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Friday, December 15, 2006

Powered Off

During the course of simplifying our lives, I have become increasingly sensitive to all of the electronic gadgets we use everyday. I find myself asking questions like, "What did people do before cell phones?" and "Why on earth would people watch that television show?". And finally, "Could I live without my computer for one week?".

Maybe the better question is, "Why would you want to, Sara?". Well, let me tell you. It's addicting, and I don't like feeling that way. When I wake up in the morning, instead of an intense desire to meet with the Lord, I have an intense desire to check my email. When I have some spare time in the day, I would rather check blogs than read to my sweet daughter. When I should be going to sleep at night to refresh and heal my body, I am editing photos, posting blogs, or just mindlessly roaming the Internet.

During one of my quiet times this week, I started to talk to the Lord about my computer habits and I asked him if I should take a break. The next passage I read was this:
"I am the LORD; that is my name!
I will not give my glory to another
or my praise to idols.

Isaiah 42:8

Wow. Ok Lord...you got me. I realized that the Internet, blogging, and computer time in general have become an idol in my life. It sounds so harsh, but an idol is simply anything that you are putting ahead of God. I have chosen the computer over God SO many times, and it needs to change. My God is a jealous God...he LOVES me so much and wants my attentions and worship. When I start to use energy that could be spent glorifying Him and getting to know Him better, He is saddened.

I am in no way saying that computers and the Internet are bad and that Christians shouldn't be using them. To the contrary...there are so many amazing Christians who are online making a huge impact for Christ. It's when we let it creep ever so slowly into our lives and take over that it becomes a problem. When our online community of friends is taking the place of real-life conversations and our time online exceeds the amount of time spent with family and with God...something needs to change.

When I am on the computer too much...so many things suffer. My relationships, my housework, my hobbies. I have made the decision to take a week off from the computer so that I can SLOW DOWN. I want to read books. Lots of them. I want to go to bed early. I want to get up and read my Bible over a delicious cup of tea without the computer beckoning me away. I want to give my FULL attention to Bella at all times. It's also perfect timing, because we are all packed and will be moving tomorrow! This time of transition will be a great time for reflection and journaling. Plus, my laptop is in need of a few repairs, so it will be physically sent away this week to IBM to be fixed.

I am so excited for this break, and yet I am nervous. Nervous to feel the extent of my addition to this machine. I can't wait to share with you all of the wonderful things God did because it was gone. I know I am not the only one who struggles with this problem, and I pray that if you are feeling Him tugging at your spirit right now...join me in this journey and be sure to tell me all about it!

I am so humbled and blessed by all of you that read my blog. I am amazed by you all! I love reading your comments and all of your own blogs. I hope that you will come back in a week and check in. I have several fun topics brewing in my head. But for now...it's time to turn it off. Have a GREAT week! I know I will.

Photo credit: Flickr/ahhyeah

39 Comments:

Blogger Mark said...

So does that mean no delicious recipe this week? Just kidding. Peace be with you and yours during your transition and always.

12/16/2006 2:11 AM  
Blogger Here we go... said...

Sara, have fun on your trip. I know you will learn soooooooo much, you always do!

12/16/2006 4:48 AM  
Blogger Heth said...

Ouch.

Have a great week, soak up every minute. Love you and miss you!

12/16/2006 6:49 AM  
Blogger A JoyFull Life said...

When you get to our home Kris and I will be on a TV fast so just think of all the fun conversation, book reading, and playing with the kiddos we will do! Praying for you. Enjoy your week!

12/16/2006 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a great week, Sara. I am praying for you daily.

12/16/2006 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow............your post hit home for me.
have a great trip. God Bless.

12/16/2006 8:12 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Wow, I think I could have written your post! I have been feeling the same way. I think I just might have to join you in taking a week off as well!!!

12/16/2006 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Erica said...

I had my husband come read this blog... when he finished he said to me "Did you hack into her account and write this blog?" I have been contemplating this same thing. Thanks for this blog!

12/16/2006 11:42 AM  
Blogger Niobium said...

Hi Sara,

Could you please send me an email

n1obium (at) yahoo (dot) com

I tried to find your email address here on your blog but wasn't able to. Please just delete this comment, I don't want my email all over the net.

Thank you!

12/16/2006 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before Yom Kippur, which is a fast day for Jews, we often wish people "a good fast" or "an easy fast." That's because the point of fasting is not to make yourself suffer but to concentrate the mind on how we can do better in the coming year, and also to remember all the people who don't have enough to eat any day of the year.

If you have a really difficult fast (e.g. crashing headache or unbearable thirst by noon when you aren't supposed to eat until sunset), it can make it harder to concentrate on your prayers and contemplation, which defeats the whole purpose of the day of atonement.

So, I wish you an easy weeklong fast from your computer!

I sometimes feel that I spend too much time on the computer. However, I also feel that busy moms, just like everyone else, deserve to have a little time for themselves. I could spend every waking moment doing the things I am supposed to do, but I need a few breaks during the day (and night) as well.

Plus, being a night owl, I know that I will not fall asleep early even if I don't l log on. The three and a half years I lived in Prague I never had internet access at home and didn't watch tv. However, I always managed to stay up too late anyway! My body clock just wakes up by 9:30 or 10 pm, no matter how tired I have been earlier in the day.

Best wishes, Laurie

12/16/2006 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally relate...I have been feeling the same way too. God really desrves our BEST! And when I do my devotions in the morning for an hour only to look forward to spending time on the computer for what happens to be two hours, there is definitely something out of order...I have to join you and your challenge. I praise God for using souls like you to speak into peoples lives like mine.

12/16/2006 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean about computer time taking away from things that are much more important, and from the MOST important - God! I don't know how many times I've gotten up early to spend time with the Lord to only be distracted by the internet. I can't go on a complete computer fast for a week - I have online classes - but I wonder if I can fast from everything else online - blogs, message boards, etc.? I'll try. :-) Good luck with the move and everything! God bless!

12/16/2006 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohhhhhhh, I can so relate! Just today, I spent two hours on the internet while my son tugged at me, asked me to play, told me to 'watch this, it's really cool mom... on and on. I told him I had 'WORK' to do. GULP; I felt so guilty, but still wasted so much time! Have a safe trip!

12/17/2006 12:18 AM  
Anonymous Catherine said...

Sara,

Well said, very true and worth repeating. Love Erica's comment! :O) Enjoy your week off and your sweet and precious family!

Love and God's Blessings,
Cat

12/17/2006 4:45 AM  
Anonymous J said...

Earlier this year our computer broke and I was without for 9 months (we were waiting to buy with cash:). What a computer fast it was. The only time I was online was when I made it to the library before it closed. Then it was a rush to read through many emails. The hardest part was the first few weeks then I didn't miss it as much. It is like with any thing that you try to get back in balance - it is hard in the beginning but worth it in the long run. Enjoy your journey - learn...grow...

Now I have a computer and I am finding it slowly occuping more and more of my time. After reading your post I had the thought of picking a time of the day to allow myself computer time...allocate the time and then control myself not to turn it on until that time. I think I may even shut down the computer so I am not so tempted! It will take some self discipline but I know I can do it. When you've been through a "fast" of any length or type - you learn that you can exercise self control and say no to the "flesh" - with God's help!

12/17/2006 6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not only did your post confirm something that the Lord's been trying to tell me too (that my internet time has become an idol), but all the comments here have also reassured me that i'm not the only person/mom who struggles with this!

now i feel encouraged and empowered to turn off the computer too. right now i'm thinking no blogging, no checking blogs, and checking my email ONCE a day, responding by phone those who need an urgent reply.

if i can't hold myself to that, then after christmas it'll be kaput with this machine til the new year. a time to refocus my energies, my passion, and shift my priorities. good post, sara. thanks, and happy travels! we miss you guys already!

12/17/2006 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, wow. How convicting. I will be praying about this, and seeking His direction... thanks for the brutal honesty; I needed it.

12/17/2006 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anna said...

Thanks for the inspiration! I'm going to join you. Praying for safe travels for you and your family.

12/17/2006 9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buy soma online

http://mtsu32.mtsu.edu:11263/_disc2/00000195.htm#soma

12/18/2006 2:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara,
Have fun being "unplugged".
Safe travels, too!

12/18/2006 5:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't know me, but I have been reading your blog for the last few weeks. I find your comments inspirational--you make me want to be a better mom to my kids. I hope you keep blogging in the future and enjoy you rest and find peace out west.

12/18/2006 6:26 AM  
Anonymous Laura O said...

You always do know how to make me see things differently..and actually want to do something about it..I've been feeling these same feelings, so Im goin to do the same thing for a while...it's ridiculous how much time I spend on the internet. miss you and love you sister...prayin for you guys!

12/18/2006 8:42 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

There was an article today on MSN.com about the compact. sounds like the 10 who started it were on the today show. thought i'd let you know, although you won't hear about it for a week it sounds like!

12/18/2006 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara,
I just finished reading the book "Margin" by Dr. Richard Swenson this past week and it reminds me of this. Computer time can so eat up spaces of time during the days where we can rest, have a friend over, cuddle with a little one, or have an intimate conversation with Jesus.
Merry Christmas and enjoy the quiet!
Aimee

12/18/2006 10:37 AM  
Blogger studoibeerhorst said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/19/2006 5:04 AM  
Anonymous Rick said...

This is hitting a chord with me. We have neither cell phone, TV, or a car and it takes a whip and chair to keep the computer in the corner. Thanks for you thoughts and maybe there are new discoveries to be made in the silence.

12/19/2006 5:08 AM  
Blogger Hot-n-Heavy said...

My daughter told me about your blog and I really admire your determination to sit back and take a breath, focus on your move, family and on God who is always first in our lives.

I am a grandmother of 5 and soon to be 7 grandkids and I value every minute I spend with my little ones. I guess things change when your own grow up and move into their own nests. Their is a new type of independance that gives you alot more time with the Lord.

Be blessed!

Linda

12/19/2006 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just so identified with what you said about computer time. Recently ,as its nearing the end of the year I have been thinking about how I would like next year to be. One thing is,is that I want to be less dependent on my computer and doing the things I would have done before I got into the realms of the internet.So,I have decided over Christmas and New Year that I will not go on the net at all,but totally devote my time to my family,and hopefully get to bed a bit earlier! Then after the New Year try to be a bit stricter with myself about the time I spend,and more disciplined.I have realised recently that at times I have been prederring to be on line rather than seeing friends or phoning a friend to catch up etc. This is something which I am going to try to address,so that life will become more balanced once again.
Happy Christmas and have a lovely week.
Thanks for confirming what I was starting to think and feel! Hugs!
Laura

12/19/2006 7:42 PM  
Blogger Calla Lilly said...

Blessings to you as you seek to plug in to real life! :) Have you read Ellul's book entitled Technology? It's about the social implications of technology on society - a little eggy, but definitely worth the effort. :)

12/20/2006 4:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate your sentiments, but keep in mind that you are an inspiration for many - this can't be an accident either.

Peace to you.

12/20/2006 5:38 AM  
Blogger Charity Singleton said...

Sara -- Your sensivity to what God is doing in your life is so moving. Thanks for sharing these various disciplines of "doing" what you believe.

12/20/2006 3:43 PM  
Blogger the green mama said...

Thank you so much for this post. It is just what I needed! I've taken a break from the computer before for a week or so but this time I feel my heart saying I need to be away longer. Maybe permenantely. I may or may not be back in the New Year. I wish you a blessed holiday and lots of luck in your week ahead!

Rebecca

12/20/2006 5:25 PM  
Blogger km said...

I am so proud of you, my friend. Makes me think about things in my own life that become idols so quickly...mine's probably TV. :(

Love you and praying for you.

12/20/2006 6:57 PM  
Blogger km said...

I am so proud of you, my friend. Makes me think about things in my own life that become idols so quickly...mine's probably TV. :(

Love you and praying for you.

12/20/2006 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wandered around here from heth's blog and found the string bags i've been wanting - yay! on ecobags - saved 20% w/their coupon too! thanks!

12/22/2006 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW you speak the truth !
thanks for the wake up call
have fun, and may we all give Him who disserves our attention all that we can give

12/23/2006 4:55 PM  
Blogger Linds said...

awesome...i believe i will do the same thing. thanks for the idea. have a very merry Christmas!

-Linds

12/24/2006 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sara,
I wanted to say thank you. You shared your blog on SL board and since then I have been filled with such appreciation and awareness of my life.
I can't even imagine how many people you have touched by your love of God, family and our earth.
I lack lowly in many areas. Thank you for letting me know I can do better. I feel your joy, it's contagious. I miss our God, thank you for reminding me he is there and I have left him. I miss our Father and I want to get to know him again.
As I read my bible tomorrow I will first thank God for his gifts, one of them you.
Your gentle, kind... may God Bless you and your lovely family in your new journey.

In Jesus' Name, Janet

1/01/2007 6:11 PM  
Blogger Natasha said...

Hi Sara~! I live in Montana too. I love your site~! Your an angel~! Maranatha and Namaste, Tasha (from Missoula)

2/19/2007 12:05 AM  

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