I have enjoyed my blogging break, and I was able to step away from the computer and enjoy life more. There is a lot to be said for spending less time in front of a screen, especially when you begin to spend all that time working crazily and it ceases to be fun. That said, this refining process that I find myself in lately has me redefining my online life. I am not sure what this will look like yet, other than posting will be slightly sporadic as I figure it out.
As I am working now I find that I am seeing things a lot differently than I have in the past. One thing I am seeing is how in this world we have a serious lack of good character (I will write on this more in another post). I am also seeing that we have gotten so used to technology that we are willing to sit in the break rooms, playing on our phones and totally ignoring the people around us.
I guess in some ways it is a good thing that I do not now have a cell phone, although to be honest I have begun to look at which one I might like. At the same time I look at the fact that I know I need to be more responsible now with my money, so that I can save for when God takes me out of the country. So I stare at the budget I have made and I question if it will ever be enough. But then, I remind myself that God will provide for His plans therefore I do not need to stress about whether I can save enough. I still need to try to set money back and be responsible so I look at my wants and my needs, then I begin to think of those around the world who live on so much less than I do, and I ponder is it really something that is necessary.
Could I live on less, so that I will have more to give? I am betting that it is possible. The bigger question is do I really want it enough to do it?
I would like to encourage you today to step away from your phone and your computer and enjoy the people around you today. These smiles and hugs, troubles and trials will never be exactly the same as they are right now. Enjoy the journey!
So there is this flash mob of writing that happens every week for #FMFParty, we meet on twitter and share the joys and the sorrows of life. Then Lisa Jo gives us a prompt and we all write for five minutes on that prompt. There is to be no editing, and no stressing over whether we get it all write. We simply write for the joy of writing and then we visit others and cheer one another on in community.
The Prompt: Bloom
My thoughts on this immediately go to bloom where you are planted.
But then there is more, so much more. Because once you have found the ability to bloom, it is not over. It has begun anew. Once you bloom, while that is a beautiful thing it does not mean that you are finished. (Tweet) So what, you bloom and then you wither and die. No instead you bloom, and then you realize that you are still very human and very flawed. So do you give up?
No! Instead you begin to let yourself be pruned back so that those things that may steal from your bloom are handled and all the weeds are removed. That way when it is over the bloom shines. Then who gets the glory, is it the flower that has done nothing? No, the master gardener, He gets all the glory, and honestly isn’t that the best. See we do nothing, yet He shapes us, refines us, we bloom, and He shines right through. (Tweet)
I find that God is dealing with me during this period of change. I am finding that I am selfish and that when things do not go my way I can get mean. I find that God is stretching me and calling me to love. This is hard for me in many ways…it is easy to love those who love me. But when people are hard to get along with I find that I am so much quicker to judge than I am to bite back the mean words and show the love that God desires that I show.
A verse that God is using to speak to me right now is
Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. ~Philippians 2:1-4
Not that this is all news to me. I knew that I had some tendencies towards wanting things to go my way. Yet now I see God bringing this into focus and having me to really see where I am falling short, and to commit to do better. But it is not something that I can ever do on my own, so I ask God for His help to be better. I have to try to see Christ in others, and respond to them as I would Him. It will be hard to get into this new discipline of considering my ways, but it is something that God requires.
Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!
6 “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” 7 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! ~Haggai 1:5-7
The other part of this is that I do not let myself begin to think highly of myself. I have a tendency to get puffed up on praise and then I begin to elevate myself in my mind. I know it is wrong, I just have not figured out how to completely stop those tendencies…even though I do know that without God I am nothing. I also have to make it a priority to not just look after my own interests, and to begin to set my interests aside for others.
From my recent Beach Trip
While I was reading Finding Spiritual Whitespace I had to acknowledge that there were some areas of my life that I still had not fully dealt with. One thing this revealed was that I still have a tendency to find ways to numb myself when I don’t want to deal with my emotions. One of the ways I have been known to numb is by spending a lot of time reading, or spending a lot of time online.
I got so focused on being a good intentional blogger and not neglecting to post as I have in the past, but as I did I lost sight of some of my other goals. I poured myself out here, and in other online communities and lost sight of other equally good things. I had made goals at the beginning of the year, and many fell to the side as I busied myself online. Some goals need to be looked at again, but during this break I am realizing that I need to look at my reasons for why I am doing the things I do online. Is it merely routine, boredom, or entertainment or do I have a real purpose in my online activities.
I am finding a much-needed balance in some areas as I don’t stress about the blogging, because it has freed me to spend less time online, because really how much time can you spend on Facebook and Twitter? I am stepping away from the screen and embracing real life again. I start a new job on Monday, and I am excited about this chapter in my life. I have also made time to simply enjoy reading, or doing some of the other things I enjoy.
I have not written much during this break and I know I need to make time for that as I was just finding my voice good before I left. But I wanted it to become something I did because I have something important to say and as I watch my life change yet again, I really have not had a lot worthy of sharing yet. I am still learning my lessons, so there has not been much I feel comfortable sharing yet. This has been truly a period of remembering what I have learned and trying to walk it out.
There is much going on in my mind and heart…but the most I can say about it right now is that I am trusting that Gods plan is best. I am not sure when I will return to posting regularly, or what the new schedule will look like as I make time in my life to fully live life abundant.