Friday, January 17, 2014

Pinterest Fail #RealLifeIsBetter

Oh Pinterest, it’s such a valuable, enriching, worthwhile use of time, and a great resource. It’s a resource, but we have made it so much more. Pinterest has become the framework from which our style is shaped, our weddings are planned, our children are raised, our dinners are cooked, our marriages are nurtured, our crafts are created, and our homes are designed. A few of those things are really really great. However, when it comes to the most valuable parts of life sometimes we find ourselves using Pinterest as a crutch instead of as an added resource and unnecessary benefit. Don’t let Pinterest be your marriage counselor, don’t let pinterest be the wise friend you need, don’t let pinterest be your daily dose of scripture. Dig deep and do the hard work in your marriage and bring in biblical counselors if needed, don’t rely on a blogger’s top ten date nights or cute little quotes. Seek true friends who will pursue the Lord and give you advice based on the overflow of wisdom they receive from scripture. Read the bible; read it for yourself in the full context of the passage and read it with the aid of a dictionary and study bible or commentary. Don’t be afraid of going deep and studying and learning when you spend time with God.

Don’t cheat yourself.

Pinterest in addition to real life and real relationships is such a great thing. We cannot get this the other way around. I know this sounds so dramatic and so serious…I mean, it’s Pinterest. But how often do you hear the phrase “I saw on Pinterest” or “I was reading on Pinterest” or “I got it off Pinterest.” Now let’s pause, (as we usually do here on the ole blog when I’m getting ahead of myself and onto a passionate rant) I think that Pinterest really is great. I get giddy on the few occasions that my posts have been “pinned,” and I too have found some really wonderful and smart bloggers via Pinny (yep that’s a nickname folks). But we’ve all experienced Pinterest fails. For me, it was the crinkle cut fries on the grill (by the way, if you love me you’ll leave a comment about your Pinterest fails! Misery loves company and all that.). Well, ladies—Pinterest is failing you yet again. Pinterest is teaching us really bad theology. Like REALLY bad. I typically steer away from putting my sights on specific targets for the blog, but this one is an exception. Based one how many women pin this particular pin…I can’t not say this. And this is a popular pin…so I might just offend your socks off. But here we go…

These pins are misleading, Pinterest is teaching us to choose a stand alone verse and make it what we want it to be. For example: this verse is not a girly girl special lady verse about being a woman. I know it seems that way. But the “she” in this verse is the people of God and the Church through Christ! And doesn’t that make so much more sense? Go read the entire chapter of Psalm 46. See? And isn’t that an awesome picture of God’s gracious presence to His people? If you are a believer, then take joy in your inclusion! But let’s be careful to not cross the line and make verse into something different than what it really is.
If you want a sweet reminder of God's promises and love for you, read God's word. You don't have to depend on a few random verses that someone else read and then posted. You can experience the abundance of God's grace and faithfulness for yourself and in its entirety and correct context. It's not like finding a needle in a hay stack. God's goodness toward you IS the haystack. It's hard NOT to find personal and precious and deliberate scripture. So stop cheating yourself. Stop letting Pinterest form your theology. Read God's word consistently and fully, read verses in the context of the passage they were written in. You will not regret handling the Word of God with purpose and intentionality.

*I used the ESV Study Bible along the website for study guidance while working on this post.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

13 Reasons Why #RealLifeIsBetter


This is probably the least pinnable, retweetable, or shareable blog post your gonna find. It’s not going to be crazy spreadable online, cause what I’m gonna be saying…it’s kinda like biting the hand that feeds you. Or should I say the monster that doesn’t actually feed you at all. What I’m saying is: let’s be conquerors over the internet, let’s keep social media in its proper place, let’s pursue balance and self control, let's stop reading meme’s and get back to reading books, let’s form our own opinions, let's put our phones down and spend time with real people.  Now come on doesn’t that sound like fun? Alright, so I’ll give you a little context to my new crazy radical approach to life.

On December 28th Austin and I decided to delete all social media apps from our phones until January 2, 2014. It only took about twelve hours of detox for us to come to the conclusion that we needed some permanent changes.

Here's the top 13 reasons that came flooding in during that detox period:

1.     I don’t need to share all my quirky, clever, or cute thoughts under 140 characters with the world.
2.     It is the exception rather than the rule that thoughts under 140 characters are valuable enough to share with the world.
3.     The more I “share” the less self awareness I see in my life.
4.     If you asked our kids to draw a picture of us during lunchtime or downtime, it would be of us scrolling through our phones.
5.     When I ask myself the question, “who am I becoming?” from constant social media use, the answer is a whole lotta ME.
6.     When I ask myself who I want to be like…the answer is a whole lotta less of ME and a bunch bunch more of Christ.
7.     I don’t like your kids more than mine, I guarantee it. Yet I ignore my own so that I can look at the pictures you posted or the funny story you shared. I like my kids, so I want to soak up the most of them I possibly can.
8.     I’ve recently been vocal about my loneliness as a stay at home mom, and I just realized that a contributor to my loneliness is the false sense of belonging and community that social media feeds me. I want the real thing, and social media should only serve as one of several tools to get me to real relationships.
9.     Because no one ever gets to the end of their life and wishes for less time or more internet or cooler photos.
10.  Because my kids aren’t boring, my husband isn’t boring, and I’m not searching for anything better….so I’m going to stop living like I am.
11. Selfies. The worst thing to come from this technological era. Now listen, I have posted and will in the future inevitably post an occasional selfie. Sometimes being in a cool new place or trying out a new hairstyle or doing something really funny are all good decent reasons to OCCASSIONALLY post a selfie. But seriously the shameless self-promoting mindset that the selfie culture has conjured up is just ridiculous. Dial it back a notch…please. I’m begging.
12. Because “back in my day” when I was single and on my own in college, I have such fond memories of being ALONE. Going out to dinner…alone, going to coffee…alone, going for a drive…alone, sitting in a well light and frequently populated park….alone. I cleared my mind, I thought, I “people watched”, I dreamed for my future, I prayed through my present. Being alone is a gift that social media has stripped us of.
13. Because REAL LIFE IS BETTER than life online.

So that’s my abridged version. I hope that in my brevity I wasn’t offensive. I would be happy to elaborate on any of these points, just leave me a comment and we can open up a discussion! The internet and social media are not the bad guys of life, but when we let social media control our life….we are letting the tail wag the dog as some of my friends would say.

Here are the ways this revelation will be applied in my life:

-       -No more personal twitter account. You can follow the Bird in a twitter, and that will be getting a tad more use. But I’m cutting the Katy Tullos account.

-      - No more facebook or pinterest apps on my phone. I will be keeping my facebook because it is a great way to stay connected to friends and family, but my time will be limited to intentional times on my computer. Pinterest is the thief in the night of my time…from now on I will also be using Pinterest for intentional times for recipe searches and outfit ideas here and there.

-       -More play time with my kids (and I’ve found I’m very impressive with a tub of play dough!). I’ve found that the more available I am, the more often the kids invite me into their world. Like literally…they ask me to join them more now than they did when my phone was glued to my hand.

-       -No phone during husband/wife tv time. Hey these shows are actually pretty good and way more fun when we experience them together to the fullest.

-       -Instagram will remain as is.

Will anyone out there join me in this endeavor? Let’s get back to making memories and worry a little less about capturing a bunch of half lived moments.