I Take Myself Way Too Seriously: Staying ON! the Social Media Grid!

I think I take myself way too seriously! And sometimes I get a little OCD about small things. Seriously, going off the social media grid sounds like a really noble idea, but honestly it’s a bit much! I am already suffocating under my own self induced agony. Enter wisdom and grace please!

I am a stay at home mom of three, homeschooling 2 and managing an entire household “The Gifts of Imperfection” by day and “ The Children of Ashton Place” by night. I have enough on my plate! And in all realness I am a pretty intentional woman, who has the wisdom and grace to make different choices about what I give space for in my time.  Doing that is more realistic than my previous cut and dry approach!

So for all those who were keen to find out if I would survive being off social media, the short answer is, we all will survive without it, but what purpose do I actually want it to serve!  So that’s it! The shortest experiment I ever engaged in!

Going off the Social Media Grid. My 9 month experiment! Will It Work?

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I have loved social media!I have loved simply knowing, feeling connected with friends and satisfying my curiosity about so and so and not missing out on those weddings, baby showers, graduations, trips and moves overseas, that I would definitely not have known about had it not been for instagram and facebook. Social media has kept me from boredom and  has cushioned the effects of moving to a new country. But is all this sense if connectivity actually real? Is it an inescapable part of life or have we bought into a lie that we are all actively part of sustaining?

I do not like the time and attention that has become the currency of social media and the feeling that unless an event in my life is shared and celebrated, it loses it’s value and place. I feel like the commodity of intimacy, connection and privacy, are being assaulted within me (drastic statements, I know). I feel a tug on my heart to abandon myself into the ocean of discovering what life would be like without any social media. I am curious about the effect it will have on me and life in general. Perhaps you have asked yourself those questions. Well for the next 9months I am going to be the guinea-pig!

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I am going to conduct a very, very real life experiment of going off Facebook, and Instagram, Twitter and my Youtube channel for 9 WHOLE MONTHS! I like the number 9! This decision has not come easily. I feel like I am the worst candidate of the kind of person who is not on social media platforms. Logically, I really should be on facebook and instagram etc. I love connecting with people and I hope to share more of my songs with others, as well as being a simple encouragement and a champion of family life, education, creativity, and the pursuit of intimacy with God. But I will not know what role it’s taking in my life until I remove it.

Here are some of my genuine questions I hope to answer as I go off social media:

  1. Will I miss out on what is happening around me. Information, Events, Opportunities, Memories? And will this be to my detriment? 
  2. Will I loose a  sense of community? The inspiration, ideas and sense of support from some of the pages I belong to? 
  3. Will I simply overburden myself with the punishment of not being on social media? Am I simply being Idealistic? 
  4. Will I be  forgotten? And will anyone notice my absence? Will it matter? 
  5. Will I have meaningful ways to share my thoughts and celebrate life events? Or do the masses matter?
     
  6. Will I be bored? All my life be bland?
  7. Will I  miss out on opportunities for connecting with people? If I run a business will I miss out on marketing and clientele?

Here are the steps I will be taking on this 9 month journey:

Step 1: Tell everyone I will be leaving social media a few weeks in advance.  Done!

Step 2: Request all my photos and video data  from Facebook and download it onto my computer.  Done!

Step 3: Deactivate account. Have to keep deactivating every 7 days.  Find a couple of friends to keep you accountable! Hubby will do the weekly deactivating for me.  NOPE! DELETE THE ACCOUNT IS WHAT I WILL DO!

Step 4: Begin to journal on wordpress for extra accountability and sharing insights.

Step 5: Share learning and insights at the end of 9 months and make final conclusions

Step 4 is what I am starting to do right now!

Wish me luck! Let’s see how this will turn out!

 

 

 

 

Gratitude Challenge: The End That Inspires Great Beginnings

Our Gratitude Challenge was an intentional attempt to catch all the tiny drops of rain falling over our lives on a daily basis. We have been counting our blessings one by one and the end of our challenge perfectly aligned with the end of the school year. We have much to celebrate and be thankful for!

So we got together and created a gratitude display of the highlights of this year so far.

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This was a tangible and creative expression for us as a family. We reflected on our school year and family and found pictures, words and inspiring hymns and quotes. I had picked up some pine planks that someone was getting rid and the ideas sprung from that. I used gift wrapping to modge podge every second plank. And then glued on small clothing pegs to hold the gratitude reflections.

What we ended up with was a display that we can hang up and keep adding to throughout the year.

I am also using the gratitude board to inspire me for preparing for our family learning life in the upcoming school year. We will carry occasionally use the question prompts from our gratitude jar and use it throughout the year.

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For now our heart is full of gratitude and thanks for all that we are as a family and for the journey that we are on. I am going to put up my feet with some wonderful good reads over the summer, while ensuring that I am making time to rest, reconnect and revive for the new school year.

I am confident that gratitude will continue to inspire us to move wholeheartedly into all the new things ahead of us.

 

Gratitude Challenge: Days 17 and 18

Better late than never, here is what we got up to during days 17 and 18 of this challenge.

During Day 15 and 16 of this challenge, we started using songs as a springboard to reflection, discussion and worship in cultivating gratitude in our home. Any song that you and your family know and love and have a connection to can serve this purpose.

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In this season of our family life and for me personally, the words to the song “Faithful To The End” by Bethel Music  reminds me of where we have come from and the anchor in the truth that our lives are wrapped in the faithfulness of our Father in Heaven who loves us deeply and will never leave us.

[Verse 1]
We’re heaven-spun creations
His pride and adoration
Treasures woven by his love
His careful hands they hold us
Safe within His promise
Of calling and of destiny

[Chorus]
I will sing of all You’ve done
I’ll remember how far You carried me
From beginning until the end
You are faithful, faithful to the end

[Verse 2]
A Father’s heart that’s for me
A never ending story
Of love that’s always chasing me
His kindness overwhelming
And hope for me unending
He’s never given up on me

[Chorus]
I will sing of all You’ve done
I’ll remember how far You carried me
From beginning until the end
You are faithful, faithful to the end

[Outro]
There wasn’t a day
That You weren’t by my side
There wasn’t a day
That You let me fall
All of my life
Your love has been true
All of my life
I will worship You

We have played this song in our home and used for some discussions, prayer prompts and worship.

I am currently reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp in my personal reading.

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I have not finished the book yet, but it has certainly been an inspiring read so far, a reminder of  tremendous power in a deliberately seeing the gifts in every moment despite what life brings to us.

For the last part of this gratitude challenge, we are busy creating a family memory space that will serve as a lasting “memorial stone”. A place to continue capturing gifts of gratitude in our lives.  In the next post I will share some of these ideas and I hope it will inspire you to do the same in your home.

 

 

Gratitude Challenge Day 15 and 16

Songs, Hymns, Poetry and Books shared over meals, tea time and bedtime can be a beautiful and practical way to point hearts towards truth, beauty and goodness. Listening to and reflecting on songs of gratitude is what we did for days 15 and 16 of this challenge.

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We have been listening and playing this song around our home. We got lyrics with its three verses and we had a reflective, worshipful time pondering and discussing:

  • What faithfulness means and what makes God faithful.
  • The the story behind this famous hymn, written by Thomas Chisholm
  • What each of the verses of the songs were about
  • Using the verses as prayers of gratitude in the morning or at night together as a family. For example with “Morning by morning new mercies I see”, We FOCUSED ON THE GRACE AND MERCY OF GOD even over the very breath that we breathe even morning. Two easy gratitude questions for kids, from the very first verse are    ” I wonder what new mercies a waiting for you today?” Perfect for morning wake up call! Or ” What new mercies did you see today?” Perfect for bedtime.

I find myself seeing so many ways that we are living out new mercies and displays of God’s faithfulness in our lives. It is a privilege to see them and to count them. I think it blesses our Father’s heart.

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