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31 Days Unplugged – Day 28 – Truly Fasting

27 Mar

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Well, here we are heading into our last weekend of the 31 Days Unplugged challenge.  I hope that this month has been as meaningful for some of you as it has been for me.

As we head into the weekend, I am presenting you with your last challenge.

 

Challenge #22 – Spend the entire weekend (from sundown Friday to sundown Sunday) truly unplugged.  Don’t use social media, watch TV, or play any online or video games.  If there is any other aspect of unplugging that you would like to include in this weekend fast, I say go for it.

I am pretty nervous about this, honestly.

What if I get bored?  After the last couple of months of thinking of things to do with my time, I have plenty to do!

What if someone needs to get in touch with me and can’t?  Since limiting my use of social media for the past couple of months, not too many people use that to get in touch with me anymore.  And if someone really needs me, they can just call, right?

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Let’s use this weekend to get closer to our real-life friends and family, to get closer to God, and to get closer to ourselves.

I won’t be posting over the weekend, but I will see you all back here Monday for our link-up.  Don’t forget that if you don’t have a blog to link-up, you can e-mail me your testimony at mommyinbonlee@hotmail.com and I may post it during the month of April.

Have a great weekend!

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31 Days Unplugged – Day 27 – Do something for yourself

26 Mar

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We have done so much this month, haven’t we?  We have totally changed our daily habits and how we are using our time.  We are spending time in scripture and prayer, doing things for other people, organizing and working out.  And that’s not all!

Today, I want us to focus on someone very important, someone who may have been left out a little this month: ourselves.

Challenge #21-Do something for yourself today.  Take a bubble bath, get a pedicure, go to the movies, get takeout for dinner instead of cooking and cleaning up.

Yesterday, my wonderful mother kept the kids for most of the day and I was actually ALONE in my house.  I can count the times on one hand that I have been alone at home since I had children, and it was such  a blessing to me.  I turned some music up real loud and cleaned and ironed for a little while, then I sat down and watched TV.  It was exactly what I needed to recharge.

Something else that I love doing is working in my flowers.  During the summer, Jason will come home some days and he will take care of the kids while I just mess around in my garden, weeding and cutting and watering.  That is a really important time for me. I can’t wait until this winter is OVER!

 

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What do you do to recharge?  Spend today focusing a little on yourself.

31 Days Unplugged – Day 26 – Share Your Story

25 Mar

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I cannot believe that I am writing the post for Day 26 of this challenge.  I have been working on this for awhile, so the topic of unplugging has been a large part of my thoughts and my heart during the past couple of months.  When I began working on this project, I prayed (as I always do when I am working on a post) that my posts would reach the person that they were supposed to reach.  Whether they have or not, I don’t know, but I trust that they will!

…or maybe they were meant for ME!

Challenge #20 – Spend the day reflecting on the month of unplugging.  What has it meant to you and your life?  What has changed for you, your family, your home, and your work?  Write a few paragraphs describing what this challenge has done for you.

On the last day of 31 Days Unplugged, March 31st, I will be hosting a link-up on my blog for everyone to share their stories, good and bad.  I would love to hear from you about your successes and your failures, and who knows, maybe someone out there will be inspired by you!

If you aren’t a blogger, please e-mail your stories to me at mommyinbonlee@hotmail.com.  It would mean a lot to me, and I would love to share some of your testimonies on my blog throughout the month of April!

31 Days Unplugged – Day 25 – Working for God’s Glory

24 Mar

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If you know anything about me at all, you know that I am a stay-at-home-mom.  Since that is my life and it is what I know, that is the viewpoint with which I have approached this month of unplugging.  My sister pointed out to me that maybe I needed to keep people who work outside the home in mind, and then my Sunday school lesson last week directly addressed this problem, so I felt this post was meant to be!

According to Forbes, 64% of people spend time on non-work related websites while they are being paid to work.  That is almost unbelievable, isn’t it?

There are so many Bible verses that tell us that this is wrong:

Colossians 3:23 instructs is to “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

2 Thessalonians 3: 6-9 really lays it out for believers, saying “And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you.  We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you.  We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow.”

It is not right to waste our time at work, guys, for a couple of reasons. First, it is a bad example to unbelievers.  God has placed us in whatever position we are in at the moment for a specific reason, and we need to always be aware of that. We need to always work for God’s glory.

Secondly, when we are at work, we are being paid to work.  Even if you aren’t being held accountable to the person who is paying you, you will be held accountable by God.

Challenge #19 – When you are on the clock at work, do not look at any websites that are not work-related.  Don’t do any online shopping, return a Facebook message, or quickly check your Twitter feed.  

While I won’t be personally completing this challenge (since I obviously don’t work outside of the home) I know that this will be really difficult, especially if you are in the habit of spending a lot of time online at your job.  I know that you will find it beneficial in the end, though.

Let me know how it goes!

 

31 Days Unplugged – Day 24

23 Mar

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My friend Lindsay from Domesticated Working Woman is guest posting for me today!  She is an awesome new mommy who lives close by and has a wonderful perspective on unplugging.

Living in the south I never thought I would experience an ice storm.  Boy, was I wrong.  And, with that ice storm came fallen trees, downed telephone poles, and a loss of power for four whole days.

Having an infant, I immediately started stressing…

How will I pump?

How will I warm a bottle?

How will I keep him warm?

Then I started to think about what Mary did.  She certainly didn’t have a pump or bottle warmer or furnace to care for baby Jesus.

Admittedly, I spend a lot of time on social media now that I am home all day with my little boy.  I take pictures and upload them to Facebook and Instagram.  I read through Facebook and Twitter when up in the middle of the night feeding him.  Ironically, these things were not my concern when the power went out.  Going without them did not kill me or even hurt me a little bit…

It did put some things into perspective though.

The time that I’m spending editing and posting pictures, is time I could be soaking in with my little man.

Rather than focusing on capturing the right angle, I should be focusing on the way he kicks and stretches when I lay him on the changing table, the sound of his laugh, the way his eyes light up when I tickle his tummy.  Those are the things I don’t want to forget.

I spend so much time looking at him through my camera lens and I need to spend more time just looking at him and soaking it in.

I’m grateful for technology.  It allows me to share images and videos with family that are far away.  I can capture moments so that years from now we can relive them.  But, it can be distracting.

Since being forced to unplug, I have made an effort to leave my phone and iPad outside the nursery door.  When I’m up in the middle of the night (which is rare now) I look and listen and embrace my little boy rather than read up on the latest news or celebrity story.  Rather than video taping every tummy time session, I get on my tummy and just get down to his level and observe.  I’m thankful for the things that making taking care of him more convenient for me.

There are so many little moments that we miss when we have our eyes on our plug-ins.

I don’t want to miss them.  I want all of them stored in the original harddrive God gave me; my memory.  Years from now when I’m old and my eyes have failed me, I will have those memories.

Psalms 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

 


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31 Days Unplugged – Day 23 – Being Held Accountable

22 Mar

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Challenge #18 – Memorize and meditate on Hebrews 4:13.

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31 Days Unplugged – Day 22 – A Little Encouragement for YOU!

21 Mar

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We are in the home stretch, guys!  I just want to offer a little encouragement to you today.

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As I have had more time in my days (and have had to go without Instagram, which I LOVE), I have been using my camera more and more.  I snapped this picture of a little trinket that I keep on my nightstand.  It is really inspiring to me and hope that it is to you, too!

31 Days Unplugged – Day 21 – To My Blogging Friends

20 Mar

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At this point in the 31 Days Unplugged Challenge, we have cut down our use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and I am including Pinterest) to 25 minutes or less a day.  We have deleted time-wasting games from our phones and computers.  We have cut our time watching television in half, and we are paying attention to how our family uses technology and hopefully cutting them back, also. We are spending more time in prayer and studying God’s word, we are enjoying meals with our family, and we are helping other people.  We are doing CRAZY things like reading books, memorizing scripture, and giving our family unstructured time each day.

Today, I would like to address an area that may not apply to everyone. This post is for my blogger friends.

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As a blogger, I know how it can become an obsession.  It can take up a lot of our time to get that perfect header and the perfect picture with the perfect caption. This month and last month for me, especially, I personally have spent a lot of time on my blog.  It takes a lot of work to post every day, after all. Kind of goes against my whole unplugged idea, doesn’t it?

One thing I love about blogging is the creative aspect of it.  I love taking pictures and writing, so this is the perfect outlet for me.  I also really enjoy reading other blogs and the whole community of bloggers that is formed. I have made some good friends through my blog.

However, I realize the need to rein in the amount of time I spend on my blog, and that I need to be careful to not let it take up the time I am saving during the day.

Challenge #17-If you have a blog, document throughout several days how much time you spend on your blog and cut back on the time you are dedicating to it.  Do you check your stats a million times a day?  Do you perhaps post too often?  Maybe you can schedule posts in advance to save yourself some time during the day?

I truly believe that blogs are a good thing that can be used for forming community, for helping people, and for spreading the love of Jesus, but they (not unlike any form of social media) can also be time wasters.

31 Days Unplugged – Day 20 – Our Nighttime Routines

19 Mar

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Haven’t we drastically changed our daily routines and habits so far this month?  Spending my days unplugged has really made a difference in my life and my home.

One thing that I haven’t changed so far, or asked you to change, is my nighttime routine.  In the beginning, I was spending a lot of time online at nighttime, quickly scrolling through Facebook and snapping pictures with Instagram.  I was like a crazy person in front of the computer!  I could probably be compared to a person opening a bag of chips and stuffing their face after a day of fasting.

I realized after a couple of nights of this how wasteful this was of me.  I was neglecting my husband and my children, and also losing valuable time with God.  I also saw that there was really nothing on Facebook or Instagram that I wanted to see. So, after I thought about this a bit, my nighttime bingeing routine quickly changed.

I could never totally give up Facebook.  When I do check Facebook for a few minutes at nighttime, I usually do have a message that needs to be returned.  I manage a page for this blog as well as my husband’s business page, and those things have to be tended to.  I can see the need for Facebook and think it would be unrealistic to give it up completely.  However, it isn’t something that should rule my life or my time.

I will remind you of the first Bible verse that we memorized, which I have repeated over and over to myself throughout the month:

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Challenge #16 – When you check your social media sources at nighttime, allow yourself only 15 minutes.  Set a timer if you need to, and spend the rest of your night doing something more meaningful.  

For some, this might mean spending time reading, doing some housework, watching a movie with your spouse, going for a nice walk, or playing a game with your kids.  The possibilities are endless!  Good luck!

31 Days Unplugged – Day 19 – Random Acts of Kindness

18 Mar

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As I have found a bit more time in my schedule, it has been on my heart to do more for other people.  Jesus commanded us before He ascended to Heaven to love one another, and it is a very serious command.  If we all just loved one another the way that Christ loves us, the world would be a much better place, wouldn’t it?

One way that today’s Christians can demonstrate Christ’s love for us is through small acts of giving.  Showing kindness towards a person (whether you know them or not, whether they are a believer or not, whether you feel they deserve it or not) is not only good for the person on the receiving end, but the giver as well. Plus, Jesus told us that we should love everyone, so we should.

 

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Challenge #15 – This week, and every week, perform one random act of kindness.

Don’t know what to do as a random act of kindness?  Here are some ideas:

1. Bake some cookies and take them to your neighbors.

2. Pay for a cup of coffee for someone in McDonalds.

3. When you check out at the grocery story, buy a $5 gift card.  Hand it to someone in the parking lot.

4.  Offer to babysit for a young mother.

5.  Get up early and make a cup of coffee for your husband or wife.  Take it to them in bed.

6.  Make dinner for someone in your community who is sick.

7.  Hold a door open for someone.

8.  Tell someone they look nice today.

9.  Send a letter or card to someone.

10.  Visit a nursing home.

 

You see, random acts of kindness can take some time, or no time.  They can cost as much money as you want to spend, or no money at all.  The great thing, though, is that so many people benefit from them.

If you need some more ideas, check out this page.  She has some really great suggestions!