting (since 2006) are still some of my closest and dearest friends. So blogging? Yes! It’s the kind of yes that also brings a huge smile to my face…for I am thinking of you friends and family, who are reading this right now.
Oh and God gave me the most awesome pictures the other day…the Thunderbirds flew over our house and there was the sun high up above me with a RAINBOW circling round it. Have you ever seen such a sight?
It’s amazing how much has happened these almost 7 months since I’ve been off of social media. Really beautiful things have happened relationally. You see, we can be a lazy and complacent people when it comes to relationships. The ease of a one-line interaction has spoiled us–and cheated us of richer relationships.
I have some friends, who I have totally lost. If I never went back to Facebook or Twitter (and at this point, I have no plans to ever come back…maybe Instagram, just for fun!), I will likely not meet with these friends again. That’s kind of sad. But also? It’s a little freeing, too!
As I get older, I’m finding that relationships worth having are ones where we build together and take time with one another. They are richer and fuller.
That is not to say there are not people in my life, whom God sends my way and I have the opportunity to bless them for a short time (or be blessed BY them!) and then we both move along. There are. And that’s part of living a sojourner’s life, isn’t it? We weave in and out of some people’s lives–never to see them again this side of Heaven.
Being off social media, though, has kept me in check. There are many bad mental roads I can walk with these short social media interactions. And they have been rare to not at all these past seven months! It helps my Philippians 4:8 life, too.
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. Phil 4:8 (Amplified)
So I really have to guard what goes in and what I ponder and how far I let some of those bunny trails go. It’s just not a FOR ME decision.
At the same time, I have had the freedom to spend time every day homeschooling our Sydney. It is SUCH a DELIGHT!! Every morning we begin with devotions, then reading, art, writing and math. After lunch, we dig into science, history, geography and music. It has caused me to put the work I do into certain times, as well. Instead of the work driving the day, I have had to segment it all into workable periods of time.
And because of this, yes even with all the company we have had, I am HAPPIER than ever…Free to walk in the calling God has placed on my life and thrive there.
Here’s one of our Easter pictures! We took a bunch for a picture collage project Jamie has for our wall. 🙂 I will post more, as I have them.
It’s the last day of what I would say was a completely wonderful and yet quite difficult year — with the Lord guiding all the way.
It has been over a week since I took off from work to be present with my family (thus I am still typing from my phone). And I will be quite honest, I have had some revelations this week. 1) I haven’t been as present with my family this past year, as I would have liked to be. 2) I have worked long hours–some weeks up to fifty hours for several consecutive weeks. 3) I am completely burned out from web design work. 4) Things need to change.
On the flip side of the coin, we have recovered from a major financial crisis. Not only that, but we have had the extra to go on a two week vacation, camping our way up to Canada and home. It was the highlight of our year as a family for all of us! We spent a week in Texas with Chris’ family. It was the best week we have ever spent going back, since we moved away 8 1/4 years ago–a week with no drama, only family time and joyful moments. Also when we got a huge water bill, we were able to pay it. We have actually had emergency funds this year. And finally, we have been able to host two young missionaries these past few months. It is a wonder!
So my work has been so beneficial and integral to all these things. But I’m ready to shift my priorities.
The year began with a push to get to June, as we had to make extra payments on our mortgage. It was hard. For a few months I worked three different types of jobs. I was worn thin. Then vacations and emergencies and having eight people under our roof rather than six…
It’s as if I was running a marathon race and kept on going after it was finished. That is what tips me off to the next part…I am a workaholic. I couldn’t stop working. Even on these days off, I get emails and begin again to slip back into what seems to now be my modus operandi–troubleshooting and working out the problems in my head. It is an addiction.
We spent this past Sunday morning having home church. We discerned together as a family and individually where we are investing our time and money–how are we establishing the work of our hands. We also covered family and individual goals. I have to say my eyes were opened to a few obvious things–I have slipped into being a passive parent for the most part. I don’t listen to my family like I should. I have become too busy to give them my best. I don’t even want to on some days, to be completely honest.
It is time to recover my life. What does that look like from this place today? It looks like seeking God and prayer. It looks like forging some new ground that used to be old ground. I want to rediscover what it is to be a stay at home mom and housewife.
Will I still work? Well, I think so, but I need to pull it way, way back. Also, I have some commitments that I will keep and honor. That is all I know for sure about work. As for home, I need to change some of my habits. I need to listen more and not put so much technology between me and my family. Perhaps I will even carry out the one dream I have carried for years and write a book. I have learned so much about God in the midst of some troubled times. Perhaps others need to know Him, too, in those ways.
Recover my life is my 2014 theme. I feel like it will be much spoken of here. For today I just wanted to speak the beginnings of it aloud.
May God bless you friends both today and as we cross the threshold into 2014. May He wake you up and show you ways to recover your lives, as well.