Tag Archives: #tellhisstory

No Media Mondays

Update-Moved to No Media Sunday!  I was able to not be on the computer on Mondays in the summer, but this fall has been very difficult with ministry and school.  Sundays are working better. It enables me to have more time with my husband too on Sundays as opposed to a Mon.

 

 

choice

 

I have an addictive personality. Some of the things (like chocolate!) that I’m addicted to aren’t really harmful or effect anyone really in a negative way.  I started to be addicted to the internet as a teenager. I would sit for hours in chat rooms and on instant messenger, the prelude to social media. I loved being connected. I loved writing my thoughts down. I loved the escape from my real life. The addiction followed me into college where I would put off school work by spending just a few more minutes on the internet. At that point the internet didn’t really effect most of the relationships, at least I don’t think so.

 

Something happened along the way. I got married and I had kids. The internet became even more pervasive.  It was available on my laptop and on my phone, anywhere, anytime. I could justify my time on it. Shopping, researching, studying, keeping up with what my friends were doing. Nothing really bad, but along the way, it started to take time away from real-life relationships.

 

It has become even more of an escape. The baby starts crying, or the kids start fighting, and I want to tune it out.  I flip my phone on and check my email. I run from the realities of life. It’s not OK. If I let go of my phone, my two-year old runs up to me and says “here Mommy, here is your phone.” Does she think my phone is more important to me than spending time with my precious daughter? Why do I run to the  internet to escape?

I also noticed that even my friendships begin to suffer. I feel so “busy” doing all these “important” things on the computer, I don’t make time for quality time with friends or with my husband.

 

The other thing I have recently noticed is that I begin to feel stressed, weary, and frazzled all of the time. I am ON all of the time. I am always on as a mom as a wife, and I was also always on to the digital world answering questions and emails and on Facebook. I needed a Sabbath rest from my work on the computer. God didn’t create us to be busy and running around all of the time, and that includes the computer. I find that I am rarely rested when I walk away from being on the computer. We have to take breaks from things. That is the order that He set up when he made 6 days and created the 7th day for rest. So at this moment in time I have decided to take a break from the computer one day a week. My Sabbath rest from the computer is on Mondays. Even though I am only a few weeks in, I already feel better. I am able to manage my time on the computer the rest of the week just a little bit better. Do I get antsy and want to get on the internet? For sure. When I feel the want to get on the computer, it makes me realize just how addicted I am. I am addicted to the lie that the computer is better than the real world that God created.

 

When I take the time off the computer, I realize I don’t have to look online for a book, I just can go to the library and get it. If they don’t have it, I can get a different one! When I take the time away from my computer for a day off, it makes me relearn that not everything has to be instantaneous. It is teaching me patience. It is teaching me to enjoy my time with the real people in my life, and making extra time for them on the one day of the week that I don’t get on the computer. I am missing the beauty and the flowers and the sound of the birds tweeting their songs because I become too busy, too engrossed, too addicted to a machine that tells me I am developing relationships but instead can quite possibly destroy the real relationships I have in life.

 

I want to issue you a challenge. Do you want to join me in No Media Mondays? For me, that simply means no computer time, no checking emails, Facebook or anything. I still read books, watch TV and answer my phone! I try to replace the time I would be on the internet with real life interaction with my friends and my kids. I would love to hear from you if you decide to join in! This isn’t a rule list, it’s just a general guideline. Make it fit with what would work for your life and schedule.

 

Lord,

You say to not put any gods before you, and I confess that I have put the god of the internet in front of you and your ways so many times. Forgive me Father. I am so sorry. I need your help, because sometimes I feel like I can not help myself.  Especially when I think that life is hard, I want to find an escape. But help me to find my escape in You, and You alone. Help me to be filled with You. Help me to keep the computer and the internet in its proper place, a tool that can be used greatly, but that’s it. Just a tool and not something that controls me. God I love you!

 

You shall have no foreign god among you;

you shall not bow to an alien god.

I am the Lord your God

who brought you up out of Egypt.

Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.

Psalm 81:9,10

 

 

Im linking up with the Faith Barista and #tellhisstory to share my life.

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Set our Voices Free

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My voice was gone, like a puff of smoke. It vanished. I felt like I was screaming silently, unable to stand up for my self. I felt that my voice meant nothing, was nothing. And then, I sit in the chair and she asks “Where do you feel pain?” I answer, “Right here”, and I clutch my throat. She pauses and says,“That is interesting, because most people feel pain in their stomach, not in their voice”.

 

It will not be until years later that I feel that God has given me back my voice. It comes through small things, like writing a note to someone. It comes through speaking up in a group of peers. From being told that I do matter and that my opinion counts. Most importantly, my voice begins to be restored to me when I choose to believe that God can restore it. God did not take my voice away.  He is the Restorer, and he promises to restore all things.  I choose to believe Him instead of the lies of the enemy.

 

I started to believe God again when I started to believe that He personally wanted to speak to me through His Word . For the first time I truly let myself believe He was still alive and active in this world, that His words were not just meant as a rule book.  His words were living and breathing. When I started believing Him, I started feeling alive. I started speaking up. I stopped quieting the Spirit inside of me that urged me to talk and to give voice to my opinion. I could feel it welling up inside me, this desire to speak. I had to fight though, I had to fight every minute to speak. I had to force the words out, but my friends were kind and would listen. I shared my story and I wasn’t laughed at or judged.

 

I felt though, that I still had more to say. I had more to do in this world. I wanted to make a difference. I believed that God could give me back my voice, but still, I was scared and afraid.

 

I am still scared and afraid.   Quite frankly, I am not sure I will ever conquer my fear totally.   Every time I offer my words to the world, it is like I send a piece of my heart out to be rejected. It is scary. It is vulnerable. It sometimes seems easier but then it becomes daunting again. But I believe that God has given me a voice. I believe it, because he says He has chosen me and not rejected me.

 

I believe God has given everyone a voice, so I must choose to believe He has given me one too. I so desperately want others to know that they have a voice to be used too. That everyone’s voice matters. You have a voice, and that voice may be advocating to the poor in a country that I can’t reach, or for someone who can no longer speak for themselves. It is to speak for anyone and everyone whose voice has been silenced and they need you to speak up and speak out. It is to speak the truth that God lives and He loves you! You have a voice to speak the words of truth, that bring healing, hope and light to all of us that so desperately need it. I want so much for everyone to know that their voice matters.

 

The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But Jesus has come to give us a full life. The enemy wants to steal your voice. He wants to silence it. He wants you to believe that what you have to say does not matter. Do not believe him. Keep pressing on. Keep fighting, and do not stop fighting.  He will do anything and everything to stop your voice.

 

Never stop fighting. There are children out their who are suffering who need your voice to advocate for them. There are old souls that need protection because they cannot voice themselves. There are people who need to know that God loves them and can bind their wounded heart. Let your voice ring out. Let it not be silenced. This life is too short for our voices to be quieted. We need to share what God is teaching us. We have to use our voices to offer protection, comfort, and encouragement. We need voices that speak to the pain of abuse, and set it free.

 

I read this poem as a child. It has stayed with me for all of these years, in the back of my mind. My dream. Whether you use your voice at home, at school, in the office, at church, in the counselors chair, or with your pen, this is what we are all called to do:

 

Make me poet laureate…..
For those too weak to argue
For those who have no tongue
For those too old to matter
In a world which loves the young
 

Not for presidents and queens
Who are overwhelmed with choice
But for those whose mouths are stopped-
Those who can’t afford a voice.

 

Lord God, may we use our voices for the good and not for the bad, may we proclaim freedom for the poor and suffering, for those that are chained not only outwardly, but inwardly in the soul. God may you set our voices free to speak life. May we breathe you in and breathe out your words. Let our words be used for healing. May you set our voices free. Let us use them boldly in a world that needs hope.

In Jesus your name most precious,
Amen

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Bible Reference: Isaiah 61:1-4, John 10:10, Hebrews 4:12, I Thessalonians 1:8
Excerpts from Poet Laureate by Steve Turner

Flourish

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The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love- so you can’t know him if you don’t love.
I John 4:8 MSG

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When in doubt, offer love. Oftentimes I react out of fear instead of love. I act out of anger and bitterness, out of remembering old resentments. I act based on “what ifs” and projections into the future. I do not act in love. I think instead, “They don’t deserve my forgiveness, my love, my kindness.” According to the ways of the world, maybe they don’t. But according to Jesus, everyone deserves love. Everyone deserves forgiveness. Everyone deserves the fiftieth chance. This does not necessarily mean that I have to cause myself to be vulnerable. That is not what love is. Love is offering kind words. Love offers a hug. Love accepts them as they are and not how you want them to be. Love continues to believe, it continues to hope in the very best in the person. Love draws out the best in others instead of believing in their worst. Love focuses on the best qualities in the other person instead of focusing on the negative aspects. Love doesn’t worry about what others will think. Love doesn’t focus on how other people will perceive me. Love acts in the interests of the other person. Love wants others to flourish. Love does not hope for the worst. It hopes for the best. Love doesn’t not fear. It is courageous. Love serves.

This is what we are to offer others, because this is what God offers us. He always believes in me. When I was lost, he always hoped I would return. He does not care how others perceive how He loves me, He loves me incessantly. He loves me no matter if my theology is right or if it is wrong. He loves me when I think I’m right when I am actually wrong. He loves me when I slander His Name and His character. He loves me when I make mistakes. He loves me when I serve Him and when I don’t do a single thing for Him. He forgives me for anything and everything, even my blatant and willful sins. He loves me enough to not only to save me, but to continue to make me alive, more alive each and everyday.

Because He loves me so wondrously, because he sees me through stars in His eyes, can’t I also offer love to those around me?

Lord

Help me to love like you love. Help me to love purely, not focusing on failures in others but in their beauty and in the goodness I see in them. Help me to draw out their amazing qualities, to see the good in them. To believe in them when the hope seems small. Let me cast off negativity, slander and maliciousness. For God, you breathe life into me, and I know that only You can do that. You have offered me such hope and forgiveness, may I not hesitate to offer it. I am like the servant that had been forgiven a huge debt by his master, but could not let go of a tiny insignificant debt made by a fellow servant. He made his fellow servant be thrown into prison to pay the price. Forgive me Father. May I forgive others from my heart.

Verses: Matthew 18:21-35, I Corinthians 13:4-8, I John 4:8, 18

I am linking with the following blogs to share what God is teaching me: