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what I learned from 10 months off social media

Posted in lifestyle

This post is where it all started. 2017, the year of no internet posting.

Then I added blogging back.

Why am I cutting the year a month short?

I confess it isn’t because I’m dying without Instagram. It’s not even that I miss knowing things about people or when something big happens.

The real truth is that I am a communicator bursting with desire and passion and love for Jesus, and I want to declare Him everywhere.

Cultural has deemed social media a place to be evaluated, affirmed, critiqued. Sin makes it a battlefield of comparison, pride, and me-centered opinions against freedom, humility, and wisdom.

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a few favorites of late

Posted in lifestyle

EAT
Eating lots of watermelon and peaches. Summer fruit is the bestttttt.

WATCH
My sister told me about Quantico, so J and I watch a few episodes a week, and it’s suspenseful with a cool, crazy story line.

READ
Discovered a new series about women in the Bible: The Esther Anointing.

“The refining of our characters is very essential to God’s plan for our lives. God cannot use a proud woman (or man). Being taken through a preparation process presses and purges out impurities of the heart and spirit, such as pride, rebellion, selfishness, and bitterness, so that we can be pliable in the hands of the Lord to follow His lead to fulfill our purposes. We can’t be an effective vessel with baggage weighing on us, effecting our ability to hear and obey God.”

LISTEN
Came across a new podcast called Feathers. Fun and refreshing. And The Last Battle for my work commute, of course. Also, with my niece and nephews around, it’s been a lot of jamming to Hillsong Young & Free. :)

MEET
Had dinner with a new couple visiting our church and hit it off super well. Really like it when that happens. 

COOL
Leaning into Father no matter your feelings, circumstances, or clarity. He is present, He is good, and oftentimes I have to preach to myself Truth, so that I don’t believe a lie.

MAKE
I want to go home and make this salad recipe right now. (pictured)

I know what I said….

Posted in lifestyle

“I desire to more clearly and confidently get my direction, my passion, my ideas, my motivation, from Jesus, from my loved ones, from trusted counselors, not from what and how others are appearing via Instagram, ” I shared.

“I hope to no longer be distracted during a great moment, because I’m trying to find a way to document it well or beautifully,” I wrote.

“I am passionate that this is a faithful choice with the Father and will make space for more growth spiritually and experience of Him,” I said.

And praise be to God, all these things have become reality, even in 5 short (short?) months.

I dove headfirst into discipleship. Began teaching middle school girls sunday school and mentoring a young friend each week. New friendships were found and cultivated, full of laughter, discovery, and excitement. I looked up from my screen in the grocery store or restaurant, and saw people more clearly. I asked questions, and listened. I laughed, prayed with, encouraged and shared my own deep feelings. I’ve discovered a deep love and fascination with people and their stories, that’s probably been a small seed my entire life, but is now a full-blown flower.

Oftentimes, I wouldn’t carry my phone on me, because the compulsion to share or document a moment was removed. I said more “thanks” under my breath to Heavenly Father than ever before, because the fullness of a moment took up all my senses. I allowed the weight of a joyful interaction or sad, confusing situation to sit, instead of escaping to the distraction of scrolling through a feed. I love capturing moments with my camera – it’s truly one of my favorite hobbies – but the freedom of not chasing down a particular instance, but to simply enjoy it, was amazing. What I did document, I discovered a desire to pair it with conversation or memory, not to share it with the world.

And the greatest of all, like I hoped and prayed, more space was made for spiritual revelation, and presence of God. Wowzers. I have encountered Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit in new ways, unearthing treasures and growth I wasn’t even aware I needed or desired. I’ve learned new things about myself, even a few painful realizations that begged for His healing and touch.

I asked, and He is faithful. Graciously and lovingly chipping away mindsets that were unhelpful, weighed me down, and distracted me from Him and abundant life.

In case you’re wondering, I will continue not posting or checking my social media accounts, but I would like to jump back into public writing with this blog.

I didn’t realize how much I would miss it, though the break was super healthy for me. But in the words of my kind and encouraging best friend, “You have a gift. Why keep that to yourself?”

Having an internet following for this blog, being known for writing good content, or even validation by kind words from friends are not the goal. Focusing on those things only cause me anxiety, and they tempt me with the lie that success and reputation are more important than treasuring God wholeheartedly. NOT a good place for me.

One desire is 1 Peter 2:9-10:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

I hope to do this with my life – proclaim the goodness and greatness of God – but writing is a pastime I enjoy. This blog is another way to speak out for Him, to tell anyone who reads of the night-and-day difference He made, and continues to make, for me. From nothing, to something. From rejected, to eternally accepted.

The struggles, the joys, the lessons learned, the funny stories, the sad realities — He is the greatest adventure and romance, always.

Another goal is to refresh and be present in my small corner of humanity with words, whether they are mine or another’s.

So here we go… 5ish months of a much-needed, uplifting, marvelous blog break, but I’m too excited not to write here.

2017, the year of no internet posting

Posted in faith, lifestyle

I’ve devoted more time and energy to screens instead of faces for a long time. By God’s grace I have always held it in good balance. I haven’t idolized social media as a way for validation or affirmation. I know who I am in Christ.

But, in a social-media age, it’s even easier for us to be disconnected or disengaged people. People can follow us or friend us without really knowing us. Relationship connections are easy, but if we aren’t careful they can become quite shallow. We now can build a platform or become an influence in others lives just by amassing Twitter and Instagram followers.

I certainly don’t view social media or any form of technology as inherently bad, of course. They can be creative outlets and fun interaction, and they can certainly be used to glorify God, but in this current season, I cannot underestimate the great value of a faithful life lived on the ground and in the ordinary.

This year, 2017, I want to love and know Him more — more completely, more fully. I want to be present for the people around me; to love and listen to and be in the trenches with them better. I want to dig deep into His purpose for me since He knit me together: to radiate and present His glory to the world and to enjoy Him forever.

This is currently a good decision for me, this is not meant to lay on guilt or conviction, that’s not my job. We each have our decisions to make and lives to live.

For me personally to get what my heart longs for, it means a change in where I invest my time, specifically time on the internet, specifically time prioritizing the creation of encouraging, creative, appealing, and helpful online accounts.

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