Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pursuing Quiet

The older I get, the smaller my brain seems to get. It seems, at least to me, that there is more and more trying to take up space in my mind, and less and less space to go around. Perhaps it isn't just my age that creates the more, but a combination of that combined with our digital age, the influx of information available on the internet, via several different highways, pinterest, facebook, twitter, wikipedia. More than you could have ever hoped or needed to know about any topic or any person at the tips of your fingers.

Along with this knowledge, comes pressure. Often unspoken or self imposed there has become this new sort of element to evaluate self worth against. No longer is our value as a person, a mother, a sister, daughter, a Christian, x y or z just based on our relationships, experiences, or effort in the real world, but now there is this web world we must fit into as well. Are my facebook statuses witty enough, or inspirational enough? If I don't blog daily or about deep enough issues will the readers come? If I can't live up to the standards of potty training in three days as pinned hundreds of times will I somehow be less of a mother? 

I may be taking this to a slight extreme in order to make my point, but regardless, there are standards set that we begin to feel like we have to meet, and if we can't meet each one we can sometimes, begin to let those "failures" define us. Not always, not every failure, but even some. 

Lately, I've found myself in a place that is crowded. My mind is full of these expectations, facebook antedotes I shoulda/coulda/woulda posted. My heart is desiring to draw closer to the Lord, but my world is full of distractions, expectations, and relationships that I'm maintaining or fanning even if it's just via a FB status here and there. 

It's Christmas and the signs of this are everywhere. My tree is up, the stockings hung, I have this beautiful new wooden snowman that I am just in love with hanging, the candles are out, the wreath is up, and presents are starting to overflow on my bedroom floor. Yes Christmas is evident everywhere, except in my heart. That's what struck me a few days ago, and as a result I decided to attempt to quiet my heart and mind this season. There are so many different ideas out there of how to do that, but ultimately I'm picking and choosing bits and pieces from several different ideas and making this journey my own. I'm stepping back from facebook first and foremost to let my mind clear, our family is doing an advent type reading each night, and I'm thinking to do a few weekend crafts/baking that don't complicate but simplify our family time. 

Yesterday was my first day off of FB and don't you know the minute I decided not to post anything for awhile 50 "worthy" statuses started to inundate me. 

  • A man easily my fathers age just walked within 8 inches of me and said "Your husband ought to be a very proud man. I mean it, a very very proud man." The creepiest compliment I've received in a long time. 
  •  My bus driving just told me I'm cute and glowing, I guess the pregnancy glow isn't just a myth!
  • It has not been that long since the last time I swept, but you wouldn't know it from the two dustpan fulls I just swooped up. 
Seriously. Those are the intellectual thoughts I had yesterday, then after the sweeping one, this blog post came to mind. Or at least the paragraph I'm about to write. These are the things flooding my mind and wasting space in my heart, around Christmas? It's my hope that as my Facebook fast goes forward, as I attempt to fill more of my time reading the Bible and praying verses getting distracted by facebook and it's many avenues, these thoughts will be replaced with ones of value. That more blog posts will be written, that I will draw closer to the Lord as He is waiting for me to do, and that my family will be ready for Christmas morning, not because they'll get presents but because they will meet Jesus. 

This morning I was reading in Ecclesiastes about how everything is meaningless and chapter 1 verses 8 and 9 really struck me today, especially when thinking about everything I've been processing the last few days. 

All things are wearisome,more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. 
I read these verses and felt like they really described facebook well, there is always more to see more to read, what has been said will be said again and what has been done will be done again, it's a lot of the same. Now, I'm actually not against facebook, I am a huge advocate and have begged many a friends to join because I love what social media can do for relationships and feel like my friendships with the women in my church (particularly but not exclusively) are richer because of conversations over facebook and sparked by facebook statuses etc. That said, at this particular time, and I'm not putting a max or min length on it, I really need to pull back and let my heart and mind fill up with the Lord. I expect it will be throughout the Christmas season............but we shall see.

So friends, what are you doing this season to quiet your heart? There isn't any one right way, there are hundreds of ideas, what are some of the things you are doing or hope to do? 

Love always

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