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As an update to my last post, I did decide to take a trial break from Facebook to see how it would affect my daily life. (It’s funny how Facebook only entered my life a couple years ago, but I already couldn’t remember what my world was like without it.) It’s been less than a week, and so far it has actually been less painful than I’d imagined, and more liberating than I’d expected!

Day 1 was the worst. I felt it the minute I woke up. I rolled over in bed, reached for my phone, checked my email, and then felt the absence of the Facebook app from my phone. I suffered from withdrawal throughout the day, but at the same time, each twinge of loss was mixed with the satisfaction of victory over ‘the force.’

Each day the withdrawal subsided, and I found myself enjoying my Facebook-free life.  I felt more focused, spent less time playing around on my phone, and thought of alternate ways to build my friendships. I’m even considering sending handwritten letters via mail (not E-mail, but good old snail mail), something I used to do pretty often with old friends.

So for now, I’ll continue with this experiment, even if it means having to spend 44 cents to ‘poke’ a friend.

*On a side note, I came across this interesting video the other day. Just to be clear, I don’t want to condemn Facebook after a 3-day break – there are definitely some benefits to social networking. But I will say that it made me think about how my daily behavior, whether online or offline, affects my relationships with friends and even my spouse. I pray that I’ll be cultivating healthy habits in my daily life that will honor my husband, family and friends.

http://www.cnn.com/video/?hpt=hp_mid#/video/bestoftv/2012/01/02/erin-facebook-divorce.cnn

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There’s been a blogpost brewing in my head for awhile. It’s about something that most people can’t live without, something that has invaded the lives of millions around the world.  I was literally a day away from drafting something up when I ran across this article:

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/relationship/blog/27720-a-new-yearwithout-facebook

This was my article!!! Some stranger from who-knows-where just got into my head!  We might as well slap my name on top and substitute the word ‘infant son’ anywhere she refers to her ‘infant daughter.’

So, what delayed me from writing my article?  I had a dilemma: I didn’t know what action I should take (if any) once I publicly voiced my opinions. Could I, with clear conscience, stay active on Facebook after I publish these thoughts? Or would my conscience compel me to call it quits?

After reading the article once, I was ready to press ‘delete’ or ‘deactivate’ or however Facebook allows you to cut the cord.  After reading some of people’s comments and responses below the article, I started to chicken out. After reading the article twice, I was re-inspired to walk away. As I started typing my own post, I chickened out again when I realized the great irony: I found this inspirational article on (dun dun dun…) Facebook.  Fear set in: where am I going to find inspiring content if not from Facebook feeds?  How am I going to keep in touch with people halfway around the world?  What am I going to do?

Let me pause here and give one important disclaimer: I don’t want anyone to feel judged if they continue to stay active on Facebook. If you ever run into me, don’t feel like you have to hide the fact that you are a Facebook fanatic. We each have our different personal strengths and struggles, and what helps or hinders our spiritual health and growth differs from person to person.

As for me, I’m still mulling over what action I should take. I’ll give myself a deadline to make a decision before the sparkly ball drops at midnight.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the sin of omission and the sin of commission. I first learned this concept my 2nd year in college as I read “The Life You’ve Always Wanted” by John Ortberg. Very simply put, sin of omission is when we sin by not doing what we’re supposed to be doing, while sin of commission is when we sin by doing what we’re not supposed to be doing. I go back and forth between which sin I’m more guilty of. An example of sin of omission is this: you feel like God has laid it on your heart to start praying about something regarding the future. However, because you fear what that future will look like, you put it off and don’t pray or even think about it. Instead you continue on with your busy life, all the while feeling the Holy Spirit nagging at you. I think that falls under the category of sin of omission because you are deliberately choosing to not do what God is putting on your heart to do. Okay, that’s just an example. Continue reading for the real example(s).

The sin of omission that I’ve observed many women (me, too, I’m a woman) guilty of is not confronting one another. Whether it’s to clear up a miscommunication, address a sin issue, or even just apologize, so many women would rather put it off than be bold enough to do it. The problem that I see with this is that it causes you to sin even more ! While you are just “putting it off” you are also not loving the person, being fake, being selfish, and possibly even talking about it with other people. (Now, it becomes sins of commission!) I realize that there’s a deeper issue beneath the “putting it off”, and maybe what God wants is a deeper transformation in you than just learning to confront.

The sin of commission that I often see in women is lying. White lie, fib, exaggerate, denial, or just staying mum, whatever you wanna call it, it’s NOT THE TRUTH. We are all guilty of it, and it’s no easy task to break out of this either. There are soooo many reasons women (and men) do this and it’s worth digging into it on your own. I’ve been trying to tackle this in two ways. One is by praying that God gives me a heart that truly fears the Lord, to really know that while he is a merciful and loving God, there will come a day when I will be kept accountable for everything that I think, say, and do with my life. The second way is by praying that the Holy Spirit gives me a greater sense of self-awareness so that when I do think/talk/react, that I will realize more of what it is that I’m actually doing.

But this is soooo hard to do, definitely impossible without the grace of God and guidance of the Holy Spirit, so don’t try to tackle it on your own!

My husband is starting a company [insert shameless plug here: check out truApp.me!!!], and we just had a ‘company Thanksgiving dinner.’ As I sat around the table with this group of incredibly hard-working, creative, talented people, I felt an overwhelming sense of privilege.  I felt privileged:
1) To be a lifelong partner to my passionate, entrepeneur of a husband: we are complete opposites in so many ways. I would never be able to experience the adventure of starting a company if I didn’t marry into it.  He’s pulled me onto a rollercoaster ride, and there’s no getting off.
2) To witness the dedication and unity of this team, and to be a part, even if it means that my role as a full-time mom means opening my home to them and filling them with food and coffee so that they can keep on designing, programming, networking, envisioning.
3) To be able to live and work for things that we are actually passionate about. I confess, I can’t take credit for this one; Jeremy, one of the team members, mentioned this one.
Privilege…may I never lose it!

Bronx Park East, a new single-room occupancy residence, in the Bedford Park neighborhood in the Bronx. Jonathan Kirschenfeld Architect P.C. (click for article)

An article in the New York Times  recently highlighted the significance of new housing models that reflect a changing New York. Here’s an excerpt:

“Isn’t the idea here to improve mental health?” Mr. Kirschenfeld said. “Isn’t good architecture part of that?”

It is, and Bronx Park East, like other S.R.O.’s Mr. Kirschenfeld has designed in the city, lends dignity to what at least used to be a byword for urban pariah and a building type that often resembled a prison.

Households have evolved. But New York’s housing stock hasn’t. In essence, New Yorkers have increasingly had to adapt to the housing we’ve got, instead of designing and building the housing that suits who we have become.

What does this have to do with girl matters?

In this world, women are under a lot of pressure. Society spits out manufactured molds of what the model woman ought to be- put together, pretty, prim, proper, and (almost) perfect. We’re told that we should be able to do it all- cook, clean, concentrate on our careers, care for our loved ones, conceal our blemishes, and console others with the same counsel that we often can’t take for ourselves. Stressed out yet?

Kimmelman’s critique of the current housing situation in NYC is parallel to this struggle that we face. We are forced into the tiny limitations of our human weakness, yet expect to amount to greatness. Instead of believing by faith that God’s grace is sufficient to live for His glory, we often wear ourselves out trying to build our own city. Frustrated yet?

I have to remember that God is the one who stretched out the heavens and created everything under it. He has given us freedom in His dominion to live out our newly redeemed lives to the fullest. We are a new creation in Christ! To use the architecture illustration, we’ve got to design and build the housing that suits who we have become. Our building codes are spiritual disciplines- there are some rules for our own protection; but that doesn’t mean we have to settle with boring, bland, dull stuff. Let’s use some bright colors and fun patterns; let’s design with the creativity that we’ve been gifted with. Clearing out these spaces in our lives so that God’s grand purpose can take over? Now that sounds refreshing.

I’ve been itching to do a “space inventory” of my life recently:

  • Do I have room in my schedule to spend quality time with my Father?
  • Does my mind have the capacity to take in His Word and promises for me each day?
  • Is my heart an open territory for the Holy Spirit to do His work?
  • Is my home a welcoming environment to be a hospitable place for my spiritual family?
  • Are my hands and feet available to obey and serve others?

What kind of space will I need to fully live as a woman of God?