Amanda's Meanderings


Another new Season
December 18, 2013, 7:35 pm
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I just re-read what I wrote last time. Now I find myself in a new Season of Change. Baby #4 is coming in the spring and with him/her comes all kinds of emotional and family dynamic changes. But, it’s really made me buckle down and make another change. I’m saying goodbye to Facebook. It’s something I should have done MONTHS ago! My level of disobedience to the Lord in this matter is somewhat shocking; even to myself. I’ve known for a long time now that this is what He wants me to do, but I’ve been dragging my feet and making excuses for keeping it. It’s become the main way church faithfully shares good and bad news and encouraging articles. It’s the only way I ever see or hear anything from long-distance relatives and friends (aside from the family gossip hotline). I enjoy reading status updates about the new discount grocery store in the neighborhood.

But here’s the thing: God told me to close it down. That’s honestly enough reason for me to do it.

This is the beginning of my new season of Home. I have (almost 4) small children. I’m supposed to stay home and nurture my family. (I consider a few non-relatives to be a part of my family and I want to nurture my relationships with them as well.) It isn’t my job right now to go all over the countryside (or the internet) seeking the superficial company of others. That’s what Facebook had become for me — a way to keep up with people I love without any real or intentional interaction. My life according to Facebook for the past 2 years has been to read updates from my friends and then to feel no real obligation to go the extra mile; to write them a note or to visit. I’ve considered a Facebook comment to be enough consolation for the death of a spouse, or enough Happy on a birthday. Or for a conversation about the Awe-inspiring God I worship… For people I claim to love! Shame on me. I’ve neglected people and personal interaction for the lazy way out; for the ease of simply pushing a few buttons. The most heinous part about it is that internet interaction (all merely written correspondence) removes all inflection, tone, body language, and Deeper Meaning from communication. Except when you really know the one you’re writing to. It eliminates our ability to qualify our point with a look of sincerity or the quiet tone of understanding. If I had a dollar for every time what I’ve written has been completely misunderstood I would be very wealthy. Facebook has become a tool to make us think we know each other based on the pictures and/or articles we share. It’s wrongly become a platform for “venting” about relatives and friends instead of being open with one another and sharing when we’ve been hurt and why — with the one it should be aimed at. The internet has enabled us to read meaning into a conversation through the goggles of our own bitterness, heartbreak, pessimism, and insincerity. As a culture, we’ve lost the personal responsibility that comes with personal interaction. And it’s caused an interesting social phenomenon. When I realize I’ve been “un-friended” it’s awkward to be around that person in real life. I wonder if it was something I said or shared, or a picture I uploaded…….or the undesired and misunderstood encouragement? It’s weird for me. I realize that’s MY problem, but I don’t think it’s just me.

But the bottom line is that I don’t know my friends anymore and I don’t like it. Unfortunately I’ve also discovered that a few people I considered my friends had changed so much that we no longer have anything in common. Literally nothing. And I’ve not allowed my friends to come to know me, (I mean, to know the real me) either. So here’s what I hope to change about myself — I want to be more purposeful in my relationships. I pledge to become more sincere in my pursuit of friendships. Please understand that I’m in no way suggesting that you also close your Facebook account. I’m not saying that the internet has no good use at all. But I am saying that I’ve abused social networking in a friendship-killing way and that I hope to change that. I want honest, open, genuine and sincere relationships with those people who have had the most impact in my life. So, I will stay home and make more effort to communicate with my loved ones. I am moving beyond Facebook and stepping back into real life and real love. Today, I’m choosing to change.

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Change of Season
September 6, 2013, 3:00 pm
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Do you ever have the feeling that Life is passing you by and you just can’t keep up? Like, you’re overwhelmed with being overwhelmed and your head is barely above the water? Be encouraged! Our lives are lived in Seasons.

There’s the Season of Waiting. Waiting to be married. Waiting to be pregnant. Waiting to give birth. Waiting to finish school. Waiting to _______. We need the waiting. That seemingly eternal pause between where we are and where we want to be is sometimes the hardest test to overcome. It helps us build our Faith…if we know and Love the Lord…and if we allow Him to allow us to Wait.

There’s the Season of Little. Little Joy, little time, little rain, little breeze, little patience. This season can also be called the Season of Self. When we focus on ourselves, we don’t see the beauty around us. We I miss all the Joy in the Time it takes my babies to mature. I miss all the opportunity to learn how to dig in the dry sandbox on a summer day when I fret about the housecleaning, or the laundry, or all the other “things” I won’t have Time for if I just stop and feel the breeze that really IS there.

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Then, when we stop long enough to breathe and surrender, we find the Season of Much. Much Time. Much Love. Much Joy. Much Patience. So Much Peace. That’s where I find myself lately. This Season of Much seems to be such a long time coming. It took me a long time to find it because I struggled through the other 2 seasons for longer than I needed to. I’ve finally surrendered myself (again) to what the Lord really wants me to do. Sometimes the “what” changes. For now, I’m a stay-home mom who home schools our 5-year-old and entertains our 2 other, younger children. For now, I’m passionate about landscaping, heirloom tomatoes, keeping ducks, being fully present in my children’s lives and a supportive wife to my most excellent husband. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. I had to stop obsessing about my weight, housework, yard work, weight, schedule, my weight… you get the idea. I had to make the choice to STOP! Look around. And remember that Life is not built in a day, or a week, or a month, a year. Life comes in Seasons.

The leaves have begun to change in the woods. A new¬†Season is coming. Autumn will soon be here, but for now, I’ll just enjoy the season I’m in.

Blessings.

What Season do you find yourself in today?