Airplane Mode

The past week and a half has been a breath of fresh air in some ways, and a tornado in others. I went “dark” as you may know from my last post, for lent, and my hiatus from social media has been telling. For the first days, I would find myself pulling out my phone, a reflex of not so much boredom {I have no lack of things to accomplish or people to care for!} but out of idleness.

Previously, I would grab for my sleek little device the moment we would get to the park and the kids would take off running, or the moment I would get someone down for a nap, or have 2 minutes to wait for an appointment; the most vicious black hole was right before I went to sleep, and one quick glance would tumble into a ferocious scroll erupting in an article or two, dozens of photos, a TED talk, what to buy on a consignment page… and I would wonder how it suddenly got to be 11:42pm. While some of what I read or stumbled across was arguably interesting and even beneficial, overall this was a poor usage of my time and mental energy when so many people could have been encouraged, my heart could have been nourished by the word, by body could have been restored with sleep.  It is a bit shameful to confess but it is true. And that is not to mention the times that even after I put my handheld away, when the images would linger, causing insecurity or isolation or “the rest of the world is having fun without me” sort of feelings. WHAT?!  And I am a relatively confident individual!

And so, over the past 2 weeks, my reflex has been curbed. I take far fewer photos as a result of not having an immediate outlet for them. I generally leave my phone on “do not disturb”  and so I pull it out less often {the only drawback being delayed responses to texts and phone calls… Sorry, Mom!}  And I have been so much more PRESENT. I find that I am percolating on conversations longer, having more space for my kids and for the people directly in front of me. I have margin – not necessarily in my schedule but in my brain and heart. I have time to listen to the Lord and to marinate in conversations I just had or things I read.  I admit I miss people too. With so many friends in the thick of mom-hood and carpools, there are many who my life does not organically intersect with and before leaving social media, I felt like I had more of a sense of what was going on their lives. I felt more connected, somehow. The irony is that that connection was rarely through first-hand information or reaching out to ask them how they were doing, but because of a quick post on Instagram of their kids amidst a project or an adventure to the zoo. I am afraid this season of my life has resulted in me not being the most thoughtful, inquiring friend.

That said, I really don’t think social media is the enemy. In so many ways it is beautiful and connective and alive. But isn’t that like so many things? Food and exercise and sex and books and movies and sport and traveling and… fill in the blank.  All of these things can be nourishing and good in their proper place and proper portion, but it is when we live outside the good boundary lines that God has given, when we indulge in far too much or far too little and those things become God. Or they become the enemy, that we ourselves become sick.

Doesn’t it all just point to the fact that we have deep needs… deep brokenness… deep longing for connection, and also for margin? Deep appetites that cannot be satisfied rightly and fully by anyone or anything other than the One we were made for?

I pray this season continues to refine my appetite.  I pray that my heart and my belly might be trained to know how much is good and how much will make me sick. IMG_1574

For the past two weeks I have been writing a lot. I have been soaking up lovely things at conferences and bible studies, and have had the privilege to speak and teach,  and I have much to share. I have been “off line” in a sense… like being on a two week flight, on “airplane mode.” And I just landed.  To my faithful friends, I am sorry for the delay. Thank you for your patience as I traveled along!

I am excited to “plug in” in a sense, to one place in the cyber world that seems to continually keep me grounded, keep me honest, keep me tethered…. So I hope you will be encouraged as I unfold some of my journey. I hope you will be personally challenged. I hope you will respond to me in a comment or an email as I would love to connect with you in a real way. I seem to have a little more margin just for that….


3 thoughts on “Airplane Mode

  1. Beautifully said Em! Proud of you – keep it up! Glad it’s bringing about such great things for you relationally & spiritually. I get done with a nanny gig Thursday morning and then am with Kate on Friday if you want to hang or have a play date 🙂


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