Thursday, September 26, 2013

Seven: Media Fast Day 26

Holy smokes, the closer we get to the end, the more I'd like to just cheat and say I did it. It's just two days early, right? I've learned through this experience that my husband is a rule follower of all rule followers. Therefore, cheating is not worth it if I feel the need to confess, which I usually do.

So here's my confession for today... I looked on Facebook, but only for like 5 seconds after looking up what I needed to (one of my friends from Haiti is in the hospital and the best updates on how she's doing are on Facebook - merited...). But after I saw how she's doing, I just browsed like the top 5 posts on my news feed today. Like I said, I'm over it. And I don't really feel guilty - I only will when I have to confess tonight.

Something great I'm learning through this - there's no way in heck I could do this without community. Jen said it in the book and I thought I could do it alone, no problem, but people - a month is a LONG time. For real. And having Jarred do this with me has been a game changer because it reminds me that People magazines are media and YouTube links in a text message are media and it's worth it to power through the last two days. So very worth it. I've needed him. Without him I would totally have cheated more than once or twice by now. He's been my person and it's made us more of a team; for that I'm incredibly thankful. Truly.

A sad thing that's happened during media month? I COMPLETELY forgot to call not one, but BOTH of my grandmas on their birthdays. I blame Facebook, but seriously I do. Facebook reminds me of those things and my iPhone update didn't transfer all of my birthdays and then my grandma's felt unloved and forgotten. Yuck. So ready for those reminders to be back in my world. And it's ended up costing a pretty penny to send something nice with an "I'm sorry" card to make up for my brain fart(s). This part made me really sad and even maybe made me say, "It's not worth it." But I can't blame media month - only myself.

One of the greatest things we've learned is what Jen's husband Brandon says in the book about their experience:
"The dangerous part of our social media and technologically saturated world is not it's existence, but what it distracts us from." pg. 116
We are loving learning things we've never known about each other - going for walks, talking more, watching each other's personalities, spending time with our pup - all because the distractions have been removed.

This is decidedly good for us - more distraction free lives and more time with people we love. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Stay tuned for the grand finale post for media month. I'll talk about our plan to implement this beyond one month as well as what challenge we've chosen for October. This whole Seven thing is really hard. And good. And hard. But we love it.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Seven: Media Fast Day 12

Tell the truth Thursday night...

I'm getting tired of it, I cheated to watch a football game today and I could never be a nun. There, I said it.

It's funny how the silence (something we all long for in the chaos) will drive you batty after a while. I do fine on days when we're both off work - the chatter, mindless and/or meaningful, continues throughout the day, we have a to-do list to keep each other motivated with and we will go find something to do together if we're bored. But sweet Jesus, when he's working 13 hour days and I have no human interaction, no radio, no blogs, Facebook or Instagram, I. GO. NUTS. Straight nuts. And then I know I drive him CRAZY as soon as he gets home. It's not fair - he's been around people all day and I've been stuck in this house.

So this week, while he works 7 days in a row, I will be more intentional about time away with friends, making phone calls, being present with humans. It will benefit everyone, I promise.

This is getting difficult, I tell you. I think the hardest thing about it is finding another outlet. It's not that we want to fill our time with media ish, but the problem is that it's how we wind down. We read blogs or yahoo stories or watch YouTube videos to wind down. And now we exchange antsy glances and wonder how to kill that time.

So we had a come to Jesus Day-12 conversation tonight (where one of us got defensive, I'll let you guess who) and we made some decisions about the next 16 days and how we'd like to make media month really worth our sacrifice.

So here are some goals for the next 16 days:

- We'd like to spend more of that unstructured antsy time with Jesus instead of knocking more things off of our to-do lists. While we love productivity, we're pretty sure that's not what this month is about.

- We are not going to TV cheat anymore - even for really important college football games where our alma maters are playing each other for the only time this year.

- One of us needs to use a little less sarcastic banter and useless verbage in text conversations (I'll also let you guess which one that is)

- We want to be more intentional about our time together and how we spend that while we have extra space.

- We want to come up with a plan for a less media rhythm once we are done with this month.

So these are the things you can ask us about if you see us. Feel free. I'm still over it and I still could never be a nun, but I'm attempting to jump back on the bandwagon and be more hard core these next 16 days... pray for our 5 days in Chicago at a REALLY amazing wedding where I'll want to Instagram everything. Self control. That's what to pray for.

This is good for me. This is good for me. This is good for me...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Seven: Media Fast Day 5 Bullets

It's Day 5 without media in our house. Here are some things we're learning:

- I love facebook, instagram and blogs

- Jarred loves yahoo news and this new money mustache blog(?!?!?)

- our house is typically pretty quiet, so the no tv thing isn't really affecting us

- we are SO productive without our computers in front of our faces! we got SO much done this weekend - like so much

- I am a more present friend - I had three solid long catch-up phone calls yesterday and I felt like I was being a good friend

- when we're productive & distraction-free, we actually have time to go for walks on the beach!

- we have NO IDEA what's going on in the world. Jarred went to work today to hopefully someone will tell him and he can relay to me what's happening out there

- most of the time, we don't care what's going on in the world :)

- I actually only left laundry unfolded for one day instead of 8!

- I enjoy reading books - I had forgotten about that hobby, nice to see you again paper pages

- a month feels like forever

- I miss seeing people's pictures, so I can't help but cheat and have people show me the pictures they've been posting when they come over. I see it as them personally sharing their lives...nothing wrong with that.

- Facebook is a TEASE - this just wrong and I WILL NOT click the button

- I miss sharing the celebratory and funny moments of my life via instagram and Jarred is sick of hearing what I would have posted

Overall, we're LOVING this media fast thing. In some ways, I think it's turned us into hermits - we feel like because we can't see what everyone is doing, they must be doing nothing, so we'll just stay home and make homemade bread, fold laundry and count coins. Kidding...kind of. But it's been a gift - we've given each other more time and attention, we've made phone calls, played with the dog, been less rushed, been more productive and been so much less distracted by "urgent" status updates and blog posts. We've found lots of freedom these last 5 days - freedom from what America says is important and freedom to do with our time what we think is important. We are genuinely excited about the rest of the month and already anticipating some changes in our daily rhythm following this media fast. So good. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Seven: Month 1 - Media

As I mentioned in this post, we are embarking on a journey called "Seven" - a book by Jen Hatmaker who is real, honest, messy, awesome and determined to live a life worthy of the gospel. I try to resonate with all of those things and so I brought the idea up to my husband. I was SHOCKED when he said he wanted to do it with me. He said, "If you're going to do it, then I should do - we need to do this as a family." Well, all I have to say to that is that it's a darned good thing we don't have kids because I would not want to be 7-month depriving them of things while doing the same myself - disaster.

Needless to say - here we go. I will try to blog every few days about the experience because I don't want to forget how desperate I am for facebook and insta how much Jesus is teaching me. :)

But really... the first thing I do every morning when I wake up (way earlier than I'd like - still adjusting to this "husband with a real job" thing), I look at Facebook and Instagram. Literally, I'll sit there for 30 minutes and just see what in the world happened while I was sleeping. It's glorious. This morning I was sad. I went so far last night as to delete those two apps from my phone so I would not be tempted when I woke up and I literally sat up and thought, "(GASP) Someone deleted my apps!" Yes, I'm that special. Then I remembered it was September 1st and I'd made a commitment.

It's Day 1, I. CAN. DO. THIS. This is where it gets good.

I actually went to the bookshelf (!) and pulled out a book we're reading for a leadership team called, Leading Kingdom Movements - good stuff in there, better than Instagram even. And what happened next was really incredible. I started reading and came across a page or two that literally spoke straight to where I am right now in some leadership stuff and some Jesus stuff. Over and over again, the phrase "Pray that you will have the grace to respond with faith," kept popping up when they were talking about failures and frustrations and breakthroughs. It was a FLOODGATE people, a floodgate that led me to stay in bed with that book and a journal for an hour. So sweet.

And you know what, I went to church after that and I even forgot my phone because without FB and Insta, my iphone is a waste - who needs it?!?!

Day 1 and I already feel more free. I feel like God was really gracious this morning and gave me a huge nugget right away which makes me a little nervous about the next 29, but hey, I'll take it.

P.S. Something I wished and begged for just ONE teensy insta post was this - I backed out of the garage. The garage door decided to stop about 5/6 of the way open, I didn't notice and literally ejected my antenna from the top of my car - garage door took it out, no problem. Sweet Jesus, I so wish for the opportunity to have shared that with the rest of humanity - the pictures, my husband's reaction, the laughter... October is too far away for those of you who enjoy a good shitshow. Onward...