Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My Relationship With the Computer



Relationship according to dictionary.com is: a connection, association, or involvement.

I don't know about you but I think I am too connected, too associated and too involved with my computer and not connected enough, associating enough or involved enough with my children, my home, my husband... my REAL LIFE.  

I have a burden for women and found facebook to be a great place to minister to them... but I was finding that my ministry to them was taking place over my ministry at home. Let's just say ministry on the internet was becoming a distraction. 

Isn't it interesting that God instructs OLDER women to teach the younger women (Titus 2:4-5)? I am thinking more and more that God might mean older women with no children left in the home or much older children at home because 1) they are not needed as much in the home and 2) the older women are to be instructing and training the younger women to: "love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands..." That is all ministry that must happen or can happen IN THE HOME (without the help/need of the computer).

If younger women are busy on the computer all the time they don't love their husbands and children as they should, they don't work at home with all diligence keeping it orderly and clean as they should and maybe even their husbands are losing out because they are so distracted and consumed with social media/the internet.

The computer basically can pull us in so many directions and can actually take us away from our children even if they are in the same room as us. You know what I mean, the all too familiar situation when one of your children is trying to get your attention and you keep shooing them away because they are interfering with another facebook chat or when you don't hear them talking to you or trying to show you something because you are entranced with another blog post on how to love your children. 

I often think of my mom now that she has passed away and all I have is memories; they are like little snapshots/photos in my mind. This is what I see: I see her at the counter top eating her white rice with Tabasco sauce, or I see her walking past me as I lay lazily on the couch watching tv while she is carrying another load of laundry to her room to fold, or I see her cooking in the kitchen (my mom was known as an amazing cook) and sadly I see her mostly as a drunk drinking one glass of wine after another. Those are the images in my mind. I naturally now ponder how my children will remember me... what will be the snapshots in their minds when I go to be with the Lord? Will they think of me in the kitchen? Will they picture me doing laundry? I fear they will picture me on my laptop. That is what I am so convicted about. The computer can make you think you are building relationships while the most important ones are losing out. I want my children to picture me playing with them in the front yard. I want them to remember me teaching them their school work. I want them to remember me baking with them in the kitchen or cuddling with them (not distracted) on the couch.

God has been challenging me greatly in this area and I am eager to change. I don't want to ignore this conviction only to regret it big time later. EVERYONE says: "Oh these years go by so fast." Why would I want to waste these fast years with my children on the computer? Last night when I was thinking about this post I came across this: http://www.wholeheartedhome.com/tips-clear-information-overload-wholehearted-wednesday-101/ and I really appreciated some of the challenging questions she asked in regards to our relationship with the computer/social media. Be sure to check it out!
I am not sure what my "life-long" relationship with my computer will look like but here are some boundaries for me now:


1. No computer until I finish my bible reading. 
2. No facebook. 
3. No blogging unless kids are sleeping or out of the room playing outside or something. Basically no blogging when I am around my kids. (including reading blogs)

Three simple rules that will help me with my relationship with my computer but more importantly my relationship with my family.

Everyone has struggles, everyone has things in their life that distract them and pull them away from God's best. This is one of my struggles, this is one of those things I have to fight.  

  1. Do you go to Facebook (or one of your other social media platforms) first thing in the morning before making your bed or taking a shower?
  2. Do you start scrolling down through your newsfeed on Facebook and forget why you got online in the first place?
  3. On Facebook, do you feel obligated to listen to every single music or video clip even though you think they are ridiculous?
  4. Do you have 6-8 email accounts that are jam-packed with pending or unanswered mail? (I have 5 email accounts, so this is not unrealistic.)
  5. When you open your inbox, do you become anxious with “information overload” before you even open the email?
  6. Do you lose track of time on Twitter, Google +, Facebook, or Pinterest as you stress over the avalanche of twaddle?
  7. Do you find yourself compulsively eating junk food while reading online?
  8. Are you becoming sadly behind on your dishes, paper-clutter, laundry, and undone projects, as you spend increasing amounts of time online?
  9. Are you irritable with your husband and children? Snappy? Can’t look away from the screen when they talk to you?
  10. Are you playing Facebook games?
  11. Do you become frustrated from the electronic information you need to process daily?
  12. Do you become overwhelmed because you can’t get to the blogs or e-books you’d really prefer to process?
  13. Do you sit at your computer for more than an hour without getting up?
  14. Do you constantly check into your social media accounts and email (even in the bathroom) because you are afraid you’ll get behind?
  15. Are you subscribed to more blogs than you can possibly read and you feel bad when you finally delete them?
  16. Has reading your Bible become dull and so boring that you tire after reading 2-3 verses?
  17. Before making a decision, do you check with your online friends first before asking God for wisdom?
  18. Do you read so many posts that you are skimming and hardly reading them, feeling like you have to comment, “Like” and “+1″ all those in your niche?
  19. Is your Kindle app full of books you will never have time to read because you are inundated with the ever-flowing avalanche of electronic information??
  20. Did you forget to hydrate with 8 glasses of water? Electronic devices dehydrate you. Did you realize that?
  21. When you make it to the end of your day, do you feel really guilty that too much time was wasted online and you didn’t live real life?
- See more at: http://www.wholeheartedhome.com/tips-clear-information-overload-wholehearted-wednesday-101/#sthash.cBqYRrtW.dpuf

  1. Do you go to Facebook (or one of your other social media platforms) first thing in the morning before making your bed or taking a shower?
  2. Do you start scrolling down through your newsfeed on Facebook and forget why you got online in the first place?
  3. On Facebook, do you feel obligated to listen to every single music or video clip even though you think they are ridiculous?
  4. Do you have 6-8 email accounts that are jam-packed with pending or unanswered mail? (I have 5 email accounts, so this is not unrealistic.)
  5. When you open your inbox, do you become anxious with “information overload” before you even open the email?
  6. Do you lose track of time on Twitter, Google +, Facebook, or Pinterest as you stress over the avalanche of twaddle?
  7. Do you find yourself compulsively eating junk food while reading online?
  8. Are you becoming sadly behind on your dishes, paper-clutter, laundry, and undone projects, as you spend increasing amounts of time online?
  9. Are you irritable with your husband and children? Snappy? Can’t look away from the screen when they talk to you?
  10. Are you playing Facebook games?
  11. Do you become frustrated from the electronic information you need to process daily?
  12. Do you become overwhelmed because you can’t get to the blogs or e-books you’d really prefer to process?
  13. Do you sit at your computer for more than an hour without getting up?
  14. Do you constantly check into your social media accounts and email (even in the bathroom) because you are afraid you’ll get behind?
  15. Are you subscribed to more blogs than you can possibly read and you feel bad when you finally delete them?
  16. Has reading your Bible become dull and so boring that you tire after reading 2-3 verses?
  17. Before making a decision, do you check with your online friends first before asking God for wisdom?
  18. Do you read so many posts that you are skimming and hardly reading them, feeling like you have to comment, “Like” and “+1″ all those in your niche?
  19. Is your Kindle app full of books you will never have time to read because you are inundated with the ever-flowing avalanche of electronic information??
  20. Did you forget to hydrate with 8 glasses of water? Electronic devices dehydrate you. Did you realize that?
  21. When you make it to the end of your day, do you feel really guilty that too much time was wasted online and you didn’t live real life?
- See more at: http://www.wholeheartedhome.com/tips-clear-information-overload-wholehearted-wednesday-101/#sthash.cBqYRrtW.dpuf

  1. Do you go to Facebook (or one of your other social media platforms) first thing in the morning before making your bed or taking a shower?
  2. Do you start scrolling down through your newsfeed on Facebook and forget why you got online in the first place?
  3. On Facebook, do you feel obligated to listen to every single music or video clip even though you think they are ridiculous?
  4. Do you have 6-8 email accounts that are jam-packed with pending or unanswered mail? (I have 5 email accounts, so this is not unrealistic.)
  5. When you open your inbox, do you become anxious with “information overload” before you even open the email?
  6. Do you lose track of time on Twitter, Google +, Facebook, or Pinterest as you stress over the avalanche of twaddle?
  7. Do you find yourself compulsively eating junk food while reading online?
  8. Are you becoming sadly behind on your dishes, paper-clutter, laundry, and undone projects, as you spend increasing amounts of time online?
  9. Are you irritable with your husband and children? Snappy? Can’t look away from the screen when they talk to you?
  10. Are you playing Facebook games?
  11. Do you become frustrated from the electronic information you need to process daily?
  12. Do you become overwhelmed because you can’t get to the blogs or e-books you’d really prefer to process?
  13. Do you sit at your computer for more than an hour without getting up?
  14. Do you constantly check into your social media accounts and email (even in the bathroom) because you are afraid you’ll get behind?
  15. Are you subscribed to more blogs than you can possibly read and you feel bad when you finally delete them?
  16. Has reading your Bible become dull and so boring that you tire after reading 2-3 verses?
  17. Before making a decision, do you check with your online friends first before asking God for wisdom?
  18. Do you read so many posts that you are skimming and hardly reading them, feeling like you have to comment, “Like” and “+1″ all those in your niche?
  19. Is your Kindle app full of books you will never have time to read because you are inundated with the ever-flowing avalanche of electronic information??
  20. Did you forget to hydrate with 8 glasses of water? Electronic devices dehydrate you. Did you realize that?
  21. When you make it to the end of your day, do you feel really guilty that too much time was wasted online and you didn’t live real life?
- See more at: http://www.wholeheartedhome.com/tips-clear-information-overload-wholehearted-wednesday-101/#sthash.cBqYRrtW.dpuI am not sure what my life-long "relationship" with the computer will look like but for now here are a couple of boundaries I have set: 1. No computer until I have done my bible reading. (too often the computer/social media come before a Christian's relationship with God.)Those are my three simple rules. I think they will help my relationship with the computer and more importantly my relationship and ministry to my family.Everyone struggles in different ways. Everyone has to fight the good fight in different ways and make God and His calling on our lives a priority in different ways. This is one of my struggles and this is where I have to fight.  


Maybe you can relate? My friend shared this verse with me about this topic: 
 
"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." 1 Cor. 10:13 


I am sure this temptation is common among many women. We are social beings and are looking to socialize to the extreme through our computer screen. Our children and husbands desperately need us to socialize with them. God is faithful! If He is convicting you in this area and you are looking for a way of escape AND WILLING TO FOLLOW THROUGH He will guide and direct you! Pray and seek His will in all things, even in your "relationship" with the computer/internet. 

"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands..." 1 Thess. 4:11