Take Time to Get Lost in Your Thoughts!

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Sometimes I am amazed at how much technology we have available to us.  The possibilities are endless with social media, on-line news, shopping, games, e-books, Pinterest,  and blogs. We have many ways to communicate via the internet through modes such as e-mail, FaceTime or instant messaging.  Not to mention texting, tweeting and Instagram.  This list hits only the tip of the iceberg and I’m sure  more is coming our way.  If we let it, technology could literally consume our lives.

I do love many aspects of technology.  I have been able to re-connect with old friends and can share in the lives of family members that live across the country.  I love seeing the pictures of my friends and family and their children.  I also love being able to FaceTime with my niece and nephews who live far away.

At the risk of sounding like a “fuddy dud”, lately, I have found myself wondering when is it all too much?  I think that it is a personal decision for each individual, but I have been considering my own use of technology and wondering if I need to make a change.

I think some of my technology use has just become a habit. For instance, when I have a couple minutes to wait in a doctor’s office and I pull out my phone and mindlessly flip through social media or if I’m waiting for my daughter and I pull out my phone to check e-mail.  I am an avid reader, but have found technology slowly creeping in on my reading time.  I only have so many minutes before bed that I can actually stay awake and I find reading is being edged out.

Now if surfing social media and other sites is relaxing for you, I say go for it, but lately I have been finding myself feeling scattered and edgy.  Jules talked about being on “overload” in her last post and I’m wondering if technology overuse is contributing to my own feelings of being overwhelmed.  I don’t get the same feeling of peace from surfing the web as I do from reading a good book, crafting or spending time with my girls playing a game or just hanging out together.

The other thing that I find technology is robbing me of, is time to think.  Those moments I used to spend waiting in the car or in a doctor’s office used to allow me time to think and reflect.  In order to feel a sense of peace and calm, I need downtime to just think and reflect, anticipate and dream.  It is in those quiet moments that I may even hear the still small voice of God.

1 Kings 19:11-13 (KJV)

“11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?”

So lately, when I find myself with a few minutes of downtime, instead of reaching for my phone, I have been trying to spend that time just sitting quietly with my thoughts, looking around me, maybe even doing a little “people watching” (which is sometimes way more interesting than anything you would see on the internet!). After a few weeks of doing this, I have felt more in balance and have experienced a greater sense of peace in my daily life.  I want to be a good example to my girls, maybe if they see me stepping away from technology more often and taking some time to “think”, they will be inspired to do the same. We will be taking a family vacation this summer that will involve very little wifi/internet access.  I’m excited for this “forced” break from technology and have great hopes that we will all draw closer in our personal relationships and expand our thoughts and activities in tech -free ways. (I know, I know-I may be wishing for that technology after lots of tech free days together!)  I have high hopes!

What do you think?  Have we lost the art of being alone with our thoughts, taking time to just be still?

Okay, I’m signing off to go do some thinking!

~Blessings,
Jen

 

Just “Say” It!

This weekend I attended a Memorial Service for my dear cousin Marilyn.  It was a difficult, but beautiful day where her memory was honored and friends and family gathered to say good-bye.  She was such an intelligent, graceful, kind woman and will be missed by all who knew her.

Her eulogy was filled with many details about her life and the wonderful woman she was.  As I was listening, a couple of things that were said stayed in my mind well beyond the Memorial Service.  One thing her daughter shared was that her Mom always said you should say nice things to and about people while they are alive and not save them for their funeral.  What words of wisdom! How often do we think about making that phone call, writing that e-mail or letter or paying someone a visit and then never do it because “life” gets in the way.  What are we so busy doing that we miss these opportunities to express our love and admiration for others?   I suspect no one would ever regret taking the time to say something nice to another person.  I personally struggle with slowing down and consciously making an effort to do this.  I want to try to live by Marilyn’s words and “just say it”, whether  it is  through a phone call, an e-mail or a personal visit.

Another thing that was shared about Marilyn was her ability to really make people feel special and listened to when they talked with her.  My Little One had only met her a couple of times and when she heard of her death, she knew exactly who I was talking about and was very sad.  You see, although they had only spent a small amount of time together, Marilyn made my Little One feel special and loved just by taking the time to listen to her.  What a special and unique quality and one that I would like to emulate in my own life.  What a gift to stop and really listen when someone is talking, to make that person feel special and heard.

My cousin Marilyn loved the Lord and has moved on from this world to her heavenly home.  She has left a legacy of love and wisdom and I am so blessed to have known her.

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~Blessings,

Jen