One of our favorite shows to watch on TV is Shark Tank. If you’ve never seen it, basically it’s a show were entrepreneurs present their business idea/product in order for the chance to have one or more of the five successful business people on the panel invest. Seeing the products and business ideas people come up with is really amazing, but my favorite part is the feedback the entrepreneurs get from the investors. Whether or not they invest depends mostly on if they believe they will get a big enough return on their investment.
These investors are world renown millionaires and billionaires.
They know their value and worth and aren’t willing to invest their time, talents, and resources where there isn’t a significant return on that investment; even if they really like the product.
Along those same lines, I have been doing some soul searching lately about where I invest my time, talents, and resources and I have found that for quite some time now I have been investing in a few things that haven’t been giving me a very good return. In fact, these things have become a barrier and a distraction from my using my time, talents, and resources in a way that lines up with my priorities and values.
I’m going to be honest with you all, these last few years have been not-so-wonderful in my personal relationship with God. For reasons too many (and too personal) to list, I have allowed my relationship with Him to grow distant. It’s only been over the last few months that I have felt a stirring in my heart to draw near to Him again and have started to take some baby steps to move towards Him instead of away. I truly didn’t know if I would ever get that feeling again. I didn’t quit believing in Him, but I was a little upset with Him about some things in my life and I was holding it against Him and letting cynicism and negativity steal my faith, hope, and joy. It’s been rough for me and our marriage. When I’m not right with God, I’m just not right and that most certainly effects those around me.
I realized recently (after being prompted again and again by God…man, I can be stubborn!) that I have used social media and television as barriers between me and what God wants to do in my life. For me, they have gone from distractions to barriers that have stopped me in my tracks.
I have a scrolling addiction.
I open Facebook or Instagram and scroll myself into oblivion. All the while, my time, talents, and resources are stuck inside me with no where to go because I’m not making room for them.
My excuse for the longest time has been that Facebook and Instagram are my only connections to the outside world. As a stay-at-home mom, it can be genuinely difficult to connect with other adults, so I have used social media as a poor replacement for the connections and community I so badly need and desire. Instead of taking the initiative by picking up the phone or having someone over, I pick up my phone and “like” their pictures and posts instead and tell myself over and over again that I’ve “connected” and that’s enough. Reaching out and pursuing others takes energy, time, and investment and to be honest, I really just wanted some best friends to arrive at my front door tied in a pretty ribbon and not have to make the effort. I had myself convinced that this is okay and normal and expected. Going from working in the corporate world to staying at home all day has been a big transition for me as far as my connection with adults goes. I am much more content and fulfilled being at home with Isaac, but I wasn’t prepared for the effort it would take to connect with people once I made the transition. Taking care of my baby and home while being pregnant only added one more layer of excuse to numb myself out with social media and TV.
In the evenings after the baby is in bed, Tony and I usually sit on the couch and chat about our days, discuss a few articles or blogs we read, and then flip on the TV until bed time. This has become our routine and I didn’t really see how much of my time it was eating up.
Now that I have realized how much I have invested in social media and TV and how little of a return I am getting on that investment, I have decided that I have to do something drastic in order to bring some long awaited and much needed change to my life.
I have allowed social media and TV to take a prominent place in my life where they most certainly do not belong.
To quote a famous line many investors on Shark Tank have used after deciding not to invest: “And for that reason, I’m out.”
Starting next Wednesday, after we announce if our baby is a boy or girl, I will be watching much less TV (i.e. mostly just Shark Tank, Jane the Virgin, Sesame Street, and Daniel Tiger) and am going off social media altogether for however long I need. I am not making this announcement to be self-righteous or make you feel you need to do the same. I am sharing all of this with you because honestly, I just need to say it to someone, or lots of someones, in order to have the motivation I need to stick to my decision. I also hope to encourage you to pause and reflect during this Holiday season, on the things that may be taking too much from you and not giving you enough room to do the things you were created to do. Take some time to evaluate if you have anything in your life that is a distraction that needs to go and then take the necessary steps to remedy it.
I have allowed these distractions to become idols in my life. In and of themselves they aren’t bad or wrong, but I have put them in the place that God so rightly deserves and I can’t allow them to stay there any longer.
It’s not enough just to remove things in my life I have put in a place they don’t belong. Unless I put something worthy in it’s place, it wouldn’t be long until some other distraction made it’s home there.
Going off social media and watching less TV isn’t a cure-all for what ails me.
It may sound cliche, but Jesus is the only cure.
And I need to make room for Him.
I ask that you please pray for me during this season of change. Getting rid of distractions is only the first baby step. Letting God into those places, making room to hear from Him, and starting healthier routines is going to take effort and sacrifice. I know that what God is about to do in my life is going to be amazing and I look forward to sharing my journey with you through my blog.
Never a dull moment!
Stay tuned my friends,