Thursday, May 29

I Need Tech Support

Technology..... It was supposed to enhance life, make life easier, etc. Right? Surely, that was the plan. However, in our home and with our kids, technology has made life incredibly HARD!

At least 3 times a day, I have the feeling that I'd like to gather all electronics in a sack and take that sack to the curb to be hauled of with the garbage. It makes me crazy!

The start of this summer hasn't been too bad, because we have a little bit of school work left to do. We've been doing a little bit here and there. The kids know not to pressure me about doing/not doing something, because I'll just pull out the school books, and we'll get to work.

But, the recurring problem that makes me want to SCREAM is the lack of creativity that technology encourages in MY kids (maybe not yours). The fact that my children will walk around this house like lost puppies when electronics are put away, makes me feel like a complete failure as a mom. When I hear, "I don't have anything to do," simply because electronics are off limits, I want to bury all of these tiny machines deep underground.... never to be seen again.

That's how I FEEL. But, what I KNOW is that, along the way, we've had terrible boundaries when it comes to these electronics. At some point in time, our children were allowed too much time with these little beasts; and, now, they rely on them heavily for entertainment. The iPod, the Ipad, the X Box, and the TV are inanimate objects. They should not have any power over my emotions, and they don't. They DO expose the fact that I've messed up with regards to electronic usage... aka, "screen time." But, I'm not willing to leave it at that. I think I can remedy the problem with a little bit of detox and a lot more guiding.

So, today, I have a question.... How do YOU monitor "screen time" at your house??? Please, please respond. I know there's an answer out there that will work for us. But, you've got to share it. And, keep in mind, I want an answer that solves the issue from the start. I want expectations to be known, so that even questioning me about usage during a time when there is to be no usage results in a consequence of some sort.

Ready? Set! Go..... Help a mother out, please! My sanity is dependent upon it. :)

Wednesday, May 28

Let's Get Real!

It's been a long time! I've had a lot to say. But, I haven't taken the time to say it. I just can't seem to get into the habit of regularly blogging. I'd LOVE to. I DO enjoy it. It just takes a while, and I haven't taken the time to do it.

Oh well.... the world has gone on JUST FINE without be writing my little blog. But, I'm breaking the silence today with this question,

"Why can't we be REAL?"

I get it! I really do. I've lived it! I really have. We have this persona that we want the world to see. And, we'll fight tooth and nail to make sure no one sees anything other than THAT person. Nothing else! Ever!!!

Honestly, that has been the BIGGEST blessing of our journey. We did not have the option to suffer in silence! Our news hit the circuit immediately. And, EVERYONE around us knew what we were dealing with. To try and act like we had it all together, were doing GREAT.... the all American family.... would have been NUTS to anyone looking in. There was/is nowhere to hide!

However, the truth is, there were issues before. In comparison, they weren't big issues. But, we definitely had our problems. I don't think I ever tried to pretend we were perfect. But, would I have shared the darkness of each of our issues? Ummmmm NO!

That's why I'm saying I understand the need to stuff the problems, hide the dysfunction, dress up and carry on. But, I feel compelled to say emphatically, THERE'S A BETTER WAY!

There's so much freedom in being 'outed'. Truly! We are 2 1/2 years out of Scotty's adultery confession. Because we've chosen to share that fact publicly, the world knows (or at least should know) that we face problems daily that need real help. No matter how put together we look, no matter how adorable our children are dressed, no matter how wonderfully we perform in any of our ventures, the truth is still there and our secret is out..... We are one very messed up family!

But, here's the thing..... So are you! So is your friend, your pastor, your grandparent, your teachers, your....

I'm not saying that with childlike finger pointed, "I know you are, but what am I?" mentality. That really ISN'T my goal.

So, what is my goal..... social media has allowed us to create the family/person we want to be. Once we've decided WHO we want to be, we get to stage our ideal just so and flood the internet with those pictures. I'm not against social media. I LOVE using it, and I LOVE seeing the pictures (although I'd be alright if we saved the sermons for a more personal setting). :)

But, if ALL of our energy is going into creating the perfect image of our life, do we have any energy left to ACTUALLY LIVE the life we've been given WELL? I'm afraid the answer has to be NO.

Y'all we live in a seriously troubled world. None of us will get through unscathed. We will need help to navigate the mess. Satan is doing a great job of fooling us into believing that if "they" knew "this" about me, I'd DIE of embarrassment! The reality is, "they" would be relieved, and YOU would be FREE!

For years, I felt Scotty and I needed to be in counseling. We didn't communicate well and having kids exposed a lot of our issues, individual issues and couple issues. We never even looked for a therapist! And, our unstated reason was PRIDE. I'm not saying our story would have turned out differently had we found help earlier. But, knowing what I know now, I am SURE our marriage would have benefited. We just needed to admit to SOMEONE that we were struggling!

Why can't we do that?!?!?! Why is it still such a struggle?

If you are wearing a mask for the world so they see the person you want them to see, there is a trade off. And, IT'S NOT WORTH IT. You MAY be looked at with awe, but you've missed out on the joy of fellowship... of knowing others and BEING known.

I hesitate to say this, because I'm married to a counselor. It MAY sound like I'm advertising for work. But, I'm going to say it anyway. PEOPLE.... GO! GET! HELP!!

More than ever before, we live in times when this life is hard to navigate! We need help. There are people trained to WALK YOU THROUGH the difficulties you are dealing with. There's no shame in that! It is wise to admit we need help and then to go and find it. PLEASE, do NOT be one of those that say, "I can't afford counseling." I say this with COMPLETE CONFIDENCE speaking from experience, if you feel you would benefit from counseling, you can't afford NOT to get it. It's that simple for me now. It's black and white... there's no in between.

You can embrace your brokenness, because you live in a broken world. None of us will make it out without hurts and pains. But, if we will walk through those hurts with the Lord, we will find the fullness of joy! It's there. But, REAL joy requires REAL life!

What do you want more.... a spotless image or a life that bears the image of the ONE TRUE God? It's through our pain that He reveals His power over EVERY limitation, EVERY failure, and EVERY mess.

Don't you think this world would benefit greatly from seeing HIS power and YOUR weaknesses. I know I would!!!