26 Feb 2012

What I learned from almost 2 months almost unplugged

I just got back from Blissdom. It’s a blogging conference hosted by some super awesome women in Nashville for the last five years. And a lot of super awesome people attend.

But it can induce a case of “I’m-not-good-enough-oh-my-goodness-how-will-I-ever-keep-up-itis” in even the best of us.

As the last night wound down and women sat around over burgers, fries and their blog cards and talked life-blogging balance, it got me thinking about this post I wrote last year. I think it bears remembering. For me most of all.

On finding social media balance

I went social media silent for almost two months after my daughter was born.

The reason that’s a big deal is because I’m the social media manager for DaySpring. They’re the Christian subsidiary of Hallmark and they make pretty, pretty things in their beautiful quest to connect people everywhere with the heart of God.

They also host the fabulous website (in)courage – where women from all walks of life find a comfy home for their hearts and a coffee table to rest feet and mugs while they catch up with friends from all over the globe.

I’m the community manager over there. And I love it. I get to work from home. It’s basically the dream job. So, I was nervous about how unplugging would go.

Two months is like two decades in social media time.

But I did it. Sort of. And was pretty amazed at what I discovered.

In no particular order:

1. Nothing online is quite as urgent as it seems.

The blog post you just “have” to write, the twitter party you “must” attend, the giveaways, blog rolls, fan groups, Facebook pages, and redesigns you “can’t” miss out on? Yea. That’s just silly nonsense. Here’s the skinny my friend: there will always be another one. Another post, another party. But there’s only one you. And your family, your friends, your church – they will, in fact, miss you.

2. If you don’t have time to pee, your priorities are way out of whack.

No matter what kind of work you do, as a student, a mom, a mentor; whether working from home, out of the home, juggling kids, car pool, plays and soccer practice, a business, or as a full time writer – if you don’t have time for your basic bodily functions, girlfriend, you need to reevaluate. I was amazed to discover how empowering deciding to go potty before I attended to kids, calls, IMs, twitter or my email has been.

This point applies to showers as well. But I realize you may have to work your way up to those – that’s some serious re-prioritizing.

3. You are the boss of your boundaries

Overwhelmed by your inbox? Stressed by requests for your time, attention, and availability? Anxious about negative comments, Facebook posts or feedback? Tired of your loud and shouty computer? Listen carefully: Just. Close. It.

Learn how to say no and mean it. Don’t waste time resenting, dodging, or fretting requests for your time or attention – you’re the only one who can do anything about them. And while saying no may take practice, you’d be amazed how much easier it gets with time. And how nice it is to be able to breathe again.

4. Beware the smart phone that makes you trigger happy

Seconds. I always feel the urgent need to respond to an email, tweet, or other online request in seconds. No matter what I’m doing. I’ve been known to pull off into a parking lot to quickly type out a response to an email ping.

Two weeks into my maternity leave and I realized that’s just plain nuts. I don’t work with nuclear launch code responsibilities. I’m not a heart surgeon. No one dies if I don’t respond in five seconds flat. And, let’s face it, any response typed out on a teeny screen in a Walmart parking lot is gonna be less coherent, comprehensive and compelling than it probably deserves.

5. If it doesn’t come next, don’t do it

This one hit me when I was crawling into bed, desperate for sleep like a dehydrated camel longs for water. And though I could barely open my red, exhausted eyes I still found myself squinting against the glare of my phone to check my messages.

That’s just wrong. After, “pull back sheets” comes “go to sleep” not “respond to advertising request.”

Do yourself a favor – kick it old school for a while and just do one thing at a time. Write a post. Respond to emails. Send a tweet. Call a friend. Just not all at the same time. Multi-tasking usually means we do a lot of things with very little attention to any of them. But that’s just my humble and ever-so-slightly sleep deprived opinion.

6. It’s not a race, it’s a calling

Over the best grilled steak and lettuce salad I’ve ever had, a friend told me that God doesn’t mean to overwhelm us with the work He’s given us. It’s His work. He can get it done. We fall for the lie if we tell ourselves that it’s up to us or not at all. Stop running yourself ragged. I’m learning He is rarely in a crushing rush.

7. There are no cool kids

The site you wish you could write for, the blogger who doesn’t respond to your emails, the photos you hate that you don’t know how to take, the conference you can’t afford to attend  – these aren’t cliques, they’re not out to make you feel small, or frustrated or unheard. They’re just figuring out how to tell their story, same as you. They may have different interests, talents, timelines, or words than you. But their stories are likely very similar to yours.

Tell the one you have. And some days you might find yourself alone and others at the center of a circle. Neither is as relevant as whose hand you’re holding onto at the time.

Seven things. I think they sum it up – what those beautiful, baby-focused weeks taught me. I’m so profoundly grateful to DaySpring for the time. Because time itself is a gift created and instituted by God. And perhaps one day we will have to answer for how we spent it.

In that case, I can’t wait to tell Him about the eight weeks I spent just doing this

Got other suggestions you’d add to this list? I’d love to hear them! Won’t you share in the comments so we can all be encouraged?

Thanks to my friend Natalie for the photos!

::

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Comments

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  1. 1

    Firstly, congratulations on that gorgeous pink baby!!!!

    Secondly, I found myself nodding along with all your points. I have fallen uinto many of the traps you pointed out above. [I have deactivated my FB a/c for the month of May because I was just put of control. I have been off FB now for 3 weeks (stayed on twitter) and I finally feel like it no longer has control over me – why oh why did I give it such power???]

    I have been trying to prioritise things that are REALLY important and I came to the same conclusions as you did – nothing is really THAT urgent online. Thank you for this post. It has helped put things in perspective for me. xo

  2. 2

    Welcome back!

    Your advice is pretty poignant, as I am personally (finally!) finding my niche, and have been fretting over how I’ll handle it all. Thanks for the tips. :-)

  3. 3

    nailed it !!

  4. 4

    Love this in too many ways to count…

  5. 5

    Love this today.

  6. 6

    You always nail it! Enjoy your pink bundle and those little hands to hold! The web will be here when you return :)

  7. 7

    That’s a pretty precious package you have there..and pretty impressive wisdom you have imparted!
    Chris

  8. 8

    you are beautiful! you look so great, vriendin, and i can’t wait to see-see you again. sometime. hopefully sooner rather than later.

    love your heart on this page, in these words. such great nuggets of truth to help slow me down and refocus me on what’s important.

    love to you.

  9. 9

    I feel sort of guilty posting this from my iPod but I am home and simply did not want to wake up Jacy for just a few minutes :)

    Those are great, Lisa-Jo. I was reading and nodding because my job lately has gained more of a SMM angle as well and sometimes it’s overwhelming (especially considering the fact that social media is NOT officially in my job description… I am simply a web-content coordinator)…

    Anyway, all that to say – thanks for reminding me about priorities.

    *hugs* to you, Pete, and your three lil munchkins :)

  10. 10
    Sharon O says:

    I have to say I LOVE this picture first of all I remember so many times rocking and cuddling little ones on my chest, it is a HOLY moment having their breaths match yours. In the quiet of the moment nothing ‘is more important’. Also it is precious to see, your contented happy face, it is peaceful and wonderful and you are a beautiful ‘new mom’.
    I love this picture I hope you frame it.

  11. 11

    Seriously good stuff here, Lisa-Jo!

  12. 12

    Congratulations!! You bring back precious memories…I had 3 bundles of pink….and now they are 12, 8 and 3! I loved all your valid points. I took a 6 month hiatus from my blog last July – Dec, read the Bible in 90 days…really engaged and focused on my family. It meant the world to me, and I came back in January…fully charged, more confident than before and MUCH more disciplined.

    Hope you know all about Mops groups, and get plugged into one. Even though they stand for Mother’s of Preschoolers they are for all new moms…perfect for moms with brand new babies. Google them as they have a site that you can plug in your zip code to find the nearest one. I’ve been with my Mops group for 9 years and LOVE it! It’s a great way to get connected to other new moms…the fellowship and community is SO important right now.

    Enjoy that little one, and get plenty of pics! :)

  13. 13

    Lisa-Jo,
    You bless my socks off!

    No really, no socks anywhere in sight after reading this post!

    Such wisdom here and such calm. It’s so easy to get hung up in what “the cool kids” are doing and the things I think I’m not a part of, the places they’ll be that I won’t get to be. Thank you for reminding me that “there are no cool kids” and that letting God hold my hand and telling the story I have are my responsibility–the rest is up to Him!

  14. 14

    Just wanted to let you know that I’m your newest follower. And after further reading your blog I see you have 2 older sons. :) So you know how all too fast it goes. So do you already have a Mops group?

  15. 15

    This is a brilliant post!
    That last pic is so yummy!!! cluck cluck cluck. (no I’m done but will always goo over newborns)

  16. 16
    Stephanie says:

    Wise words from a mumma who knows. Thanks for sharing your insights. It sounds like you had a deeply meaningful learning time over the past two months. Your pink princess is gorgeous. Love the pics of you two snuggling together. Adorable! Bless you. xo

  17. 17

    This post is incredible and this is an extremely important statement: “God doesn’t mean to overwhelm us with the work He’s given us. It’s His work. He can get it done.”

  18. 18

    Lisa-Jo. This was exactly what I needed to hear this morning. Thank you for reminding me of what I let slip past me. Today I will work harder at finding the balance. Love these photos of you and your pink bundle. Blessings to you, mama!

  19. 19
    GlowinGirl says:

    What a beautiful baby for a beautiful mama! Congrats!

    I completely agree with what you are saying. I ended my blog at Sugar Tails because I wanted to put my family first. Then, for Lent, I gave up reading blogs and FB (unless I received a personal message that truly needed to be responded to). It was refreshing and eye-opening. Those things truly don’t matter as much as the people in our house and our own personal time. They are nice — if they stay under our control and don’t control us.

  20. 20

    Totally agree. I don’t own a cell phone that does any of that “new stuff” – old fashioned, I guess I am – but I use a telephone that is stuck to a cord in the wall; I have a cell that stays in the car for emergencies; I do have email and I do read blogs and blog – but only for a certain part of the day. Michael Hyatt did a wonderful blog on scheduling – I try to follow that advice.
    I pray and read my Bible first thing every morning. Inspiration comes from Him.
    Enjoy your children while they are young; I am enjoying my grandchildren while they are young too.
    Blessings,
    Jan

  21. 21

    So true and so easy to focus our priorities other than where they really need to be.

    #7 is always the hardest for me…the recovering perfectionist and people-pleaser that I am. Its been ingrained in me that it’s not good enough unless you’re the best…and you can measure it.

  22. 22
    JDaniel4's Mom says:

    I love your reminder to keep thing in the correct order and God’s work.

  23. 23

    Thank you…Yes and Amen…
    Blessings
    Andrea

  24. 24

    Precious Pink Bundle, congrats! Blessed revelations as well, thanks for sharing. I frequently take breaks – Media fasts – but only after I am crashing and burning. Praying for the self discipline so I can stop it before it gets to that point. Your post is the second one I read this morning about this! Blessings as you ease back into the swirl of life. :)

  25. 25

    So glad to have you back. So needed to hear the re-affirmation of things God has been recently showing me. Such a great post. Thank you.

  26. 26

    Amen! Such truth! We’ll be tested again and again and AGAIN on all of this! Focus – one thing at a time – on purpose (calling) and honoring our Father!

  27. 27

    Ahhh, yes! Discernment to recognize the difference between the important and the urgent helps us walk in Wisdom, choosing well how best to spend our most important resource: Time.

  28. 28

    Brilliant.

    Congratulations on that beautiful pink bundle.

    Hallee

  29. 29

    Totally going to read this to my realtor husband, only I think I’m changing, “If you don’t have time to pee…” to “If you don’t have time to eat ALL DAY LONG…” Also, although I have an iPhone now too, it drives me crazy when he checks his iPhone every 5 seconds. I keep telling him that clients will understand if he e-mails them back in 15 minutes rather than 5 seconds. NO ONE WILL DIE!!

  30. 30

    Love love loved this post! You are setting people free today with it. Blessings on you and the new baby….and congratulations on a powerful return with these words today.

  31. 31
    Lindsey says:

    Unfortunately, I resonate with ALL of these points… and I don’t even have kids yet. Sheesh… You’d think working for a Christian non-profit would help me remember that I am not in control but rather God is. You’d think…

  32. 32

    Yay! So happy to have you back and so glad you’ve found a more peaceful place. Totally could relate to your words. You matter more than anything you do–you and that pink bundle of wonderful. XOXO

  33. 33

    Oh how I love this…
    “God doesn’t mean to overwhelm us with the work He’s given us.” – LOVE
    Making some big changes in my schedule and working on truly making time for what matters.
    What about accountability? Do you think it’s an important component as well? If so, how are you practicing?

    • 34
      thegypsymama says:

      Hey Jen – great question! Yes, during my maternity leave my DaySpring team pretty much sent me the electronic stink eye if I responded to emails or got on line. And I had a specific accountability partner (I’m looking at you Holley Gerth) who I think enjoyed her role of putting me in a e-time out anytime she saw me tweeting for (in)courage, responding to work emails, etc. It was great. And really helped. Working again, especially since it’s from home, my hubs and kids are the ones that help me make sure to shut down shop at 5 and disconnect to connect with them.

  34. 35

    Beautiful! So true. I thought I’d be able to catch up on blogging while on maternity leave with my second, but I spent all my time with my girls, soaking it all in before I had to go back to work. And it. Was. WONDERFUL. Just as life should be. I love social networking, but it really isn’t that big of a deal in the big picture. Great post!

  35. 36

    God doesn’t mean to overwhelm us with the work He’s given us….

    Oh how I needed this today! I was crying on the way into work, asking God- “really? Is *this* what I am supposed to be doing?” Problem is, i don’t know exactly what I need to do to change…praying about that.

  36. 37

    Amen, sister. This is more profound than you probably realize, as so many of us just don’t ‘get it’. Not at all. And I love the honesty and truth here. You’ve inspired me to revert back to a goal I had a few weeks ago and NOT EVEN TURN THE COMPUTER ON during the day… what a difference it would make in my productivity and commitment to staying focused on the kids. Sometimes 2 minutes turns into 10. Not to say I’m not connected – but even the 1 minute here, quick check there… it all puts my face in the computer too much as far as I’m concerned. Facebooked this… turning off the computer now and starting a project with the kidlets. Thank you for your words! Praise God for that beautiful little bundle – she’s precious.

  37. 38
    Christie says:

    Love the snuggling photos … My baby is 2 and has better things to do than to snuggle up to Mama. Almost makes me want another one. Almost.

    Love the blog … especially points 3 & 6. So important.

    I am learning to set priorities and say no when needed, so that I can say yes to the most important things: my 3 little girls and my wonderful husband.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  38. 39

    I needed this! You spoke to my heart! I am a new blogger, feeling called to write. . but I put pressures God doesn’t want me to carry on myself. I know I do. I was just writing in my prayer journal and praying about this very thing. Thank you! Thank You!
    Congratulations on your sweet new baby girl!
    I’ve come over to “this here” blog a few times, sweet lady, and I am hitting the subscription button.
    You write from His heart.
    Love to yoU!

  39. 40

    Perfectly said! I love “…He is rarely in a crushing rush.” Love, love, love it all. Thank you, Lisa-Jo :)

  40. 41

    These are excellent. Practical, do-able, reminders. I work from home on blogs and social media for a publisher and it really can suck you into the websphere away from tangible, all-important relationships. Why should I neglect my husband to respond to an email request of someone who I have never even met in person? Why should social strangers take precedence over my family and home life? Thank you for sharing!

    Stephanie S. Smith
    http://www.insidepages.net
    “On Faith, Publishing, and Literary Culture”

  41. 42

    Beautifully written. I’m a new fan. I found you through Gitzen Girl. Enjoy that beautiful baby.

  42. 43

    I’m right there with you… only mine is about to turn 4 months in a couple of weeks and I’m still feeling like I haven’t had enough maternity time. And I have a 2 year old. And two teens — one of which has chronic back pain that is undiagnosed. Between the nursing and the doctor visits, I’m staying REAL close to Big Daddy’s feet in the throne room. It’s a good day as long as I spend enough time there.

  43. 44

    I love so many of these . . . but #6 really stands out. I’m about to hit my crazy season working with TCKs. I love it and dread it at the same time. I think holding onto the fact that this is God’s work not mine will be freeing this summer. We accomplish what we can, but we love at all times. I think that’s going to be my motto for the summer.

    I’ve been semi-unplugged for the last few weeks. My site was hacked and it looks like we’re going to have to destroy it in order to rebuild it. While I keep thinking, “I should blog about THAT!”, I’ve also started to learn to rest in the inability to post right now.

  44. 45

    My favorite part – “God doesn’t mean to overwhelm us with the work He’s given us.” So awesome. I think when something starts to cause stress and ceases to be joyful – it’s time to reavaluate.

  45. 46

    You’re amazing!! you kept up your blog while being unplugged and *LEARNED* 7 valuable life lessons whilst doing so…
    So, what I want to say is this: I took your #6 and emailed it to all of my co-workers, who are also family members and fellow church communicants as well as adding it to my notes section in my little ‘ole smart phone. The rest were highly applicable for me as well, but that one is rocking my world. Will probably be meditating on it for days…it takes awhile for profound things to get through the crust of my heart.
    Thank you, friend.
    Blessings as you ease (i hope) back into life. I am praying for you – my transition into mamma-ing 3 was my toughest…

  46. 47
    Lori Mahon says:

    Lisa-Jo — thank you for this post. I found myself saying “That is me” “OH I totally do this” “Wow” — It is a great reminder on all accounts how we can be too connected and sometimes just need to breathe. Thank you again for this great post – I’m bookmarking it to look back on as I’m sure I will need the reminder again. :)

    And congrats on the beautiful little package :)

    Lori

  47. 48

    “If you don’t have time to pee, your priorities are way out of whack.”– Depends on the situation or rather the career because teachers are not allowed to go to the bathroom whenever they need to…talk to a teacher about this and I’m sure they’ll have similar stories to share. It’s a wonderful career, but I’ve always wondered how that rule got started because students can go to the bathroom whenever they need to as many times as they need to but teachers aren’t supposed to have bathroom breaks except before school, during planning period/lunch and after school. What happens when you have to go between those hours and no one can cover your class? Again, talk to a teacher…they have tons of stories!

    I just wanted to mention what a beautiful photo of you and your newborn baby girl! Looking at the love on your face as she’s asleep (in the first photo at the start of your post), gives me a glimpse into how God must look at all of His children from the moment He forms their bodies within their mother’s womb…precious, priceless and loved without fail. :)

    All the best,

    Alexis

    • 49
      thegypsymama says:

      True dat! Teachers deserve medals for so many things. I am now also adding “Ability to hold it for long periods of time” to that list! And I need to remember to tell my mother-in-law about it, since she’s been a teacher the last 40 years. You guys rock!

  48. 50

    You are beautiful, and that baby darling is precious!! Honestly, I was shocked when you were still doing 5 Minute Fridays during your leave…and wondered if you felt pressured at all to keep it up because we all love it. :) I’m glad you got a nice break, and here’s hoping a lot of this can stick with you as you dip your toes back in the social networking water. Haha! The smart phone one was hard for me, I checked Twitter at 3 AM, email every 5 minutes and had to respond to FB alerts within seconds…which is why I sold it last December. I’m still having withdrawals, but hopefully I’m learning some boundaries so I can get another one again in the future.

    • 51
      thegypsymama says:

      Honestly, just getting to enjoy my own blog and nothing else – it was a treat. I love me (in)courage something crazy, but I loved just hearing my own voice for a while and not reading everyone else’s.

      I did, however, enjoy checking twitter during the wee hours of nursing – somehow made it less lonely :)

  49. 52

    These are so, so good. Especially the just close it. I think when Twitter, blogs, fb ect are stressing me out it a good sign that I need to get off and go play with my kids for awhile. Shift the perspective.

  50. 53

    You are fabulous. Every eight weeks, eight days or eight minutes. Love you!

  51. 55

    Oh my goodness, YES. This is so unbelievably true. And it’s why I take a month-long break every summer. Adamantly in agreement with everything you said here, sister!

  52. 56

    Uh-oh… some DC mama knows my heart better than I do! Thank you for this post full of blessing from your 8 weeks of precious Zoe – the beautiful girl and the life itself. You know what to say, and how. And somehow this post showed up when I needed it, too! Lots of love to you and your lovely family!

  53. 57

    Love this, love this, love this! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  54. 58

    I recently marked my entire Google Reader as read. It was like throwing out a stack of old newspapers and magazines.

    It all reminds me of a sale at Old Navy…there is always another one :)

  55. 60

    Hmmm…can I unplug from my job?
    Oh. No. All these kids, and all this laundry, and this astoundingly precious last-baby in my arms; and my darling, maddening, oops-I-peed-on-the-floor toddler; and this huge, weren’t-you-a-baby-yesterday?-teenage boy; and so many other wonderfully overwhelming gifts in between…okay, yeah. This IS my job. Sigh.
    Wouldn’t want ANY other job in the world. But yeah – wish I could unplug from it sometimes… =)

  56. 61

    YES! YES! YES! Thank you for these much-needed reminders to my heart. Oh my friend, you are wise and gracious … and I especially love #5 – If it doesn’t come next, don’t do it! My heart needed that sweet word of encouragement this morning.

  57. 62

    Wonderful words of wisdom! While I do feel that blogging for Compassion is my calling, I have recently had more feelings of being overwhelmed as I am asked to do more guest posts and activities. I just about had a full on panic when I was asked to write for the official Compassion blog and already had a few other projects on my plate.

    I am working on balance. As my blog and projects become bigger, it is going to take daily mindfulness to keep the balance in check. God first, family second, and the internet world coming along behind.

  58. 63

    i nod my head in agreement to all of the above. love the pics of you and the bambino. Reminder of how much I miss that time. :)

  59. 64

    So Awesome it Hurts!

    I nodded and agreed with every point as I read it. If I still wrote blog posts (hee hee) I’d write this one. Thank you for doing it better than I ever could.

    <3

  60. 65

    That, right there, looks like the perfect way to spend 8 weeks :-)

    Email me if you would like access to my new blog
    jess.white05 at gmail dot come

  61. 66

    Oh yes! I especially love #6–it’s a calling, not a race.

    And a small study done by a professor at Emory showed that multitasking interferes with our impulse control–and may make cause us to gain weight. God did not design us to race through our days.

    Beautiful baby. Beautiful you.

  62. 67

    The pictures were priceless; and the thoughts were ones that I am going ponder on and perhaps tweak a few of the things that I think and do.
    Blessings to you!

  63. 68

    Thank you for the wonderful wisdom! I needed to hear it and I think a lot of us do. I have come to loathe the smart phone — though I’ve never owned one — because of the emails I’ve been receiving that make me feel small. Thanks for speaking up! And oh how beautiful you and sweet Zoe Grace look! Lord, let my third be a girl, too! ;)

  64. 69

    Beautiful, PINK gift you have there! & lots of truth in that post! :)

  65. 70

    Precious baby. Wise mommy. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  66. 71

    Such wisdom – love the perspective & truth tucked in there. I agree about the phone – I have gotten better at just turning the thing off or leaving it at home (GASP!) or the car, when I’m headed to a friend’s or Bible study. I used to jump up every. single. time. I heard an email ping … my hubby finally said something. I got very defensive and said that I need to respond because it just arrived. He said, “they don’t know you got it – you could be out, or in the bathroom or on a trip.” That humbled me and pointed out my obvious people-pleaser perfectionism. (say that 3 times fast). Knowing that it doesn’t REALLY matter is sometimes hard to grasp, but it’s true. I now try to focus on the next thing, as you said. Good stuff, Lisa-Jo – enjoy your precious bundle!

  67. 72

    I really needed to read this today. I just started my own site two months ago where I write about Interest-led Learning. I’ve put a lot of heart into the site, and I’ve felt discouraged when I look at the stats and it feels like I’m just writing for myself sometimes. It’s good to hear someone pretty established say you feel like that some days, too. Thanks!

  68. 73

    Your baby is beautiful! Congrats!

    Great post, it is all so true. We get so hurried and rushed, we forget to just take time to be normal!

  69. 74

    Thanks for this real world reminder.

    Of course I enjoy my online friendships, but time with my family is precious… and ticking away as each child grows. In the end, I want us to be a close family. We will only grow that way if I nurture us that way and put us before the cyber world.

    Tough, at times, to do, but so important!

  70. 75

    Congratulations, and what an inspiring post.

    Especially #6: “It’s His work. He can get it done.” Really puts things into perspective for me.

  71. 76

    So many of your posts make me say, “Oh, my.” And again here. Thank you for these honest truths. And for those sweet pictures!

  72. 77

    Well said! I have been closing my computer a lot more lately. It is hard at first, but then I find the less I’m on it, the less I want to be on it. It seems to work in reverse too. The more I’m on the computer, the more I want to be on the computer.

    Congratulations on your precious baby. She is beautiful!

  73. 78

    This was one of the most fantastic posts I have ever read. You are so so so right. the world is not going to end if we don’t respond to an email, in fact it might not even notice if we don’t truth be told.

    Congratulations on you little baby. She looks perfect.

  74. 79

    This was a great and much needed post. After being challenged by Holly Gerth about taking a cyber-sabbath, I jumped in. Each week as I ‘rest’, I am reminded just how much I have allowed my time to be sucked away by internet! It is bondage, really.

    I am going to live free! Galatians 5:13-14!!!!!!

  75. 80

    It sounds like your 8 weeks were wondrous. Congrats on your sweet baby girl – and thank you for offering us all the gift of “perspective.”

  76. 81

    This is one of the best things I’ve ever read on this new online world. Bless you! and that precious baby of yours as well. You have lighted a candle and shown us the way.

  77. 82

    Wow, I really needed to reading this this morning.

    Coming home from Blissdom, being behind in both of my social media jobs (not to mention my own blog) because of it… but really, I have other things I need to do first. Like snuggle my boys!

  78. 83

    This popped into my inbox… and I thought, Wow, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. I’m planning an internet fast during the whole month of March. Ya know, that’s only four short weeks. :)

    Thanks for the encouragement.

  79. 84

    Amen sister. Amen. Thank you for the reminder.

  80. 85

    I’ve started to be unplugged on Sundays. I was for a month and then this past weekend I wasn’t and I saw the difference.

    Sure, it takes a lot of planning and effort to unplug myself from the computer, but it is totally worth it!

    Thanks for this reminder.

  81. 86

    Amen x100. Learned so much of this at Blissdom this weekend, and so thankful for the freedom in it. Thanks for putting them in a list. I love lists.

  82. 87

    Fantastico! A perfect read to go along with my kids-are-in-quiet-time spoonful of chocolate.

  83. 89

    Thank you Gypsy Mama. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ve been reading but never posted till now. Every single post you have written has moved me to tears with its truth and elegance. Your words flow and swirl around my ears so eloquently, like a babbling brook rushing and tumbling, excited to be free. I love you for writing such truths, and with such honesty. And for making me realise that every other mum on the planet has the same issues I do (and it’s ok to accept that!). With much love from Scotland, xxx

    • 90
      thegypsymama says:

      We are so much more alike than different, aren’t we? And Scotland – that’s on my list of places to visit!!

  84. 91

    Not sure this will look like a comment when it’s finished, but here goes! I loved this post as this subject is very close to my heart. I am a homeschooling mom of four, ages 2-10, which is most rewarding, but full time job right now. I love many things that I can find on the internet–inspiration, encouragement, and information abound! I love your blog and read every post. I have been puzzled why women are more overwhelmed and feeling inadequate now when there is more encouragement out there for women than ever. I think we may have even more ideas than we can handle and we make the mistake of thinking we should try all the good ideas that everybody else has. It has been imperative for me to walk closely with God and ask Him what my husband, my kids, and my home need. God is likely inspiring all those bloggers, and they write out of the overflow if their hearts, but what He’s telling 50 different women is not all for me to put into practice right now. It is simply not possible. I think it takes great wisdom to not get bogged down by all that is out there. I don’t think we need another good idea, but just to get up off that couch and put some into practice. It is so much easier for me to read or write about important issues in my home than to actually do something about them. Thirty years ago, people mostly learned from the people in their family, community, and church, and that was a much smaller pool of information and ideas. Many bloggers and church members are trying to hold up an unrealistic image which definitely contributes to the discouragement women face and I am immensely grateful for your honesty which gives me courage everytime I read your blog. BTW, I loved the one where you gave both sides of your story, sharing strengths and weaknesses. I forwarded it to a batch of close friends and we all took the assignment on ourselves and shared our results with each other. It was liberating, and so fun! Thanks again for being a place of refreshment!

    • 92
      thegypsymama says:

      Oh I love this Elizabeth – you’re so right and if only we could let go of the “everything” and just choose the “some things” that are a right fit for us, how much more peace we would have. I especially LOVE that you and your friends actually made lists reflecting the whole story of who we are. LOVE it! Thank you for letting me know.

  85. 93

    A breath of fresh air and a cold sip of water — that is what this post is! What a fabulous reposting. Thank you!

    I couldn’t agree more with Elizabeth’s comment above, too. Well said.

  86. 94

    I want to thank you for your beautiful, inspiring words! Being a stay at home mom is not glamorous and can be so hard! But there really is no better or more holy calling in all this world. I often feel looked down on by society and their idea of what a woman’s potential should be, but your blog puts things back into perspective for me. I know what I’m doing is noble and that should be enough for anyone else. =)

  87. 95

    I am fairly new to your blog, I have linked for 5 minute friday a few times. But it is uncanny how perfect your timing is. Which can only mean its from God. Not only with this post but with a few others I have read recently. Thank you!

  88. 96

    Oh this was so wonderful. I love #6 – it’s not a race – most of all. You are so right, lady. So right.

  89. 97

    I so needed to hear this!
    Thank you.

  90. 98

    What a great post… so very true. We make things in the social media world A LOT more important and rushed than they really are. Do I care if someone doesn’t respond to my email or text within 5 minutes? No. So why do I assume I must answer all my messages in that same timeframe?

  91. 99

    I love you so much.

  92. 100

    I’m a frequent reader, but a less-frequent commenter. Yet, I shall join the throng and tell you how much I love this ~ because I do. “It’s not a race. It’s a calling.” I believe this to the very depth of my being. I am committed to this craft of shaping words ~ to share my life and the ways I’ve grown and failed and grown some more. But the blogging thing can so easily take over. I must remind myself sometimes to write first, and blog later.

  93. 101

    Thank you for such encouraging words. Blessed:)

  94. 102

    I agree totally with what you are saying. Since I started Blogging in April I spend way to many hours Online. I have neglected other areas of my life. You confirmed to my heart exactly what God had already been saying to me.

  95. 103

    It’s actually a nice and useful piece of info. I am satisfied that you
    shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed
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