Archive | God RSS feed for this section

31 Days unplugged – Day 12 – A Word About Pinterest…

11 Mar

images

When Pinterest entered my life a couple of years ago, it was a dream come true for me.  What a great idea-a place to house all of the crafty DIY’s and recipes and home decor ideas that I found online.  I spent hours, DAYS of my life scrolling and pinning and scrolling and pinning.  What was even better-all of my friends were doing it, too!  It was like a never-ending craft-fest!

Now, I wasn’t one of those people who pinned and pinned and never used any of the cool ideas.  I found tons of  crafts to do with the kids and new recipes to try out.  Pinterest has been very inspiring to me over the years.

I started to notice, though, that all of the things I was being inspired to do was stressing me out a little.  The kids can only do so many crafts, and Jason is only willing to try out so many new recipes (a good many of which were flops) before he longs for a good old-fashioned hamburger or plate of spaghetti.  In my quest to create the Martha Stewart-like home that is emulated so much on Pinterest, I was becoming a little crazy.  Plus, I was wasting a lot of time at night (time I should have been spending with my husband when the kids were in bed) looking at Pinterest until my eyes were burning and watering.

Pinterest put an unnecessary burden on me and my family.  It has a wonderful place in our lives, a place where I can store and organize good recipes and nice activities for the kids, but I realized that it should not be a form of entertainment for me.  It places unnecessary stresses on me to be something I just am not.

I have a long Bible passage for you to read today.  It is about a woman who would have loved Pinterest, I am sure!  What I love about the Proverbs 31 woman is that she knew how to balance it all, and that is what we all have to find: balance.  Most importantly, she put the Lord first, and because of that everyone around her flourished as well.

10Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
11Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.
14She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.
15She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
16She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.
18She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
her lamp burns late into the night.
19Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.
20She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
21She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm clothes.
22She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23Her husband is well known at the city gates,
where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24She makes belted linen garments
and sashes to sell to the merchants.
25She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
28Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29“There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”
30Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
Proverbs 31: 10-31
Challenge #9 – If you are a Pinterest-fan, examine its role in your life.  Is the time you spend on Pinterest useful to your life?  How can you better spend that time?  Limit your time on Pinterest to 10 minutes a day and delete the app from your cell phone so it isn’t as much of a temptation.  (Don’t worry-all of your great recipes will still be on the Pinterest website!)

31 Days Unplugged – Day 11 – The Witching Hour

10 Mar

images

We have made so much progress over the last week-and-a-half!  I hope that, like me, you are finding it easier to go through the day without the distraction of social media, games, etc.

There is one particular time of day I would like to address, a time that I have always referred to as the witching hour. After talking with other stay-at-home-moms, I know that this is a problem for most of us.  I am sure that for those of you who work outside of the home, you also have this struggle. I know I did when I was teaching.

The witching hour is the hour or two in the afternoon that is simply difficult to get through.  I get tired and sluggish, easily bored, and just can’t focus on anything well.  You know, when you feel like this:

Need a nap, anyone?

Need a nap, anyone?

For me, this usually occurs anytime from 2:00-4:00 in the afternoon.

It is during this time that I would usually zone out on my phone or computer.  The kids are napping or resting, and what should be a productive time for me turns into a wasted time period.

Now that we aren’t turning to our electronic devices for entertainment, how can we get through the witching hour and make better use of our time?

Here are some suggestions.  These are things that I have found helpful as a stay-at-home mom.  They will have to be tailored according to your circumstances:

1.  Get outside.  Play tag or kickball, go for a walk, or work in the garden.  The kids and I love riding our golf cart around the yard (I’m sure people think we’re crazy.)!

2.  Do something easy on your to-do list.  This will make you feel accomplished and make you want to continue on.

3.  Take a quick nap.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  Cuddle with the kids. (But be careful-I know that if I nap for more than 15-20 minutes, it messes up my sleep that night.)

4.  Do some stretches.  I love doing this short yoga video that I posted on Saturday.

5.  Have some fun with the kids.  If you have more than one child, this can be valuable one-on-one time if some are napping and others aren’t.  Get out the play-dough or bake something simple.  *I know for me, the witching hour is not a good time to read books or put together puzzles or try to teach the kids something-I just don’t have enough energy or patience!*

The kids and I made some cheerios bars during the witching hour today!

The kids and I made some cheerio bars during the witching hour today!

Maddie loved them!

Maddie loved them!

 

6. Put on some make-up.  For some stay-at-home-moms, it is hard to even get a shower, much less put on make-up!  However, it instantly makes me feel better and gives me a little boost.

7.  Dance.  I am so glad that no one is videotaping me during the witching hour!  The kids and I love dancing around the kitchen.  Our current song of choice is Pharrell’s “Happy”.

Basically, anything you can do to get up and move during this time is good.  We have to work to create new habits in our daily routines. If you are struggling, remember to go to God!  If you pray for energy and persistence, He will help you.  

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

Click here for the recipe for the Cheerios bars!

31 Days Unplugged – Day 9

8 Mar

images

If you haven’t noticed, every Sunday during the 31 Days Unplugged challenge we will be memorizing scripture.  This is a way to keep us focused on our ultimate goal-to live our lives as God wants us to!

Challenge #8-Memorize 1 John 5:22

1 John 5:21

What an important reminder to guard our hearts and minds. Have a great Sunday, everyone!

31 Days Unplugged – Day 7 – Question Your Motives

6 Mar

images

We have done so much this week, haven’t we?  We have almost cut off our use of social media, we have deleted other time-wasters from our phones and computers, we have memorized scripture, and we have found some better ways to use our time.  If you have had some moments where you have given in and checked Facebook really quickly or snapped a quick picture of the kids on Instagram (I know, they’re cute!!!), I urge you to continue forward.  We all have our weak moments, and forming new habits is hard!

Paul urges us in Philippians 3:12-14 to push on:

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Today’s challenge is designed to help you continue on in those weak moments.

Challenge #6- Question your motives.  When you get the urge to zone out online, what are you feeling?  Are you bored, hungry, angry?  Is there a certain time of day you are most tempted? Do certain events make you want to pick up your phone or sit down with your laptop and push the real world to the back burner?

I know that I tend to go mindlessly online when I am bored.  I am a stay-at-home-mom, and Facebook and Instagram are forms of entertainment when I get tired of talking to a 3 and 4 year old.

After you think about your motives, do something to change your habits.  Realizing that I turn to social media when I am bored, I need to come up with other things to do instead: read to the kids, organize a closet or cabinet, go to the park, call a friend, etc.

When do you turn to social media or other forms of online entertainment?  What can you do about it?

I was happy to see that my devotion this morning on She Reads Truth dealt with this very issue!  Go to today’s devotion to read a great in-depth devotion on this topic.  It really hits the nail on the head!

 

31 Days Unplugged – Day 6 – Other Time Wasters

5 Mar

images

As you have spent less time wasting time on the Internet, do you find yourself looking to other sources of mindless entertainment to fill up that time?  It would be really easy to replace one bad habit with another, so today’s challenge meets that issue head-on.

Challenge # 5-Delete all games from your cell phone and computer. Candy Crush, Flappy Bird (or whatever it’s called :)), Angry Birds,  and anything else that you use as a boredom-fighter.  You will know what you need to do!

What?  Seriously?  I have devoted days of my life to reach level 165 on Candy Crush Saga!

Yes, I am serious!

Ephesians 5:16 tells us that we should be “making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

Is spending hours of your day playing a game that has no meaning whatsoever making the best use of time?  Time that has been given to us by God?

I don’t think so, and you probably don’t, either.

This is a tough one for a lot of people, so you will be in my prayers today!

31 Days Unplugged – Day 5 – What to do with all that time?

4 Mar

images

Welcome back!  We are on day 5 of the 31 Days Unplugged challenge.  At this point, we have unplugged from all forms of social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) during the day.  We are still using these things after the sun goes down, but we are dedicating our days to God and enjoying the abundant life he has promised to us.

If you’re like me, you are finding yourself with some extra time on your hands.  By cutting down on time in front of the computer or staring mindlessly at my cell phone, I have lots of time to do other things, even some things I have been putting off by saying I just didn’t have time to get to it.

Throughout the month, I (and some great guest-bloggers) am going to be giving you some inspiration for things to do to fill up the time that you will inevitably find throughout your day.

Challenge #4-Do something you have been putting off for awhile.  This could be cleaning or organizing, calling someone, writing thank you notes, ironing clothes, whatever it is you have been procrastinating.  You know, the thing you think about every day, but never seem to get done?

I have been wanting to organize my jewelry box for weeks, ever since I got a wonderful new (to me) jewelry box that was my grandma’s.  I have been keeping my jewelry stuffed in a drawer in our bedroom, and it was so messy that I could hardly open the drawer, and a lot of my jewelry was turning into a tangled mess.  I didn’t even want to wear any of my jewelry because it was such a hassle to get to it!

This is my messy drawer full of jewelry...

This is my messy drawer full of jewelry…

...and my beautiful, organized jewelry box!

…and my beautiful, organized jewelry box!

I feel so great having this done, and all I had to do was take 15 minutes I would have otherwise wasted scrolling through Facebook.

Ephesians 5: 15-16 says “So be careful how you live.  Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.”

So let’s spend our new found-time wisely!

31 Days Unplugged Day 3

2 Mar

images

I have a new challenge for you today. It is a tough one, but totally worth it.  I think you will find that it will add so much meaning to your entire day!

At this point, we have cut out social media during our day and replaced it with prayer time.  Now, we are going to take it to another level. If you’re like me, you are rushing to check Facebook and Instagram before the sun rises in the morning!

Challenge #3-Do not use any form of social media (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) in the morning.  Instead, establish a routine of spending your mornings with God by completing a daily devotion of some sort.

When I cut social media out of my morning routine, I found that my days began much more peacefully, and the entire household ran more smoothly.  I am no longer trying to scroll through my news feeds while brushing my teeth, fixing coffee and juice, getting morning cartoons going, etc.

I now treasure my mornings, and actually look forward to getting up early to spend some quiet time with God then watch the news with my husband.

I have some great suggestions for you if you are looking for a good resource for devotions.  My favorite is She Reads Truth.  This is a wonderful community of women offering daily devotions and conversation.  They dig deep into the word, which I appreciate.

Another wonderful resource is You Version.  You can choose from hundreds of different devotions to complete, so you can find one that is just right for you.

I have recently discovered Biblia, a great online Bible.  I love it because it accesses a good online commentary.

If you would rather have a book to hold in your hand (or if it’s too tempting to have your cell phone or computer out), you can head to any bookstore or even Wal-Mart and pick something up.  Your local library probably has something, as well.  The amount of Christian resources available is almost overwhelming!

1 John 5:21 warns, “…keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”  What better way to follow this instruction than to begin our days in fellowship with God, instead of with something that has no meaning whatsoever?

See you tomorrow!

31 Days Unplugged – Day 2 – Let’s Live Abundantly

1 Mar

images

Well, we did it!  We went through one entire day, from sun-up to sun-down, without using social media.  I hope that you found it to be as uplifting as I did.  It is not easy, but spending that extra time with God made it worth it.  

I would love to hear about your experiences yesterday-please leave a comment below letting me know how yesterday went for you!

For today’s challenge, in addition to continuing without social media from sun-up to sundown, I would like for us all to memorize a piece of scripture that means so much to me when I feel tempted to give in and waste my precious, God-given time.

1abackbluelacey3col

Abundant is defined as “present in great quantity, more than adequate, over-sufficient, well supplied, abounding, or richly supplied.”  I don’t know about you, but that is the kind of life I want!  I don’t want to be satisfied with an adequate or sufficient life, I want an abundant life!

…and God wants that for us, too.

All we have to do, guys, is stop giving in to the thief that is coming to destroy that abundant life.

Challenge #2    I challenge you to memorize John 10:10 today.  Write it down on post-its and put them around the house in places that catch your eye.  Be sure to put one of those post-its on your computer.  When you are tempted to quickly check Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, say this verse to yourself and imagine what God wants for you.  

Have a great, abundant day!

31 Days Unplugged-Day 1

28 Feb

images

Thank you for joining me today for the first day of my 31 Days Unplugged challenge!  Remember to grab the button to the side and add it to your blog if you are joining us for the challenge!

How much time do you waste on the Internet? I am not talking about checking e-mail for work or working on an online class or finding a recipe or anything like that.  I mean how much time do you waste on things that have no real benefit to your life? Time that could be better spent elsewhere?

Do you pick up your phone every time you walk past it to check the Facebook feed?  Do you spend more time trying to get the perfect picture of your kids for Instagram than you actually spend playing with your kids? Do you play Candy Crush at the dinner table?

Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”

Life is short, guys.  We need to spend it on things that matter.  God has a purpose for each of us, and we don’t need to get distracted from that purpose. Let’s reclaim that time that we are wasting and use it to fulfill our calling.

Challenge #1-From sun up to sun down, for the entire month of March, do not use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter (or any other form of social media that you are feeling convicted about).  Instead, during the times when you would normally use these forms of social media, I ask you to pray.  When you think about picking up your cell phone or opening up the laptop, spend that time with God. These prayers may lost only a few seconds.  Ask God for strength and knowledge and peace, and for direction in how you spend this time that you are reclaiming. Pray for the other people that are joining you in this challenge, as well.

Good luck, everyone!

31 Days Unplugged-Let’s Do It!

26 Feb

images

I spend a lot of time on the internet.  I am addicted to Facebook, probably Instagram, too, and I love to read blogs.  I do have a Twitter account, but thankfully I can’t quite figure out how to use it, so I don’t spend too much time on that at this point.

Don’t judge me.  I am a stay-at-home mom, and I get bored sometimes.  I enjoy the adult interaction that the internet affords me.  Anyway, don’t act like you aren’t on Facebook all day, too.  I see you on there.

All jokes aside, though, I do recognize that this is a problem.  My children are growing up so fast, and I don’t want to waste a minute.   I don’t want to be crabby when they interrupt me when I am reading my “friend’s” latest rant or the funny meme someone just shared.  I want to be present in my life, not my “friend’s” made-up online life (let’s be honest, what we put out there is not who we really are).

Have you noticed all of the things circulating on Facebook and other forms of social media that are basically telling people to get off of the Internet and spend time with REAL people?

This one is fairly popular:

And here’s another:

There are tons of videos out there, urging us to cut down our time on the phone and computer.  There are inspirational blogs and quotes and pictures of kids being ignored by parents on cell phones.  Isn’t it ironic that the message to unplug is so prominent on social media?

The real question is this: when are we going to listen? How much of our life are we going to waste before we act? I say no more.

Ephesians 5: 16-17 says, “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”

Are we making the most of the time that God is giving us?  Are we neglecting the things that God has given us to do, so we can spend our precious minutes scrolling mindlessly through the newsfeed?

I truly believe that we are being distracted from the work that God intends us to do for Him, and it is time to do something about it.  

“For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.  But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”   James 1:23-25

Let’s listen and obey.

Throughout the month of March, for 31 days, I am going to challenge you to unplug, to spend your time in your real life with your real people.  Every day I will have a new post on the topic of unplugging.  Sometimes it will be a new challenge for you, sometimes I will offer suggestions for things to do to fill up the time you will inevitably find, and on some days I will have guest bloggers sharing their stories of inspiration.

When I mentioned to a few friends and family members wheat I was planning, they pointed out the hypocrisy of my 31 Days Unplugged challenge.  I am trying to encourage people to read my blog so they can be encouraged to spend less time on the internet?  For that reason, I will keep most of my posts short and simple, and I will release them at 9:00 every night.  That way, you can spend only a few minutes reading my blog, and you can read it when it best fits into your schedule.

So let’s do it.

Join me on March 1st for the first day of 31 Days Unplugged, and your first challenge!

**Some housekeeping notes:  If you are joining me on this challenge, please grab my 31 Days Unplugged button and share it on your blog if you have one.  

I would love to hear from everyone about your experiences throughout the month!  Feel free to comment on Mommy in Bonlee’s Facebook page, or in the comments section of the blog.  I would love to hear from you and someone may be encouraged from your story.  Please remember that I will be participating in the challenge, also, so I may be slow getting back to you!

On March 31st I will be holding a link-up to share everyone’s stories of being unplugged, so please link-up your blog on that day!