Monday, January 31, 2011

His Fingerprints

A God glorifying tool. Hmm.. I mentioned this in a previous post, The Double-Edged Sword, because I wanted to remind myself that this public journey I have embarked upon was one that I didn't want to end up using for a strictly self serving purpose. I'm sure this comment sent some readers running for the hills, never to check in on my blog again, left others confused and others somewhat intrigued. What would a blog look like that was supposed to be God glorifying for 365 days? Well, to be honest I wasn't even really sure at the time I wrote that. I just knew that this was going to be my purpose and I encourage you to see what I mean by that. I will get back to this statement, I promise, but for a moment I'm taking a quick detour.

Last night at the Doctrine & Theology class that I blogged about in my last post, we hit another fantastically fascinating topic. God's creation. Now, this is quite a that I can barely even touch the surface of in a short blog post, but I will throw out some interesting facts and what stood out to me personally. As I was listening to the pastor speak, instantly a song came to mind by George Straight. If any of you are country fans, like myself, you will recognize these lyrics.

I Saw God Today

Just walked down the street to the coffee shop
Had to take a break
I'd been by her side for 18 hours straight
Saw a flower growin' in the middle of the sidewalk
Pushin' up through the concrete
Like it was planted right there for me to see
The flashin' lights
The honkin' horns
All seemed to fade away
In the shadow of that hospital at 5:08
I saw God today

I've been to church
I've read the book
I know he's here
But I don't look
Near as often as I should
Yeah, I know I should
His fingerprints are everywhere
I just slowed down to stop and stare
Opened my eyes and man I swear
I saw God today

Saw a couple walkin' by they were holdin' hands
Man she had that glow
Yeah I couldn't help but notice she was startin' to show it
Stood there for a minute takin' the sky
Lost in that sunset
Splash of amber melted in the shades of red

I've been to church
I've read the book
I know he's here
But I don't look
Near as often as I should
Yeah, I know I should
His fingerprints are everywhere
I just slowed down to stop and stare
Opened my eyes and man I swear
I saw God today

Got my face pressed up against the nursery glass
She's sleepin' like a rock
My name on her wrist
Wearin' tiny pink socks
She's got my nose, she's got her mama's eyes
My brand new baby girl
She's a miracle
I saw God today

Okay, so sappy mommy moment, but that song just kills me. After having two little miracles myself, this song strikes me much more so than it did the first time I heard it. Not only does the part about the little baby girl hit me, but the chorus does as well. How often we go through life without taking the time to slow down and see just how much the Lord's fingerprints are everywhere... this beautiful life we see everyday begs us to look to the creator.. I'm not saying that everything about this world is beautiful by any means because as we all know there are horrible things that happen everyday due to us living in a fallen world, but I'm talking about creation. A picture as beautiful and perfect as a amber sunset or a baby being born had to be made by a spectacular artist and I don't know about you, but that is someone I would gladly like to invest my time in getting to know.

Anyways, the topic of creation was so interesting to me and another part of the class also hit home. My pastor was talking about how God created us to bring glory to Him. Well, this does not at all mean that we have to be sitting in a church every moment of the day and praying to bring glory to God. How boring that would be! God gave us each other and all kinds of blessings in this life. Part of the notes from my pastor explained it like this:

As part of our goal to "glorify God and enjoy Him forever," we are called to glorify Him in whatever we do (so long as it is not sin). Part of this is enjoying all the blessings He has given us, whether part of His creation or part of our creation that we create from His creation (so long as we don't idolize or abuse them). 

He then went on to name many different things that could be considered on this list of blessings given by God that when we are enjoying (as long as not sinning in doing so) are all ways of showing glory to God. Just a few on the list included cars, baseball, friends, beer, watching movies, iPhones, sex, ice cream, etc.

A fabulous quote by Martin Luther was then read, "You know, there's stars in the sky and certain astrologers worship them. If it's causing them to stumble, then we have to find a way to take them down." Of course he is joking but isn't that an interesting point! Definitely hits home once again with me and Facebook.

A key thing stood out in my mind as I listened last night. Just because I want to make my blog a God glorifying tool does not mean my blog is going to be constantly only quoting scripture and basically becoming a modified Sunday school lesson each time I get on to put my thoughts into words. Sharing stories about the many blessings in my life, posting pictures of my kids as they are reaching new milestones, talking about something I have learned from a friend, enjoying a darn good beer or fabulous glass of wine I stumbled upon or a song that touched my heart are all ways of bringing glory to God! Now, I'm not saying that I won't be quoting scripture or talking about Jesus, because my goal is for the word of the Lord to be the biggest influence in my life. But, what a freeing feeling! Makes me think about my blog in a whole new way. Instead of looking at it as being a blog with a list of instructions attached, now it is far from that. Sadly, I think that when most people think about the Bible they think of it as a manual for life. A list of what to do and what not to do. It is SO much more than that! I will have to blog on that topic at another time. But here is a final thought that intrigued me from last night.

We are created worshipping. Why does the word worshipping keep telling me that I'm spelling it wrong? Aren't there two p's in worshipping? lol. Anyways, once again I'm ignoring the little red dots, and back to my point. We are worshipping all the time. When we are not glorifying God, we are glorifying something else. I know that when I'm not glorifying God I'm usually glorifying myself, sometimes to the extent that I forget why I need God in the first place. 

I have no idea what I am going to blog about the next time I choose to log in, but now I have a new excitement knowing that it is not as hard as I may think to bring glory to the one that created us through my writing. It's funny because I never even thought about this when I was on Facebook. My goal was never to bring glory to God through my posts. I was not trying to unglorify God by any means, but I wasn't conscious of it! Most of the time I was self seeking. I think that fact alone would drastically change my time spent on Facebook if I ever choose to log back in to my personal account.. At this point I don't know if I will ever get a desire to spend my time on Facebook again. I will just have to see where my heart is in a year I suppose. In the meantime, I'm enjoying sitting back and in the words of George Strait, enjoying His fingerprints that are all around us. I definitely have seen God today.

 Sawyer now 10 months old! 

 Addy decided it would be fun to water her brother... lol. 

My Addyson 2 1/2

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Change On The Outside Means...

Growing up, my dad always said, "a change on the outside, means a change on the inside." He is going to chuckle to himself when he reads this, but the time that stands out in my mind the most where this famous phrase was used was when I walked into my parents bedroom one evening and he saw a new found accessory on my face. Yup, I got my nosed pierced. I was about 22, if I can remember correctly, and made my youngest sister come with me because I was so nervous. My dad took one look at my nose and one look at me and smiled and said, "a change on the outside means a change on the inside." I have a feeling he wasn't thinking this change on the inside was too fantastic in that moment. ☺ I rolled my eyes, I'm sure, and didn't think much about it. I'm still not exactly certain why I decided that day to have a large needle shoved into my nostril, but now six years later I still have it and it has just become a part of me. It's my little accessory that my daughter likes to call my "nose earring." I have many speculations looking back, none for certain, but I do know that there had to be a reason for doing this at the time and I wish I would have been blogging then because it would have been very interesting to read now what was going on in my 22 year old brain. Or actually, thinking about it now, it's probably a good thing I wasn't blogging. lol.

This idea of a change on the outside means a change on the inside can be either positive or negative. I can now understand this phrase from such a deeper level and it hit me tonight when I once again am realizing just what kind of journey that I am going on with my initial outside change being getting off of Facebook for 365 days.There is a definite change going on inside of me and I think I'm only beginning to see the tip of the iceberg of where I'm headed.

Tonight my husband and I went to the second week of a class that one of the pastors at our church is teaching. The class is entitled Doctrine & Theology. I learned in the first week of the class that I am a theologian! I feel so prestigious saying that. In theory, it's simply someone that studies God. Anyways, tonight we showed up 30 minutes late, and not because we were running late, we actually thought in our head, or I guess I should say I THOUGHT that the time the class started was 6:30 and as we were walking out the door at 6 pm, I got a call from my sister's boyfriend and he had to break the news that the class was indeed starting at that moment. This was totally on me, as I was the one that went to last week's class, while my husband stayed home with the sick kids and I didn't remember the time? So ridiculous. We have a small commute to our church so we were driving and my husband said, "Well now I don't feel so bad about earlier!" We had a good laugh. My husband (and he gave me permission to tell this story) went to the store this afternoon to get more baby formula since we were on the last bottle and his mom was going to be watching our kids for us tonight. So he came back with exactly everything else on the list except the formula which was the entire reason for the trip! He was so annoyed with himself and had to make yet another trip out, and if you know where we live, well the store is not so convenient. So we both had some short term memory loss today. Usually I just blame this sort of thing on baby brain... but I have a feeling now that my son is just about 10 months old that I don't think people are going to buy it much longer.. haha. Maybe I just need to have another baby? Oh man... see where my brain goes? Back to the topic lady!

Despite our arrival being 30 minutes late, the class was amazing and my husband and I left it feeling convicted and uplifted.  A good portion of tonight's class was on the topic of "how can I know if it is God's voice?" Basically, the pastor was saying, let's say you are praying and asking God for an answer to something and you feel like you get an answer from God, well how do we actually know that is God? Oh so many times I have said to myself that God has put something on my heart, or I felt God telling me something. I never thought about the fact that it may not actually be God, but possibly my own thoughts, feelings, and interpretations of prayer and they could be wrong! I hope I'm not losing anyone.. this is a deeper topic than some of my other posts, but I love this sort of stuff.

As I listened tonight I instantly thought of my initial post. I did feel as though the Lord fully convicted me of my time wasting on Facebook that Thursday morning of January 6th. It was not an answer to prayer or something I had even really acknowledged until that point. The pastor explained in so many words that in order to know if it's truly God we must test what ever we "think is right" against scripture... scripture being the breathed word of God. If you have any question as to why I fully believe the Bible I would gladly like to have that conversation with you someday. ☺

So, I decided tonight to do just that. I wanted to make sure that my change on the outside was actually something that paralleled with the word that I say so often that I trust. Believe it or not, Facebook is not found in the Bible. I was shocked. Kidding of course, but I did indeed look up the topics of time management, self-discipline and idleness. Oh boy did I hit a jackpot. 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 was one that jumped off the page at me. It it written, "So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified." Practice what you preach surely comes to mind. Addiction can take so many forms and how can I look down upon any other addiction when I am struggling with one myself? It was time to remove the plank from my own eye.

Hebrews 12:11 says, "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Time management and self-discipline were the two screaming issues I was being convicted of that morning and so, good-bye Facebook for a year was my response. I had no idea exactly why I was doing it for a year, but I think the big man upstairs surely did. He knew this would be something that would hit me and hit me hard. One of my favorite things about the Bible is that it doesn't just expose your faults, it shows you how to change them.

Now, another part of the class tonight also spoke to me. It was on the idea of boundaries. This of course caught my attention because I absolutely just gave myself a boundary by challenging myself to a year without Facebook. The pastor explained tonight that boundaries change actions, but the word (the Bible) corrects the heart. Ahhhh yes! This is much like my revelation the other day in my post called It's Your Choice when I spoke on the fact that the credit for the change within me since getting rid of Facebook does not go directly to the fact that I got rid of Facebook. Losing Facebook happened to be my catalyst, but the problem isn't with the action (being on Facebook) so much as the problem is with the heart. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that everything about social media is good by any means, but the strongest conviction for getting off Facebook was due to my time wasting not the downside to social media as a whole. Back to boundaries... Boundaries will not fix us he explained tonight. I can put a boundary up of never being on Facebook again or using any form of social media, but if it wasn't for me really doing some self-examining and finding the root of this problem being more about my time management and self control then I could easily just make another addiction out of something else that comes my way. Say blogging perhaps. haha. Whatever we invest in now, we will become. Fascinating.

1 Timothy 5:13 says, "Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not." This verse also spoke to me as I went testing my theory. It reminds me of my time spent on Facebook... I always felt too busy to get important things done, yet I was hardly doing important things at all. As we go clicking from page to page gossip can happen so easily.

So, after testing my theory of the Lord putting it on my heart to give up Facebook for a season of time, I think my answer was obvious.

I'm wondering now if the outcome of a "word from God" or an "answered prayer" brings you closer to your husband, your children, your family and most importantly closer to the Lord how could it not be from Him? Maybe I'll have to ask my pastor about that one. Until then, I am just more and more thrilled to be on this journey for a year. My dad's words could not have rung more true for me today. My change on the outside of getting off Facebook definitely meant a change on the inside and so far, without sounding prideful, I think this change on the inside is a positive one. ♥

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Back In Business

I never start with the title of my post. Mostly because I have no idea what I'm going to write about until my fingers hit the keys. It's now been almost a week since I have blogged and I am happy to be back.

Our house, like many others with young kids, was hit with sickness for the past week. My daughter started it off with the stomach flu and then my son got the typical runny nose that I like to call the faucet. It's amazing how much "junk" that can come out of that tiny 9 month old nose. This nose issue turned into a double ear infection.. the second one this month. Anyways, we entered the weekend with two sick kids and then while my husband took a quick jaunt to the store, did I really just use the word jaunt? That was so weird. I'll just leave it. lol. Well, during this "jaunt," I picked up my daughter to give her some medicine and out went my back. I was so irritated in the very moment it happened. I felt the surge of pain between my shoulder blades. For me, I always seem to throw my back out in this particular place. Wonderful. Now I was the cripple mom trying to take care of two sick kids. Thankfully, my husband came home to release me from any picking up children duties and I was forced to lay down. I could not pick up the house, clean much of anything, get laundry done or make dinner. Isn't that interesting. After going on all last week about how productive I was being and how much I was getting done with my new life without Facebook I was literally now crippled and back to square one.

Over the weekend I was frustrated and in pain and finally got to my holistic chiropractor Monday evening for an appointment. Once again he put me back together through acupressure and other amazing ways of turning on muscles and resetting my brain. I know it may sound crazy, but this man has fixed me from every gymnastics injury I have ever had, along with car accidents and my thrown out back incidents that have occurred more recently with having two children that I swear sometimes I look at them and feel like they are half my size.. this isn't that surprising to most of you that know my 5'1 (on a good day) frame. Okay anyways. So my back is almost fully healed and here I am now thinking about everything that happened this past week. One of my favorite sayings instantly now comes to mind. Pride comes before a fall. In Proverbs 16:18 it says: "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."  I don't know if that verse will strike you like it has me many, many, times but if I'm looking for a possible reason as to why my household would instantly fall to pieces after I was doing so good at everything last week, I think this could be a lesson learned.  Pride I feel can have such positive and negative connotations. I mean, I think it's great to have pride in what you do... to have self-respect, but if it leads to arrogance and an excessively high opinion of oneself then that is where the negatives set in.

So, last week as I was writing and okay, okay I suppose bragging a bit about my new "productive lifestyle" I suppose pride could have sneaked in there a tad. Therefore, I was instantly reminded in the days to follow that at any moment this "productive lifestyle" could be taken away. Humbling, I must say. I like to think about things, learn lessons and move on. I'd rather not dwell on my prideful week, but also tell more positive stories that came out of my recent decision that confirmed to me that I truly made the right choice.

If you remember my Top 10 Reasons I Miss Being On Facebook, my number two reason was that I was concerned that I did not have as many views on my Raving Tans Facebook page. Like I have said, Facebook has been one of the key links to my little mommy hobby's success in the past 6 months. I gained over 1,000 fans, held contests, regularly sparked conversations, etc. It has been a fantastic tool. I at first didn't even feel like I should post on the Raving Tans Facebook page at all, because of not wanting to "cheat" at my 365 days without it. A good friend told me, "Just remember that the point (of my decision to not be on Facebook) wasn't a punishment. You weren't doing something wrong. Just a challenge to better yourself, try new things, experiment. Hey, maybe with the extra time you can grow your business more!" Exactly. Although, I could probably think of quite a few things I was doing wrong by spending too much time on it, her words still rang true. Plus, I originally stated that I was not going to get rid of that page, that I was only challenging myself to the year without a personal Facebook page. As you may have read in my Losing The Mullet post, I decided to only post once a week. Although I knew this was going to take a hit on my views, I felt like it was the best way for me to approach the situation.

Anyways, I was beginning to feel worried about it and I'm not kidding you, the very next day I was contacted by two different San Diego magazines that want to interview me regarding my Raving Tans business. I seriously sat back and laughed, and I hope this doesn't come across as prideful, because it is not my intentions. It was as if right when I was feeling like maybe this whole getting off Facebook thing was a bad idea and would end up hurting my business, the Lord reminded me that blessing will always follow obedience. "All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God." Deuteronomy 28:2. I just love how the Lord works. It's like in the same week that I was taught that I need to be careful of my pride I was also rewarded.

Like I mentioned, I had no idea that this is where today's blog post was headed, but it seems like when I sit down and quietly give myself time to think over things that have happened it's amazing how much is revealed. Oh I feel like I have so much more to write on this week alone! I will save it for another post tomorrow. As for now, time to unload my Pilot from the always daunting Costco trip I had to take this morning. Running out of baby wipes before breakfast ended in me spending so much more than I had planned on "essential things" at Costco. Costco... I will also save you for another post. ♥

Friday, January 14, 2011

Top 10 Reasons I Do Not Miss FB

For some reason this list was much easier to make. Like I mentioned in the previous post, I will revisit this list in 6 months and see if anything has changed. This is my personal list and I don't mind if you share it. ☺

Top 10 (oops I couldn't narrow it down from 15) reasons I do not miss being on Facebook

15. Remember me "checking in" at the never-ending laundry piles at the Hawthorne household? They are now done and we officially have our office back.

14. No one knew if I had my coffee, who I had my play dates with, or anything else I was doing unless they asked me or wanted to go read my blog and I like it that way.

13. I did not feel like a "creeper" at any point in the past week. By creeper I mean checking someone's page just to see what they had been doing. Different from going to someone's page and posting a comment because I missed them or something.

12. By blogging, I'm now writing again which is something I love and I have not done in almost 4 years.

11. I did not get invited to an event along with 400 other people. Yes, I was guilty of doing this too. ☺

10. I did not have to "hide" any of my "friends" this week because of someone posting pictures or status updates I felt were inappropriate.

9. I did not start my day feeling scatterbrained due to the newsfeed playing over in my head.

8. I made an effort to text and check in with people because I didn't already know what they were doing via Facebook.

7. I did not have play dates, family dinner, or any other engagement interrupted due to notifications on my phone from Facebook. (yes, I'm aware you can shut these off.. I just never wanted to.)

6. I did not read any posts and instantly become saddened, frustrated, jealous or wonder WHY would someone post that?! Therefore, I was not judgmental.

5. My conversations did not begin with "Did you see what I posted on Facebook?"

4. I made dinner three times this week and that was three more times than last week. ☺

3. I had a desire to open my Bible this week.

2. When I got together with friends we actually had stories to tell each other that I had not already read about on Facebook.

1. I now have a significant amount of free time in my day in which I have now chosen to be productive with.

Top 10 Reasons I Miss FB

In light of it being one week since I have been officially Facebookless I have created a list of my top 10 reasons I miss being on Facebook and my top 10 reasons I do not miss being on Facebook. I think in 6 months I will revisit this list and see what, if anything, has changed. ☺

Top 10 reasons I miss being on Facebook

10. I did not wish anyone a happy birthday this week, and I actually have no idea when my friend's birthdays are.

9. I did not see any cute pictures of my friends' kids this week.

8. Since I do not have everyone's phone numbers that I wish I did, it is now much more difficult to get in contact with certain people.

7. I did not get to post any funny stories about my kids for everyone to read.

6. I actually have to go to news websites to see what is going on in the world, not just read it on Facebook.

5. I have no idea what everyone is doing. (Pretty sure this can go on the what I 'do not miss' list as well)

4. I wasn't able to post something and help others, such as a dog that needed a home or a prayer request.

3. I took lots of pictures this last week and realized now I will actually have to get them printed or email people, not just post them on Facebook.

2. I did not get as many views on my Raving Tans Facebook page and wonder if it will effect my business.

1. I couldn't get any quick feedback on household or mommy questions by posting on Facebook.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's Your Choice

Yesterday was one of those days that I woke up and as my feet hit the floor I was on my way to discipline my 2 1/2 year old daughter. Oh I'm sure some of you moms can relate, or maybe you just have perfect children and I am instantly envious of you. This "meltdown", as I like to call them, was over milk and cheerios. I won't bore you with the details. I didn't even have time to brush my teeth and I was threatening a time out. Oh how I love those mornings! The day seemed to continue in this pattern. Funny thing was that my husband and I had signed up for a parenting class at a local church and that evening happened to be the first day of the class. If we had any doubt in our minds about taking this class, well the Lord was reassuring me all day long that this was the right thing to do! lol. ☺

Anyways, I was instantly in a pretty sour mood from the moment I woke up. I mean, why wouldn't I be? Who wants to wake up to a meltdown before they have even had a cup of coffee? I heard once that the first five minutes of your day can easily set the tone. Well that couldn't have rung more true. By afternoon I was fed up. I needed a recharge. A nap. Sawyer, my 9 month old, went down at his typical time for his first nap of the day and I then got Addy ready for her nap. I had my heart set on this overlap of the two naps that the last few days had panned out so well. My downtime. Well, my precious hour of time did not happen. As I was laying Addy down, Sawyer woke up. Ahhhh!!! There went my nap! I was irritable and couldn't shake my mood. On top of it, my computer, for whatever reason, would not turn on. It went through the start up mode about a zillion times and would never go past that point. Frustrated, I just shut it off for good and said forget it. There would be no blogging for me.

As the day turned into evening and I was getting ready to go to the parenting class, a phrase kept coming to mind. It's your choice. It's your choice.. It's your choice... As I think back on this now just 24 hours later I know exactly what that meant. I was choosing to stay in the mood I was in. I chose it from the moment I woke up. I felt I DESERVED to be in that mood because of how my day started. I'm honestly glad my computer wouldn't turn on. I still have no idea why this was the case, but it was a good thing because at that point I would have probably used this post as an outlet for my frustration rather then something to encourage others. Wasn't I the one that just posted a few days ago Ephesians 4:29, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Yes, that was me. Nevermind the fact that I honestly did not have the time yesterday to do it and if I did choose to post it would have meant sacrificing time with my family.

It's your choice is a phrase that I think I should try to remember every morning. It can be applied to so many different aspects of my day. Another way I have looked at this phrase is with my recent choice to not be on Facebook. Since I have been Facebookless I have been much more productive. Well, that's not entirely because I eliminated Facebook. Yes, eliminating Facebook has given me more time in which to choose to do things, but I could easily have gotten up the past few days and although not gone on Facebook, sat around, played with my kids all day and not got anything else done around the house that needed to get done. We always have this choice. Eliminating Facebook just so happened to be my catalyst. I love that word. Catalyst...defiined as an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action. 

As for yesterday, I did choose to be in a rotten mood and therefore that was the catalyst to the rest of my day going in the same direction. And this was all over milk and cheerios?! Makes me laugh today. Thank goodness for God's grace. What if something truly significant happened that actually warranted me to have a bad day. I think even in the grand scheme of things we can choose how we want to respond and it starts with the little things. You will be happy to know that thankfully, I did end up snapping out of my mood after leaving the first night of this amazing parenting class that I will blog about in another post. 

Speaking of it being my choice, I'm going to now choose to put down this can of sour cream and onion Pringles that I have practically polished off during this post and go eat something substantial. ♥

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Losing The Mullet

Today I made stuffed bell peppers for the first time. It really is amazing how much time I do have after eliminating a huge time waster. I can guarantee I will not be making meals like this every night... because life gets in the way, but today I did and I am thrilled. As I was making them I was thinking to myself, I'm sure my hubby is going to come home and tell me he'd be perfectly okay if I never showed my face on Facebook ever again if it meant more home cooked meals. It's true, cooking is something I do not find entertaining. I can't stand grocery shopping and any recipe with over five ingredients frightens me. I know how much meals mean to my family though, and this is why I want this area of my life to change. Those of you that know me probably wouldn't believe me, so that's why I have included a picture. Oh, and this was before I added the cheese on top. ☺

 As we ate dinner tonight the first thing I did was ask, "is yours hot enough?" I can't stand anything lukewarm. I cut into my pepper and it wasn't even steaming. Nope, not hot enough for me. I took it back to the kitchen and warmed it up in the microwave. Ahhh.. much better. Lukewarm is such a gross word to me.. I honestly can't think of anything that tastes or feels better lukewarm. To me it's like doing something halfway.

I came to my first internal battle today when trying to figure out if I should post an update on my Raving Tans Facebook page. I know I initially said I was keeping this business page up and how I would use it for networking, etc. But now that I have committed to 365 days without a personal Facebook page would posting on the Raving Tans business page be cheating? Uggh. This was my battle. I know it's probably such a silly thing to think about, but I don't like doing anything halfway. If I'm in, I'm all in.

I talked to my husband and a few other close friends and family about my dilemma. They gave me some great insight reminding me of how beneficial Facebook has been to my business and also reminding me that my initial challenge was not to rid myself of the Raving Tans page. True. They explained that I still had to have a new approach to my posts though. Their suggestions were that instead of being "social" in my posts, to use it strictly for business in a way. Don't comment back on conversations that may start, but direct people to my website. Genius. It's like I'm getting rid of the mullet! Okay that sounds absolutely ridiculous, but try to follow me here... instead of having the business AND the "party" or social aspect (which was the biggest time waster) on Facebook now I will strictly have the business.

So, my new haircut so to speak will look like this... I will now post once a week on my Raving Tans Facebook page. I'm thinking Mondays might be the evening of choice... and I will be informing my fans of specials and other recent news with my business. My email address and website will most likely always be a part of the post and that will be it.

Gosh, I just absolutely love putting my thoughts down in a forum like this and letting people know what I'm going to do before I do it. It's a huge motivator. It forces me to not do things halfway... it's like that accountability that we all need at times to keep us from getting lukewarm. Even if only one person reads this it would be worth it to me to keep my word so I want to personally thank you for following my journey.

With that, I will end this post with one of my favorite and most convicting verses in all of the Bible in my opinion. Some people may think it sounds scary... but I just think it's absolutely powerful. I have even had thoughts on getting this verse tattooed on my wrist. I'm a huge wuss though, so I doubt I will ever do it, but anyways here it is.

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Revelation 3:15-16.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Natural High

Last week I was so frustrated in my attempt at potty training my 2 1/2 year old daughter, Addyson, that I posted on Facebook and quickly got many responses including a friend of mine that offered to loan me a book to read to help me. She had potty trained both her boys with this method and it had worked amazing for her. Desperate, I sent her a message on Facebook and told her to text me to give me her address and I would come by and get the book from her. The next morning she called me. We chatted for a few moments and then decided on a time I would come by. I thanked her so much and told her to text me her address and I'd look it up. The next thing she told me was, well actually, I don't have texts. I think she probably knew what I was thinking by the silence on the other end of the phone. (I was the silent one.) lol. I think after a long pause, from me picking my chin up off the ground, I said to her, "are you serious?! How do you not have texts!?" She explained to me how she didn't have them anymore and how she just calls people now. I still was so puzzled by this that I think I asked her a few more questions about it. I seriously had not met someone under the age of 60 (and I know plenty of people over 60 that do text) that did not use text messaging! I told her it was the only way I could communicate most of the day.. how hard it was for me to talk on the phone when the kids were awake... etc. She completely agreed and even told me that she had some relationships that ended due to the fact that she did not text anymore. The funny part was, every time I called her she actually picked up her phone and what probably would have taken about 20 texts we got accomplished in about two minutes of talking. Little did she know she was teaching me a lesson that day. I, like her, realize that I am probably one of the few people today that do not have a Facebook and, like her, I fully expect that I will probably lose touch with some people because the fact that I am not on Facebook will be more of a hassle to them. I would send her a text right now to let her know I was writing about her, but I guess I'll just have to give her a call tomorrow. ☺

So far, I don't think any relationships have ended since I jumped the Facebook ship. I know that plenty will though, especially since I lost all my contacts in my phone after a mishap just a few weeks ago. Ironic. But not to dwell on that.. In fact on the positive side, I've actually already planned two play dates with good friends of mine, both of which I haven't seen in probably close to six months, maybe longer. One of these two is actually a friend I've had for almost eight years and she has never been on Facebook. She was one of the first people I texted when I made my decision. I knew she would back me up. Her response: I am proud of u!! People should keep in touch with their true friends, not 700 so-called friends on the computer! :) We then made plans to get together and I was annoyed with myself that it took that long. Why did it take that long for me to make plans with someone I really consider to be a good friend? Uggh. Was it because she wasn't constantly on my mind... because I never saw her on Facebook? I know I can't fully blame my disconnect from her on Facebook, but I think it's interesting that she was the first person I thought of.

The other friend that I made plans with, to be honest I can't remember the exact last time we saw each other. I don't think we have ever made plans to just have a play date. She texted me and wrote something that I felt to be profound. Her text read: Sorry it's late, but I just read your facebook post and blog. Keep in touch and we will for sure have to get together sometime. You can make it a year without facebook. Sometimes I don't even go on for a month. To tell you the truth facebook makes me think my life sucks. Sometimes I go on and see how great everyone is doing and my life is just the same all the time. Anyway, I love what you have decided. Keep in touch!!  Hmmm.. interesting isn't it? I had never really thought about Facebook the way that she did. I read her text over to myself. Wow, I never would have even known that she felt that way about it. But I could understand. I'm sure she is not the only one that doesn't feel encouraged every time she logs in.

Anyways, I'm not going to start Facebook bashing. That's not my intent, but I think that looking at a subject and playing the devil's advocate can be extremely eye opening at times and makes for good conversation.

Eliminating Facebook so far has given me a calm mind, more concentrated time with my husband and kids, more free time which has meant almost having more clean laundry than dirty. Notifications don't ring on my phone throughout the day or interrupt family dinner. I even came home from a play date today and put the kids down for a nap and you know what I did? I made myself lemon, garlic and butter shrimp pasta! I then proceeded to clean up the kitchen, call a good friend and go through the mail all before one of them woke up. Giving up Facebook has even gotten me back into reading the word. I was trying to find a good study to start and had been praying for desire to get back into reading the Bible and it sounds so silly, but my fascination with what the Bible has to say on the subject of communication has become that study right now.

I'm fairly certain I'm still on that natural high after you experience something amazing. Yes, so far giving up Facebook for me has proved to be something amazing, and I'm not exaggerating in the slightest. How do I explain it.. Okay, so it's kind of like that feeling after you leave the gym and had an awesome work out...(speaking of which, I really need to do that) or an extreme example of this natural high would be that first week after giving birth. I remember after having my babies that for the first week I was so in awe and thrilled over the new addition that I didn't even believe that the lack of sleep would effect me at all. Well, by week two it hit me and it hit me hard. I was exhausted! I know this point is going to come and I'll probably ask myself why did I even do this? I'll tell myself.. I wasn't THAT addicted to it... I could have easily just cut back... Facebook made it so much easier... and when I start questioning myself I hope someone out there will smack me and say go back and read your own blog lady! Any volunteers? ♥

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Double-Edged Sword

Over the past few days I started to feel a bit anxious about the first time I would see people that may have read my blog or heard about it. I know darn well that many will have an opinion on it and at the same time many will not care at all. I'm by no means trying to put myself on a pedestal and say that I figure everyone was talking about my blog at the dinner table last night. I just mean, for the people that I do know and am very much in contact with my sudden change would most likely be brought up the first time they saw or spoke to me only because I have gone public about it and for those that had me as a friend on Facebook knew, I was very active on the site.

My biggest reason for feeling slightly anxious was my fear that my blog was going to come across as legalistic. A very dear person to me that I look to for wise counsel told me this: Doing something out of  your own conviction is obedience. Judging others (which you are not) or imposing your conviction as "law" (which you are not) is legalism. Her comment gave me peace again. I received another text out of the blue shortly after this conversation and part of it read: Hi!! So weird, I went from 290 friends to 288! I think what you guys are doing is amazing. Def an inspiration. I so need to limit my time on Facebook... I think if FB becomes a distraction from reading the word and taking care of your house and family it is something that needs to go! I smiled after reading this because at the time when I was feeling quite anxious, this was exactly what I needed to hear. Little did this person know that the Lord used her in that moment to minister to me. And, no, I don't believe in coincidence. I felt highly convicted by the Lord for my overuse of Facebook and therefore am doing something about it. Since writing happens to be something I enjoy doing, blogging seemed to be the perfect way to address my situation and at the same time possibly be a light to others that may struggle with this same time waster or another.

Another friend also spoke with me today, and as I write this I wonder if I am going to start losing friends because they fear I may use them in a blog post. lol. Anyways, this friend gracefully explained in so many words, that we must caution ourselves that as we write our blogs that they are not self-serving, but giving the glory to God. Oh how I am already learning so many lessons! I love it! I looked up the definition of self-serving and it read: serving one's own interests often in disregard of the truth or the interests of others. I by no means want my blog to be self-serving. I think the Lord can use us all in amazing ways and I want to challenge myself to make sure my blog remains a God glorifying tool as I continue on my journey of going Facebookless for 362 more days.

Now that I feel that my reason behind starting my journey and my hopes for this blog are firmly stated I want to begin by explaining some truths that I found fascinating and how they could directly be applied to the use of Facebook. I am by no means a preacher, but you can expect from my blog the use of scripture at times. I guess I should mention that I am a Bible believer with all of my heart so I suppose you can take from my posts what you will.

My sister sent me the link to a sermon online that she found that was on the topic of Facebook. The preacher very clearly explained that he was in no way trying to tell the listeners what to do in regards to the use of Facebook, but he felt it was a topic that was not foolish to discuss because Facebook is indeed a means of communication and the Bible has a lot to say about communication. I agreed with his statement and I must admit, skeptically kept listening. A little side note, I'm a huge skeptic. If someone gives a statistic the first thing I usually ask is well where did you get that from? Was that website legit? I think that was one lesson I learned when getting my bachelor's degree in communication. Never immediately trust anything you hear or read on the internet. Yes, I got my bachelor's in communication. Maybe this is why the idea of Facebook and the fact that we are in a communication revolution so to speak is so fascinating to me. Anyways, moving on. As I finished listening to the sermon I realized that this preacher had many amazing points, some of which I had never even thought about in regards to Facebook.

The preacher started the sermon by addressing his church and telling them that Facebook was not going anywhere. Social media, so to speak was now something that the world has been inundated with and that is not going to change. I had to agree. I know very well that my decision to rid myself of my personal Facebook page for a year will not change that it is there. Even if I decide after a year of giving it up that I do not need or want to get back on Facebook and no matter how many people choose to do the same for whatever their reasons might be, Facebook is going to be very present. On Friday, the first day I deactivated my site, I went to the Fox News website and no kidding, three of the main major headlines included Facebook. I just laughed to myself because isn't it funny how when you take something away, usually you always seem to notice it more?

Moving forward, the first point that stood out to me in this sermon was the fact that in Mathew 12:36 it states, "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken." When the Bible talks about communication and speech, the same things hold true for what we type. The preacher explained that every post, every message, every tweet, etc. that we write we will someday be held accountable for. Every idol word. This spoke to me hugely.  Every post I make in this blog I will be held accountable for. Makes me just a tad more cautious in my writing, I must say.

Another verse he mentioned was Ephesians 4:29, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." This also convicted me. I knew with the amount of time I spent on Facebook and the amount of status updates I did, there was NO way that I was thinking about bringing up others in every single post. Thank goodness for God's grace. Sheesh.

These were just two of dozens of scriptures he pulled up in regards to what the Bible says about communication. He also stated that technology in of itself is benign. Meaning there is nothing wicked about Facebook, or any other form of social networking by itself. This I also completely agreed with. He explained that many people say that the television is wicked. Well that isn't fair, he stated. The television itself is just a tool used for communication, but yes some things that are shown across its' airwaves are wicked. He quoted Titus 1:15, "To the pure, all things are pure, but to those that are corrupted, nothing is pure." How true this was when applied to the lovely land of Facebook! In of itself, Facebook is an amazing tool, but after spending countless hours on it I know how easily just tweaked in the slightest way it could be used for nothing pure at all.

Over the next few days I'm not entirely sure where this blog will take me. I think I may go over a few of what I believe to be the pros and cons to Facebook, because when making a decision on something, this is what I like to do. Some of you may agree or disagree with me and that's perfectly okay.

The same person that I began this blog mentioning also told me this: new technology is always going to be a double-edged sword. And with that I couldn't agree more. ♥

Saturday, January 8, 2011

From message boards to FB land...

I was in the last trimester of my first pregnancy with my daughter, Addyson. My doctor put me on modified bed rest in order to stop my pre-term labor symptoms. I already had to quit my job at the newspaper because of my morning sickness that came far more often than just the morning. At the time that I was put on bed rest, I was past the morning sickness stage and I was coaching a high school gymnastics team and constantly having symptoms during practice that at times brought me to tears due to the pain. So it was decided that I could no longer drive and no longer work. House arrest, in a way, which I was fully willing to do for my baby on the way. It just was going to be an adjustment.

I spent my days reading, and watching more television than I ever had in my life and one day I stumbled across a message board on a very known website and it was all for expecting moms! Oh I found my niche! I signed up for this site and quickly began jumping in on various conversations, making friends and asking questions. I learned so much information on pregnancy and whenever I had a weird symptom I posted to this site and got many responses and thrived off of it. I actually met a few friends on there in and out of the state that I still keep in touch with to this day, or at least I did on Facebook. I'm not sure if they are reading my blog, but if so I would absolutely LOVE to keep in touch. The sad part was that I ended up spending my entire days before giving birth on this site. I was the first of many of my friends to be pregnant, so this was a great tool for me and I felt like I could relate to everyone. Little did I realize that I was losing touch with reality. I knew more about what was going on with this message board than I did with the world.

Once I had my daughter I did not have time for a message board like this. Although there was a chat for babies 0-3 months, 3-6 and so forth I went on a handful of times and then one day just never went back. I found a new outlet that would allow me to have the social interaction that I loved and I would actually be able to have friends on it that I knew! How exciting! A mature Myspace. The best part was that it was even more simple than a message board. I could post my status! This was genius! Quick and easy and brainless.

I found Facebook to be absolutely amazing. I connected with old friends from high school, got to share pictures of my daughter and it made it easy to stay in touch with my family on the east coast. Or did it? Slowly I spent more and more time checking in and commenting on everyone's status' and photos and then I got an iPhone. This purchase just fed my fascination with Facebook because now with my Facebook app I could go on it anytime of the day! It was just a tap away and my mind was in a different place. Far too easy for someone that already enjoyed socializing on this site a little too much.

Looking back at it now, not only was Facebook the biggest time waster in my life, I think at times I used this amazing social tool as an excuse to not pick up the phone and call... even on someone's birthday! It seemed totally acceptable to me that posting a message to their wall and wishing them the best was just as good as sending them a text or giving them a call.

I got a text from a good friend today and it read: Facebook has become a salve of social acceptance for the disconnected digital generation. Who has 900 "friends?" I mean seriously, who has time to stay in touch with 900 people? But Facebook provides that source, that there are actually 900 people who care about what I think. Your blog has made me introspective on the whole FB thing. I need to focus on actually calling and seeing my friends. I haven't seen you or John in over 2 years...well because I see you everyday on FB! Or through fantasy football! Right? Not so good I think.

All I can say is AMEN! This is exactly what I am realizing. I know I am not the first or the last to think this way, but I am glad I am realizing this now.

On the other hand, I am absolutely sure there are people out there on Facebook that don't overuse it. My sister was one of them. I admire them. They are able to post once a week or go on a couple times a month and update a few pictures and not get carried away with it. After talking with my sister about this, she mentioned to me that she felt it also directly related to our places in life. She is not a mother yet, she is not home most of the day with the kids and we simply just have different personalities. We are both social, but I know myself and if you are in a room with me, in a line or anywhere for longer than 5 minutes I will most likely start up a conversation with you. And if I had a cup of coffee that morning, well then bring that 5 minutes down to about 2 and good luck getting rid of me. I absolutely LOVE getting to know people. I find everyone's story fascinating. I feel like we can learn so much from each other! Okay, now I'm getting carried away so I will get back to the topic at hand. All that to say that I firmly believe that your place in life, how much free time you actually do have and your personality can directly relate to your time spent on the lovely land of Facebook. Am I off course here or can anyone agree?

I wonder if Facebook will someday make a tool that you can choose how many times a day or a week you allow yourself to log into the account. Then if you tried to jump on and hit say, your max of 2 times a day it would deny my request and not allow me to log-in. I think I am on to something! lol. The moderation tool. It would be genius! Someone go invent it and please give me some credit. ☺

In the meantime, I'm completely content with writing my thoughts in this blog and so far not being on Facebook has not been as difficult as I thought. I'm sure as the days go on I will encounter many incidences where having Facebook would be the far easier route, but isn't that what life is all about? The road LESS traveled is usually the one I want to take. 

Just to clarify for any followers I may have, I love reading your comments and if you have any questions and post them I just may answer them in a future post. I will not be responding to any comments on my blog. I feel that starting dialogue on my blog would be no different than starting dialogue on a post on Facebook. I hope this makes sense.

I also want readers to know that I will not only be posting about Facebook for 365 days. I hope that I don't have something to say about Facebook every day for an entire year. lol. I will be using this blog to document happenings in my life this year. I'm sure Facebook will get brought up many times and when an incident arises that directly challenges me for not having a Facebook I will be sure to note it.

I have had some people ask if I minded if they posted my blog to Facebook. Of course I don't mind. Like I've mentioned time and again, this is just my personal journey and me dealing with my issue of spending too much time on Facebook. It's all about time wasters and Facebook just happened to be mine. If you posting this on your Facebook page or sending this to a friend or family member allows one other person struggling in the same way as I have, or with a different "time waster" of their own, to read my story and be inspired then I feel that is exactly my prayers for this blog being answered.  ♥

Friday, January 7, 2011

My first 24 hours Facebookless...

Facebookless... the little red dots underlining that word indicate it's not a known word. Maybe because no one out there today is actually Facebookless? Hmm... something to think about. I'm just going to have to ignore the little red dots for this post. ☺

As I wrote my post yesterday I started to feel such excitement and to be honest I was a bit nervous as well. It may sound absolutely pathetic but I felt my legs go a tad numb when I clicked the button to share my blog on Facebook. I knew it wouldn't be long before I would be getting all kinds of responses by my sudden decision.

Just the night before I had posted about a mobile spray tan I did for a lovely client and how her son very seriously came up to me before I left and asked me if I was Justin Beiber's mom. I could see he was very nervous to even ask me and didn't want to make him feel bad so I gracefully told him, that no, indeed I am not her, although on the inside I could barely contain myself from busting out loud! I knew I had to immediately tell the Facebook world and that's exactly what I did. I didn't even want to wait until I got home to post since I found this comment so entertaining, so I sat in the driveway and posted my status. Ahhh... I got it out! I had felt relieved. I was able to share it with someone! Funny thing was right after I posted I called my husband to tell him and then my sister and I started the conversation with, "did you see my post on Facebook!?" I now look back on this evening and it's so funny to me that I had no idea that the very next morning I would feel completely compelled to rid Facebook from my life for an entire year.

So, just so you all know, my blog caught me by surprise just like it did the rest of you. I had tossed the idea around in my head several times, but it wasn't until the morning of Jan. 6th that I actually felt this burning feeling within me that this was something I had to do. The Lord was pressing on my heart.. and I felt it. There was no way I was going to ignore this one.

My post on Facebook started several different discussions. I received many inbox messages, calls and texts. My very first text I received only moments after posting to Facebook read as follows: Heather! I just wanted to let you know that your post of fb about deleting it was very inspiring!! I don't think I'm ready to delete my account all together but I did just hide the app on my phone, thanks in part to you! So thank you! I'm excited to be more present and spend less time glued to my phone and fb :) xoxo!

My heart absolutely melted. I had hoped down deep in my heart that me airing my dirty laundry and publicly announcing my struggle with my time spent on Facebook would maybe somehow touch someone and someone could possibly relate to me and this was my very first response! Well, that wasn't the only response I got that's for sure.

Most of my messages were very positive and encouraging me to keep up this journey I began and then I got one message from someone I know and love. He left me a voicemail stating that he had the answer to me spending too much time on Facebook. He told me that I should do what he does and only go on Facebook when using the bathroom (if you know what I mean)... which is once a day. I absolutely busted out loud and yelled downstairs to my husband when I heard this message. Sorry for everyone that thinks that might be entirely too much information, but I found it rather humorous.

Other responses I got throughout the day were people simply puzzled by why I would do something like this and wondering what happened?! The honest truth is there was no big "incident" that pushed me over the edge and made me decide Facebook was the devil. Like I mentioned, I don't feel as though Facebook is wrong at all, but MODERATION is key. I'm the type that is all or nothing. It was too difficult for me to try to tell myself I only could go on once a day or once a week. A few months ago I had deleted the app from my iPhone only to put it back a week later because I was highly annoyed that I couldn't use the mobile upload tool. So for me, and only me, I felt that NO personal Facebook was the answer.

Last night I spent about an hour deactivating my Facebook page. I read through the newsfeed knowing this would be the last time for an entire year and it was so strange how differently I looked at each post. I read through each one of them and actually thought about that person. I wondered where they were as they were posting that message.. was it on their phone or on a computer? Was their family in the other room? What were their kids doing? Was this a quick escape form working? How did they feel after posting? What were they hoping to get from that post? I know this may sound like I'm completely over-analyzing the whole status update thing, but this is exactly what I thought about. I felt like I saw the whole newsfeed through a completely different lens. So strange.

After I got a hold of my thoughts, I then moved on to the actual deactivating part. This was not a simple process due to the fact that I feel it necessary to keep my Raving Tans Facebook page up. So.. the process went like this: I had to delete each of my almost 900 friends individually... then change my account settings so that only my friends could see my profile, only my friends could send me a message and only friends of friends could request me. With no friends this would mean no contact. So my page is completely unsearchable at this point and if I commented on something on a page and if my name was clicked on when it takes you to my profile there would be no way to add me as a friend, send me a message or see my page. It was sad deleting people.. I felt for a moment that I was completely crazy for doing this and how I would probably fall off the planet and hardly talk to anyone... but I went through with it. 

This morning I woke up and had no notifications on my phone. Wow, that was a change. I then got up with my kids and actually cooked breakfast. I felt completely at peace and excited about my new decision. My mind was actually still. I'm not sure if anyone will agree with me, but after waking up and going on Facebook every morning I sometimes feel a little edgy. It's like I have a million posts that are all over the map floating through my brain and although I'm going through my morning routine I am thinking about the things I read or images I saw. This morning there was none of this. My mind was still. It was amazing.

I think for day 1 I'm doing pretty well being Facebookless... I know I have a long way to go and I truly appreciate all the encouragement and kind words that I have received so far.

If you know anyone that would like to follow me on this journey, I encourage you to share my blog with them. I think the more people to hold me accountable the better... and I thank you all in advance... ♥

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My attempt at an explanation...

Both of my kids are actually napping at the same time. This rarely happens and when it does I know that the quietness I hear in my home is going to be very short lived. Most days I get so excited that I have this down time that I don't even know what to do with myself first. Laundry? Dishes? Call back a friend? Clean up the playroom? Or maybe actually make myself something to eat? So instead, I just hop on Facebook and see what everyone else is doing. Soon enough the monitor lights are flashing and my time to myself is over. I get so frustrated because the little time I had was now completely wasted. The house looks the same, I still haven't called back my friend, I haven't eaten except for the crust off the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I made for Addyson before her nap and now it's back to being mommy. A full-time job.

This is just one tiny example of what brings me to this blog.

I want to start by saying that no, I do not think Facebook is the devil and by no means am I judging anyone that uses it. In fact, I think it is an absolutely fascinating and amazing social tool and it has done wonders with getting my little "mommy hobby" turned business, Raving Tans, off the ground! I've used Facebook to connect with old friends, network, pray for people, find dogs new homes, ask other moms questions regarding potty training...sleepless nights...and even used Facebook to ask which blog site would be the best for me to begin this journey. I've found it's actually faster for me to post something on Facebook and get all kinds of responses that I trust rather than taking the time to google something! How funny is that?

My issue is completely personal, but I'm hoping maybe some of you out there can relate. I am starting out 2011 as a wife, a mother, a business owner, a disciple of the Lord, a house keeper (hopefully a better cook), a pet owner, a daughter, a sister and a friend. I feel like I am doing all of these things just okay. Well, good has always been the enemy of the best. I know that I want to strive to be better at all of these things and doing so means eliminating time wasters. Since I do not watch any T.V. programs my biggest time waster without a doubt is Facebook. I actually listened to a sermon online and the pastor stated that there are statistics out there showing that the demographic that uses Facebook the most to date is young moms. Oh how it struck me! I am one of them!

I am now publicly challenging myself to 365 days without a personal Facebook page. I will be keeping my business page up to keep my networking going, but that is it. I know this will be hard at first, but I think it will be very freeing as well. I will miss seeing what is going on with everyone and all the pictures of the adorable kids... but hey, that just means we actually have to get together for play dates and TALK in person! How exciting! I laugh at myself because sometimes I feel like I don't even need to get together with someone because I know everything that is going on with them already. I honestly am SO excited to actually get back being personal with people! I have a feeling that this 365 day challenge will turn into life without a Facebook page and I'm totally okay with that.

Some of you may say, well isn't blogging going to be just as much of a time waster? Certainly not. Sitting down to write an excerpt is far different than brainlessly scrolling through my Facebook app on my iPhone all throughout the day or getting online during naptime and reading through the morning's newsfeed. I've been known to scroll through Facebook at stop lights, in the Starbucks drive-thru, even while my kids are both playing together. Please someone tell me I'm not the only crazy person that has done this! lol. That is what HAS to stop. This will be a way for me to document milestones in my kids' lives and moments with our family and someone even told me it can be published into a book! Blogging will be so much different. Of course this is strictly my opinion and that's what blogging is all about.

I just want to thank the Lord for using my two sisters for actually stirring this revelation in me. They were the perfect tools to minister to me. It's funny and humbling that as the oldest of the three of us that I am learning such an incredible lesson through them.

I hope you all will enjoy reading my journey. I used to be a sports writer before motherhood hit, but it has been a while. So I apologize now for grammar mistakes and incomplete sentences. Writing from my heart is much different than recapping a high school football game.

So here goes.. I'm going to post this blog on Facebook as a way of telling my friends and family what I have decided to do, and starting January 7, 2011 I will be deactivating my personal Facebook page for 365 days... I can't wait to see how my life is about to change...

I thank each of you reading this and hope that in some way my little journey may be an inspiration to you to think about your own personal time wasters.♥