Thursday, July 11, 2013

Reclaiming What's (Not) Mine: My Three Month Hiatus

Life is brief. We are only here for a short time, and then our race is through. I've been thinking about this a lot lately as I consider how I want to (and how the Lord wants me to) use my time, resources, and energy.

With the way my life has become so intertwined with a life online the last several years (and it's been a great thing in many ways), I've been asking myself what my own life, fully present where I am, really looks like aside from it all. Besides the time that reading, perusing and posting takes, I wonder about the way my mind is affected.

I make choices each day, each moment, about how my mind is being used. I consume a lot of really good stuff online. There are great writers, clever ideas, delicious recipes, and encouraging thoughts, but I can easily tow the line between healthy and excessive. I love this World Wide Web and truly feel God uses it in many ways for his glory. People are able to use their personal stories and giftings to encourage and inspire.

Even with all the great stuff (my friend Andrea recently wrote my thoughts exactly), balance is still required or I just start floating in a sea of mediocrity. I'm consuming too much without enough time to process. My mind is full of little sound bites and thoughts, not even usually my own, and it can start to feel a bit loud and chaotic.

I think the truth is I allow lots of other people's voices in to my head, and don't allow enough quiet space and time for the Lord to teach me personally. (And this is not a post about living in seclusion or something. I am all about life in community and we do everything possible to live that way, and are greatly benefited from the gifts and unique personalities of others around us.)

So I am taking the next three months to reclaim what I feel I've allowed to slip away in a sense:  pieces of my mind, my time, my heart, my creativity.

I want to listen to what the Lord may be saying to me, ways he is leading us. I want to be fully present for my husband as we are in the final home stretch of his legal education, the bar exam only a month away.

I want to give my children the quality time I know they thrive on.

I want to spend time praying and thinking about the best ways to use my gifts and resources for His kingdom and to serve others.

I want to organize and set up our new home so it feels pleasant for my family and all who come in.

I want to read the pile of real books that I seem to never find the time for (but think with eliminating 10 minutes of internet browsing here and there throughout the day will allow it). I've unsubscribed from the few great blog updates that arrive in my inbox each day. Just another way to quiet the world around me.

I'm signing off Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and this blog. (I still have a couple commitments, like MomHeart, that I'm excited to keep up during this break). I will still of course be using email, and my phone for those with whom I text and talk, but that will be about it. (And I must say, it's really hard for me to commit to unplugging from some of these things as they keep me connected with so many of my great friends and family. I might just have to pull out my stationary box!)

Hopefully I'll be back mid-October! I will have had a birthday, Kristian and I will have taken a trip to Colorado to celebrate the completion of the last three years of law school, we will be a bit more settled into our new Houston home, will have begun our adoption process, and I pray the Lord will have refreshed me in a number of ways, showing me how to reclaim the time and life that's not really mine, but His.

I look forward to reconnecting then! In the meantime, please feel free to email me at mary.kathryn.rose(at)gmail(dot)com

With love, excitement, and anticipation,