I’m sensing a theme here

Later this fall, I’ll be speaking at Harding University’s Fall Lectureship on the topic, “The text or texting?” The idea is that I’ll look at online Bible study tools and such. However, since the nature of the internet has changed drastically in the last couple of years, I plan to take a slightly different spin with things. I want to look at the social, community-based nature of today’s internet. I just don’t feel that it would be honest or responsible to not address that.

After all, isn’t community part of what we’re called to in Christ? Community with the Eternal. Community with one another. Maybe even with ourselves, if you want to phrase it that way. After all, how can we address and move past our sin if we are not are not honest about who we are and what we’re doing? That’s internal conversation.

Don’t get me wrong. I love how easy it is to stay in touch with people. I had a good friend in college who just disappeared. No one knew where he was, and there were times I thought he might’ve died. Guess what? I found him on Facebook and have been able to not only reconnect online, but have been able to visit with him in person, introduce my kids to him, and pray him through some difficult times.

I love how easy it is to see the pictures of my friends and their children, and how affordable it is to communicate with people these days. I love the worldwide prayer that has gone up for sick children, cancer-ridden mothers, and marriages in need. Remember when long distance phone calls cost an arm and a leg and if you were lucky you could talk to your sister in Italy a couple of times a year? I don’t want to go back there.

But you know what? I’m tired. More than any other time in my life, I feel the need for deep connection with other people. I want to have a sleepover with a bunch of girlfriends and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. More than one line about what I saw in Walmart. More than a pithy little statement that someone can “like.” It seems that much of our online communication is one person talking at others, not people talking with one another.

And there’s more than that: because we can communicate all the time, we’re expected to communicate all the time. I’ve had a bad week. A really, really bad week. Details aren’t necessary, but just accept that by the time Thursday morning rolled around, I was exhausted in every way possible: physically, spiritually, emotionally exhausted. But you know what the first thing I did when I woke up on Thursday was? Well, I grabbed my iPhone to see what time it was (it’s the only clock in the room) and immediately went to the email app to see if I had any work email that I would need to address when I got to the office later that morning.

Something is wrong with that picture. Very, very wrong.

Am I the only one who feels like my speed of thought has increased with the speed of communication? Maybe it’s stage of life, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to quiet myself and not have thoughts racing through my brain. Harder to not feel like I should be doing something. I’ve always been an overachiever-type and I’ve never been one to sit idly without reading or thinking or writing, and yet there’s something different about this.

I’m determined that this year I’m going to s-l-o-w-d-o-w-n. I will not live in fast forward. I will not forsake calm, meditative time. I will “seek peace and pursue it.” I will learn to take care of my mind, spirit, body, and soul.

After all, how can I be still and know that he is God, if I can’t even get my mind to be still?


If wishes were horses . . .

I often remind my husband of how low maintenance I am. Seriously. He grew up in the south and has no desire to leave it, which means he was destined to marry a southern girl. Compared to many southern girls, I am very low maintenance. I don’t spend much on my hair, I don’t buy clothes that aren’t on sale and even though I love shoes, I only have a modest collection compared to some.

I’m a pretty basic person. I subscribe to blogs with names like Becoming Minimalist and substance over stuff. Even when I was parenting babies, I avoided stuff. A sling, some diapers, and the ability to lactate were about all I needed.

But I could so get used to luxury if I had the chance. Last year, I rode to a conference with my friend Stephanie and she had a new car. The car came with free OnStar service for a while. Did we use it? Oh, yes we did! I remember Stephanie saying, “You know, it doesn’t take long to get used to luxury, does it?”

No, it doesn’t. Four times in my life — just four times — I’ve gotten a professional pedicure. The first time was in July of 1997 when I was nine months pregnant with Caleb. It was so hot and I felt as big as a barn. I went to the beauty school and paid all of $12.00 for a pedicure. I thought I was in heaven. The next two times were gift certificates and the most recent time was about a month ago. Emily and I went together when I got back from my trip to Charleston and Savannah. After a week of walking non-stop, it felt really good to have that bit of pampering.

This morning, I finally removed the polish that was left. The whole time I was thinking, “OK, so I paid $30.00 and it lasted four weeks. That’s not too bad. Maybe I could afford to do this on a regular basis.” Who am I kidding, though? Thirty dollars is a good chunk of grocery money or haircuts for all three of my guys. So I suppose that pedicures will remain a luxury, but it also made me wonder:

What luxury could you really get used to? If money weren’t in the equation, what would you LOVE to have that you don’t have now? Sometimes, it’s fun to day dream a bit!

The day I turned 18

I think I’m going through a midlife crisis of sorts because I keep wanting to listen to music from the 80’s. It couldn’t be that 80’s music was just plain better than most of what’s being put out today, could it? Oh my — I sound like an old person complaining about “those young people’s music,” don’t I? HA!

Anyway — I was looking around and found this list that says that one of my very favorite songs from the 80’s was the number one song on the day I turned 18. Pretty cool, hunh?

Kyrie Eleison — Mr. Mister

The wind blows hard against this mountainside
Across the sea into my soul
It reaches into where I cannot hide
Setting my feet upon the road

My heart is old it holds my memories
My body burns a gemlike flame
Somewhere between the soul and soft machine
Is where I find myself again

Kyrie Eleison
Down the road that I must travel
Kyrie Eleison
Through the darkness of the night
Kyrie Eleison
Where I’m going will you follow
Kyrie Eleison
On a highway in the light

When I was young I thought of growing old
Of what my life would mean to me
Would I have followed down my chosen road
Or only wished what I could be

Kyrie Eleison
Down the road that I must travel
Kyrie Eleison
Through the darkness of the night
Kyrie Eleison
Where I’m going will you follow
Kyrie Eleison
On a highway in the light

Kyrie Eleison means Lord, have mercy and the words are a part of liturgical worship services. Here’s the Kyrie from Mozart’s Requiem. You heard parts of the requiem in the movie Amadeus.

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