Unplugged for the Summer

This summer I haven’t tried in the past seven years. I’ll be unplugged from social media for an entire month. That’s right, starting July 1st, no pinning, tweeting, face booking, instagramming or even blogging. The first step–deleting all the apps from my phone and iPad.

Even as I write this, I’m already thinking about all the news, funny memes, messages and everything else I might miss while I’m away. Or the people that might unfollow me or unfriend me because I’m not posting anything.

But you know what, I’m ok with all of this. In fact, I might sneak in some time to scrub through the people I’ve allowed into my online space. That’s not to be mean or anything, but the ease of following people on social media makes it so easy to consume a lot of digital noise. There’s also the psychological guilt we feel if we reject someone’s friends request, which means many of us allow people to peek into our lives that we probably wouldn’t if it wasn’t for social media. But, we’ll leave all that to unpack for another day, another time. :)

unplugged for the summer

Here’s the deal, I don’t like the feeling of being addicted to anything–even sweets. However, social media is one of those things I feel like I’m doing all the time. And I know it’s not just me because I see a lot of updates from some of y’all too…ha-ha!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hopped on Facebook to send someone a quick message and 30 minutes or an hour later, I’d completely forgotten why I was on there to begin with.

And let’s not even talk about Pinterest or Instagram, I start scrolling and scrolling and scrolling and before I know it, way too much unproductive time has passed.

Ever before the summer began, I knew I wanted to divert some of this time doing unimportant stuff on social media to doing memory-making stuff with my family. I was even more sure of this when I realized that as of this Friday, my son will have been out of school for six weeks and I have yet to put together that summer fun/learning plan for the kids that I’d thought about doing months ago.

I hope y’all will consider joining me in being unplugged for the summer. Feel free to even post our “Unplugged for the Summer” pic on your social media accounts. The more, the merrier.

If you’re at a lost for what to do with all of your new free time with the kids, here are a few ideas:

And while you’re going unplugged for the summer, don’t feel guilty about carving out time to do the things you like to do or have been meaning to do–whether it’s reading a book, decorating a room, organizing digital photos or vision planning for your next big goal. You deserve it!

See you back here on Friday, August 1st.

p.s. If you can’t bear the thought of life without social media and need a little boost to go unplugged, check out The UnWired Mom: Choosing to Live Free in an Internet Addicted World by Sarah Mae. It’s a really great read that’ll leave with many “things-that-make-you-go-hmmmm” moments.

What Are You Calling Your Children?

What's your name?

Photo Source Wagner T. Cassimir via Flickr

A friend of mine is mama to three wonderful sons. I’m sure they’re quite human, with flaws and weaknesses. But I only know that because they have pulses beating. From my friend’s mouth comes life spoken over these sons of hers. She may be younger than me, but she’s a mama-mentor to me especially on those difficult days when it’s hard to see the amazing in my children.

She has names for her sons that call them into their identity, like “The Strong One” and “Lil Warrior.” I’ve never heard her complain about her sons. I’ve only ever heard her speak of her prides and joys with genuine pride and joy. These names she calls them by not only lift them up, but they call out identity from within.

So, when God spoke to my heart last month, giving me new names for my family members, I was thrilled! I was at a women’s conference and it was during worship on Friday night when I heard Him speak. And He spoke newness and life and identity. He gave me new names that I was now tasked with speaking over my family members.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.” Revelation 2:17

When bedtime comes for the little ones, I’m usually more than ready for it. But that night was different. I gathered my brood on the living room floor…me, with bubbling-over excitement and a sense of urgency…them with a look of confusion on their faces. And life tumbled from my lips.

My daughter, I declared, is called “The Worshiper.” It’s fitting for this little girl who can sing praises for hours with hands lifted. It’s a challenge, calling her to focus on the blessings all around, thanking the One responsible for giving.

My son, “Servant Leader”…in that order. He loves to serve and he loves to lead. This name puts in focus the reality that in order to be a leader worthy of being followed, he must first be a servant. Then, those he serves will know that he leads with their best in mind rather than according to his own agenda.

My husband received his name, “The Tackler,” which is hugely appropriate for this football fan. But, football aside, the heart behind it is that here stands a man of God who moves forward in fearless obedience to God, ready and willing to tackle any challenge before him. Here is a man who can be trusted with immense tasks because he first trusts God to equip him.

Then there was me: “Water Walker.” Of late, songs like Oceans and You Make Me Brave have spoken vibrantly to my soul, calling me out beyond the safety of the shore and into the unknown. Whether the waters are choppy due to storms or calm in the mundaneness, walking across them is miracle. God is calling me out to walk over the impossible situations, be they stormy or mundane…and to see the miraculous in every moment.

Names for Your Children

Photo Source Mayr via Flickr

What about you? Do you have names for your children? Your husband? Yourself? Are they names full of life or are they, honestly, full of death?

In the recent weeks since being given these names, there have been some tough mommy moments, where my kids’ behavior hasn’t aligned with who they are. This reminder is where I go; what I speak over them again and again.

To the son demanding his own way, “Who are you, son?” “I’m the Servant Leader.” A shift occurs…

To the daughter beginning to whine… “Who are you, daughter?” “The Worshiper.” A new perspective…

To my own soul, when I feel pulled down under the weight of impossible things, “Who am I?” Water Walker…taking miracle-steps through storms and mundane alike.

God has a new name for you too. One that speaks to who you are, how He sees you. Would you stop today and ask Him? What does He declare over your children? How does He see your husband? Who does He say you are? And…will you agree with Him?

refining identity cover no grad

Imagine yourself walking in the identity God has designed for you, and helping your children discover their identities for themselves! Courtney’s book, Refining Identity, dives deeply into the topic of discovering our true identity. Check out Refining Identity here!

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