I did intend to share the odd update and faithfully keep up with some of your blogs, but in reality I've been online very little, which has turned out to be a good thing, I think - I needed a break and a new perspective.
Although I haven't decided exactly what place blogging will hold in my life right now, I feel like it's time to give this spot a dusting and spread out some fresh words.
So I will break the silence by jotting down a few things that have been highlighted for me in regards to internet use - something to refer back to if I start to slip into old habits again!
The importance of time stewardship. I know I'm not alone in this - the internet can suck us in and hold us for lengths of time that go way beyond what is beneficial or healthy. I'll just pop on to check this one thing... leads to another and another and another. The scope of entertainment and information is endless and it can be really difficult to practice self-control.
The need to be attentive as a mother and a wife. Of course, there are other things that can distract - but taking a break showed me how I was often distracted while caring for my little one here at home or spending time with my husband in the evenings. Online activity can be appropriate throughout the day but there is such a need to define clear boundaries and stick to them so that I can mindfully enjoy and build into the roles and relationships the Lord has given me - to really be all there in the moment, not wondering what's going on on facebook or feeling like I need to be skimming through blogs or clicking around pinterest, for example.
The temptation to covet. The internet is a wonderful resource for inspiration, learning, connecting with others, and growth. But it can also provide fertile ground for coveting and envy to spring up in our hearts, I think particularly through the blogosphere. Our homes, skills, opportunities, friendships and lives are openly shared - but portrayed through filters - whether intentionally or not. The result is often circumstances and pictures that appear more desirable than our own, leading to discontent and envy. I am not completely sure what the solution is here, but again, I'm cautioned to know my own heart and be discerning enough to set limits.
The benefit of intentionally going without what we think we can't. Before we took the plunge and canceled our service, my husband had suggested this break numerous times. Each time, I would almost freak out, thinking I just couldn't go without the internet. And of course I could provide a list of beneficial reasons why I needed to be online. But you know what? Sometimes it is good to really evaluate what is essential and what is not and make changes, even if just for a time. That could mean different things for different people or seasons of life, but intentionally choosing to go without something can serve as a wake-up call to how dependent or pampered we can be in this day and age, as well as to push us towards what's truly important.
In conclusion, these are just a few areas that I have learned lessons in through this break. I'm thankful - but glad to be connected again as well. Please be assured that I don't feel that "I have arrived" or will no longer struggle in these areas - it's a process, and I'll be working to set some clear boundaries as I navigate these world wide waters again.
Feel free to share what is helpful to you in monitoring internet use in the comments, I would love to hear from you!
And I hope to post a little update and some pictures soon!