Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I broke up with Facebook. Here's why.

Anyone who knows me, knows I adored facebook... I practically lived on there.

My days usually consisted of getting up, waking up the computer, and promptly visiting facebook in an attempt to catch up with my friends. I'd scroll down my news feed, looking for things to comment on. I LOVED seeing all of the beautiful pictures my friends shared, especially when it was of them or their kids. There were so many wonderful things to do and see there! Commenting on photos, taking quizzes, playing games, messaging friends...

And that's why we had to break up.

You see, I have two beautiful daughters. Two blessings straight from Heaven. And I'm pretty sure God didn't give them to me so I could waste my time with them by being on facebook instead of paying attention to them. Instead of loving them, playing with them, caring for them.

I need to be a more attentive mother.

On top of that (and as you may have read from a past post), I am homeschooling my oldest in August. That's going to take all of my time and attention. I can't be torn between teaching her and going on a social networking site. I can't take her education for granted or put it on the shelf because it's just not as important as finding out who has the latest status update.

So I did it today... I prepared a week ahead by posting status updates saying I would be leaving, and asking email addresses from anyone who cared to keep in touch with me.

I was going to do it tomorrow... but I chose to do it today. Why? Because I started getting cold feet about the whole thing. I found myself rationalizing that I didn't spend THAT much time on facebook, and maybe I could control myself. (See, I've tried taking breaks from facebook before... and they worked, for maybe a week. Then I would find myself back online, and worse than ever. My poor kids didn't get much time with their momma at all. I was always too busy on facebook.) I told myself, "Maybe this time will be different! Maybe I will instantly be more mature about my facebooking choices, and not spend so much time on there. Maybe I will change!" but deep down I knew this wasn't true. My husband even started talking to me about it, "I thought you said you were going off facebook... why are you on there so much now? It's like you're trying to really milk it before you leave."

And he was right. I was.

I was trying to get as much in as possible... much in the same way a smoker will decide to quit on a certain day, and then chain smoke up until that point. I was milking it... I was overdoing it, even though I'd told myself I was determined to quit.

The thing is, the addiction didn't just stop there. I pushed the "deactivate your account" button, filled out the questionnaire (complete with pictures of friends who will all "miss me"), and finally confirmed that I was deactivating. My heart hurt as I did it. It literally ached... like I was moving away from friends forever, or like someone was dying.

Then I sat down for lunch. Camron had made some amazing tacos for us. I sat at the table, bewildered that I would feel so strongly about a website. In our table conversation, it came up that I had deactivated my account. I told Camron that my heart was hurting, and suddenly ended up bursting into tears. "It's so stupid," I said between sobs.

Yep, I am definitely addicted to facebook. That just confirmed it, if I'd ever doubted it before. I wasn't just letting go of a website, I was letting go of hundreds of friends I'd made on there, who I had grown used to seeing and talking to. I was letting go of my desire to always BE there... to want to be part of something all the time. I was letting go of my constant need for approval. I had grown so dependent on others that I'd stopped taking a stand for my views, instead pushing them aside in order to gain more "likes". I chose not to say what I really think about things, because I would be attacked by a slew of people who thought differently than I did and had absolutely no problem saying what they thought. I was letting go of my comfort, in order to do something reckless for the Lord.

No, I'm not going to a third world country to rescue orphans, but for me, leaving facebook was reckless. It was challenging. It was CRAZY, because I was so comfortable there. People knew me and I knew them. What would happen to me now?

Like I said, I just quit facebook today. I don't think I'm handling it well. I watched a few Tinkerbell movies with my kids, worked on our finances, and then felt compelled to blog about my lack of facebook. To me, that's like an alcoholic going on and on about how they're not drinking anymore. Kinda hard to get your mind off it when all you do is talk about it.

You know what? I think I'm actually gonna ask my mom about her twelve-step problem... because I think I could use all the help I can get. Yep, that's what I'm gonna do.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Changes in Life

There are those who do well with change, and those who don't.

I think I'm one of the latter.

See, I'm going through a few changes right now myself... my daughter is going to be homeschooled by me (something I've obviously never done before), my youth pastors (yes, the ones who pastored me when I was a teenager!) are retiring, and all kinds of other things I'm not at liberty to speak about are going on. Needless to say: CHANGE.

I don't do too well with change, I guess because it's so unpredictable. See, if I'm miserable doing something, at least I know it's something I'm doing and it's making me miserable. That, I seem to be OK with. But changing things up and doing something that might possibly be amazing (OR can be highly disappointing) is new to me. I don't like to take risks.

You're talking to the kid who wouldn't try to do a flip on mom and dad's bed because I'd read about how Christopher Reeve got paralyzed from the neck down because he was thrown off a horse. You're talkin' to the kid who, when her bike would speed up a little bit going down a hill by her house, would see images in her mind of the front page story in the paper about the kid who died by going too fast on her bike.

Yeah, you're talkin' to me.

I don't know how these changes are gonna go... and honestly, I'm pretty nervous about them. I not-so-secretly fear I'll be awful as a homeschooling mom, and that whoever's the new youth pastor won't be ready to take this gigantic task of working with and for these youth... and I'm honestly kind of a worrywart. Not cool, I know, but that's just how I roll.

This is the thing: My worrying helps NO ONE.

It doesn't help my husband, who believes wholeheartedly that I can do this. It doesn't help my daughter, who needs Momma to be focused on this monumental responsibility, and it certainly doesn't help me... the one who's debated whether she should pull her hair out about a zillion times, just because it would be its own kind of relief.

So I'm gonna do something no one has EVER done before (yeah right). Something so clever (not), so MIND-blowing, that you might not even be able to comprehend what I'm about to say...

I am going to give it to God.

Yep, that's right. I'm gonna hand it over to Him. My days only get shorter by worrying anyway... I'm gonna give it to Him and let Him work things out. There's no use worrying today about what's going to happen tomorrow anyway! Every day has enough trouble of its own.

So I'm gonna give my worries to God, because He knows what to do with them. Is anyone with me? He can hold your worries just as well as He holds mine... :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Yesterdays Mishaps

Yesterday I found myself as I find myself fairly often lately: overwhelmed. I took my two-year-old to get blood work done, then went straight to Walmart to purchase some wipes and rice milk for her. After that, I drove to the other side of town to pick up my sweet momma-in-law and take her home.

It was only when I was back in my driveway, starving for food (since I'd, of course, skipped breakfast in order to do the other things) that I realized I'd left the groceries in the cart. I'd been so involved with my baby girl (trying to cheer her up and carefully buckle her into the carseat), that I didn't realize I'd left my things until almost thirty minutes later.

I freaked out. It may not seem like a big deal, but our family has been struggling financially as of late. That "six dollars and some odd cents" was a huge deal... and the fact that I'd have to spend ANOTHER because of my own dumb carelessness was almost too much to bear.  I left my momma-in-law in the driveway with my daughter, and hopped back into the driver's seat.

I rushed back to Walmart, hoping that maybe, just MAYBE, with the temperatures as cool as they were, the rice milk would still be good and the wipes would be in my cart along with them. Of course, when I arrived, they were nowhere to be seen. Frantic, I hurried inside the store and asked a cashier if anyone'd brought in a bag of wipes and rice milk, and she referred me to Customer Service.

While in line at Customer Service, I called my husband to let him know what I was doing. He told me not to worry and that things would be fine, and maybe someone just really needed those items. I said goodbye and that's when I lost it: tears streamed down my face just as the woman called "Next" for me. I approached, totally ashamed of my utter tearfulness, and tried to explain to her my situation. I brokenly asked if anyone had brought rice milk and wipes inside the store, knowing it was a long shot. She looked around and saw nothing, then asked if I had a receipt. I told her I thought it was in the bag, but then remembered that I may have put it in the diaper bag I had on me, so I searched for it. Miraculously finding it, I thanked God for having me put it in there rather than in the bag of groceries. I handed it out to her and she checked it, then left to ask a coworker or boss of hers a question.

When she came back, she said that she'd been told to have me find the items again and then come back to Customer Service. I was so full of relief that I literally said, "ohhh... thank you!" to her, and went to get the things. I stood in line again (the line had gotten longer since I'd been retrieving my items), and waited until it was my turn again. She rang up the items and then zeroed them out... and I said thank you a couple more times.

I was and still am so thankful that there are people out there who care about individuals. It may have been "just six dollars" to some people reading this, but to me, it meant the world. I'm so grateful to the woman who helped me and I hope some day I can help make her day brighter as well.