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Less Please - Media Madness

Well, the “7” saga continues. I’ve been getting rid of stuff here for the last couple of weeks. I’ve taken a few pictures of the progress. But actually, when you look at the pictures, we still have way too much stuff.

Before

The photo above is our "Before"

And here is after cleaning it out twice!

 

I thought I got rid of a bunch of it (and I did), but it feels like we still have so much. I’m feeling kind of discouraged about that, but I’m not giving up. I’m going to keep plugging away; I think it’s too important to quit.

Purging our stuff.

 

My kids have been giving me ideas for their Christmas presents like crazy this week, unaware that Michael and I are planning a drastic reduction in gift buying this year. I still haven't’ told them the good news and I dread it. I’m not sure they are going to embrace giving their gift money to those in need the same way Michael and I are embracing the idea.

Another favorite quote from Jen’s book that I love: What I know now is this: less. I don’t need to have the most, be the best, or reach the top. It is okay to pursue a life marked by obscurity and simplicity. It doesn’t matter what I own or how I’m perceived. I’m just beginning to embrace the liberation that only exists at the bottom, where I have nothing to defend, nothing to protect. Where is doesn’t matter if I’m right or esteemed or positioned well. I wonder it that’s the freedom Jesus meant when He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt.5:3). In order for Jesus’ kingdom to come, my kingdom will have to go, and for the first time I think I’m okay with that. - Jen Hatmaker (1)

I’m not completely sure I’m okay with that yet, if I’m going to be totally honest. But I’m close. It’s hard to admit I have a pride problem and a “self” problem. Lord, keep showing me the truth, even if it steps on my toes.

 

Media Madness

I’m definitely what you would call “media challenged.” My husband is brilliant when it comes to technology (thank God or I would be in serious trouble). I just joined Facebook a year ago and I honestly haven’t been texting for all that long. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for social media (Facebook) to share my blog posts and family news. I like media, except when my children or husband have completely checked out on a computer, iPhone, iPad, or TV (glazed over eyes, they don’t even blink when spoken loudly to). I’ve had to dance and yell (yes, at the same time) really loud to get them to notice me. Honestly, it becomes really irritating.

I don’t really watch TV simply because I don’t have time to (and after 9PM I can’t concentrate anyway). But I have noticed that I can get SO distracted on Facebook. What was supposed to be a quick five minutes to check my notifications turns into thirty minutes with nothing to show for it when I’m done. I check Facebook two or three times a day. So doing the math, that’s an hour or more just browsing Facebook. My time with God suffers most days because I say I don’t have time. But actually, I’m just choosing to use my time somewhere else. This is disturbing to me (like so many other things in this book).

I was more disturbed after reading how much media affects my children. Do I really use TV and video games as a distraction for my kids, especially when they are acting up? It’s easier at the time, but am I keeping my children from learning how to use coping skills and figuring out how to get along with their siblings and others? Ugh.

Also, I learned that all the bursts of information we get from media each day is affecting our ability to focus, making it harder to concentrate on one thing for very long. It can also be addictive, causing us to become easily bored. I have definitely seen this with my children. Jen calls it “ping-pong brain.” (2)

Okay, so here’s the media list for our house (this doesn’t include Michael’s business):

  • One computer and a laptop
  • iPad
  • 2 iPhones
  • 2 TV’s
  • 2 DVD players
  • Wii

Not sure what I think about my list.

Jen’s family went without media for a month, excluding work related stuff on the internet and important texts. I really don’t know what our family will do (another discussion I need to have with my husband). I have gone without media for a couple of days before on a vacation Michael and I went on: I remember struggling at first with the silence. It felt so unsettling, like my brain didn’t know what to do with it.

How are we supposed to hear from God regularly if we can’t be quiet for more than five minutes? He isn’t going to yell for us to hear Him above our noise. I have been working on being quiet more often, choosing to leave the radio off in the car and at home. My brain feels a little less chaotic. A little.

So what do you guys think of media and social media? How do you think it is affecting you, your family, and our culture? I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below.


References:
(1) "7" by Jen Hatmaker, Page 109
(2) "7" by Jen Hatmaker, Page 111

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If you are an imperfect wife, mom, daughter, or friend, struggling to stay focused on God in the craziness and find joy in the heartache, then we have something in common. I am a recovering perfectionist and daughter of the King, slowly learning to fully trust the One who sees me just as I am, and is already pleased. I’m so glad you are here.

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