Here in Germany, we have five seasons. At least according to some, when referring to carnival as the fifth season. There are numerous festivities happening over several months, but it all culminates in the week before Ash Wednesday - and then, just like that, on the...
Actually, even if it’s just you and your phone you are still being inundated with noise – noise from advertisements, social media, news, picture noise from Instagram or Snapchat.
2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
The Nature of Mess
For example, in my own life, if I did not purposefully stop and read my Bible in the evening, it would not float to me and lay itself on my lap and beckon me to read it. I have to take the step and do it myself.
Four Tips on Bringing More Quiet into Your Life
All that being said, one SUPER simple way to create order out of your chaotic life is to create more quiet space. I want to encourage you to use your “word” as God used his, create yourself a quieter environment, and become a steward of media rather than a consumer.
Tip #1 Turn off your phone
I hope you can see the problem here. Those messages won’t stop automatically, nor will Facebook or Twitter stop their notifications.
It’s not just instant access that draws our attention, but the constant need to be entertained. Be it Netflix, or Youtube… our attention is being begged for at every corner.
Tip #2 Have a Media Free Night
Why not instead of lounging around and flipping through your Facebook and Insta feeds, or watching TV you turn it all off for the night?
Do you find yourself craving to check for any new updates and notifications? Chances are you need to tell your body and brain that it’s okay to just BE.
Make yourself purposefully unavailable. The world will not end and you will have a greater peace.
Tip # 3 Save your Sanity - Three Dangers of Social Media, Phone, and Entertainment.
1. Our entertainment addiction affects all aspects of our society
It’s not breaking news that there are some serious adverse effects to your constant phone, social media use. In fact, already in the 80s there was a great book published called, “Amusing Ourselves to Death” which basically was a prophetic look at how entertainment would shape our politics, journalism, education and even religion.
Scarily enough, a lot of what Neil Postman wrote 30 years ago is valid and happening today.
2. Too distracted to care
Brave New World is a startling dystopian novel where the population is too amused by distractions to realize that they had been made powerless. The truth is, that’s our reality. When times are tough, or if there is an overwhelming problem with no easy solution there is a tendency for us to seek an escape. Escape often being in the form of entertainment and flicking through social media.
3. A filtered life
Another problem I see is the increasing false perception of the “perfect” life everyone leads on social media. Even if our images don’t have a filter on them, they are only a snippet of who we really are, or what we are really doing. This leads (more often than not) to feeling like you’re the worst!
Have you ever looked at those around you, and felt like you weren’t good enough because your pictures aren’t that pretty? Or you haven’t been to all those amazing places? Or your home doesn’t look like that.
Social media alters your perception of reality. And that’s a dangerous thing for our fragile selves.
Tip # 4 Embrace Boredom
I love this Ted Talk from Manoush Zamorodi where she does an experiment with her Podcast listeners called “Bored and Brilliant”. They spent a week tracking how often they’d pick up their phone, and they were challenged to leave the phone alone. She argues that our boredom actually enables us to be our most productive and creative selves.
This reminds me of a couple years ago, when my sister and I decided to together fast our phones once a week. The first time we ever did it was ROUGH! I kept feeling little twitches like I should be looking something up, or checking the weather, or checking the news. I would walk past where I put my phone and glance at it, thinking I should look at the time or something, but it was off, and it made me a little sad. I felt really strange. My sister had a similar experience.
Read about how our family turns off all of our stuff once a week: Electronic Free Saturdays
The idea of media stewardship is now so much more important than ever before. We have children growing up in age of instant gratification, instant entertainment, and social media distortion. One comment from Manoush in the above Ted Talk was that in her Brilliant and Bored group she had young people commenting on being without their phone and feeling emotions they had never felt before.
How can this generation and future ones learn to feel and deal with emotions when there is no opportunity to?
I think Postman is correct in his insistence that we regain control of our media, so that they can serve our highest goals.
This is our ancient calling, straight from the Garden we were given the job to steward the resources we have.
Let’s start considering media a resource, and steward it to the glory of God.
Perpetua and Felicity aren't names we are typically familiar with, especially in evangelical Christianity. But these two power-house women have a critical message for all mother's today and the temptation to idolize the family. A young mother in prison, facing the...
Today I'm handing over the proverbial reigns to a friend of mine, and a fellow sister in Christ, Christine. She is going to challenge us today to take social media to a new level as she explains her journey of developing the spiritual practice of using Instagram. Can...
Today we are going to see a few examples of God's hospitality in the Bible and be inspired by the King himself. But first, I want you to imagine yourself in a small village in Germany. It's a cold evening and you drive up the driveway to an old foreign castle. As the...
For February 14, do you prefer flowers, chocolates, or your head cut off? Below you'll find out what St. Valentine's story and those things have to do with each other. Maybe Valentine’s Day doesn’t elicit more than an annoyed sigh from you. Or it puts you under...
In this particular post, we are going to look at four tips on how to create yourself a quieter environment, and become a steward of media instead of a servant. Isn't it an interesting thought that quiet and order DO NOT just happen. (Unless you are a hermit who lives...
A few years ago our family lead an outreach to Liberia, Africa with Youth with a Mission. We then only had two kiddos, both under the age of two. Perhaps many people would think of it as irresponsible of us to pack up our little family and lead a team of young adults...
In the last post, we talked about two parables: the Parable of the Talents and the Parable of the Virgins. Where we saw that Jesus used these stories to wake us up to be ready and prepared for when he returns. We saw that He has entrusted us with resources, time and...
Below you're going to find some inspiration about three God-given gifts and abilities you could be hiding today. But first... a story! A land owner, a kind and rich business man, comes to three of his employees with a proposal "I will be going away for a few weeks,...
As “I’ll be home for Christmas” is being played on the radio for the umpteenth time this December, most of us will not think twice about this - of course we’ll be home for Christmas! Meal planning, gift wrapping, church service - so much to take care of, so naturally...