Monday, February 27, 2012

Unplugged and why Facebook is so addicting

Each year before Lent our church challenges us to spend time praying about a commitment we can make to Lord during the 40 day period leading up to Easter. Whether it be abstaining from something and/or adding a new activity into our daily life; the point is to re-prioritize, refocus, and remove distractions that can hinder growth in our relationship with Christ. And same as last year, I again felt the Lord telling me to turn off the TV for a while and use that time more productively to study scripture,work to build a deeper friendship in my marriage, and make room for activities and hobbies that I "could never find the time for" after the kids went to bed. I felt pretty good about signing my commitment card and was ready to turn it in when the Lord gave me another little tap on shoulder. And I reluctantly added "Facebook" to my abstaining from list.

Surprisingly, giving up Facebook has been harder for me than not watching TV. I would never have called myself a social network junkie, but I've been amazed by how many times I've had to stop myself from jumping on the website while fixing lunch for the kids or pulling up the mobile app on my phone while waiting in the doctor's office. I think when you are a stay-at-home mom there are moments in the day that can feel very isolating and lonely, even amidst screaming and chaos, and there is something comforting about logging on and seeing the status updates of friends who are sharing similar struggles and victories as you are. And when something funny happens to you, you can instantly share it with hundreds of people and feel validated and affirmed that others are right there with you, appreciating things that would otherwise go unnoticed, and helping you make it through the day. And even just 5 days into my 40 of being "un-networked," I already know that God wants to teach me that my affirmation and sense of importance needs only to come from Him. When I have a moment of self-pity and "does any of this really matter?" in my daily grind of mothering young children, I need to stop and thank God that He has blessed me tremendously with the most noble task of shepherding the future generation of the kingdom. It has not been easy, but nothing worth attaining usually is. God has been whispering to me in those lonely moments that HE sees me, and HE laughs with me, and HE notices my efforts and struggles and cares far more than anyone or anything that I try to replace him with.

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