Time Thief

Yesterday morning I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I actually sat down with a cup of coffee and read our local newspaper. Reading about school sports, commercial building plans, and a food truck location debate provided a bit of grounding for me. I tend to forget about “small town” news which is often drowned out by so many headline-grabbing world events. I also found time to relax and read a favorite magazine and sift through a few catalogs. How had I forgotten the pure enjoyment of a lazy afternoon perusing¬†Birds and Blooms?

I am entering week five of my Lenten social media fast. Each week gets a little easier, and the temptation to open my Facebook and Twitter apps has lessened greatly. (Disclaimer: If you are reading this on either site, this is an auto-generated post from my WordPress account ūüėä.) My fast was clearly long overdue.

Social media will steal an enormous amount of our time if we allow it, distracting us to the point where we shut out important parts of our lives. We lose personal face-to-face contact, sacrificing opportunities to deepen our relationships with friends and family. We pass through daily life without looking up, ignoring the amazing world around us. If anything, we are actually becoming anti-social!

Today I took some extra time to ponder how God is speaking to me through my Lenten devotional and weekly Bible study. I realized that I have been putting limits on what I am willing to sacrifice in my daily life. I have placed importance on truly trivial things that should not occupy my time or attention.

I know that I am not alone. Social media is a tempting trap, enticing us to over-share and compare ourselves with others we hardly know. For some, sadly it has become a global platform to hate and to hurt. But each one of us can make a deliberate choice about what we share and how much time and space we allow social media to steal from our lives. When my Lenten fast ends and I cautiously re-engage with my Facebook and Twitter pages, I will continue to seek ways that I might be a light in a dark world.

Will you join me?


A Reluctant Traveler

Hello, it’s me. I haven’t felt much like writing for a while, but today I began to ponder the subject of¬† travel and thought I’d share my thoughts.¬† That’s pretty funny considering that my passport currently has only two stamps — the UK and Mexico. That is the extent of my world travel in 55 years on this great big planet, and those two stamps were added only in the past 5 years.

Okay, so no one ever has, or ever will described me as being a spontaneous person. I have always followed the path of least resistance in life, and stuck to the well-worn trails. I find comfort in routine and seldom seek out new adventures, unless of course I have a detailed itinerary before setting out. I am not unhappy with this lifestyle, but I often wonder what it might be like to jump on Travelocity, pack a bag and just GO. But who am I kidding?

My husband keeps teasing me about going on The Amazing Race, one of the few reality shows we watch together. He is a closet Adrenalin junkie, who wants to bungee jump off bridges and rappel down 100 story skyscrapers. He would voluntarily eat the crickets on a stick or stir fried lizard gizzards . . . heck, he already ate green Weaver ants in Australia. (He said they tasted like lemons.) In most cases, it is the person with the fear of heights or the queasy stomach who ends up doing these challenges on the show. I would be that person. I would be the reason we would lose the challenge and also the million bucks.

I think I have a better race partner in mind.

The adventure gene was apparently passed on to our 30-year old son who¬† just returned from 3 months in Nepal. While there, he met up with friends and helped with post-earthquake rebuilding efforts. He also briefly taught in a school, tutored a Nepalese general’s son, harvested coffee beans, and toured a mountaintop temple. He met lots of people, ate exotic foods, and also spent time in the hospital after contracting a nasty skin infection. It was all part of the travel experience and he took it in stride. Of course, like any mom I was on edge until he returned from his 14,000 mile round-trip journey. Then after texting me to say he was in China, he surprised me 30 minutes later by serving us our drinks during my birthday lunch. I don’t think I’ve ever hugged anyone so hard. He smelled every bit like the 72 hours he spent in the air, but I didn’t care.¬†

Me? I’ll venture out with a tour guide, in a motor coach, and end my day with a glass of wine and a chocolate on my pillow. I write this as my husband and I are preparing for a summer trip to Israel. I am beyond excited to be traveling to the Holy Land, to walk where Jesus trod, float in the Dead Sea, take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, visit the Western Wall and many other biblical sites.¬† At this point in my life, I cannot think of a better adventure and opportunity than to stand where Jesus’ began his ministry on earth.

My passport is awaiting its third stamp, and I am ready for my own leisurely-paced (and thoroughly-planned) amazing race!