Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Why I Gave up Facebook for Lent

I kind of observe Lent sporadically.  If I personally feel called or led to take something out of my life for the duration of Lent, I will.  However, I do not give something up during Lent just for the sake of giving something up.  I did that one year.  I chose chocolate, and I ended up feeling no different.  Yes, I made a sacrifice, but that's all it was and I don't know if it really pleased God any more that I decided not to eat chocolate for 40 days.

This year, I was sort of going in the same direction until I felt a tug at my heart that I needed a break from Facebook.  I have never felt this way about Facebook before, and I do not think the use of Facebook is a bad thing.  Yet, for some reason, in my life, it was something I needed to get away from for awhile.  I kid you not, every day, I would have a little nagging thought say, "You need to go away from Facebook for awhile." Then, one thing after another simply confirmed this decision.

First of all, my sister-in-law came down over the weekend and spent one night.  Then, both my mother-in-law and father-in-law came down the next day to pick her up.  Then, my husband and I went up to their house the following day.  Needless to say, I was hardly on Facebook at all, and I found myself feeling really GOOD and HAPPY! And I couldn't pinpoint if it was really getting away from Facebook or just having a good weekend (or maybe a combination of both) that brought such good feelings, but that started my leaning towards giving it up for Lent.  I figured if I was really being pulled to get away from it for a time, Lent is as good a time as any.

So, I prayed about it.  And just so that I will not be mistaken for being very pious, upright, or somehow extra devoted, I was more or less pulling a Jonah with Ninevah.  "God, really? Seriously? Facebook? What about giving up cupcakes? No? Are you sure you meant Facebook?  Okay Okay...please be patient with me but I am feeling extra dense (and stubborn) just make it really clear to me if this is what you want and I will do it." I was sort of trying to bargain maybe looking for another option.  But I don't think God could have made it any clearer to me than if He had sent a host of angels down from heaven proclaiming "Rebecca, you need to get away from Facebook!" Maybe it isn't that serious! lol But I couldn't believe how "coincidental" some things were.

First off, let me start off with the main thing that was troubling me.  I kept reading articles, wall posts, watching videos, reading shared blog posts, etc. that would end up getting me angry.  I was at the point where I was seriously SICK and TIRED of reading about parenting advice.  And with much of the stuff I was reading, I might as well just give up on Gordon Lee because things I do or do not do with him as a baby are SO critical and SO important just forget the rest of his life.  If I don't do things a certain way with him as a baby he is just DOOMED.  Yes, that's how this stuff was coming across and I was seriously DONE with it.  I see no point in being so serious about things.  Sometimes I let him cry, and if somebody wants to call that child abuse, then okay.  Expending my energy constantly to keep him from crying raises my frustration level to dangerous proportions.  So, if he won't settle, I set him in his crib and I walk away to get myself together.  Crying is not going to kill him and throw his brain so off kilter that he will be damaged forever.  But I was constantly seeing stuff that led to that.   I was so tired of reading about how doing this or not doing that will have such and such an impact.  If we can construct our lives in such a way to be and raise perfect human beings by our actions, then we have no need for Jesus.

So, that was upsetting me and I somehow just kept being exposed to it again and again through Facebook.  Nobody was forcing me to read this stuff, but I just felt I needed to remove the temptation entirely.  And no, getting away from Facebook will not make it all just go away, but I discovered that was the main source of where I was reading this stuff.  So that was the start.  After prayer, I found that every time I logged onto Facebook the top story was either a group I was apart of or somebody I know sharing information on what to do or not do with a baby.  Then TODAY Moms shared an article about people ending friendships because they had differing parenting views and I felt, "I just need to get away from all of this..just all of it."  Once that decision was made, verse after verse from the Bible came into my head to confirm it and my thinking started getting better.

The Bible warns us to stay away from divisive people.  Paul is constantly writing letters to churches telling them to stop their bickering and nitpicking. And there are other such instances where it is very clear that we are prone to picking at each other and that is not what God wants.  Titus 3:9-10 says, "Avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them."  I feel so run down and worn out when I read or hear about trivial nonsense that doesn't impact our eternity or that of our children, and these are things that drive people apart.  And they simply shouldn't.  

God makes it clear what he wants..."Love the Lord your God with all your heart, strength, soul and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself." And Micah 6:8 says, "He has shown you, oh man, what is good and what the Lord desires of you.  To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." And as soon as I made the decision to cut out Facebook all of my frustration started to go away.  My muddled thinking started getting clearer and I felt a true sense of peace.  Maybe God wants me to get away from it so I don't judge others.  Maybe it is so that I can focus on the things that truly matter in life loving God, loving my husband, loving my son, loving my other friends and family and being happy and a source of encouragement when necessary...not getting angry about views on parenting and supposed "research" that doesn't matter in the end.

And, when I said to God, "What about sharing pictures and updates of Gordon Lee?" It became very clear to me that I can easily use my blog for that.

And I will! I will come back on here with any pictures and updates I have.  Currently, my camera batteries are dead, but I plan on getting that fixed very soon.  Take Care Everyone! I hope to learn a lot from the Lord during this time!