Monday, October 26, 2015

morning invitations * screens


mmm ... our ever-present fixation on social media.

Isn't this a touchy subject!  For if you're reading this post, this blunt reality has probably crossed your mind more than once ... 

I  .  am  .  spending  .  way  .  too  .  much  .  time  .  online.

Reading, writing, commenting, posting, designing.  Linking, pinning, sharing, liking, texting.  Trolling, clicking, uploading, periscoping, friending.  Emailing, troubleshooting, submitting, responding, connecting.

The sky's the limit ... and it's all so inviting.  We yearn to be in community and our adrenaline pumps happily as we welcome all these cool creative invitations into our lives!

Until we wake up one day and realize that we've slowly but surely gotten so invested in doing life online that we've neglected the living of it outloud and in-person.

What this means for each of us will vary.  There's no black or white on this, no right or wrong.  What's a splendid social media match for one could be a hot mess for the next.

A few days ago, a long-time online friend wrote, 'I was reflecting this morning on how much my online friendships mean to me.  I know without a doubt that God has called me to lay down writing for now, and maybe for good, but I believe He called me to write for a season mostly for how it taught me that we really are meant to do life together.  I think I had a different picture beforehand on what that meant or how it should look.'

I'm wondering if the invitation here is for discernment.  

To be still {and screen-less} long enough to hear what God's whispering to each of us about how we use our creativity, our passion, our yearnings, our focused energy, and our very limited hours.  To reveal what we're searching for that we seem to be finding in our online travels.  And to figure out if the community we really need to commit to is right in front of our noses, right around the corner, right in our own living room or backyard.

And then go from there.

Laura Bagby writes, 'When you are serious about serving the Lord, He will pinpoint those things in your life that are threatening to take that place of worship that should be reserved for God alone.  God is jealous for our affections;  He will not take second place in our lives ...'

What would it look like to lay down our Isaac?



30 comments:

  1. Linda.
    You are inside my head on this one, and I don't have the answer yet for how to keep the on-line life from sucking the marrow out of my real life. One word is helping: restraint. I don't ever get everything done that I mean to do with my blog. Another life saver is that most of my actual "writing" takes place long hand in a ratty note book, and most of my "typing" happens when my kids are either busy doing school work (we homeschool) or just not home at all. I need to go back and re-read your words, because the issue you address has already been working its way around my heart and brain.

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    1. I'm with you, Michele. I'm don't have the answers, either! Just questions that I sit with as I wonder what's best for this season ...

      I like how you put it .... that these issues are working their way around your heart and brain.

      God's in it all, yes?

      Thanks for kicking off this conversation. It's an important one and I'm grateful you're here.

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  2. This one got me!
    I also take to serious account on the time spent over my screen. I don't want to lose my offline friends! This is an invitation I need!.I was praying about it and asking the Lord for guidance before reading this Linda. It is one year blogging and I am evaluating it all...
    Love you loads. Thank you for allowing the Lord speak through you.
    Blessings to you

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    1. Congrats on your BIG 1 year blogiversary, girl! I remember when you started off ... and what better time to do an evaluation? What a cool idea.

      Praying for you as you consider what's next ...

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  3. Wonderful post. And it is so true.May we be wise & know when to disconnect & then connect to the life around us :) Blessings!

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    1. Indeed, Joanne ... your words made me realize again that there's a rhyme and a rhythm to each season of our lives ...

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  4. laura's quote hits home Linda. I have to stop from time to time and ask myself if I am spending too much time online instead of in the presence of real people, especially the Father. I made a serious decision back during the Lent season this year to not turn my computer on and not check anything online until I have spent time with God. it was a good habit to start.

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    1. I'm with you, Bill. Laura's quote was a powerful word and a clear reminder I needed to hear, yet once again. The Lover of our soul must come first ... everything else is a distant 2nd. How that plays out in the practical day to day schedule?

      Well, let's just say God's used your Lenten decision to convict me. Thank you, friend.

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  5. This is a topic we all need to consider often. I know I do. Frankly, I'll be ready for 31Days of writing to be over! ha. Too much time on the computer getting posts ready. I'm looking forward to November and December being less rushed in one sense, although I know it gets rushed in other ways. Time is a gift; I want to use it wisely. Thanks, Linda.

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    1. Yep, I think we're all ready for 31 Days to come to a graceful end ... and hopefully not a limp to the finish line! It's been a good run ... but I, for one, will be be glad to have a free-er schedule!

      ;-}

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  6. Laura's quote affirmed what I already knew/felt. God is in charge of the length of my days. I firmly believe He gives us all the time we need to accomplish His will for our life. I know in my spirit when I'm using my time according to His will and when I'm not. The key for me is to seek His will first and trust that all else will follow. Great post, Linda!

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    1. June ... I like what you said about knowing in your spirit when you're in His will. That still small voice is a relentless yet gentle whisper ... we can not flee from His presence!

      Thankfully ...

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  7. Such good food for thought here, Linda. Just yesterday, when my computer went beserk, right before I needed to upload the teaser for today's (in)Courage post, I just said, "Lord, my writing is yours. I lay it down."

    It is really tempting to go overboard online with social media. I constantly pray for discernment. often use a timer and force myself to get up when the time is up!

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    1. AARRGGHH! So like the enemy to pull out all the stops just when God is going to use us big time. I was so excited to see you over at {in}courage this morning, friend! What a wonderful platform to share what kindness looks like with a whole new group of friends.

      God is good! I'm grateful for this opportunity He has given you!

      ;-}

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  8. Ah, I suffer from too much focus on the non-creative, statistics-drivin side of blogging. Thank you for the reminder that I need to spend equal time on my relationship with God and listening to his direction in my life!

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    1. I hear you, Anita! The whole statistics thing is my online thorn in the flesh. Thanks for keepin' it real around here. I'm glad I'm not the only one that wrestles with the power that they can wield ...

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  9. I am lonesome for real people---and on line has become my answer to the aloneness of a new town. I will say the grands help limit my time on line, but the time I do have to be seeking those new friendships---I sadly spend on line.
    Good food for thought, Friend. I must say I enjoyed the freedom from the screen during my media break. Your post has me thinking again!
    Blessings!

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    1. Yeah, I hear you, friend. It's so much easier to be online than to get out there in a new place, especially for those of us who are introverts. And yes, we're left feeling lonesome for real connection.

      Talk about telling the truth! You've said it splendidly, Lulu ...

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  10. Amen to all these words! Real life face time will never compare to online time. I have been blessed to watch some of those online friendships also happen in real life. Great reminder for all of us today.

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    1. You've shown us what brave looks like, Mary ... getting out there and meeting your blogging friends up front and in person ... and then sharing the rich joys that you've discovered in connecting face to face.

      I so admire you, girl!

      ;-}

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  11. So challenging! I was just thinking- seriously, just now- about how my passion for blogging is changing since I started a few short months ago. It was my driven passion. Now, I am finding I started so hard and fast, I have winded myself a bit. God truly challenged me by saying, "Can you be content to slow down and give up the image of perfection in your mind. Can you be content here?" To be content here means giving more dedicated time to the season of life happening right before my eyes. Placing God's priority first, above all else. Thank you for your courageous words today. Salve to my heart!

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    1. Amen, Samantha!

      God is speaking to us in tones that are unmistakable. I hear Him asking me to put all this on the altar. I'm kind of excited about saying yes, yes, once again. I feel His pleasure.

      He's always inviting us to something deeper, isn't He.

      Thanks for joining the conversation this morning. I'm so grateful you're here ...

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  12. Linda, such a cause for reflection. I love that you said it will look different for each one of us. For me God has called me to lay down Facebook for a season (couple years at this point). And recently I've felt prompted to be fully present in my morning routines and avoid email until my lunch hour when I have time set aside to read and reply. Thank you, Linda, for sharing your heart and invitation at #IntentionalTuesday on Intentionally Pursuing. : )

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    1. Thanks for sharing some specifics of what is working for you, Crystal ... sometimes it's helpful to know that others are making hard choices ... it spurs us on and makes us feel that all things are possible!

      So glad you're here ...

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  13. Linda, that graphic is hysterical. Bruce and I are trying to implement an "unplugged Sabbath" of sorts. We start on Friday evening at dinner time, and then we stay offline through lunch on Saturday. (We are starting small!) :)

    We also decided that we love taking cruises. Because we are too cheap to pay for the wi-fi package, We get a full week of gadget free living while we sail the ocean blue. It is quite liberating to turn off my phone and throw it in the suitcase for a whole week.

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    1. Lyli ... yes and amen to the unplugged Sabbath! I love the idea of starting small. Sometimes we jump in head first and it's all just too much.

      Grace, grace!

      ;-}

      And yes, I'd drop over before I paid for Wi-Fi on a cruise. Who needs it when you've got the big ol' ocean staring you right in the face!

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  14. Discernment. Yikes, that is a powerful word! We do tend to overdo things in life, don't we? Sugar, caffeine, TV, Internet....things that aren't bad until we consume them too much. Love your heart behind this, friend!

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    1. Discernment can sound kinda scary! But as we trust God with these things, He really does give us direction and wisdom when we ask for it ... sometimes in surprising ways!

      I'm glad you're here, Sarah ... thanks for the caution on our tendency to overdo ...

      ;-{

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda