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Sunday, January 13, 2013


Sometimes people pick a word to describe their focus for the new year.  And I think I would pick BALANCE.  I know that's kind of a lifelong quest.  As new balls continue to get added into the juggling act, we have to find new balance, a new rhythm. And sometimes you drop ALL the balls and you have to keep your smile on and pick them all up and continue.  And sometimes when it's just too much, you simply just have to go back to fewer balls, back to what you can handle.  

Part of my journey with Facebook is committing to only checking three times a day. Morning, afternoon, and evening.  When I told this to Kevin he laughed, but he's never been a Facebook user, plus he's a guy, so he doesn't understand the addiction that it can become because he doesn't crave that social aspect in his life.  A close friend of mine is also taking on this "challenge" with me, and the accountability makes all the difference. 

And this change feels good.  

It affects my whole approach to the day.

I feel ready to GO and ready to accomplish something, rather than spending half the morning lounging around and then finally getting moving, still just completing the bare minimum!

I've been working on my 2013 project list-- there's nothing like the awesome feeling of productivity! I had no idea we had so many forgotten drawers and shelves in our house filled with CRAP!  No more! Things are getting organized, tidied, CLEANED!  

But it's not alllll just about Facebook.  Part of it is (in real life) social time.  For awhile there in the Fall it seemed I had plans almost every preschool morning, and the housework was MAJORLY lacking! 

Part of it is evening activities and having too many things planned. 

But much of it is just life.  Housework, parenting and time with kids, finances, spiritual life, social time, marriage, housework, extra curriculars, serving others, health and fitness, projects, marriage, school, parenting.

It all just keeps circling round and round, and is never really "done".  

And that's where I want to find healthy balance.  I sooo want to establish a good rhythm for how to fit it all in well.  I DO think it's possible. It just requires me to use my time more wisely, to live life productively and purposefully.  No, I don't have to CONSTANTLY be multitasking-- there is a time for rest, every day not just Sundays.  There is a time to laugh and to play. There is even a time to be sad. But there's that word again, balance!

So here's to balance in 2013! Living intentionally, purposefully, and productively so I can live life to the full! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy 8 years!

Today is our 8-year anniversary, and I'm so happy and so thankful. We have much to celebrate!

("Happy 8 Day" this is actually a Brian Regan reference. our favorite comedian.)
It hasn't always been easy. In fact it's often been downright hard and ugly.  And seemingly hopeless.

But we continue to choose love.

We continue to choose forgiveness

and JOY

and commitment.


after all

isn't that what love is about??

Monday, January 7, 2013

Reset Button

Our culture has gotten far too lazy. With the world at our fingertips within our electronics, we tend to sit on our butts WAY too much while still FEELING like we are doing something!  I've shared my struggle with Facebook, and I've still been processing thoughts about it. About why it's such a struggle...

1. Motherhood.  I kind of feel like a lot of my role is to hover nearby the kids all day long. To be there and ready when a boo-boo needs kissed, fights need broken up, discipline needs to take place, feelings get hurt, little guy needs taken to the potty, or a drink needs filled.  These things don't happen quite EVERY minute of the day (although sometimes it sure feels like it!) and the in-between minutes aren't enough to get into any project too INVOLVED.  Heck, as soon as I go upstairs to fold laundry, someone is screaming downstairs.  That's just life right now.  I do chores when I can but not ALL day, so those in-between minutes while I hover nearby my kids are often spent on FB. Because it's easy, it's not involved, it's community.  Now don't get me wrong, I play WITH my kids and read WITH my kids and and do some chores WITH the kids and we do spend a lot of time OUT of the house. But when we're home and they want to spend the day playing, this is why I'm often on Facebook, why it's hard to not go there.

And now. It's become habit. It's become the norm.

For many of us.

2. And anything outside the normal is then a struggle.  So I want to reset. To establish a new norm. One that doesn't involve the constant itch to check in on my friends every single day. I have selected a small group of people I truly want to keep up with on an everyday basis, deleted almost 100 friends that were only ever an acquaintance, and left many of the friends I still want to check in on only from time to time.  Yet I still find myself going to facebook.com many many many times a day. Because I'm restless and bored.


I want to rediscover small pastimes that I enjoy. Like Sudoku.  I refound a Sudoku magazine I'd gotten awhile back for Eli, stuck it in the little drawer of our new coffee table and I've thoroughly been enjoying working those puzzles when I have a few minutes! It's easier to NOT do something (Facebook) when you have something else to replace the time with (activities with the kids, or little hobbies).

And for 2013 I want to work on a project list.  I have sooo many projects that could probably be done in only 1 day.  And I'd like to tackle at least one a month! To feel the satisfaction of checking something off as DONE.  To let my kids see the things I enjoy, like sewing, and to learn the basics of these skills.

So here is my list of the quick projects:

1. Finish sewing the last two panels of curtains for the office.
2. If that leftover fabric is enough, make pillow covers for the living room.
3. Finish the Quiet Time Book I'm making for the kids. 
4. Hem my bedroom curtains.
5. Make a set of cloth napkins.
6. Touch up paint in the dining room.
7. Find Eli's baby pictures so I can start his baby book.
8. Organize new recipes.  
9. Finish Eli's spelling book.
10. Finish Hannah's (soon to be Carter's) homework book. 
11. Finish Hannah's drawer project for her room.

Long-term projects:
12. Europe scrapbook
13. Annual family photo albums.
14. Finish conversation calendar.

This year simply must be different. Changes must be made or my kids will grow up doing the same thing. And I hope for more than that.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Facebook 2013

Greetings and Happy New Year!!  I haven't been on here a whole lot.  I'm kind of processing a lot of things these days, and I don't know what to say or THAT it even needs said, especially here to the public!  But this is one thing that has been heavy on my heart, and I'm still trying to figure out what to do with it.... Facebook.

The more I'm there, the more I read what people share, what people comment, the more I observe my own behaviors and feelings, it seems like such a huge trap for sin.  I can only speak for myself and my experience, and these are the ways Facebook causes me to stumble...

It causes JEALOUSY, seeing what other friends are doing.  Everything gets shared, ya know. Lunch dates, shopping trips, movies.  And sometimes, even though it doesn't seem like there's any valid reason, I just feel a twinge of jealousy.  A feeling of being left out, or coveting time out like that for myself.

One of the biggest struggles I think is PRIDE, and this is one I often see, and I'm guilty of it too.  Boasting about accomplishments, in seek of praise and comments, seeking man's approval.  When I post photos or even a status update I check back very very frequently, eager to see what comments I have.  Wow, such sin, trying to build myself up like that. Even if it's unintentional, it totally happens.

And on the flip side are PITY PARTIES, people complaining about this and that just in search of comments and others to come alongside them. Yes, it's good to be real, to show the tough times too, but what is the real motive?

Not to mention the IDLENESS and unproductivity of simply BEING online all the time.

Being a regular Facebook user quickly and easily leads to restlessness and discontentment and I lose the gift of being fully present with those I am with.  There's always a need to know the latest news, because it's constantly changing, people are always posting.

And then there's the hurt and insult caused by posts/comments, even of complete strangers.  And the firey feeling of needing to defend yourself. It's awful.

And hurt and assumptions from posts that are vague, and humans can't help but jump to their own conclusions about what it must mean.  I've probably been on both sides of that "game".

You see, it's such an ugly trap.

But at the same time it's good, and that's why this causes such turmoil within me.  

It's a place where pictures are easily and privately shared with friends and family.
You can share encouraging Bible verses, articles, music, and videos.
You can share simple things that just make you laugh.
You can share kind thoughts and messages to those you care about.
It's a source of communication and news, including urgent prayer requests.

For many others Facebook is not such a battle.  But for me it is.  So for 2013 how do I make this work?

I took my "wall" down.  In order to write to me, it has to be a private message.  This is to protect my friends and readers from any misinterpretations and to help guard my relationships as something somewhat personal.

I now require authorization before I can be "tagged" in something for all the rest of my friends to see.

I cannot remove the option of photo comments, so that just is what it is.

I will use more caution in what I post by following these rules I'd found on Pinterest regarding children but it fully applies to Facebook:

And while I can't control what OTHERS say, I can better control what I SEE.  So I'm working through my friends list.  But that kinda takes forever, so I majorly cut down my list of "close friends" and can view the feeds of that instead of the feeds of EVERYONE!  Simply cutting down will also cut down my online time altogether.

"Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10

So here, my friends, is to a new year!!