Monday, August 17, 2009

A Weekend Away

This past weekend took me to a home 2 hours north of the valley. There was no landline, cel phone, Bloglines, Home school Lounge, Facebook, or email.

We did crazy things . . . like read old books on the window seat, have family worship on the front porch while wrapped up in quilts to keep the chill at bay, play football in the side yard, play “Little Women” in the back on the hammock . . .

While most of these things were novel due to the availability of landscape (i.e. grass), and climate (woodsy and cooler), they were also available to pursue because the lack of time used chasing technology gave us an abundance of time to use elsewhere.

Upon return home, I did not race to turn the desk top on. Actually, it didn’t get turned on at all until this morning when I needed to see what time to expect the Terminex man. I didn’t feel any need or desire to post on facebook, read blogs, or check email. Actually, this morning I even considered giving the computer the old heave-ho and getting an old-school calendar. (You know, spiral bound, hangs from a little hole, great photos on the top and a grid on the bottom.)

But alas, I’m not convinced Mr. Perfect would go for that, and really, all our photos, jobs, music, etc are all on the drive so that would be pretty destructive. Instead I started considering what I do online and why, and then wondered if that is something in which I really need to participate.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far . . .

Email – communication. This one is non-negotiable. In my defense, I am good at going through with the delete button before reading much of what comes in. The rest gets managed quickly and on my time frame, so it really is the most preferred method of communication for me both incoming and outgoing.

Bloglines – receive encouragement and things to think about. I like several blogs and read them through Bloglines so I can read the ones that have current posts without wasting time calling up the ones that don’t. While I plan on continuing to read blogs, and have even recently thinned them out, I think I’ll go through again with heavier parameters.

Bridled Tongue – introspection, to encourage, to question, to grow. I don’t think I’ll give this up. I don’t post 5 times a day, and I try to not waste my time (or that of a potential reader) with rediculocity.

Homeschool Lounge – to encourage. This is a place to go Titus 2 and encourage younger or otherwise less experienced moms in their endeavor to home educate their children. I enjoy the Lounge, but am wondering at the redundancy of doing this here and on my blog. If I leave the Lounge I won’t be there to get help or offer mine to others. However, there are other avenues for that, and the home educating world has lived without my two cents up until the last few months when I became active there. Hmm . . . this one may have to go.

Polish Adoption Board – to learn, encourage, and keep in touch with other families. I can keep in touch with other families via their blogs. As for learning, I have yet to find anyone else on this board that is a biblical Christian, let alone reformed in faith, doesn’t segregating their two-income families, who home educate, etc. The very different world view I hold leaves me quite the odd-ball there. I think this one can be checked on every few weeks.

Facebook – communicate, keep in touch. There are two family members on facebook with whom I would otherwise have no contact with above twice a year. That alone is worth it. However, I have noticed an influx of ‘friends’ who are really past acquaintances, and of course the varied backgrounds bring a plethora of posts. (I was ‘friended’ before I realized that most of facebook is packed with status seekers who seem to think that numbers mean something in the ‘friends’ department.)

I don’t need the superficiality of it, however, there is encouragement there, there are uplifting things there, and there are prayers offered and requests made. While facebook stays, I am going to get lists going and use them. There is no reason I need to see what every single person is doing every second of their lives. I didn't speak to these people for months/years before, I can certainly check in a few times a month without offense.

*Facebook disclaimer – yes, I occasionally post ungodly responses to life, etc. However, I would rather be on an ‘A’ or ‘B’ list of a few godly friends who will be more likely to pray me through or set me straight, rather than be read by 52 long-past acquaintances who will more likely skip over me or goad me on.

So, is this all going to give me that idyllic lifestyle and home in the pines in which to raise my children and love my husband?

Unfortunately, no.

But it will help me make better use of the time I’ve got, and that’s better than nothing.

Enough technology for the moment, Richard Halliburton is calling me to India . . .

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Please . . . Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Eph 4:29