Okay that isn't the whole story there...
Did any of you read this post by Sally Clarkson? Like my unashamed love for Michelle Duggar, I also openly gush over Sally Clarkson on a regular basis. If you haven't read any of her books I highly recommend The Mission of Motherhood and if you homeschool or are considering doing so, I highly recommend Educating the Wholehearted Child. It has been by far the most influential book for me when it came to deciding to educate our children at home.
Anyway, Sally's recent post "My Primary Responsibility and My Joy" had a huge impact on me from the moment I read it. I have been struggling... well... since becoming a mom, with how to best spend my time. In the article Sally says,
"One thing I think many moms find difficult is the fact that every yes is by definition also a no. A “yes” to time watching somersaults in the backyard is a “no” to a phone call, a glance through a magazine, or a bit of alone time. A “yes” to asking friends over for a time of encouragement is a “no” to the free time you might have spent on yourself, rather than cleaning the bathroom, organizing your notes for the evening, or baking cookies to share. “Yes” to the carpool means “no” to sleeping in; “yes” to playing during bath time means “no” to your favorite television show … and on and on it goes."
This hit me hard. And immediately the first area that came to my mind was Facebook. You see, I am a SOCIAL BUTTERFLY (in a bad way! I need to chill!). I love to be with people, have friends, and constantly be doing things. That isn't the bad part... but I often feel like I am going to be left out of something fun going on. I like to constantly be chatting with people and have a hard time with quiet and solitude. But, when you have little kids you need to be home a lot. So, when Facebook came into my life is seemed like the perfect fit. I could be at home with my kiddos (which is what they needed) and still keep an active "social life" online.
It has become a problem for me to want to be online when there are other things I should be doing. Facebook has become a huge distraction for me and this article was the confirmation that I needed that I need to be making a different choice.
I immediately started trying to think of reasons I needed to stay on Facebook (keeping in touch with friends, connecting with old friends, sharing pictures, etc.) And those really are the great things! And for those who can check Facebook every once in awhile that is the reality. But, I felt a pull to constantly be checking Facebook so that I wasn't "missing anything". It was becoming almost like an addiction that was really getting out of hand.
The Bible verse that came to mind was Matthew 5:29, "If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell." At first I thought I was being overly dramatic... I have a tendency to be that way... ask the hubs. But, then the more I thought about it I began to think maybe the verse did apply. Why am I sitting around constantly tempting myself?
And if I wasn't fully convinced at that point the next part of Sally's article confirmed it for me:
"Think about a drop of food coloring splashed into a cup of water. The more water, the more diluted the color. And so it is with each one of us. When we spread ourselves thin, leaving no time for snuggles and backrubs, Bible study and reading deeply, family vacations and Saturday afternoons at the park, our influence becomes diluted."
Although Facebook can be a great thing, for me, it was spreading me too thin. My influence was being diluted. I love pouring into the lives of others but I know that that isn't really what I was doing on Facebook. And I certainly wasn't blessing my kids by being on either.
I am hoping eventually when I have developed more self-control in this area I can be a Facebooker again, as there really are so many good things about it. But, I also know that I won't look back on my life and wish that I had spent more time on Facebook when my kids were little. I know that this is what God wants for me and I am confident that this is not a decision I will regret.
What about you, Moms? What were some things that were hard for you to say "no" to in order to say "yes" to your family?