Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Purging

Earlier this week I felt like a collage. A collage of pasta, milk jug tops, cut up construction paper, and pipe cleaners. (Can you tell I have toddler art on the brain?)

A collage of to-do lists, of reflecting, of a feeling of something unsettling. I couldn't put my finger on how I was feeling, much less figure out what was causing it. So, I just felt like a messy collage walking around in this Mommy body.

Rather suddenly, a light has turned on in my mind and heart. As I've been able to see through the fog, I now want to purge a few areas of my life. This Mommy collage is too cluttered... so like an early spring cleaning (what's that?), I'm throwing out some extras that are clouding my view of and connections in this world.

One flipping of the switch was this post... one blogger's exit from the blogosphere and why. Thanks to Sara for the recommendation. By the way, I didn't love everything she said, her last sentence was particularly annoying, just to get my 2 cents in. However, I recommend that you read it... not that I'm trying to get everyone to quit... but just to listen to her challenging words. I most appreciated what she said about looking your kids in the eye when they "interrupt" you while you're online, her tendency to get bogged down by the good stuff, how less is better, and how she found herself googling instead of praying. I would add to that notion that a huge added bonus to less internet for me is to start using my thoughts and questions as excuses to move closer in relationship with a person whom I know happens to be an expert on the subject.

While talking to Doug about this last night, we discussed how we've forgotten how to really wait. We're in a culture where everything arrives on a silver platter (or whatever kind of platter that you so desire) in 2 hours or less. For me, I think living part of my life in the internet world has fed this impatient tendency in me. It used to be that a letter was written, the recipient received it months later, and so on. I'm not one to think all was better in the "good ole days," but I do think I can learn something here. I have gotten so used to quick responses and quick information-finding, to my detriment.

And I even find myself sharing about my blogging conversations with my flesh-and-blood friends... like they really care, you know?

Now that the light is on, I'm more aware of how often I tend to check for comments- both on my blogs and others I read, how often I find myself making an observation/having an insightful thought and then first crafting the next post in my mind instead of praying/sharing with a friend/further personal reflection, or actually putting the idea into practice. I've just gotten all out of wack. (I guess I simply need some more wack in my life!)

Like the above blogger shared, there is a wealth of wonderful information online, but I'm at the point where it feels more paralyzing then helpful. I don't need more information, I need more time to chew on and live out the information already in my head.

I'm ready to spend less time staring at a computer screen and more time cuddling up next to my husband with my knitting needles, a good book (what's that?) or magazine, or a good conversation. Sitting on my couch last night, I stared awhile at the pleasant view that is our den. I enjoyed the family pictures, the kids' books, Doug's newly made coat racks, and especially Justin's and Nathan's newly hung art work. (I was going to do a post on that one too, but you'll just have to ask me more about that in person if that interests you!) I look forward to enjoying the view under this roof even more.

A dear friend recently made this decision. It's funny, at the time, I thought I was nowhere near leaving. I had all kinds of ideas of new posts, of even adding labels to past posts, etc. She shared of feeling "lighter," and honestly, inwardly I thought, "that's nice." But now that I'm at this place, I could use that same word to describe the glimpse of what I'm seeing in my future as well. That sentence probably sounded hokey- allow me to clarify. I'm catching a vision for how my life could look different than it does currently and I really really like it. It includes a less racey mind, a more patient heart, diving into some hobbies that have gotten pushed away, and generally living in a more restful, more present way.

Is this it, forever?? I'm not ready to make that kind of decision. For now, I'm simply going to make myself stay away for a month or so and then reevaluate. I trust that the Lord will give me wisdom at that point whether to return with more boundaries or to stay away longer, or forever. What I'll miss the most is connecting with my friends who live far away, especially those overseas. I just might have to keep checking in with you all from time to time. But I find some immediate comfort knowing most of you are coming home "soon" anyway!

Thanks for enjoying this part of my life with me... and thanks for sharing your's with me as well! Blessings to all of you!

4 comments:

Missy said...

My friend-- replying to this in the throes of an awful cold, so this won't be as thoughtful as I would like-- but I love how you expressed yourself here-- how you owned your own distracted feelings and you and Doug's convo about waiting. There's a lot of good here.

As another person who does not have a clear answer about when or if I will return to the bloggy world, I am trusting the One who made us to help us find our right daily rhythms and places to pour ourselves out.

Anonymous said...

Rachel, I enjoy your blogs and hope you won't leave forever. Remember, moderation in all things. If you can find an amount of time you're willing to give to your blog and stick with it, it won't take over your life. Betsy

Elizabeth said...

Hi dear friend. I love reading your words and hearing your heart, and some of your reflections really resonate with my heart. On the other hand, selfishly, as one of your overseas buddies, I'll miss your presence in the blogosphere for however long your absence lasts. However, I'm confident our relationship will be maintained with or without blogs... are internet-enabled phone calls okay? ;-) Love ya!

Nina said...

Rachel, I too read the blog post from Dominion Home. She made a powerful point about God not Google. I'm taking a break from blogging (posting) and I must tell you I have a huge sense of relief. For me, reading and commenting is far more enjoyable that writing posts. I do agree that there is an abundance of good things to read and I find myself making comparisons to my own life all the time. I'm only reading a handful of blogs now and I'm using Google Reader to alert me when blogs I like pub a post.

I like blogs that I can keep up with. I used to admire those bloggers who posted fresh fun material everyday but now I find it is too much. I adored Missy's blog for her delightful words and infrequent posts.

In terms of moderation. I found a wonderful on-line stopwatch that I am using to track (countdown) the amount of time I use the computer each day. I start it whenever I use the computer from looking up a phone number, ordering a library book or writing a comment.

Take care, it sounds like you and your dh have really connected and understand the issues surrounding blogging and spending too much time on line. It is a sad image to consider how many families spend time separately together in their home.