Tag Archives: social media

social media worthy

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As I was scrolling through my facebook feed this week, I happened upon a post from a former co-worker and friend of mine.  I noticed she’d posted pictures of different rooms in her house, all in different stages of “messiness,” (her words, not mine). The pictures are what beckoned me to read on. Inspired by her words, I asked permission to share them with you. Here is what she wrote:

I was talking with my wise friend, _______, this weekend about my messy house/car, lack of cooking and overall frenzied pace. She encouraged me, and I’m passing it on, that at least we are present in the moment, and the rest doesn’t matter. I walked around the house yesterday and just took pictures. Once I was done, I was reminded of just how beautiful our “messy” lives are: a science project (and parts all over the place), decorating a pumpkin for a contest (with glue everywhere), notes from kids, box tops collections (and loving the interactions with incredible families from our school), two sizes of shoes laying in the middle of the floor that represent a camping trip with the boys and other great Boy Scouts families, a not so neatly written *Bible verse that is the key to all of this, and finally hugs – not when they are convenient time-wise, but when my incredible husband is running late, yet ALWAYS makes sure to hug each of us, and from an unprompted sister who thankfully adores her brother. None of this was staged and that’s what makes it pretty. 🙂 Hopefully you can stop for a moment in your day, to see the beauty that surrounds you too.

Yes! A thousand times YES!!! How I love what my friend shared in her facebook post. Nothing could be truer or more accurate than this!! While I would be lying if I said I don’t, at times, covet a beautifully kept, minimalistic, non-cluttered, meticulous home. Goodness knows in my perfectionist mindset I would simply adore my home mimicking the cover of the latest Southern Living magazine. Only in my wildest dreams! Honestly— I struggle, stress, fret, agonize whenever we have anyone over, which is precisely why it is a rare occasion that we entertain. Sad, but true, since we’re the ones who are missing out. What I want is perfection in every way and sometimes I get literally sick, even angry, that it’s just not to be, at least not in this season of my life. Yes, I fight it tooth and nail.

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14, NIV)

 

I’m thankful for my friend, Susan, and her wise words. Life is but a vapor and while our Littles are all about our feet, let us seek to make the most of every moment and treasure the memories made with them. One day, my home will feel all too quiet and I don’t want to look back on these years with regret fretting over my IMperfect house, wasting precious time. It has been said, ‘the days are long, but the years are short’. Let’s seek to find beauty in the messes. Would we not prefer our children remembering happy times spent together rather than recalling Mommy too busy and frenzied in an attempt to keep a perfect home? After all, the most comfortable homes I’ve been in are the ones which aren’t perfect!

*I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.(Philippians 4:12-13)

Sad heart

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So, I’ve posted before on the mixed feelings I have about facebook. Suffice it to say we have a love/hate relationship. While I enjoy and appreciate perusing through pictures of friends of mine with their families, celebrations such as graduation, weddings, birthdays and the like, I do not enjoy all the bragocious, mean-spirited, derogatory postings. Long before internet was around, I vividly remember a conversation between my Mom and me in our kitchen. This was back in the days of hand-written communication. My Mom was cautioning me about being careful what I put in writing because once it’s out there, it’s there forever. I was a big letter writer and while I cannot recall the issue for the conversation, her point was well taken. All the more her wisdom is applicable in the age of email, facebook, and all the rest.

Imagine my angst this morning as I’m quickly scrolling through the posts on our town’s facebook page when I came across someone claiming to be agnostic. His post was asking if there were any others like him in our town. Upon reading the initial post, my heart was sad for someone who seemingly is lost and doesn’t know my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I don’t know the gentleman who stated his claim, but my heart was heavy nonetheless. What really stirred me up were the comments made in reply to his post. So many rude, ugly opinions mocking the Lord. I had a knee-jerk reaction to post my thoughts and why I am a believer in Jesus Christ, but thought better of it. While I want to defend my beliefs, I am reminded that the majority of the naysayers are non-believers, acting out of their disbelief. Whatever I may say in defense of my faith isn’t going to convert them, at least not in that (facebook) setting. In fact, any comment I make will most likely only turn them off even more. I concluded that I will list their names and add them to my prayer list asking God to open their eyes to His truth, no longer blinded by disbelief. He may choose to use me in some way at some point in these folks’ lives, or not.

It was then that I was reminded of my kitchen conversation with my Mom all those years ago, cautioning me to be mindful of what I write, say, and how I respond. In whatever form it is communicated, it is out there forever. God’s Word teaches that we should guard our tongues, measure our words, and be aware of the condition of our heart. There is life and death in our words therefore, we should be take seriously what comes out of our mouths.

Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.(Proverbs 18:21, HCSB)

A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. (Luke 6:45, HCSB)

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14, HSCB)

Pleasant words are a honeycomb: sweet to the taste and health to the body.    (Proverbs 16:24, HCSB)

The intelligent person restrains his words, and one who keeps a cool head is a man of understanding. (Proverbs 17:27, HCSB)

Obviously, watching what we say (write, text, post), can be a teachable moment with our children. I’m astounded when I see posts, even pictures, that people make (children, young people, and adults too!) which will stay around forever. I often think how mortified I’d be if I saw my mother wear, speak, post, even blog such things; some details are meant to remain private. It is as if these folks are oblivious to the repercussions these postings will have on them, not to mention their own children one day. Our modern day social media doesn’t allow for enough editing, in my opinion. We tend to press “post” before we really realize what we’ve done. With children, even young people, they lack discernment.  Utilize opportunities to teach younger folks how careful we must be to prevent compromising character, even making regrettable mistakes that could very possibly haunt them forever. Philippians 4:8 is an excellent reminder of how to handle ourselves and possibly protect our reputation:

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.

Conflicted

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From time to time, I ponder whether or not to remain on facebook. I feel like some of you will get me, while others may shut me down. That’s why I’m in a real quandary.

There are so many things I love about connecting with people I’ve not seen or heard from in a zillion years! When I happen upon a newsworthy post, it is a good thing making me happy for my connection. However, if you’re like me, you are growing rather tired of only seeing the ‘highlight reel’ of everyone’s lives. This is where I struggle. I think it causes others to feel discontent with where they are in life, what they have, who they have, where they’re not traveling to. Y’know? This then leads to the almighty comparison trap. What really gets me in a jerk though is when people are hurt because of being left out of an event they weren’t included in. It’s like those who have excluded others tend to forget that for a moment and go all out posting pictures of all the fun they experienced while those left out are seeing it blasted all over social media. This especially sticks in my craw when it involves my child. Never mind that he’s “just four” and that he doesn’t have his own social media accounts to see for himself. What matters is that I, as his Momma see it. I get it that we have limits to how many can be invited to a party…makes total sense. But don’t go and blast it all over facebook with pictures galore of the fun that my child is not included in. It hurts my heart.

If you’re close to tuning me out because you’re thinking, “she just needs to get over it!” then hold the phone a minute. Why is it that so many adult women are feeling left out and alone from social events? Honestly, it almost feels like high school sometimes with the invention of facebook, only the cliques are broadcast all over your broadband. If social media was designed to bring us all together, then why is it making people feel so alone? Why are there more marriages coming to an end? Why is there cyber bullying? Why are more and more people feeling less and less content?

I truly want to believe that so-called “posters” on social media don’t mean any harm. They just want to share their pics with all their zillions of “friends”. Or, the wife who always receives the most gorgeous bouquet of flowers “just because”. Or, the proud Mommas and Daddies who post pics of their darling who made it on the cheerleading squad; received a ginormous full-ride scholarship to their dream school; had the dreamiest prom; made the best grades; went on the most awesome senior trip…..and on and on it goes. I haven’t even gone into the lavish vacation pictures we all see plastered everywhere, never mind this may just be “so and so’s” second trip to Disney and third cruise within six months. Seriously? What about those who can barely make ends meet? What about those who are lonely singles or struggling to hold their marriage together?

Lest you think I’ve not participated in any facebook faux pas, I have. Sure, I’ve posted pictures of a trip to the beach or my child’s birthday party, even flowers my husband brought me “just because”. I, too, am guilty as charged. Does that make this any less of a problem though? I don’t think so.

Whether I decide to remain on social media or not is still unknown. My husband reminds me that it all depends on what you do with facebook. I don’t mean to pick on facebook per se; it’s really all social media. I have learned many important events such as weddings, engagements, illnesses, deaths, new jobs, baby announcements, and connected with many long lost friends through social media. I’ve been encouraged by its posts, convicted by its posts, felt left out by its posts, envious by its posts and all the rest. I have a girlfriend who is not on facebook for all these reasons and more, challenge me to give it up for a week. a month. two months, and on and on, as a test to see if I really need it in my life.  Something to ponder for sure.

I’m really curious what you, my followers, think of the glorious invention of social media. Sure, there are pros and cons. However, do the cons outweigh the pros? Do we really need to be connected in every way imaginable to know what’s going on, or can we survive going back to being in real fellowship with our friends… in person….. catching up on all the news? Is it possible we might even be more productive if we we weren’t linked to the social feeds? Something to ponder for sure, which is why I battle with to leave or to stay. Let me hear from you!

social media (sometimes) makes me feel badly about myself

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social media (sometimes) makes me feel badly about myself

So have you ever felt this way about your favorite social media outlets? I know I have. I don’t want to throw the proverbial ‘baby out with the bath water’ but, I feel like it’s worth talking about, especially for my fellow “Stay-at-home-Mom” (SAHM) pals.

Facebook has been blamed for contributing to many a failing marriage, as has texting, emailing, and numerous other social media mediums. Why? Well for one, since our cellphones allow us the privacy of communicating with whomever we want, whenever we want, it can be risky. A healthy marriage can’t subsist on secrecy.

Probably my biggest beef with Facebook, in particular, is that its posts tend to be well-edited, snapshot moments of our lives. You know what I’m talking about: “look at us on our awesome two-week vacay”, or “we are having the best time on our third trip to Tahiti this month”, or “my college grad son just got an awesome job making $300,000/year straight out of the classroom!” Still yet, we’ve all read posts such as: “I have the best husband/wife ever”, or “my husband is the greatest; he just brought me a dozen red roses for absolutely no reason” , or “look at the new car/house we bought after my husband’s huge bonus!”

While my examples may be a bit exaggerated, oftentimes these type of posts leave us unhappy with our current situation, without us even realizing we weren’t happy in the first place. Sure, we are happy for our friends who are doing this or that; it’s that we find ourselves comparing our current situation in life to their current post. Some have even dubbed this as “Facebook envy”. WHOA! It has a name. Kinda sad, if you ask me.We are all guilty of tweaking our posts to make us look our best whether in pictures or in words. As if that’s not enough, we use flattering filters, cropping, and other such tools to edit and enhance even further.

Just imagine being in a lonely or loveless marriage and reading some of the posts mentioned. Consider a single parent on a fixed income reading such posts who can’t afford to take any sort of trip because it’s just not in the budget. Or someone who is recently divorced or even widowed reading all about your seemingly perfect marriage. Perhaps someone is going through a terrible battle with their health and their feed is full of such inaccurate portrayals of life.

I confess, since being a “SAHM,” my time spent on social media has been drastically cut. No longer do I have the “luxury” to peruse posts portraying the annual “Christmas card” moments of their lives. I have to admit, I have felt better and less bothered in doing so. I have wrestled from time to time with going ‘off the grid’. The only problem with that is that social media has become the prominent way we communicate with the outside world. No longer do we pick up the phone to call someone; we jump on social media and chat away utilizing the very latest in technology to enhance our communication experience. Gone by the wayside are face-to-face conversations where we can read one’s facial expressions rather than analyze the tone of an email or post.

Honestly, I could continue my soapbox rant on and on and on with my opinions and thoughts of the whole social media thing, and they would be just that, opinions. Instead, I feel it a better use of my words to encourage us all to be more mindful of what we post and how we portray ourselves to others. Imagine what it would be like to read more authentic posts. I’m not suggesting loading up our feed with negative babble; rather portray life as it is rather than “photo shop” everything to make our lives appear to be better and more exciting than they actually are. After all, what does this accomplish? We probably wouldn’t continue on this path if we thought we had the capability to make others feel jealous, or even hurt.

In conclusion, no need to ditch social media. Consider living in the real world among your “friends” on social media. Perhaps even weed through those who aren’t truly friends, keeping only those you want to maintain communication with. Life is precious and so are the people who make it, so why not mind your words a little more closely and seek to encourage instead of building yourself up to be someone you’re not. “‘Cause ain’t nobody got time for that!”

 

 

 

 

 

Taking Time To Read

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Taking Time To Read

This morning as I’m sipping some hot coffee, having made my husband’s lunch and prayed with him upon his departure to another busy day at the office, I’m reading in my favorite comfy chair. I’ve been enjoying reading more and more. While I enjoy reading, I have to work it into my schedule, which has to be a conscious choice made by me. You see, I’ve been convicted lately of spending too much time on social media. For me, it has become a means of escape. You know, mindless distraction from a busy, stressful day at home raising a little person. My point is not to rant on social media, rather convey how I’ve been striving to make better use of my time.

I started reading another of one of my favorite author’s books, Beautiful In God’s Eyes, by Elizabeth George. By no means is this a new publication. To me, new or old, it is timely wisdom for the season I’m in. Quite honestly, this book would apply to just about any season I’ve found myself in! It is about the treasures of the Proverbs 31 woman. Such wisdom is found within the pages of this book. I find myself wanting to read more and more of it even though the attributes of this Proverbs 31 woman seem difficult to ever attain. This woman is someone I’d aspire to be, a true heroine.

By no means is it an easy read, but a convicting one. However, I believe as women we all fall short of these attributes described here. You might be thinking, why read about someone you’ll never feel the satisfaction of becoming, only to be disappointed time and time again? My answer to that question quite simply is this, I realize that there is no way this side of heaven I could ever come close to having this woman’s attributes and character; however, with God’s help and transformation in my life, it is possible. My part is to partner with Him, allowing His Holy Spirit to transform, shape, renew and fix my mind on the things of Him. A tall task for sure, but thankfully, our God is in the miracle business!

Whether you read this book, or another, I’m encouraging you (and me, for that matter!) to choose to put uplifting and encouraging truth in your mind, to invest in bettering yourself as a wife, mom, and woman of God. From this, everything else will flow. More importantly, though, is to read God’s Word; His book trumps all other reading. Within its pages can be found topics on parenting, being an excellent wife and mother, guarding your heart, as well as learning of the Lord’s wisdom and knowing His heart.

Sure, God inspires authors to write, encourage, inspire, and even teach us. What I’ve learned though is that we must be discerning (something else to pray for!) in what we read and who has authored it. I’ve come to understand that just because a book has been recommended to me by someone I admire, or just because I find a book in my local Christian bookstore, doesn’t mean that this book is something of value for me to read. Why, you ask? There is value in researching an author. Look at and read the endorsements given for his publication; do you know these people and their teaching? Research who this author is, his beliefs and his teachings. You certainly don’t want to put false doctrine into your mind. His writing will flow from his teaching and beliefs and if his values and belief system are not in line with God’s teaching, then this book you are considering is probably not going to be something you should read.

In closing, fill your mind with God’s Word and know His truth and teachings well so that you will be better equipped to discern whether something you are considering reading is of value or not. Believe me, there is plenty of unbiblical teaching written, published and housed on many a shelf at even our Christian bookstore. I witnessed this first-hand having worked in a Christian bookstore for many years. I had so much respect for the owners of our store who, despite flack and lost sales, chose not to carry books by certain authors. It is sad, but so very true. We have to remember that there are wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing…even in our local bookstores.