Why I’ll Never Quit Facebook

And you shouldn't either

Our pastor says Satan’s favorite number isn’t 6…it is the number 1. For that very reason, I will never quit using my Facebook account.

At times, out of complete frustration with myself, I have deleted the Facebook app from my phone.  Noticing an almost involuntary reflex to reach for my phone, tap the app, and scroll through the newsfeed, I hit that little x in the app’s right corner and took a few days away.  And, during those days off, I have considered closing my account entirely.

The enemy would love that. I am convinced he would love this momma to close her Facebook account, and I think he would like you to close yours as well.  He loves to separate & isolate.  He especially loves it when Jesus followers choose to disconnect themselves from the people & culture.

In addition to the fun of keeping in touch with my college roomies and previous co-workers, Facebook has allowed me to share my blog posts with hundreds of mommas; it has allowed me to lead & learn from women who are all over the country in Love God Greatly Bible studies; Facebook has allowed me to learn from godly people like Michael Hyatt, Christine Caine, Jen Hatmaker, & Jennie Allen.

I have also allowed Facebook to steal precious moments with Charlotte–missed moments coloring with her or actually seeing her complete that puzzle for the first time. I have allowed Facebook to be a place to turn for distraction when I am frustrated or discouraged rather than turning to my Father God for peace. At times, I have been more focused on getting a perfect picture of a momma-moment for Facebook, than relishing the moment.

So, should I just quit?  Should I erase my account?  I could be sure Facebook would never again distract me from those moments or keep me scrolling when I should be sleeping.

I am convinced God hasn’t called us to recoil from culture and stop engaging it.  He has called us to be right in the middle of culture engaging his {broken, sin-filled} creation and responding with hope to the same crises, the same frustrations, the same hurts they’re experiencing.

Every single status update I make is a glimpse into who I believe God to be in my everyday life.

Every picture of your kids, every post about your husband, the way you report that your three children have been sick for three weeks, each one is an opportunity.

An opportunity to declare who God is and what He is capable of doing.

So, does Facebook require self-control?  Yup!  So does food, speaking, and walking through Target.  So, I dare you, keep your Facebook account & start seeing it as a tool.

p.s. If they aren’t old enough already, at some point your little people will be engaged in social media.  If you don’t know how to properly handle it and use it as a gospel vehicle, how will they?

What Your Kids Desperately Need to Know

“Momma!” Charlotte’s perturbed little voice beckoned me as the left mini-van door slid open.  I stood, waiting to buckle Beckett into his seat.  The girls’ door had opened first allowing just enough time for them to climb in and disagree about who was going to use the purple marker on the 2 mile ride home from Meijer.

“Yes, Charlotte?”

“Momma, Audrey stuck her tongue out at me.  Like this!” Charlotte indignantly whined and then stuck her tongue out to demonstrate.

My gaze met Audrey’s sheepish one.  “Buddy, that’s not the sweet Audrey I know…” I wanted to continue and tell her that isn’t my sweet Audrey, and ask her where that attitude would come from, but I had to stop myself.

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2)

On December 1st, our Truth in the Tinsel reading was from Isaiah 9.  We made tissue paper stained glass candle ornaments to remind us that Jesus is the light of the world.  We talked about the darkness that people were living in, and do live in, without Jesus.  With the lights turned low and flashlights shining through our tissue paper, I told them the darkness wasn’t the kind we observe with our eyes, but in your heart darkness.

As I met Audrey’s gaze in the van, I had to stop mid-sentence because the people of the Bible weren’t the only ones with darkness in their hearts.  My sweet, people-pleasing, compliant, helpful firstborn was born with a heart touched by the darkness of sin.  As long as she lives, she will be in the process of letting the light of the world–Jesus Christ–invade every corridor of her heart.

Why then, when I am so aware of my desperate need for Jesus am I astonished when my children display theirs?

“Buddy, that’s not the sweet Audrey I know…..

Actually, you know what, buddy?  When yucky stuff comes out of us, that shows us a spot in our hearts that needs help from Jesus.  Sometimes, I notice that I have a cranky thought or words that are grumpy and that shows me there is something in my heart that I need to have Jesus work on.”

What a wonderful time of year to help our people understand that Jesus is the most precious gift because He is the gift we most need.

Mommas, next time your child displays disgusting, selfish, sinful behavior, don’t be surprised.  Teach them to treat those behaviors as indicators of their need for more light in their darkness.

Gabriel, Elizabeth, and a Juicy Piece of Gossip

In the middle of addressing Christmas cards, signing up to bring snacks to school parties, and even a December birthday to add an extra pinch of crazy, we are making roomAnd, I am so grateful we have because God has shown me something I have never before noticed in the Christmas story.

We are using Truth in the Tinsel as we walk through advent this season to spend some minutes, every day, in the Word as a family.  Gathered around our dining room table, over our baked chicken legs, chili & muffins, or hotdogs we have been reading about Mary and Elizabeth.

I have been so struck by the importance of Elizabeth to Mary.  Of course, I knew John, Elizabeth’s son, was used mightily to prepare the way for Jesus, the son Mary carried.  But, Elizabeth played a vital role in Mary’s journey long before that trek to Bethlehem.

When Gabriel came to Mary, Luke 1 tells us that “she was greatly perplexed” by the news he brought (that might just be the understatement of the century). She questioned how she would become pregnant as a virgin, and Gabriel told her  the Holy Spirit would come upon her (verse 35). But, lean in and listen to the next words from Gabriel,

“‘And listen, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For with God nothing [is or ever] shall be impossible.'” (Luke 1:36-37, AMP)

Do you hear it?  To build Mary’s faith for this (humanly) impossible pregnancy, Gabriel cited what God already accomplished for Elizabeth.  Never before, have I noticed that it was after hearing of Elizabeth, Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1: 38)

After Mary heard of another’s barren place being filled with life, she had faith for what seemed barren, lifeless, and impossible in her own journey.

So, momma, here is the question this morning: who is your Elizabeth?

My mom has been an Elizabeth in my life–in times of financial strain she has reminded me of the way God carried our family, when I was young, through months with no income.  When our middle baby struggled with a chronic health issue for over a year, my Elizabeth was another momma who was some months ahead of me walking through health issues with her own beautiful daughter. As I heard evidence of God doing the impossible for them, I had strength and faith to return to my (temporarily) barren place.

I encourage you this morning to find an Elizabeth–find someone who has walked through the fire, but wasn’t consumed.  Find someone who has seen life fill a barren place–it may be not be someone you know personally.  It may be a writer, pastor, speaker, or blogger.  But, when you see what God has done for her, and you recall that you serve the same God, your faith will grow, and you will be able to say, like Mary, I am your servant, Lord; may this go according to your Word and plan.