Cleaning out the (social networking) Clutter

There are a lot of social networking sites out there today.

Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Reddit. Linkedin. Tumblr. Snapchat. Google+. I am sure I am missing some…

It gives me a headache just thinking about it all. These can be an amazing tool. I use mine to keep in touch with loved ones who are states away. I also think these can become a crutch. They become a tool Satan uses to make us fall into the comparison game, gossip, anxiety, depression, and stay “friended” with people we may not really “like”, who are unhealthy for us, or who just plum annoy us (no offense haha) for fear of them knowing we un-friended them or whatnot.

Social media conceptI do have Facebook and Instagram. Facebook is very limited, mainly so family and friends who live elsewhere can see pictures. I have Instagram because I love photography, travel, and nature, and it calms me to follow pages with beautiful photos. Also. Less drama. LOL. Many people are on BOTH Facebook and Instagram. Do I really NEED everyone on BOTH accounts?

I have decided to clean out the clutter. I have decided that I should not let my fear of doing so make me have to delete the account I WANT to keep. About twice a year, I go through my newsfeed, pages, and friends list. It is so easy to change my newsfeed or unlike pages. But people? That is scary for me. I often have unfriending anxiety.

What will they think!?
Will they notice!?
Will they hate me?
I don’t want to be mean
I don’t want them to think I hate them
I don’t want them to take it personally

I mean come on, Em. Reall? Most WON’T care. If they do, they will ask about it

I have come up with some guidelines to help me decide who stays and who goes:

1) Facebook needs to be more personal. Instagram is more open. This means I need to clean out my friends list on FB and make it minimal. Keep it personal.

2) Do I know them in person? Did I go to school with them? If I only know them through online groups, have I kept in contact with them for a long period of time? These are all good questions to ask yourself when going through your social networking site feeds/lists

3) Would I tell them Happy Birthday? There are people who when FB tells me it is their birthday, and I am kinda like ehh so? That may sound rude, but if I don’t care enough to tell someone Happy Birthday, do I REALLY consider them a “friend?”

4) Have I considered letting them go before? Does things they say or post frustrate, annoy, or bother me? Even unfollowing someone, my mind knows they are still there, and it can wear on me.

5) Do they share any of the passions and values I share? Do they treat others with love and respect, even if views differ?

6) How do they talk about their children? This is a BIG one for me lately. I cannot stand the things I see some mothers say about their children. Name calling. Constantly complaining about them. Negative talk about them. Calling them things such as little shits or nasty or whatnot. Yes, children frustrate us sometimes. They are draining. They are still a blessing. I cannot see Christ calling the children who came to Him that, or constantly complaining about them. Can you?

7) The Bible says to guard our hearts. Part of doing that is making sure all we do brings glory to Him. Sometimes, in order to do this, we need to clean out the clutter in our lives. That means letting certain relationships, or things, go.

8) We are to please God, NOT man. If we are worrying what someone will think of us if we unfriend them, that’s worrying what they think over God. Pray and listen. God will direct us in the way you should go, and this includes relationships.

9) Real love doesn’t act out of insecurity. If you are worrying too much about what someone would think of you for letting them go (when you know it really IS the best thing to do), that isn’t love. If it isn’t love, it isn’t true friendship.

10) Clearing out social networking will make me focus more on the here and now. Enjoy the little moments. The people around me in my community. My children. My husband. My neighbors. My family.

My God.

Do you need to do some social network de-cluttering?

❤ XOXO
~Emily

Advertisements

#tbt and my hashtag idea for Friday

Today is Thursday. If you get onto any social networking site, you are apt to see a lot of hashtags that looks like this:

b19436cec4c1e732109643122a060676

ok ok minus good ole’ Abe. Wonder if he would participate in #tbt if he were around now. Probably not, seeing as he was called Honest Abe, and most of Facebook can be anything but…

I don’t often participate in the shenanigans of throw back Thursday. I have a few times. Like when I came across a picture of my now 4 year old when she was a preemie in the NICU. I got super teary. I remember there being a time when we thought she wouldn’t make it. God proved His awesomeness. That kind of “throw back Thursday” is important I think. We should reflect on all we have in Christ, and focus on all He has done for us.

But in doing that… don’t get stuck in the past. God doesn’t want you living in the past. No regret. No shame. No guilt. He sent His son to set us free from that. He also doesn’t want us living in the future. Worrying about tomorrow.

Facebook-Addiction1I think sometimes social networking sites suck time away that could be better applied elsewhere. Come on, you know it’s true. Facebook can become an addiction. Just like drugs. Just like alcohol. Just like many other things, and I think it can be as damaging, if not more so, than these things.

It causes self doubt. It cause us to fall prey to the dangerous comparison game. It causes us to only see people’s highlight reels, when we KNOW that everyone has struggles, yet it makes us feel like we are failures. It can feed arrogance, pride, and self-righteousness. It can be a festering pool of hate, judgement, and condemnation, because we think we can spew out viciousness and evil since we are hiding behind our screens.

So that is why I am hoping to get a NEW hashtag on the horizon. Friday mornings, I will be posting #FBFF. Anyone wanna guess what that means?

FaceBook Free Friday

I am going to really strive to have facebook free fridays. Whenever I feel the urge to check my newsfeed, drama on pages I follow on how terrible parents are who don’t feed their children kale and liver for breakfast, post a cute pic of my babes…

I will read a scripture instead. I will say a prayer. I will cuddle and squeeze my babies (for we know they grow up way to quick and I don’t want to waste that precious time staring at my phone screen). I will tickle little tootsies so I hear those intoxicating giggles. I will do SOMETHING else besides stare at a screen.

Who’s with me!?

#FBFF. Let’s DO this!

❤ XOXO
~Emily

step-back-and-log-off-facebook

Silence isn’t golden.

I have been thinking lately about how well I speak truth. I am not just talking about the butterflies and rainbows truth, like Jesus loves me this I know, but the life changing truth that everyone needs to hear.

I think I do a pretty good job of sharing the love of Christ, but do I a good job of standing up for what hurts him? Sometimes I am not so sure.

All too often we are too afraid. Too nervous. We think it isn’t a good place. Good time. They aren’t ready. I am not ready. This isn’t the place to talk about such and such. We make excuses, and I think it is wrong.

I think it is damaging the name of Christ and His gospel message.

Many times people share the “good” parts of the gospel without sharing the whole truth. They don’t share the controversial parts of the Message for fear of making people mad, hurting them, etc etc etc.

Well ya know what? It will make people mad. It will make people hurt. People may hate us. They may push us away. They may disown us, or not be our friends, or think we are mean. The Bible tells us people will HATE us for His name sake!

I have realized that I am not being totally open and honest about who I am in Christ and what I believe. It is time to change.

As are many others, I am part of Facebook. I think that SO many people are on social networks today, we would be foolish not to use this to our advantage. However, all too often, people tell me, oh Facebook isn’t the place to talk about that. It is TOO serious. It is TOO controversial. It is TOO mean or harsh, blah blah blah.

Well, frankly, I am sick of it.

If we cannot share what we believe on a social network, we need to take a closer look at ourselves. The followers of Christ in the Bible BOLDLY shared, even to the point of DEATH. They DIED for His name. People are dying in other parts of the world for the same thing, yet we are too scared to post what GOD’S TRUTH is on Facebook?

Something is very wrong with that.

You can speak truth and say it in a loving way. You don’t have to be a jerk about things, that would be wrong,but staying silent is wrong too.

What we believe in private doesn’t matter if we can’t boldly speak it in public – wherever we are. Whoever we are with. Whatever the situation.

Jesus was always speaking His life changing truth. He didn’t make excuses for why he couldn’t say certain things. He didn’t say “oh, sorry, I can’t share this here, it may make too many people mad.” No. Wherever he went. Whoever he was with, he spoke truth. We should be doing the same.

We say that Jesus Christ is the most important thing in our lives, but we don’t act like it. When we clam up or don’t stand for His Word and Truth, we are telling Christ that He isn’t as important as “keeping the peace.”

If we are truly going to share the gospel the way we should be sharing the gospel, we will NOT always be able to “keep the peace.” Yes, we should be peacemakers, but sometimes when we speak truth, it WILL make people mad. It WILL turn people away, but we should not use that as an excuse to stay silent.

Be bold. Speak up. Speak out.

Let’s live like Christ really IS the most important thing to us, as we claim. We need to speak of Him WHEREVER we are. He should be the forefront of EVERY. SINGLE. PART. of our lives…

and that includes Facebook (or whatever network you are on)

Reasons I get tired of Facebook, and reasons I have a hard time saying a total goodbye

So, I have written a couple of blogs about Facebook. READ HERE and then READ HERE

Today, I am just going to share some things that really aggravate me about Facebook. So, I apologize in advance for this rant of a blog, though I DO think they are things to think on (myself included) and to think about before we post things.

My hormones are a raging today, so you may wanna stand back. LOL. So, I am sure my raging pregnancy hormones have something to do with how emotional I get over some things, that, and I am super sensitive like my daughter Katie. Hmm. I wonder where she got it from. SORRY MOM! I realize how challenging it can be raising a highly sensitive child now! LOL.

However, I also have reservations totally shutting down the whole operation. Why throw the baby out with the bath water right? Maybe I should just drain some of the nasty water out? Maybe add some pretty pink bubble, or foaming bath soap instead? Or how about some lavender bath salts!? OHHH that sounds nice… Too bad our water pressure SUCKS and I can’t take a bath, unless I want to wait 10 years for the tub to fill up, and by that point the hot water has run out. HAHA. Yes. we WILL replumb the house. Eventually. For now, a shower works ok…

Reasons I get tired of Facebook:

1) It is not a competition — I get so tired of the posts I see that are CLEARLY made to puff up people’s egos. I am sure the way I have posted at times, it may seem I am doing the same. I am sorry if I have ever made anyone feel this way. I do try and be careful though. Life is not a competition bro. We all have our own unique abilities. Let’s embrace those, rather than making others feel bad cause they can’t do the same “kick butt thing” that you posted about on Facebook.

2) Grumpy Cat — ok Shoot me. I guess I am grumpy, but really. They are STUPID and I hate them. If that makes me grumpy like grumpy cat, so be it, but you won’t see me post the same picture of myself with a different tagline multiple times a day.

3) Selling this product or that product — OMG. I could care less about your product, to be honest. Now, I am not talking about the people who do an occasional post here and there about what they are selling, or friends who have a facebook page for their product and will post a link saying, hey check out my page. THAT is totally cool! Also, things the person HAND MAKES is different to post about, imo. I am talking about the ones I see that pretty much their entire timeline is splattered with product information, why you should buy this, or that, or use this or eat that. My product will make you fly like superman kind of thing. You know, those pyramid type companies. People, PLEASE, if you have that much to post get a Facebook page for your product and stop clogging my newsfeed. I have many friends who sell things and they HAVE made a separate page for it. GOD. BLESS. YOU. ALL.  To be honest, I have opted to take some people off my newsfeed for this reason. No offense, I just don’t think it appropriate to use your timeline as a way to make money.

4) Getting random messages from people who have not talked to me in YEARS. Seriously, YEARS… saying things like “oh I know you are as stay at home mom and probably need money. Join my team and sell my product to make money.” Please. You don’t care about me, or the people that you do that to. Think about it. How would you feel if someone who has taken no interest in anything else in your life, randomly, out of the blue, wrote you asking them to join their team selling such and such? You would probably feel used and like that person just wanted to use you to get ahead and make more money for themselves. It appears selfish. Sorry. That is harsh, but it is the truth. That is exactly how those types of  messages make me feel.

5) TOO MUCH POLITICAL CRAP — enough said.

6) Food battles — I am not talking about a Facebook edition of Food Network. I mean the whole foods vs convenience foods battle. I have mentioned before we are doing what we can to eat healthier, more REAL foods, less processed junk. However, I will not go off the deep end. We will do what we can, and do the best we can. THAT is the bottom line. I am tired of all the articles and findings and research about how everything will kill you or make your hands and feet fall off one phalanges at a time. I have seen rude comments, things like “people who feed their families processed foods are lazy and don’t care about their children” — WOAH. TIME OUT. Enough with the cut downs and judgmental assumptions. You don’t know those people, you don’t know what they are dealing with, how much money they have, or ANY of their circumstances in life. People have said comments of the like to people who use formula, how is has all this bad crap, GMO, stuff that makes your child die, etc. HMM what if they CANNOT breastfeed? I have tried twice. and failed. twice. My first daughter was failure to thrive. My second daughter threw up. CONSTANTLY. Being a parents is hard enough without posting all this fear mongering stuff. If you have a LEGIT study? post it. But you have to remember that OF COURSE some studies are going to be biased. A Study from someone who hates steak will be biased toward steak and how bad it is for you. So, just give it a rest and stop judging. I have 2 words for you. GLASS. HOUSES.

7) Fake — I have said this in a previous post, but come on. People post highlights of their day, which again, can lead to mothers and other people just feeling like a giant ball of horse poop. Facebook, as much as people SAY they are “real” let’s be honest. It isn’t.

8) Meanness — People think because they are hidden behind a computer screen they can type whatever they want, say whatever they want, however they want, with no regards to peoples feelings or struggles. Newsflash. Typing is still using the tongue for evil. Proverbs it. Yes I said “proverbs it.” you know, we say google it, well I say go to proverbs. It has quite a bit to say about the tongue and just because your mouth may be silent, your fingers are still doing the talking. So, think before you type. Read it and think again before you hit enter.

And now, why I cannot completely say goodbye to Facebook, though I am close.

1) I enjoy seeing pictures of old friends and their children

2) It has gotten me back in contact with old friends

3) It is a great way for my family, who are ALL in different states to see pictures and read about the girls

Hmm. My list of pros is definitely A LOT shorter than my list of cons. Something to think about…

disConnected: and how it effects our children

A few days ago I wrote a blog about how I think we can tend to disconnect by connecting… meaning we disconnect from the World around us, our children included, by connecting to technology. If you missed that blog, READ IT HERE

I was mainly focusing on Facebook, as I think we can tend to look to that to fill voids, relationships, etc, rather than getting out and serving others and getting to know and love on those around us. I think any form of “social networking” can do this though, whether it be Facebook, Twitter,  or all of the games we play on our phones, or through Facebook, etc. Any of these things can become addictive and cause issues, if we are not careful.

I am going to continue some thoughts and convictions I have had on this. I am not doing this to bash anyone, judge anyone, or bash social networking sites (or any other form of technology we use to escape the real world) but rather challenge you to take a deep, hard, long look at how much time you disconnect by connecting.

The Bible says that children are a blessing.

“Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

I believe that when we, as mothers especially, connect to technology too often, or get onto social networking sites too much, it causes us to lose site of the powerful truth of this passage. There are several reasons I think it causes this

1) Connecting to social networking sites increases anxiety in our hearts.  — When we are constantly connected, reading other peoples highlights, because let’s face it, not many people put up negative things, such as “Woah, I totally lost it with my kid 5 times today” or “I don’t know how to cook anything and I feel like a complete loser” – people post things to make themselves LOOK better to everyone else  (not all, some people I know are real, but even in being “real” I don’t think we REALLY tell it like it TRULY is the majority of the time) SO, what happens ? We think what people post is real, everyday life, therefore we start comparing, therefore we start feeling inadequate or like we are worthless. We can also get angry, upset, or outraged over things we see that cause us to be anxious. Neither one of these are helpful. Both cause us to be anxious, and our children pick up on our anxiety, and begin to start thinking they have to be a certain way, do certain things, etc to be important.

When we feel anxiety or compare ourselves to Sally Sunshine or Suzy Homemaker, what happens to our relationship with our children? We start thinking we are not a good enough mother, we get anxious, worried, and upset, therefore we may snap easier, lose patience faster, yell more, or feel as if we “can’t take another day” more often. I know this is true for me. The more I am on Facebook, if I am honest, the easier it is for me to get more easily frustrated with things my children do, even when they are age appropriate things, or things they are doing that cause no harm.

2) When we focus on what everyone else’s kids are doing, we start thinking something is “wrong” with our kids. We compare our children’s strengths and weaknesses. What!? Bobby can count to 20, my kid can only count to 5, something must be wrong with him, I must be a horrible mother… so we begin to pressure not only ourselves, but our children as well. We are not viewing them as the gifts they are. Each child was made by the Lord for a unique purpose. Each child is precious. Each child was made different and each child has a purpose planned for them by God. When we compare and pressure our children to be like others, we lose focus of the amazing things God created them to be.

3) When we are connected too much (social networking, TV, phone, e-readers, whatever) we are not paying attention to our children as we should be. If we are honest, many times we are neglecting them. We are missing out on their lives. They grow fast, we need to not take that for granted. Being a mother is a job that the Lord gave us, and we need to do it with excellence. If we are constantly connected, we are definitely NOT doing it with excellence.

*note: I am not saying our children need our undivided attention 24/7, or that checking your mail, or facebook every so often while your children are playing is wrong, but there is a limit. There is a point that it is too much. If you ever feel convicted about time spent on it, wonder if you are on it too much, or get defensive when someone says you are on it too much, you probably are (spoken from experience)

4) Connecting too much robs us of the joy of motherhood, therefore robs our children of joy. They see us parents. They see that we are not paying attention. They are not stupid. If they see us connected too much they will begin to feel as if they are not good enough, we don’t care about them, or that what we are doing on the computer is more important than them. I never want to hurt my children in this way. Shame on us. I remember the turning point for me… my oldest daughter, who is 4, told me she gets sad when I am on the computer too much because it makes her feel like I love that more than her. Woah. Causing our children to feel this way is NOT treating them as the blessing and gift they are.

5) Connecting too much can make one go into survival mode. It makes one want to just “get through another day.” It makes one wish time away, or wish they were not in this phase, or that phase, or whatever else. It makes one see the negative, rather than enjoy the positive phases that come with each age. Each age has their struggles. We live in a broken world. However, each age also has amazing, wonderful, and glorious things about them that create beautiful memories… IF we take the time to really see, rather than just do what we can to get by.

We all have bad days here and there. I get that. We all have days we need to disconnect, and on occasion  that is ok. I usually have one day a week that we have a down day. We each kinda do our own thing for a period of the day. It is beneficial for everyone… but not every day. That can cross a line. The are days I cannot wait for nap time. LOL. Some days are just ROUGH and I would be lying if I did not admit this…

but I love my girls, and they are growing way too fast, so I never want to “wish time away” because I know that all too soon I will be wishing for it back.

girlsfence

disConnected

We live in a world where you can connect to technology pretty much anywhere. anytime. anyplace. Many places, like Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, and even the ATT wireless store boast of free wifi access for those who carry a smartphone so you can be connected without having to pay data costs. Pretty swanky huh? I think this is great, fine, well and good. I have enjoyed a few times alone in Barnes and Noble on my Nook (that I won free because I entered an online contest), or Samsung Galaxy S3, because my amazing husband told me to go sneak a few moments for myself. I have appreciated being able to browse the bookstore on my nook while drinking coffee, without being charged.

However, when do these tools, or things we do to take a breather, become a time waster? When does it cross over into the line of this:

“Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Proverbs 10:4

or this:

“She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27 — (meaning we ARE being lazy, or idle, and not tending to the ways of our home or family as we should)

How often do we get online just because we can when there are other, more important things, we could be doing. How often do we hang out on Facebook while the children play, rather than playing WITH them, or watching them, admiring them, or enjoying them? How often do we use Facebook, or other things, to escape motherhood and the important job God has given us?

I have had some pretty strong thoughts and convictions that I have had recently that I want to share with you. This is not an attack on smartphones, Facebook, computers, or technology in and of itself, nor is it an attack on those who use it. They serve good purposes much of the time. They are helpful a lot of the time. What this post IS, is a challenge. I want to challenge you to look at how much time you are disconnected by connecting. When I say this I mean, how often are you disconnected from the world around you, your children, your family, etc, because you are connecting yourself to technology, or Facebook, or the television, or staring at your little smartphone screen without so much as looking up when someone tries to get your attention?

My focus today will be primarily on Facebook, because THAT is what I think I am connecting to TOO much, therefore disconnecting from those around me. From life. From my children. From my husband. From my community. From needs that need to be met. However, ANY form of technology has the power to do this. The Devil can use any and every single item that we use to connect to the WWW or disconnect from the “real world” so to speak, as a way to keep us from serving the Lord and fulfilling His will. In fact, that is what he WANTS.

I am a stay at home mother. I enjoy it. It is tiring, yes, but it is a wonderful job and a blessing. I am thankful to be able to do this. However, this does not give me an excuse to be at home all day, be a hermit, and use Facebook as my primary means to “get out there”, have relationships, and meet people. Yes, it can serve that. I am thankful for SO many I have connected with through Facebook. I am thankful for the mom group I am on. However, those relationships can only go so far. We were made to need real interaction. Eye contact. Face to face conversations. Hugs. Emotional connections. Physically helping, serving, and loving others. I think sometimes we use motherhood as an excuse to say we NEED Facebook because otherwise we would have no friends.

However,  do we have no friends because we are on Facebook too much, therefore not getting out and meeting people? I think sometimes the answer is yes. I know it has been for me sometimes. I spend all my energy on Facebook, and then am too tired to meet needs of those around me. Yes, I have children. Yes, sometimes it is hard to get out. That is not an excuse though, I don’t think. We can still get out there, show love, serve others, help others, meet people, and share God’s love, and yes, even WITH our children. I think we should. I think we should be getting our children in on the action! Yes, our children are our primary ministry, but we can be getting out and about, doing daily tasks, and share the love of Christ, no matter WHERE we are or WHAT we are doing.

A wonderful example of this is with my 4.5 year old daughter. We were at the zoo one day and there were some special needs children. What did Katie do? She looked me in the eyes and told me that God made those people special, just like us. He loves them, and we should love them too. What did she do? She smiled, talked, and waved to each one of them. Those kids smiled back at her and she just smiled bigger. She showed God’s love. There was one little boy in particular who could not speak or make any sounds. He was talking to us through gestures. Katie (even Holly, my 2 year old) picked up on this and started talking to him the say way. They were giggling, the little boy had a smile ear to ear, and pretty soon, they were all pretending to be different animals together. It was amazing. When we left, Katie said. He was such a sweet boy mommy, God sure loves him. Yes, Katie.  He does, and you showed him God’s love by taking the time to love on him. She did this again at the park when there was another group of special needs children. She told me no one was playing with them and everyone needs friends. She asked if we could go be their friends. She marched over, and started swinging on the swing next to a girl. She then went and talked to the other kids, and BOY did they love it! It was awesome.

How can we do these things if we are always at home, always on Facebook, or watching tv, etc? We can’t.

The girls and I were not doing anything special. We went to the zoo. Something we do many times. We just did our best to show God’s love no matter where we were, what we did, or who we came into contact with. THAT is something your children can do. Motherhood is not an excuse to sit at home because you think it is too hard to get out… and I admit. I used this excuse a lot. I didn’t FEEL like it. I didn’t FEEL like getting the kids in the car.

Now, I am not saying you have to go out EVERY. DAY. HA, that would kill me. However, I think we could do it more. I think we could spend more time with our children, getting out together, and being a light for Jesus.

Yes, we can share things on Facebook, and use it to talk of God’s love, but let’s be honest. I am not saying it CANNOT and I am not saying we should never take advantage of using it. It can be a TOOL. BUT… It really just does not work the same as talking with someone face to face. It is not the same as using your hands and feet and serving those in need in your community. In fact, Facebook can get us in trouble! You cannot read tone or someone’s heart, therefore arguments break out, debates start, people get angry, upset, and are pushed away, and that is not doing anyone any good, and it sure isn’t helping the efforts for the kingdom of God any either. In fact, sometimes I believe it can do more harm than good. I am learning this. I have been convicted of this.

If you have a heart for teen moms, great. Don’t simply post articles about them, get out there and find a way to love on one. Have  a heart for those with depression? Don’t just post about depression, get out there and help those who are hurting. Have a heart for teaching girls about modesty and teaching them about purity? Awesome. Stop simply posting about it and get out there and be a light for it, help young girls understand their value. Have a heart for speaking out against abortion? That is great! Don’t just post anti-abortion articles (though they can bring awareness) get out there and serve. Donate money or time to a women’s home, donate money or time to a crisis pregnancy clinic, find a way to serve, even if it simply going to the place you have a heart for and praying over it (I want to do this with the girls) We can get our children involved in prayer, and I think we should.

This post is getting long. I will continue other thoughts another day. For now, that is my first thought and conviction.

We tend to hide away on Facebook rather than serving those around us. We can use motherhood as an excuse to say we NEED Facebook, therefore become addicted to it (yes, we can become addicted to Facebook), again, not getting out and serving those around us.

Facebook friends can be awesome. I have several, as I stated before. I love them and love keeping in touch with them, but folks… we are called to be a light. We are called to be that light on a hill for our communities. We need to get out there, IN PERSON. We need to get to know those around us, our neighbors, and see how we can love them, serve them, and help them. I think we can get our children involved! What better way to teach your children about serving as Christ did, than to get out, and do it together as a family?

More thoughts to come this week. Again, this was a challenge. I am challenging myself as much as you. I hope it made you think.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

Faith and flat tires

Ok, I know, I know, I shouldn’t make a blog from a facebook status… but I really felt this status was THAT good 😉 I really feel it was the Lord breathing peace into my life. We are going through some things in life that need prayer. We need wisdom. We need patience. It is scary sometimes. Hard sometimes. I get anxious and afraid. I have good days of faith, and I have BAD days of faith. Today was a REALLY bad day. I almost had a panic attack. Sigh. Thankfully, Andrew was able to come home early… BUT after I picked him up, sigh, because he had a flat tire on his bike, sigh again, and it can’t be pumped, sigh again, there is a hole,it was almost normal off work time. Let’s all sigh together. LOL. It was ONE of those days that that could not have happened at ANY. WORSE. TIME. I almost wanted to shake my fist at God, and say REALLY!?!? Are you KIDDING me!? IS this FUNNY to you God? EHH, I kinda did actually. I admit.

Hearing the collective amount of sighing going on my neighbor told me she would watch the girls while I went to have time with Andrew. Alone. Just us. We talked. We prayed. We cried. Ok, so I was the only one who did the crying. Alot of it. BUT, it was good. We are on the same page on a few things that we were not once were. PRAISE the Lord. So, that right there is a HUGE relief 😀 And for the record, it was ME being stubborn this time. It isn’t ALWAYS me. 99.9% of the time, Andrew is the stubborn one 😛 HAHA kidding. Just 90% 😉

God broke me today. Andrew and I NEEDED to be on the same page. Honestly, it doesnt’ FIX the issue we are praying about, but it makes it so we can move forward TOGETHER… and THAT is important. Husbands and wives REALLY need to be on the same page on certain things or the marriage will suffer. Your sanity and peace will suffer.

Reflecting on this. Andrew’s tire busting was probably the best thing that could have happened. If the tire hadn’t of busted, Andrew may have come home on a “bad” tire. He could have gotten hurt. That would have been much for painful than the annoyance of the fact his tire being ruined. Sometimes God breaks us to hinder us from even more pain. He breaks us or punctures us in order to get our attention that we need to STOP. It is hard to see it when you are going through it, but I REALLY believe that. So, see, God used the tire to teach me a lesson! HA HA!

So, I learned some today. Ok alot. I am sure I will have to re learn it all in a few days… as I am sure I will freak out again, but I hope I can hold onto this. I hope this status I wrote will remind of God’s perfect peace. His perfect timing. His perfect love. His… well, perfectness. He is perfect, even though I am imperfect. ALWAYS. I hope this blesses you as well ❤ AND haha I guess this blog was longer than just a facebook status. What can I say, my brain must have a slow leak and all the air let out on this blog… kinda like Andrew’s tire. HAHA!

So, today may not have been perfect. We may be going through a hard season. It may require alot of faith, trust, patience, peace and perserverence. It may seem impossible to make it through on my own… Good thing I don’t have to. God is all those things and more. He IS perfect. He can use my most anxious situations for His glory. Today didnt’ start off so well, but it ended better. Why? I decided to do the best with what we have been given, pray for wisdom, listen and follow the Lord… then LEAVE the REST to HIM. He will NEVER leave our family or forsake us. Keep praying friends. We still need them, especially for wisdom, but remembering we serve a perfect God helps make imperfect days and imperfect situations seemingly brighter and more bearable. With Christ, I can have confidence. With Christ, I can have peace. I can leave fear, anxiety, worry, discouragement, and frustration at HIS beautiful feet and in His nail scarred hands. Now, I will need to read this status to myself every morning 😉 ♥

internet issues

We all rely on the internet now a days. Maybe too much. Facebook, twitter, google plus, or whatever its called, amazon, ebay, pinterest, shopping, groceries, banking, etc… we all have our internet addictions. I admit, I really love the internet. I am really NOT good in large groups, so facebook, and “meeting” people that way, being in discussion groups, etc, is good for me. It is a release for me. It helps me when I feel lonley etc. OHMYGOSH. You should see me in large groups. I either totally shy away and act likea recluse, which can come across as rude, or I end up spouting off things I wish I hadn’t to people I met the first time :/ It is NOT pretty folks. The truth is, while I love helping people, encouraging people, etc, I am INTROVERTED. I do NOT like parties, gatherings, family reunions, really reunions of ANY kind. LOL. Talk about black sheep. That would be in in those settings. When I try and “fake it” in large gatherings, I am about as real as a SHORT white person trying to FAKE it in women’s NBA. Seriously. It isn’t pretty… SOOOOO needless to say, I have kinda found my nitch. My internet nitch. I started a facebook group (though I wish it was more active, sigh… 😦 ) I blog, I post verses, quotes, etc on my facebook timeline that have spoken to me, in hopesto encourage or challenge others. WELL….

Comcast has decided to totally screw up our internet. HAHA. It was running SO slow, like slower than a tortoise.With what we pay for JUST internet, THIS was just ridiculous. So my awesome, more extroverted, husband called them. Well guess what? Instead of FIXING it, they made it worse. The sent their voodoo vibe through the wires and now,it barely connects at all. It will be a miracle if this blog I am writing actually manages to get posted (let me know if you see it haha). If it does, it is God himself cutting me a break. Seriously. The fact it is working for me to even TYPE is a miracle. HAHA. SOOOO….

*note: during the publishing process, our internet stopped working. Hopefully it will post this time…. please stay tuned. HAHA

I may be unable to blog for a few days, seeing their earliest appt wasn’t until later in the week. FUN TIMES. We use a ROKU. So that means NO netflix. NO Pandora. We already have NO cable and we do not have a DVD player currently either haha. YAY FUN TIMES! 😛 We don’t watch alot of tv, but for those who know me, know I LOOOOOOVE music. So not having music playing stinks. I love the fact that listenting to praise music can really lift your spirits and connect with the Lord through worship! It comes in and out and is just all around annoying, so I just turned it off. LOL.

Needless to say….

We are currently looking to other options for internet… because I can live without cable… but I am not so sure how I would manage without internet. I think I may go crazy and start foaming at the mouth or something 🙂

Contagious Cooking

I think cooking is contagious. The more beautiful and tantalizing pictures of food I see on Pinterest or the text pics or FB statues my friends send me of the super awesome dishes they so effortlessly whip up (Yes, Amy, Kate and Hilary, I mean you 😉 ), the more my taste buds start to water and I get this overwhelming urge to become Suzy Homemaker, not that I already don’t love being a homemaker and stay at home mom. I do… but cooking? I don’t MIND cooking, but it isn’t my most favorite activity. We eat. I am not saying I serve up ramen or canned soup everyday, I just usually make fast and easy recipes. Boring. LOL. Like spaghetti, tacos, nachos, stir fry, baked chicken. Not that there is anything wrong with that, its good for you, good food, healthy options, I just have never had that JOY of cooking bug that so many of my friends and family seem to have. I think some people are born with restless cooking syndrome. I think restless cooking syndrome is where your legs automatically take you to the kitchen, especially when  house hunting, your hands have this uncontrollable urge to stir, beat, whisk, cut, chop, slice, etc, your taste buds are heightened so you have this innate ability to know exactly how much is a pinch, dash, or sprinkle.

I am beginning to realize that cooking can be…. FUN. Now, I am not saying I am going to whip up a 5 star 15 course meal everyday complete with sorbet between “courses” to clease your palet… BUT I am enjoying finding fun (still easy and simple) recipes. I made a super yummy salad this weekend. Next time, I think I will grill up steat strips, salmon, or another kind of fish, to put on top… It is a Paula Dean recipe that amazingly doesn’t call for a tub of butter! I KNOW! I almost died of shock myself. This is what I made, and I even took a picture of my masterpiece! It was so good, easy, fun. I am starting to enjoy this chopping thing… it is kinda theraputic! LOL.

here is the recipe. It is called Black Bean and Avacado salad, but as you can (hopefully) see from my picture (if it attached right, for some reason I can’t see it in my “add new post” page, but can in my blog preview…anyhoo) there is much more to it than just black beans and avacado. OH MY GOSH. I love avacado! MMMM. Both my girls DEVOURED this salad. Yes, you heard that right. THEY ATE SALAD! A toddler and preschooler 🙂 I was quite excited, then again, my kids love healthy food so hey! I hope they stay that way!

http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/recipe_view/southwestern_avocado_and_black_bean_salad/ 

Later this week I am going to be making this! http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2010/10/11/dinner-from-the-real-housewives-of-new-jersey-teresas-tagliatelle/

I also invented, sorda, as I am sure there are SIMILAR things out there, a recipe. It is almost like a mexican version of Chicken Parmesean. I only came up with it because I had not been to the store in ohhhh forever!? So, I got out what I had that I thought would go together and came up with a dish that was OMG SOOOOO incredibly DELICIOUS. My husband and 3.5 year old kept going on and on about it, my 16 month old kept asking for more and saying mama yum yum yum! SO, it was a hit. It was easy. It was quick. It was cheap… Here it is:

Ingredients:
chicken breasts
dark red kidney beans, but next time I will use black beans. either would be fine,
salsa
saltine crackers (though next time I am trying it with tortilla chips)
Shredded cheese (I used 4 cheese mexican blend)
Pepper

thaw chicken and lay it in baking dish. COVER generously with salsa, then add beans on top, then crumble the cracker crumbs on top, top with shredded cheese, add a dash of pepper. Bake (I baked uncovered) at 350* for about 30 min, or until chicken is done.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! SUPER simple. SUPER delicious! I am really starting to get this “joy of cooking” bug that some have… which is why I say cooking is contagious 😉 I can’t wait to be in our NEW HOME to cook!! YAY!

Facebook can wait

This is a poem I wrote. I know us mommies (and anyone really!) enjoy our time on the world wide web… lol, so really you can exchange the word “facebook” with anything of your choosing… Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, Netflix, etc… or shoot, just your “smart phone” in general. MOVE over iPhone, its time for LIFE! 😉

Basically, I had a moment happen with my daughter today, that if I had been as “obsessed” as I am with following facebook at times, would NOT have happened. I chose to put my phone down and enjoy the wonderful blessings God throws at me… I am so glad I didn’t throw it back (this time)…. so although this may be a silly and cheesy poem, or way to express my thoughts, think about it, there really is truth in what I am saying. We live in a world of right now. We live in a world that any and most all information can be downloaded by the click of a button, or the press of a finger, in an instant. This is awesome, but can also be “deadly” in a way… I am writing this poem as a challange (mainly for me to be honest).  It’s a challange to PUT down the technology. It can WAIT. Really. it can. Sometimes I feel isolated, so I feel the NEED to be on facebook or I will never know whats going on in the world, or something. Well, its a lie. It’s an excuse I make for myself in order to make myself feel better…. :/ But, what I am really doing if I am on the comptuer too much is MISSING life…. and just to clarify… I wrote this during naptime 😛

Today I heard you call my name
my iPhone made a buzz
The sound of popularity
what so and so has or does

At times it’s hard to resist the sound
Even though I really should
by hanging out on my facebook page
I’m missing all thats good

I might miss Katie’s precious grin
when she smiles eyes tightly closed
I might miss Holly’s silly laugh
 to concerned with what who disclosed

I know at times being a mom is tough
You feel misunderstood and alone
The need to talk to adult minds
and share our moans and groans

It’s fun to talk to friends and those
without jelly in their hair
It’s nice to talk about “big girl” things
to those without Dora underwear

Now, don’t get your panties in a bunch
Not saying Facebooks bad
Lord knows I sometimes live on mine
So don’t go get all mad

We only need to watch our time
because it’s fading fast
If we hide away on our profile page
We may miss a child’s last

Our child’s last time to fall asleep
While sitting in our lap
The last time they ask to dress up
in
Daddy’s basball cap

Life is short and fading fast
Like toys left in the sun
Like flowers and grass upon a hill
One day it’ll just be… DONE

So, the little red flags on Facebook can wait
I’ve more important things to do
Like spending time with my precious girls
So for now… Facebook…. adieu!