Sunday, November 16, 2014

Were I've Been

It's been 4 months since I quit; 4 months since I took a break from everything.  I'll catch you up on what has happened in our life since the last post throughout this post.

Nana taught us how to sew
God had been telling me to take a break for awhile, but in honesty, I didn't want to obey.  I felt like a toddler, kicking and screaming in defiance.  But he kept pressing it on my heart.  He was trying to teach me so much, but I didn't want to accept the change that would mean.

Daddy coached Bubby's soccer team
He had been revealing to me over the past year that I had a strong addiction to social media.  Perhaps even stronger than my addiction, was my desire for friendships, acceptance and fuel for my pride.  I entered the social media world as a way to have interactions with other adults while I was isolated at home with a newborn in a snow laden state.  It started out innocent, but as the children multiplied it became an escape from a crazy world.  I used it as an excuse to sit down and unplug, ignoring the things I didn't want to deal whiny kids or cheerio filled floors.

Grandpa taught Princess P how to ride her bike

I'm embarrassed to admit how much I was addicted and even more embarrassed to share how much my kids were ignored.  I spent a lot of time praying over sharing this.  It's easier to hide it, but the truth is, many mom's can relate.  There are so many things I wish other women would have shared with me, like how to take care of yourself after having a baby or how acne is worse in your 30's than in your teens or how the week before your husband leaves for a trip is far worse than the actual trip.  There are many hidden things that mom's don't talk about and I'm ready to break that barrier.

We took a trip to the beach with my parents

At first, I tried to set limits on my social media use.  I would tell myself that I would only get on when the kids were sleeping, but the thoughts of "just check it really quick" always popped in my head.  It was so easy and convenient to jump on and I would inevitably get sucked in for at least 20 minutes.  I heard myself constantly saying to my kids, "just a minute" and was more distracted than present.

Princess P started 2nd grade

Bubby started preschool
Every time I got on social media, I felt like poo.  I wished my thoughts were "that's so great that she did that with her kids" and "She really is so blessed to have that husband".  But they weren't.  They were more like "Why didn't I think to do that with my kids and why don't I have my kids in matching clothes all the time?!" and "Sheesh!  My Hubs should know to do that really romantic thing for me too!".
Princess P started Girl Scouts
God began peeling away layers of my heart.  First showing me my struggle with pride and then showing me my search for worth in worthless things.   He was trying to tell me to find my worth only in Him and to love others, instead of judging them. I needed some time to stop worrying about what people thought of me.  I needed to not try to be someone, but just be and see who that is.  I knew the truth that He was calling me to, but I was scared.  I felt like I would disappear if I got off.

Soccer ended and Bubby made great progress over the season
Then there was a pivotal day.  I was extremely frustrated with a "situation" through facebook and was venting it to Hubs, almost in tears.  He looked at me so gently and said, "It's time to stop.  I think you should post that you are taking a break and delete all your apps."  His support and accountability was what I needed.  Though I had done a great job hiding my struggle, he knew my heart well and he knew what I needed.  Praise the Lord for husbands who love you enough to say the hard things and love you through it.

Finish half marathon in 1:54

I cut it cold turkey and the first few days opened my eyes to how much I really was addicted...they were so hard!  Social media had consumed my thoughts for so long. "What should I post?" "Did someone look at my picture?"  "Did anyone send me a message?" "I can't believe so and so said that!"  "Hmm, maybe I should make that for dinner too."  Breaking habits is hard and even harder when you have 3 reality checks starring you in the face.  My escape was gone and I had to face life.

First field trip

So what did I do?  I broke up with my phone.  I cut off my third appendage and made it a home on my kitchen counter.  I even left it there when we went out.  I missed phone calls, text messages and picture opportunities and emails were responded to at a much slower rate.  I also turned off my computer and iPad and left them on my desk upstairs, turning them on only to update our family blog and respond to emails.

As much as this may seem like a social media bash or "poor lonely girl party", quitting was a last straw for me.  The months leading up to this, I felt like God was "clearing my plate" and I didn't understand why.  In the midst of a potential military move, I quit all ministry involvement.  I also stopped teaching at the Y and the pursuit of personal training lead to a big fat closed door.  Several relationships dissolved over that time.  Social media was the last distraction in my life and now that was cleared too.

trip to the pumpkin patch

So what was left on my empty plate?  Something very beautiful.  In honesty, it took me awhile to see the beauty.  There were tears and there was anguish to get there.  Everything that I thought defined me was gone.  But the months of "emptiness" gave me a clarity like I've never experienced.   What was left was my family and that is beautiful, crazy beautiful.

Daddy and Princess P ran the local 5k

It didn't take long for me to see who my real friends were and those relationships got so much sweeter.  Friends actually called to talk or would come over to hang out.  Conversations didn't begin with "I saw on facebook..." but rather we knew what was going on because of our face-to-face discussions.  I savored the true relationships instead of longing for fake connections online.

pumpkin design by the kids

I redefined my down time.  I found a love for piano music and baking during nap time.  If I needed to relax, I would turn on a funny show on Netflix.  One particular week, the kids were extra crazy and I hid a chocolate bar Hubs had brought home from Germany in my bathroom.  I would lock myself in there for just a few minutes and savor the sweet treat.  A little quiet and German chocolate is way better than any social media high.  And I actually read a book!  Several actually.  More than I've read since college.  I reread books that I only half read and learned so much more.  It's amazing the things you can do when your time is not filled with idleness.

Potty trained Charlie

I'm so excited to be here now.  It's awesome to see God reveal things in your life and have clarity.  I'm thankful to be back to blogging; it's an outlet that is often refreshing for my soul.  Coming soon: specific plans for our life that God has revealed to me.

1 comment:

  1. Somehow I missed this post--and I'm so sorry because I would have loved to tell you in person how much I get what you're saying about so many things in this post (and I guess I could have been a personal example of how acne can get worse in your 30s, because that sure happened to me).

    Anyway, thank you for this transparency and honesty. I admire you tremendously and I'm looking forward to reading your blog posts here.