Tutu Much Fun

Monday, December 10, 2012

Farewell Facebook!

This post has been in the making for some time now...my heart knew it was time, but until this past Sunday my head was telling me that I was being 'radical.' Radical....what's so wrong with that? Actually, I think I'm merely being smart; protective perhaps. I'm getting ahead of myself so let's start at the start (which is a very good place to start!~said someone, in some movie...). A month or two ago I noticed a nasty little habit I had acquired; in all honestly it has been years in the making, but I just now noticed it. I realized I was checking my Facebook (via my iPhone app) constantly...not occasionally, but CONSTANTLY...so annoying. All day long, during breaks, on the potty (yeah I went there--you know you do it too--or maybe you're still doing Words with Friends in the restroom?...anyway), in the car, first thing in the morning before I got out of bed--did you see the part where I spelled 'constantly' in all caps?? I was maybe checking FB for a combined hour each day. But unlike most folks, I was rarely checking in on old friends from school (unless they popped up in my feed), or trying to reconnect with distant relatives, which is why I created an account in the first place.  With every swipe to Unlock and tap to login, my narcissism grew. Ugh...it feels like word vomit admitting that...admitting how self-absorbed I was over a silly social network:
"I wonder how many people have 'liked' that picture I posted 10 minutes ago?"
"Did anyone think that status update was funny?"
"That is my best profile picture yet. Wonder who else will think so?"
"Ah!!--I can’t get over how beautiful our child is! Maybe just one more picture today!"

 ..and so on, and so on, and so on...At this point I’m hoping you all are thinking "Oh wow. I do that too!" and not "Whoa, this chick is crazy." Promise I’m not crazy. I’m simply a stay-at-home mom, who literally STAYS at home, as my husband and I share a vehicle in the winter (he drives a scooter in the warmer months), and sadly FB sometimes is the only 'adult interaction/adult conversation' that I get until he comes home each day. Of course I talk to girlfriends during the day, but most work, are in college, or have their own babies to take care of...plus it’s easier to parent, do laundry, wash clothes, and have a conversation when you can do it on your own terms (picking up your phone and going to your Facebook app). Anyway, I deleted the app from my phone. Yes, it was hard. Yes, it sucked...only for a day or two. But I felt free. Not to mention that I gained at least an hour of time each day, that would have been wasted on my narcissism...it still stings when I say that...my shoulders almost touch my ears as I wince at the word.

 Back to my "A-ha! moment" from this past Sunday. A lady in church, that I have the highest regard for; absolutely love her family, stood and gave a word about the Trojan Horse Mentality: "Accepting something into your life that looks good and well on the outside, but carries the potential to destroy on the inside" (not sure if this is an actual psychological/religious/philosophical term, but sounds good, eh?). The first thing that sprang from my spirit was "Facebook! It's my Trojan horse!" and then my mind automatically told me I was 'stupid and needed to listen to the prophetic word and dig deeper for its meaning, concerning me'...but my spirit wouldn't relent. So I listened to it. And I found truth. Now, if this, against great great odds, should somehow fall into the laps of the Facebook big-wigs let me cover myself by saying that Facebook, like any good thing, is good only if used with self-caution and limitations. These examples and guideline that I’m about to elaborate on could apply to a number of things.

 Do any of these apply to you?:

 ~You sit in front of your screen for 3+ hours a day. If so, odds are you are going to have some problems in your marriage, friendships, time management, etc. Be present with people that you are with. If you are on a date, sitting at the dinner table, out with friends, watching a movie with someone, having a conversation, etc. etc. etc. then everything about your phone should be off limits. This one is hard for me too =/

 ~You look up (stalk) people that you are angry at; former lovers; hopeful future lovers, etc. and you poison your mind with a paranoid soap opera, plagued by bitterness that whirls around unstable emotions.

 ~You, like me, you only check your notifications, or most current feed (15 ppl at most) and use Facebook for free business advertising (guilty...)

 ~You are unable to meet deadline, be productive, or drive safely. (Nothing makes me want to lose my religion and go crazy on someone more than to see a person texting/facebooking/instagramming/tweeting while driving!!!!!! I won’t go there...that would be an entire blog to itself with insurmountable statistics...)

Now, the healthy, ok, flip side to that is:

~You set a healthy time limit (on a sounding timer!) for Facebook (or any social media/internet browsing) and you log off when your timer goes off. (I MAKE myself do this for Pinterest!=) )

 ~You throw your self-parading aside and look for the hurt, lost, & confused and make a note to pray for certain individuals on a daily basis. (write down their names!)

 ~You limit yourself to only accepting friend request from actual FRIENDS, not acquaintances, but people you were very close to in school (this may be no more that 10-20 people) and you catch up and message on a weekly basis--you now can know their kids and pets by name and even start sending them a Christmas card =)

 **Of course these are just healthy and unhealthy examples that came to mind--I’m sure there's a dozen for each....oooooh!!!---just thought of the kicker for me if you start conversations with "Did you see on Facebook..." (Grrr....)

 All of this to say that I have chosen to delete my Facebook account, hopefully by this weekend (after I backup my pictures).  Nothing crazy has happened--there's no scandal, my marriage isn’t on the brink of ruin, I’m not punishing anyone, I just know it's my Trojan Horse and I see the damage it can cause if I continue to let it eat away my time, focus, energy and thoughts. Yes, it’s only an hour a day, but what else, who else, needs me during that hour? For my fellow Christians, let’s examine and see if Facebook (the internet in general, TV, college football, etc.) gets more of our time than God does. If we are Updating more than we are reading, praying and seeking His face, then it’s time to smash some idols. I, in no way, am trying to convince anyone to follow me in my "anti-conformist approach," I simply want to offer insight to my personal experience and maybe perhaps inspire you to take a step back and re-evaluate where your time is spent...what has your attention? What is your Trojan Horse? Remember, it's the little foxes that spoil the whole vine (Song of Solomon 2:15). 

 No, Facebook is not the devil, but the enemy is cunning enough to use it as a distraction--just as chocolate is not the devil, but too much of it can lead to obesity, which leads to health problems, gluttony, shorter life span, etc. (preaching to myself here!!!!!). All good things in moderation. I’ve made it known that I long for the day when the internet crashes and texting is obsolete so that we have to go back to phone calls, personal relationships, and face to face conversations--let it be Lord! In the meantime, I look forward to calling up my old gal pals (my only option now! :) ) and truly reconnecting like I should have 3 years ago.

I am happy to report that I will now be blogging more! That's where my heart is, matter-of-fact. I’ve always LOVED to write. Status Updates and Tweets have never quenched my true thirst to write 10 page account of my day =) If you would like to keep up with my family and I, you can find me here (hopefully twice a month) or on Instagram. If you wish to purchase Bohemibaby items, you can search my shop on Etsy. Thank you for your support in this.  I and look forward to increasing my volume of readers on here! God Bless! I leave you with a quote from the amazing C.S. Lewis:
  "Good and evil increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance." (C.S. Lewis)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Five Months Until Christmas!!!

Ive been asked by a few friends to post another blog, which excites me, humbles me, and scares me all at the same time =) Its so refreshing to blog...I grow ever SO tired of Facebook. So, here goes, for those who enjoy my rambling and thinking aloud =)

  I realized yesterday that today would mark 5 months until Christmas!!!! HOW EXCITING!!! "Exciting???!!! Are you mad?!" you may say, but I look forward to that time of year. I wish it were 2 weeks away! I always feel a sense of peace and safety in December, as though the world has turned nostalgic, and we are back in the 1950's, where everyone loves, gives, sacrifices, and crime is practically obsolete. Naive? Absolutely. I don't deny it. But I truly feel a peace on Earth the few weeks leading up to Christmas that I don't feel any other time of the year. I trust people more. I know it sounds weird...can anyone relate??? I'm sure there's a statistic somewhere out there that shows the national crime rate, for robbery, is up on Christmas Eve...blah, blah....for me, I will just continue believing that all those Grinchs' hearts are growing daily. So back to Christmas being 5 months away. Why do Americans, as a whole, dread this holiday so much? Why cant we look at it as a week to relax with our families, eat some home cooked food, and see much missed relatives?  Ill tell you my opinion, the answer: we give too much. "But Christmas is a season for giving!" Maybe...but shouldn't we give everyday? I'm not speaking of handing out the newest game console, or UGG(ly)  boots, or toys, Toys, TOYS(!!!). We should give of our time, our love, our kindness, our generosity, our money. Nothing annoys me more than to hear a Christian woman complain about the fast approaching Christmas season with self-induced agony & annoyance in her voice. Really? I just want to say, "Oh, I'm so sorry that your American gaze has distracted you from celebrating Christ' birth and turned you into a Black Friday snatchy-grabbing-mine!-mine! Monster who feels the need to keep up with what her neighbors are buying their kids." Christian or not, do you really want Christmas to be an annual materialistic holiday in your house???? It is your freedom of religion/from religion to choose how you celebrate it, but surely no one wants their kids to have a sense of entitlement every December 25th, and act as though you OWE it to them to max out your credit card. Who started this? Yes, the wisemen gave Jesus gifts, but who thought "Hey, lets keep this thing going!"? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that giving/getting presents is wrong. I LOVE to give gifts!!!! I love to watch the recipient's face light up as the open up their gift (that Ive probably told them all about, because I'm horrible at surprises). I love the feeling of knowing that I put down that necklace for myself, to buy someone else a special something. Those are good feeling. Right feelings (Oh, and I like getting gifts too--no saint here). If you start to feel stressed over your Christmas shopping then you're doing too much. Period. You should never feel taxed, stressed, or begrudged about giving. Ever. If you feel that way (especially now, 5 months before Christmas!), then I propose an examination...maybe two...First, examine your Christmas list--do you really need to buy your 2nd cousin's, fiance's, baby sister's new puppy a present? Simply put, NO. Our Christmas list includes: Enzlie, both sets of parents, a child/children in need & Granny. That's it. Sometimes we buy each other a little something, sometimes not. It's a rare Christmas when we buy for cousins, nieces/nephews or siblings. Its simply not in the budget and I refuse to feel overwhelmed and guilted-stricken to bestow a gift upon someone. If I cant give it with the right intentions, then I'm not giving it. That's not harsh, its simply how we CHOOSE to celebrate Christmas in our home. Luckily, mine & Tim's families are much more supportive of us buying a child-in-need a gift than giving one to their kids, who aren't needy. Maybe your family doesn't operate that way. Perhaps you have to begrudgingly give a gift..or 20...every year to 'keep the peace.' Here's where we take that second examination--examine your heart, and there you will find your reasons for exhausting yourself every year. What is your motive behind each gift? Is 'keeping peace' weightier than paying 29.75% interest for a solid 12 months before maxing out that credit card again? Is it really worth it? Why? Why, have we allowed Christmas to become a sales pitch? Marketing scam? A dreaded Holiday? What's Christmas to you? To your family? Again I will ask, what are you teaching your children? How do they view your busy-ness, your stress level, your obsession with perfection, your integrity, your views on giving and generosity? Twenty years from now do you want them frazzled and frayed each year-end, like they see you? Teach them now the virtue of giving. The joy of Giving is really a gift in itself. For every toy, game, article of clothing your kiddos pick out have them also pick one out for a needy class mate (and give it anonymously), or a child on the angel tree/Salvation Army tree. Our kids (MINE included!!!) get SO much throughout the year, why not make Christmas a time to give to those that truly need it, not those that expect it, or demand it. Maybe you could propose the idea that everyone's kids play dirty Santa together? A new extended-family tradition, eh? =) The way we response to the world's hustle and bustle is how our children will respond to it. Same goes for Black Friday shopping. I always loved it as a kid, and this past year was my LAST. I nearly was trampled over a set of 500 thread count sheets. I never pushed or shoved...that was the 'problem.' Ladies seriously have to leave their morals, integrity and standards out in the cold parking lot, in order to get everything that they 'have to have.' I get disgusted thinking about it. Is that Christ like? To barge, and push and yell and cat fight? Or, for the non-Christians, is that proper and right conduct, and is it socially acceptable? Its preposterous. Such a spirit of Greed...I urge you, save yourself the spike of adrenaline and cortisol and simply stay home. You can always shop online, and then meet up with the gals at Cracker Barrel afterwards =)

So in all this....HAPPY 5 MONTHS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Acts Chapter 16

**Facebook has been acting crazy lately, so Ive been unable to post my Acts notes for over a week now =(
I may start posting them on my blog site instead. Sorry for the inconvenience of this re-routing and for the long time span in bw post--wish I had thought about just blogging it earlier. Here we go!:

Acts Chapter 16

1) Ive noticed over and over again, in Acts, the celebration of household salvation. When someone, in biblical times, heard the Good News and accepted Its message & promise, they automatically went back to their home and told everyone--they were converts who became evangelist all in the same day!=) Entire households were being saved! What a glorious picture! Im sure we can all think of someone in our family that doesn't have a personal relationship with Jesus--keep praying for them!  Keep being a light! Show them Jesus' love! Believe in Him and His power & eagerness to save! He saved us, so why wouldn't/couldn't He save them? No one is too far for Him to reach! Have faith-your household will see salvation too!
2) Another occurance Ive noticed repeatedly in Acts is the ability of a mob to form in a matter of minutes (verse 22). It seems that everyone was on edge and ready for a fight. They would hear one thing said about someone, and instantly were ready to throw stones. Sadly, some in the Church today also posses a mob-mentality. We hear one little comment about someone, and instead of finding out if there's any truth to the statement, we join the 'mob' and are fully prepared to shun the person in question. What's more, is we look for other potential mob-members that we can invite to fuel our offense and cause. This small little flame can turn into a raging fire that results in church division, or belivers walking away from the Truth altogether. And lets not forget the unbelievers who are watching our every move--how do these actions speak to them? Mobs are comprised up of dramatic people--you know, the ones who "hate drama" but yet their day to day lives are filled with it? No, they dont hate drama-they love it. They seek it out; it engulfs their every decision, every response & attitude (I will try my best to refrain from going on and on about Soap Operas here and save that for another blog =)). Dont be a "mobster." Dont just believe what you're told-seek the truth yourself. "Let the one that has never sinned throw the first stone!"-John8:7
3) "Around midnight, Paul & Silas were praying and singing hymns to God" (verse 25)--WAIT--WHAT?! They were beaten severely with wooden rods, thrown in prison & were praising God??--crazy, right? Nope, they just knew who God is. They understood that He could come and help them if only they belived He was able. They truly understood what it meant to 'praise Him in the storm.' And again we see household salvation, thru the jailer! God allowed Paul & Silas to be beaten and thrown into jail so that the jailer and his household would be saved. We too often blame God for our unfortunate situtations instead of turning to Him and saying, "Ok God, I dont understand why everything seems to be caving in around me, but I do know that You are in control. Who is it that I can minister to in light of recent events? Who can I now relate with because of what Ive been through?" Wow...can we do that? Can we turn the focus off of us and place it on God's will & purpose? I am in NO means saying that we dont go through times of grief & sorrow--I know we do! Im merely suggesting that at that intersection of sorrow and self pity we take the road that leads to turning our situation over to God and asking for His help and guidance. Thats what He wants. He wants us to realize our need for Him. He's our Daddy & He loves to comfort His children.