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

 

For the Love of Technology!!

 

facetimeLast week I wrote about the importance of keeping the letter alive. Today I want to flip things around and share what I love so much about modern technology. My twin grandchildren were born in Atlanta, Georgia about 2 weeks ago. Still in the nic unit but doing well. During her labor, and birth and afterwards, my son-in-law kept us updated with texts. Pictures have followed and he has been so good about sending daily pictures. There is a very wonderful thing called Face Time if you are an apple owner. This has allowed me to talk face to face with my daughter and to see the babies “in person.” As I looked back over the dialog of texts during this time I found it so precious. I have saved them all to print out to have as a record of this exciting event.

Moving on to Facebook….I really believe Facebook should just be for adults, not children. Facebook has allowed me to connect with cousins I hadn’t seen for years. Following their families lives through pictures and messages makes them feel closer. We have our own private family page that only our family can access that lets us communicate with each other on things that may be more personal. I love it for this reason.

So, while I still believe letters are a wonderful thing, I’m not so sure I could ever live without this technology. To have had to wait for pictures to come in the mail of my grandchildren…well that would have been a LONG wait!!

TwinsThank you text messaging for this picture!!

So, what do you like/dislike about technology? Please share!!

Peace,

Julie

Oh Mr. Postman…….

letters

Remember when we used to send and receive real letters? I honestly can’t say when the last time is that I sent a letter to someone or received a letter from someone! I was going through a closet with some of my daughters stuff and found an old can with letters my sister (Jen) had sent her when she was out of state with her military husband. She has kept them all these years because they were important. My mother in law talks of writing every day to her husband who was stationed in Korea. I wonder if she kept them. When I was a kid I remember going upstairs in my grandpa’s house to cut the stamps off of the letters my dad had sent from Korea. At that age I had no interest what was in them…I would give anything today to have the opportunity to read them. I remember after visiting my cousin in California when I was about 10 we would write back and forth for awhile. I think I even had a few pen pals. I don’t think kids today would even know what that is. I take that back, they talk to people all over the world through gaming systems and consider them friends. I am not convinced this is the same.

I think as a society we have become to used to email, Facebook and text messaging. But really, I think there is nothing as special and intimate as a hand written letter. I am as guilty as anyone, and I’m not knocking any of those other modes of communication; they have all let me connect with old friends and family members. But, a letter, maybe we should reconsider this. After all, how many emails, texts or Facebook chats have your folded up and put in a can??

A love letter to someone you love…who wouldn’t like to get that. It is pretty special to know someone actually took the time to sit down and write you. So I challenge you to think…is a handwritten letter important, or is it something that we let fade into the past? Let me know what you think.

Peace,

Julie

A Love Story

I know some of you are familiar with the Tripp Halstead story. I have been following it on Facebook for a very long time now. This is the story of a beautiful little boy and the never ending love and commitment of his parents.

love Tripp Halstead story baby

Almost a year ago on October 29, Tripp was playing on the playground at daycare and a huge limb fell out of a very high tree. It fell on his head and crushed his skull into many pieces. They took him to Winder-Barrow hospital and then flew him to Egleston Childrens hospital in Atlanta.

This is an excerpt from their website teamboom: (http://www.teamboom4tripp.com/#!our-story/c7h5) As soon as we got there, they let us see him. He looked perfect. No blood, no cuts, he looked so peaceful. Then the Dr started telling us how bad it was, and it took me some time to realize they were saying he could die. It was a slice to my heart and soul. So the next few hours after that were a total blur. When I dropped my happy, perfect boy off at daycare that morning, it might of been the last time I saw his smile or his eyes open or him awake. I will never take another day with my baby for granted. [Read more…]