Friday, March 16, 2012

Giving God My "Status Update"

It wasn't until I reached the halfway mark in this Lent process that I realized that I gave up the wrong thing.  I'm currently fasting from "fast food", and as it seemed like a rational, healthy choice at the time, I've since realized that I took the easy road. I think the whole point of Lent is to bring someone closer to God through the fasting process. I wrestled with a number of things that I could give up before I settled on one.  But that was the problem. I settled on something I could give up and not something I should give up.  Don't get me wrong. I'm ridiculously addicted to fast food. I could eat some form of drive-through, processed, goodness 3 times a day. The more fattening the better! Greasy fries. . .heaven; hamburgers with three layers of cheese. . .amazing; tacos dripping in sour cream and guac. . .bring it on. So believe me when I tell you that sacrificing this addiction for 45 days seemed to be just the ticket. It's not been easy. Proudly, I've only had one minor hiccup involving a soft taco that my son couldn't finish one afternoon.  And just between you and me, it was cold, lacked the good toppings, and I was only tasting it because he had screamed that it was "poisonous yuck".  I couldn't have my toddler dying on me, so I took one for the team and deemed it fit to eat.

But in the grand scheme of things, I didn't give up the thing that would be the hardest for me; the most sacrificial.  Because let's face it. . .Facebook is my lifeline. It's my outlet. My escape. It's the one avenue that I have in which to keep up with the world around me. Most days I'm stuck in a house with two toddlers whose conversations unceasingly revert to superheroes and ninjas. The prospect of some adult interaction sounds marvelous, and pertinant to my overall sanity. Social media is God's greatest gift to me (outside of the obvious gift of my Savior and kids and husband and whatnot).  Granted, I spend an ENORMOUS amount of time there, sharing life with my friends and family and keeping up with the happenings and drama of every last person I know. But it can be a complete "time-suck".  It's been the thing that keeps me from spending time reading to my son.  It's been known to steal quality time away from my husband.  It's the culprit in many a wasted day when  I could have been investing in my tangible relationships. It's just become my greatest hobby, closest friend, and worst addiction for over 3 years now. That may sound silly, but it's the truth.  I have a feeling a lot of you can relate.

So I gave it up. Let me just tell you that it's only been three days and I am having severe withdrawls. I'm dying to know what all my girlfriends thought about the Bachelor finale.  I'm getting the shakes without my morning "fix" of coffee and facebook encouragement to start my day. As pathetic as it sounds, it's the first thing that I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think to check before I go to bed. Without it, I'm sort of walking around lost.  I know that it's sad that something so ridiculous has made it's way into my life and taken up such a residency that I almost don't know how to function without it.  Take yesterday, for example. I woke up to a toddler asleep in the floor instead of his brand-spanking new bunkbed. He looked so adorable lying there under his bed that I immediately thought to take a photo and post it on FB with the caption: My new bed is too soft-First World  Problems. But I can't. Because God has called me to give it up. So I moved on with my day. I finished reading "Kisses for Katie" and thought I should share a recommendation for it, as well as some awesome quotes from the book with all my friends online. It truly inspired me and I wanted to write a post about it.  But I can't. Because I'm fasting from facebook.  Mr. Grouchy Pants got home from preK with a headache and began crying incessantly so we took him to the after-hours pediatrician. Ear-Infection From Hell, apparently. At least that's what the doctor said and I thought her profanity was facebook worthy. . .but, nada. No posting.  The fact was that my baby was feeling terrible and I would've loved the prayers of others right then.  But God is saying no for now.

It wasn't until I woke up this morning with practically no voice that I really understood what God was calling me to during this added fast from Facebook.  I've been battling the achiness and the sore throat for the past few days, but it really seemed to rear it's ugly head today and I sat there thinking, "Without a voice, how will I handle today? Who's going to be the one to yell and scream at my family today?"  Seemed funny, but pretty accurate.  I'm sure they have all realized that things have been a bit quieter this evening. But in my quietness, and my inability to tell the world how "poopy" I felt, God spoke to me.


I realized that it's not as necessary for me to share my feeling online as it is necessary that I share them with God.  I recognized that He had become a second and sometimes third source of affirmation and comfort. Not the first. I was valuing how everyone else saw my life as it happened more than I prioritized telling Him about every little detail about my day. I changed my perspective today.  I saw God as a jealous God. As a friend who has been hurt time and time again by my inconsideration to let Him into the everyday of my life. He wants me to tell Him how poopy" I feel and how I miss my voice. He wants to know that Grouch is hurting and needs a speedy recovery from the Ear Infection From Hell.  He wants to be thanked for the inspiration that I read in a book or for the special moments that I share looking at my sleeping baby on the floor. He wants to be the first thing that I think about in the morning and the last thing that I think about before I go to sleep. He wants communication. He wants friendship. He wants ME.  And He wants me to stop giving it away to people who don't care as much as He does.

I share this with you all because I think a lot of times, we get caught up in the need for connection.  The need for communication.  The need to find others out there who are interested in our lives and the details of who we are. We find that connection, quite frequently through social media. Its a marvelous invention! It's been one of the the highlights of my life, to date! But it can also create in us unhealthy addictions, like it has in my life. It can occupy so much of our lives that we are no longer "present" in the here and now.  We are more caught up in "checking in" where ever we may be, taking pictures to post online for others to witness what we are experiencing, and trying to fit our amazing lives into a fitly-spoken status update. All the while, we are missing out on life and giving the best parts of us away.  God wants my "status updates". He wants yours. He wants us to truly LIVE and share it with him in the most amazing way--communication.  He designed us to have that need for connection.  Because we are supposed to find that first in Him, and then with others.  He has put that desire for intimacy and communication in us because He wants us to tell Him about every little boring detail of our day. Every little thing that we would normally save for our next "status update".

I'm fasting from Facebook.  A number of people, knowing that I spend my entire existence there have asked WHY.  There you have it. For the next 30 days, I will be giving God my "status updates". He appreciates them way more than all my facebook friends, I'm sure! In the process, I'm learning a lot about communication and just how much of an intimate relationship the God of the Universe wants with me.  I hope, that before you post that next status update, you'll take a moment, and let God know what's on your mind first. I know He'll "Like" having shared even one moment of your life with you.


  1. I needed this today! Thank you for the gentle reminder to put God first, not last where He seems to slip so often.

  2. I gave up facebook and twitter for lent too. I can definitely relate with this post. Also, God is loosening my tight hold on what I think I want. He is teaching me that living for the word gets you no where, and FB is a feeder of my worldly vision. Thanks for posting this, it was awesome.

  3. Thank you JessB for commenting. I'm learning that too, although I admit, I miss FB. I know this time has given me more moments with God and my family, but I feel like I've lost touch with society. Maybe that's a good thing. I know I gave it up for a reason.