Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Weird World of Social Media

I think it's pretty obvious that I'm a fan of social media. I think it's fun. I express myself best through writing. I've learned of so many more people & things than I ever would without the aid of internet. I know family that I would not know...maybe ever, without it. I even have a job because of it. I am a fan of social media when it is used for good & positive reasons. But this (really random) post is about when social media can be just plain WEIRD.

We all know of ways that social media can be used negatively. I'm sure we've all rolled our eyes or hidden a friend or two because of social media misuse. I read a good/short article about it a while back ( http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/tech/5-questions-ask-posting-social-media ) in case you're interested. It makes me think even more now before I post something. But the misuse is not a soap box I feel like jumping on.

What I want to talk about is the WEIRDNESS of social media. Recently I have been made aware of just how strange it is to have so much of all of our lives on display like they are. As you all know, we made a move 6 months ago. While that's not a big deal to some, it was huge to me. There were so many things that the Lord revealed to me & did in me through that move. (If you follow the blog, you know in depth of how the Lord used this process to strip away my idols of family, fear, comfort, & more.) Obeying God was obviously the right choice & He has absolutely filled my loss with abundantly more than we could ever hope, or imagine. But, man, I have had some strange moments that were brought on by social media.

This social media (SM) epidemic is not really that old. I made a Facebook account not too long before I had Jax. I started a blog when I was pregnant with Jax. All of this is in the past 5 years. What began as casual use & very few friends even had SM accounts, has blown up & I'm now surprised when I meet someone who doesn't have a SM account. While SM changed so much over the past 5 years, my life didn't change...up until 6 months ago.

Now I'm dealing with the accessibility of things that I wouldn't have to deal with if it were not for this new world of SM. 

Example One: If you followed this, you followed along with the sale of our house in Vivian. Praise the Lord! He had the perfect, sweetest family to buy it in His perfect timing. All of this was made much easier because of SM. But, after we sold our house, we like the precious family so much that we "friend" them on Facebook. So now through the wonderful world of SM, I am able to see pictures & videos of them raising their children in the same rooms that I raised my babies in. Can I just say, that is not easy for this overly emotional girl to see while trying to deal with a big move? 
*Please know, this has nothing to do with the great family living in our house. We love that God picked them for it & for us & we pray that God blesses them greatly.

It has everything to do with the WEIRD new world I occupy where there is technology for me to even see this family living in my old house.

Example Two: I'm sure this works both ways, but just like I can watch that family living in my old house, I can watch our old church friends' lives go on without us. 

This was not our first church family for God to call us away from. (We served one other before FBCVivian. When we left there we kept up with them through phone calls & a few visits, but we didn't get to seemingly experience the day-to-day with them.) But it is the first church family for us to be able to watch so closely after we left them. Y'all are no stranger to how we "did life" with the people & a big part of doing life with them was on Facebook too. We could see their day-to-day when we were a part of it...& we can still see their day-to-day even when we're not a part of it.

Having access to all of this information can just be...weird.

I'm not knocking SM. I maintain that, when used correctly, it can be a positive thing. It's helpful to get out church announcements & because of that, it saves money that is spent on expensive paper, etc. & frees it up to be used towards missions, or ministry, etc. Organizing things such as my Dinner Swap would have been nearly impossible without it. I even know of ministries reaching many different kinds of people through social media (like people w/ addictions, people who have had abortions, etc). It opens up communication to people who wouldn't step foot in church, or experience shame, or don't yet understand the Grace that is greater than all our sin. I LOVE SM for those very things.

But in this very interesting stage in life, I have to say that the world of SM can be a weird one. It's opened up so many things that I'm thankful for. I love that we can maintain our relationships (& keep up so well with SM) with our Faith Family, new or old, b/c they are our family forever.  But like I tell D: some of the stuff we learn & see through SM...maybe we're not supposed to know.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Faves!!!

Friday Favorites!! Woot woot!! Here are some things I'm loving:


My old charger stopped working, so D got me a new one. I love it...it's PINK & 9 feet long!! :) It doesn't take much to make me happy.



I'm loving Chewy Spree lately - especially when it comes from the super fun Wonka machine at the movie theater!



I super duper love the shampoo/conditioner I've been using lately. It's Organix argan oil & it smells so good. I also love seeing my new bunny loofah every time I step into the shower. I might need to get some more for back-up. I promise I'm an adult. Well, I'm the age of one. ;)



This has been a great find! Pond's Dark Spot Correcting Cream helps with hyper pigmentation & to even out skin tone. I'm a big fan of not using too much face makeup (foundation, concealer, powder) so in order to do that, you need a nice, clean slate/good complexion! Light face make up, but bring on the eye & lip makeup!! :) I found this in the travel-sized product section of Target. It's perfect b/c it's cheaper & there's plenty of product in it. A little goes a long way.



This year is mine & D's 10th anniversary, so we're planning to go on a cruise. This is a fave of mine b/c I've been daydreaming about it (& stalking out everything on our ship) on the cold, rainy, not-so-sunny days. Can't wait!!



Another fave is everything Disney. It's always a fave, but I've been into it even more b/c some of our friends are there this week! Our trip is at the end of the year, but we're in the process of planning & booking things for it now. Eeek!! Excited!! Oh, & I'm sure the kids are too. :)
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& for the best favorites of all, the non-tangible favorites.

Jax has always been a good kid, but lately he's been so helpful, so obedient, & I love it! It's come at the perfect time, b/c the 1 1/2 year old brother is quickly making his way to the "terrible twos." ;)

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Speaking of John, I'm loving how he's learning to say more words! His newest one today is "Scooby Dooby Doo" (more like, Dooby Dooby Doo). It's so cute. I captured it on video! (You have to watch it on a desktop. It won't work on a mobile device.):


video

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Y'all have a fun weekend!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Glass House / Help Us Get to Know You

This is the second post in "The Glass House" series. Click here if you missed the last post.

Today I want to talk about how you can help us get to know you. We have been serving in our new church for six months now, so being new, I feel like I have a nice, fresh perspective on the concept of getting to know church members.

1- We DO want to get to know you.
Please know that we have a seemingly unquenchable desire to get to know you!
In order for ministers to follow the Lord's will in ministry, many times God moves us away from our family. With our last church, we were fortunate to live pretty close to both sides of our family, but with this last move, our families are hours away. Family near, or not, our heart's desire is to know you as family & "do life" with you. But especially with our family away, there is even more of a need for us to know you.

2- We pray for relationships with you. 
We came from a church situation where we "did life" with our church family for 8 years. When we arrived in Petal, I was so hungry to already have those kinds of relationships. I really wanted to skip the "getting to know you" part of things. By the third week here, we prayed for God to give us those great friends to "do life" with. Y'all, it's been so fun watching God answer that prayer. He started immediately & He hasn't stopped.

3- One sure-fire way that helps us get to know you better is for you to invite us out or over!
This doesn't mean that we expect you to pay when we go. (I'm always excited for an excuse no to cook, or to save that cooked meal for the next day!) Also, just a forewarning: you will be eating with a 1 & 4 year old. It can get exciting!
Some people assume that the preacher & his family are so busy, there's no way they'll have time to do something. While we can get busy, especially during the holidays, it doesn't hurt to ask! We need to know either: in advance, so that we can try to plan around things, or sometimes it works out to ask last minute! Both have worked lately.

4- If we aren't able to get together the first couple of times b/c of previous engagements or whatever it may be, please don't give up! We do want to spend time with you! We hate having to decline an invitation.

5- If our paths don't cross often, or you haven't made an effort to be known...I probably don't know you.
It makes me nervous to admit that, but I'm just being real. I feel like I am pretty good at learning names for the most part. (As for the Hubs'...bless his heart, he really tries!) But when I have 800+ names & faces to learn, I promise you I'm not going to be able to memorize the church directory. In all honesty, the people/names I learned first were the people who cleaned our new house before we moved in, the ones that fed us for weeks after moving here, the ones who sent a card for some reason, the ones who sent me a friend request on Facebook, the ones who invited us places, the ones who made an effort to talk to me frequently, & simply, the ones who introduced themselves to me the first 10 times I was around them.
I am NOT saying, "serve us" or  do something for us, but I am saying-send me a Facebook message, or catch me in the hall & remind me of your name!

6- Please show us a little grace. 
If you come up to me (& this is the only time you've ever spoken to me) & you ask me if I know your name yet-I will probably stutter...or make up a random name. This is real life, friends. I wish I was making this up... 
To put this into perspective, if you don't know which of my boys is Jax & which is John, I probably don't know your name out of a church full of people. 

7- We are normal people.
We are sinners saved by grace. Don't be intimidated or feel as if you have to behave a certain way when you're with us. 

8- Our ministry has only just begun here. Give us time & experience with you. The Lord has bonded us & united us as family.

When we first moved to Petal, I was reading a ministry book & there was a section about friends. (I think I read it our 3rd week here-the same week I prayed for friends.) 
It said that there are 3 kinds of people I will encounter in the ministry:
1-People who DON'T want to be my friend b/c I'm the Preacher's wife
2-People who WANT to be my friend b/c I'm the Preacher's wife
& finally, the way I want it to be:
3-People who are my friend REGARDLESS of me being the Preacher's wife. They would be my friend no matter what.

I'm not sure that I can limit people to just those 3 criteria, but I love that I have always loved & been loved by "number 3 people." I know the Lord has filled my life with blessings, but I am so thankful to say that I have always found most of my precious friends in the church. There is nothing like a wonderful relationship based upon the Lord. That's why "doing life" with you all is so important to us.

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Just for funsies, I want to give a quick shout-out to some of the many precious people who have stepped up to do life with us:
-Our Search Committee
-Search Committee's family who helped so much in our transition/move
-PHBC Staff-especially the wives/ladies ;)
-Prayer Partners
-Those who started a Facebook & texting relationship with me before we were even voted in as Pastor
-The Introverts who stepped out of their comfort zone to invite me to do things
-My SS class
-My Bunco Group
-Beach Retreat Friends
-Sweet Families that love to keep my boys & love them like their own
-Women's Ministry Friends
-The Amazing Altos ;) & all of the choir
-Friends who organized fun outings & touring the town
-The businessmen/church family who went out of their way to get us here & make us comfortable

Agh!!! I love that I can say that there are SO many! I don't want to leave anyone out!! So thankful for anointed relationships! 

Praise God for koinonia!!