Something to Think About
Go... Make a Difference

Let us not become weary in doing
good, for at the proper time we will
reap a harvest if we do not give up.
(Galations 6:9)

Twitter Posts


Powered by Squarespace
Recent Items
« An Amazing Young Man | Main | Elevator Anniversary »

See The Lite

By Michelle (Graceful, Faith in the Everyday)

I had expectations all right...they just didn't turn out as I expected.

When my pastor first suggested I give up social media for Lent, I balked. "I can't do that," I thought to myself, sitting across from him in the cafe. "It's too risky. There's too much at stake. I can't sacrifice everything I've worked so hard to gain."

I feared the loss. Loss of control, primarily. Fear that readership would plummet, that my itsy-bitsy platform would crumble. But also fear of a deeper loss -- loss of self.

You see, there's the part about the numbers and the platform-building. That’s important, for sure. But beyond that, there's my desire for affirmation. What do more comments, more readers and followers mean? That people like me. People think I'm important. People think I matter. I. I. I. Me. Me. Me.

Where's God in the I? Where's the God in the me? That's right. He's missing. Not there. Replaced.

Turns out, I had begun to define myself externally. I'd turned away from God -- from conveying his message and his voice in my writing -- and turned inward, towards myself.

I fed myself well. I fed my own ego at the expense of my own children and husband. And at the expense of my relationship with God.

It's surprisingly stealthy, this turn toward self-worship. After all, my intentions were genuine: I wrote a book about my come to faith; I wanted to share my story of hope with nonbelievers; I needed to build a platform to attract an agent to attract a publisher to publish the book.

How quickly those intentions morph from God-fulfillment to self-fulfillment. How blurry that line.

Extracting myself from the pull of social media created space. Distance. Quiet. It created perspective. What first felt like emptiness later became fullness as each Lenten week spilled  into the next. What first felt like giving up later felt like greater gain. Emptying to grow fuller. Giving up to gain.

So what did I gain, exactly?

Peace. Quiet mornings spent not hunched over keyboard, but nestled into couch, warm mug in hand, listening for first vibrant chirp pierce blue-black, watching out the window as shapes emerged like Rorschach ink blots from lavender shadow.

Playfulness. Presence. Lite Brite. I Spy. Go Fish. Hide and Seek. Not “Yeah, Hmmm,” vacant “Wow” -- one eye on screen, fingers flying, but instead, my eyes meeting wide, long-lashed brown full-on. Tuned in. Engaged and present with my boys.

Perspective. The platform? The someday publishing dream? The agent? Yeah, I won't lie. It's still there. It's still important. But it's not everything. My everything is what God wants from this journey. Maybe it's a book. Maybe not. Maybe it's to share the story of hope with a thousand. Maybe with one.

So as five weeks ebbs in six this Holy Week, I come full circle. Back to trust. Trust that began with a leap into Lent, trust that blooms as I leap back into God-centered life.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust in me also.” (John 14:1)

Michelle is a Christian wife and mother of two originally from Massachusetts now living in Nebraska. She is a part-time writer, editor and fundraiser for Nebraska PBS/NPR. Michelle loves to write about how her family illuminates God's presence in her everyday life, and on finding (and keeping) faith in the everyday. Michelle enjoys reading, running and writing. Be sure to go visit her blog, Graceful, Faith in the Everyday.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (3)

Yep, amazing how those good intentions become big distractions. I've been dealing with similar things recently. Thanks for the post, Michelle.

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJasonS

I've really enjoyed reading your reflections, Michelle. You have gained much, and readers have gained from following along, even those who continued their socially networked lifestyles.

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnn Kroeker

Beautifully shared. You write for many a heart.
I hope yours stays full.

continued blessings in this, Michelle.

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdeb @ talk at the table

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>