why i left facebook…

i could likely talk about this for days. because the longer i consider it, the more reasons there are to have left. i “deleted” my account today…which you have to go to a special site that you have to google to find. they will keep your page forever hidden away in their secret stash, but your photos, notes, etc. gets removed from their servers. tricky, tricky, tricky….now, let’s dive in.

my final profile picture
my final profile picture

Number One — Privacy Mush.
facebook is getting scary, ya’ll. all this stuff about social experiments and facebook messenger app is scary and weird. i think because my generation grew into the social media right as we became independently thinking young adults, we take for granted that all is safe. the internet is something that most of us still do not truly understand. and to know that there are sites that are storing all my PERSONAL information is weird. online banking is scary enough! i know we could talk about all the things on the internet that are “scary” and how this statement could possibly be construed as hypocritical if i’m going to keep instagram and whatnot, but i guess you have to start somewhere, right? and today, it’s facebook. i am not educated enough about all these types of things, and really, they aren’t the most important reason i am leaving, so that’s all i will say about that.

Number Two — Attitude? Check.
this is the big one. i heart facebook, to be quite honest. i love to look at all my friends pretty pictures, and be exposed to funny buzzfeeds and music. i love seeing my niece sing and my sister’s photography. i live in a bit of a bubble as it is, and facebook usually keeps me somewhat aware of what is going on in the world.

but there are some major pitfalls to this sort of exposure. while i am inspired, i also, in a most honest and transparent way, have to admit that i spend a lot of time subconciously comparing my life to other people’s. and i know this is a typical struggle, but i think that if i step back, i tend to experience more feelings of lack or regret than of joy and satisfaction.

on another note….it has become a total compulsion for me. if i get up in the morning with time to spare, i tend to spend time on facebook, checking in on everyone’s feed rather than making breakfast or going for a run. that is what i got up early for, but i end up getting “distracted” and letting my plans fall away. same with work. if i’m here and it is slow, then i will spend hours just scrolling. not necessarily posting, but just being a voyer. and that leads back to the feelings i mentioned above…feeling like i’m not doing enough with my life, that i’m not experiencing enough….

WHICH, brings me to my next thought. when i DO experience something amazing, beautiful, emotional, truly life changing, i can’t help myself from posting it. in fact, it’s almost like it wasn’t AS awesome unless i share it with the facebook world. but whatever happened to just sharing these things with the people closest to us? and i mean REALLY closest to us. the other night, my husband and i were having dinner, and he did something so silly and so funny…i laughed one of those deep belly laughs. you wanna know what my VERY FIRST THOUGHT was? “i should post this on facebook”. that’s a problem. an official problem.

Number Three — Are You There God? It’s me, Amanda.
this one is tricky to convey. this may not be the problem for many of you, but my relationship with God has been heavily directed by facebook. it has become my church. inspirational quotes, messages, songs that draw me to the Lord….aaaaaaaaaaaaaand that’s it….i let my own personal relationship sortof fall off, and i haven’t been to church regularly in ages. i have no community here near my home of fellow believers that i meet with on sundays in the flesh. because facebook has “sustained” me by providing some Godly encounters. but that can’t be all there is. in the morning, i could be studying my bible. at night, i could be praying. but i don’t. i get so drawn away. it’s just like any distraction, but this one sortof snuck up on me. i didn’t even realize how much TIME i was spending on social media. and how much time i could be spending on other things.

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this is all personal preference. it’s all personal struggle and personal testimony. i am not trying to get everyone to leave facebook, and i’m not trying to tear down anyone who stays. in its humble beginnings, it was meant to be good. and it was for me. but now, now i have forgotten who i am living for. when i see something awesome, i forget that i used to be introspective and let it find root in me. now i just blurt it out on my wall and kindof forget about it. and there is something sacred about the relationship between husband and wife….we get to see sides of each other that we are honored to know, and maybe, just maybe it isn’t everyone else’s business. at least not the 200+ people i couldn’t bring myself to defriend on there. as we grow together and experience life together, and maybe one day get pregnant and have a family and grow old and experience disease and sadness, maybe we should keep those things close to the heart. and while some people can, i found that i had lost my ability to maintain some privacy in my life, my thoughts, my emotions, my experiences. i think it is time to get back to my roots a little bit.

my hope is that this blog might encourage someone who might be dealing with similar struggles. maybe i could help put into words something that you struggled to see clearly in your own thoughts.

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a lesson for today…and everyday.

patience

patience…patience…patience. that is what God is calling out to me lately. learn to be patient. but why? why do I have to be patient? I have been thinking about this quite a bit today. what does it mean to be patient?

patient: bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like.

so, why is this so difficult? and why is it so important that God talks to us about it in His Word?

I keep thinking about God’s timing. trusting Him, believing He has my plan and my story mapped out, and I just need to follow Him in order to obtain it. I also think about all the blessings that have come my way because I have not yet received that which I ask for. I see my husband and I continue to grow in love, learning each other better all the time. I see us growing financially. not only are we paying down old debts, but we are learning how not to create new ones. we are learning to be patient for the things we want in life. I see us both growing in maturity towards life and what life deals down to us. I see acceptance for things we cannot change. and I see our faith growing in leaps and bounds. there are so many positive things that have come from us being patient…waiting……and waiting on God, not just on ourselves.

but I’m not going to sugar coat it. it IS hard. I want to control…I want to fix…I want to manage…I want to plan. and I am planning, and I can only assume that that is appropriate. adam and I are being patient, waiting on a baby. we are waiting on our son or daughter to come meet us. however he/she arrives, we are being patient. and it is so so hard. I am overjoyed to see my friends get pregnant. I am blessed to watch their babies grow, and watch them work through the trials of being parents. I am being educated, and learning to have an open mind about what it means to be a parent. God is teaching me. He is helping me grow…in the midst of this patience. and most importantly, today, I realized He is teaching me to live in this time of waiting. we are so often looking towards the next thing. going to highschool, driving a car, graduating, going to college, starting a job, getting married, buying a home, having a baby, ….then the baby comes, and we beg for it all to slow down. so many moms I have spoken with have expressed the desire to make the next thing STOP coming so fast. “why can’t she be little forever”…”I’m not ready for him to go to school yet”…”they grow up so fast….i blinked and he became a man”.

how can we learn to live in this moment of our lives? God keeps us in waiting periods so often. we work towards moving into the next season, but sometimes it is out of our hands. and waiting on a baby has made that clearer than any other stage in my life. I feel in control when finding a new job, paying off my debts, getting married, etc. I feel like I have a huge hand in making those things happen or not happen. but a baby…a miracle…a gift of life inside my womb, or inside another woman’s womb to somehow find me? now that…..at that I am completely lost for words. I am putty in His hands, and begging for His plan. and I trust Him. I see friends who got pregnant unexpectedly, and they will tell you, “this baby saved my life”…”if I had not gotten pregnant, I don’t know where I would be today”. and it only makes me trust His timing more. He knows when the time is right. and I will surrender to that. in the meantime, I want to appreciate the time I have now…as me and my husband…as me alone.

be patient, amanda. be patient in paying off your debts. you will get there, it just takes time. be patient, amanda, in your weight loss endeavors. it takes time to lose weight, and you just have to stick with it. be patient, amanda, before buying a house. the timing is not right yet. be patient, amanda, for your child. They will come in the right time.

….and be thankful, amanda, while you wait. be content with what has been given to you, because so much has been given.

I am so so blessed. so blessed. and I want to focus on my blessings today and everyday. God may never give adam and I a baby. and if he does not, it is important that we don’t waste another day wishing for what we do not have, but rather recognizing what we do.

…..and I must remind myself of this…every day. it will not be easy, but it will help me grow.

even the smallest encounters…

so, a semi-heavier topic today. i work at a coffee shop, and i usually work early. people are interesting at 5am. some are up, energetic, and very friendly. some….like the man i met today….are not at all. they are rude, moody, and sharp in their delivery. now, the encounter between us was very short. probably not more than 2 minutes, and that is most likely a stretch. i was having a conversation with one of my regulars off to the side. i saw this man walk in, did a typical “hello” from behind the bar, and waited for response. he went straight to the pastry case and began his search for something to eat or drink in the self-serve section. i glanced over his way twice during this browsing, both times to see he had his head down and was not yet behind the register. my coworker was brewing coffee directly behind the register, and i assumed she saw him as well. unfortunately, i found my assumptions were wrong. i turned a third time to check on him and he was now faced forward showing his best scowl. very kindly, and as is expected of me, i greeted him again, and said, “i’m sorry, i didn’t see you there”…to which he replied quite rudely, “i’ve been standing here a long time”. i knee-jerked to correct him, but stopped myself and said, quite curtly and admittedly sarcastically, “sir, i’m sorry, i thought you were still deciding”. i won’t bore you with all the details, but i will say, the encounter only got worse as i tried to show this man that i did not approve of his bad attitude.

now…..most people would say, “you are totally justified”…or “good for you, he deserved that”…which i do not entirely disagree with. customer service is one of the least respected jobs by their customers but also one of the tougher jobs out there. (no mr. fireman, policeman, doctor, nurse, therapist, construction worker, etc….i DO think your jobs are harder is many different ways…much respect and awe to you). but i must say, customer service is no picnic some days. i love people. i love to talk to them, converse with them, joke, laugh, and enjoy some of the best encounters with basically strangers. but when you are disrespected by someone with their attitude and behaviors, it is hard to extend respect back. i don’t believe any human being should be talked down to, and i whole-heartedly believe in giving others the ‘benefit of the doubt’. you never know what someone might be going through.

this rough encounter, though short, has plagued me all day. i regret the snarkiness i presented to him, and my lack of trying to turn someone’s day around. it has nothing to do with business, but everything to do with love. God tells us to love, and that it is of the greatest importance in our lives. i did not show this man love today, and it has torn me up.

what i walk away with from this encounter, i think of how i was apart of a chain reaction in his day. perhaps i was the starter, perhaps i was somewhere in the middle that kept his fire burning, and i can’t help but think of how i could have changed the course of his whole day for the worse….or how it could have possibly improved if i had acted with a “turn the other cheek” mentality.

i challenge you to remember the tiny moments that you have with those around you, especially strangers. you never know what they are going through. you could be the only bright light in their day. i pray that God gives me patience next time, and most of all love.