Month of May

Hello June!

The month of May was the best month I have had in a long time!  I decided on a whim at the beginning of the month to do something sort of crazy.

I deleted Instagram on my phone.   I didn’t blog, either.

(I’m not on Twitter or Facebook. Well, I am on Facebook if you search for me, but only because two homeschool groups I am a part of primarily communicate on there. Don’t be sad if I don’t accept your friend request! :-))

I found myself looking at Instagram when I had any downtime at all. If I had five minutes while the noodles were boiling for dinner, I was on IG. It was crazy. Every free second was consumed with Instagram.

I just had to put myself in time out for a little bit. And instead of feeling the loss of IG, it was like I was experiencing life again! Not only did I get a ton of things on my to do list DONE, I also experienced boredom. Which is actually really good for your soul. And, as a mom, boredom doesn’t last very long. :-) But before, there was zero room for it.

While off of anything social media related, I considered staying off of it. I told my sister that I felt like I was a boat with all sorts of little holes in me that social media had eaten away. I was slowly sinking.  While off of IG, all those little holes were fixed and I felt soo good!

Some things I did while repairing: went to bed really early, made a giant meal plan for a month, cleaned out my entire house, had a yard sale, took naps, started a read through the Bible in 90 days plan, finished kindergarten with Harper, played with my kids, didn’t lose my cool/ have to have a moment, & planned our homeschool summer.  The crazy thing is I didn’t set out to do any of these things.  I just found so many wonderful things to fill my time!

No Instagram Collage

The things above seriously make me sound super human. I am not super human – I am very human and fail and waste time all too much.   I just realized how much time IG stole from me!!

I found the constant viewing of other people’s lives was taking a toll on my own life.

And, I am different now. I needed to take a step back, and enjoy MY OWN LIFE!

The message in church yesterday was on Philippians 4:4-7.  Pastor Mike had it titled Fight for Joy!  This is the familiar passage that tells us not to worry and to rejoice and give thanks while we bring our requests to God.  If we do that, we are promised His peace (that we cannot understand) to guard our hearts!  I loved a few things our pastor said – First he said, when the joy of the Lord isn’t filling you daily – first thing, in fact- it is easy to get to the point of imploding – all the pressure on the outside is too great.   He challenged us to guard our hearts and minds so that nothing on the outside can change what is on the inside.

He also said, when you engage in worship and get your focus vertical (meaning on God), you over flow. You can’t hold an ocean (God’s perfect, fill you up love) in a thimble (you & me.)  We are bound to pour out onto others that way!!!

I’m loading Instagram back onto my phone on Monday, but it is going to come with some boundaries this time.  I want to guard against the pressure from the outside.  I want to do my best to overflow by being filled.

  • Only will post 2 times a day MAX- with my main post being in the morning after I have my quiet time. The kids usually aren’t up yet, so I am not taking away from them. My plan is to post a pic of our yesterday.
  • I won’t comment until nap time/ rest time. I want my morning to be used as a pouring out time on my kids, and I can’t pour out if I am empty. So I want to guard against IG sucking the life out of me that early!
  • I will put my phone timer on for 15 minutes while the kids rest. I will respond to comments first, then scroll and see what my friends are up to. This usually is fun (ahem..why it is addicting!) but, it is amazing how just one tiny picture can make me feel like I am failing at life. I’m determined to guard my heart. If there is a person I follow whom I really struggle with jealousy or feeling like less of person (which I’m sure is not their intention, but more of my weakness), I will unfollow them. If they notice I unfollow them and ask me about it, I will be honest with them and tell them that I have to guard my heart. More than likely, they won’t even notice.  I also have to remember that this is mostly the shiny parts of their lives, they are human and do not avoid the hard parts of life – they just may not show them via social media.
  • No random perusing when bored. If it is not during those set times, I’m not going to be on IG.

I hope and pray that these little boundaries will help me stay filled so I can pour out to those around me.

How do you keep boundaries? Have you even considered boundaries like this?

I would like to add a disclaimer to this post :-) :  This is the season of life I am in right now.  When I was up feeding a baby in the night, when I was stuck in the house for days on end due to sick babies…I could have never been more thankful for social media!!!!  It kept me in touch with the outside world.  I am in a new season where my children realize where I put my focus.  They also notice if my phone is in front of my face for most of the day.  So, while I think anyone could benefit from a social media fast, it just may not be your time, and that is ok, too! Just keep it in mind, because I know you will be refreshed!! :-) 

6 thoughts on “Month of May

  1. Oh I agree so much to the above! This year I have been on a turn-down-the-distractions-mission, I’m constantly (appropriately, for me) culling all sorts of things (inc clothing, al la Caroline Joy). I’ve just gone 1 month with no Facebook. Like you, I’m doing this all in the name of reclaiming real life. I recently found myself feeling very wistful for the days pre social media, and wanted to put some of that into my current reality. Why do we let these things rule us? I don’t know. It’s always great to hear I’m not alone in this, and get some helpful ideas and tips. Many thanks x

  2. I have been struggling with this same thing. I am not on Facebook or Twitter, but love Instagram. Thank you for sharing. I am now motivated to do a fast as well. Not sure why it feels so hard, but I know I will benefit from it.

  3. I love your boundaries. I share some of them. The morning rule: Because of the time difference in SA, the first thing I do when I get up is check IG or Twitter to see what kind of day Matt is having. Tough for me not to get sucked into everybody else’s life too. So, I’ set my notifications to tell me if Matt posted. If there’s no banner on my screen, I won’t open those apps til after I’ve spent time in morning prayer and journaling. Very hard for me, because I read a lot on my iPad – Kindle and Logos apps! So I had to move social media apps to a separate page.

    BIG issue for me: often, social media makes me compare and fell discontent with my life, my dinner, my stuff. Like you, I’ve had to unfollow some wonderful people because of my temptation to feel jealousy or competition. Thanks for admitting that to us, your readers and sharing your boundary. I think many of us struggle with this effect of social media on us.

    I do love that we get to share our lives with each other, but not at the expense of not being present to our own lives when they’re happening. You have this one life. You can live it or document it. Hard to do both!

    • Oh cool! Love that you can set up an alert! I never knew! Thank YOU for encouraging me to be transparent! It truly is where we realize we are all the same – nobody is better than another.

      And what you wrote – You have this one life…you can live it or document it..hard to do both! Sums up everything that has been swirling around in my heart for the past month! I love that sentence!!! Tonight I was rocking Haven and she fell asleep which never happens any more. And for a moment I wished I had my phone for my camera. But then in the next second, I purposed to let this moment be written on my heart. To feel her weight and drool, to study her curls,hear her breath, to feel the joy and the sadness – could this be the last time I rock my baby to sleep? And, I bet I will remember that much longer than any photo I would snap.

      I love you!

  4. Very insightful Mary Lindsey. Young, busy moms are certainly faced with temptations of a different sort than I had when raising children in the 80’s and 90’s. With cell phones, iPads, laptops and other portable devices, social media follows you everywhere and is very hard to resist. I know because I am guilty of spending way too much time on it myself. You are such a blessing, so transparent, and such an encouragement to others, and God has gifted you with the ability to share your experiences in writing. I am thankful for your rejuvenating month of May, and the boundaries you have set for yourself on IG. It is an excellent example for others of focusing on the most important thing…your family. I love your disclaimer as well…there are so many seasons in our lives. Blogging gave me a focus during a very difficult period of Ernie’s treatment, and connected me with others in similar circumstances. Your blog seemed to do the same in your life, and has offered hope to so many. IG has replaced blogging in many cases, but doesn’t offer the same depth. Keep it up sweet girl, and much love to your mom! (I miss seeing her in the choir on Sunday mornings!)

    • Thank you so much, Mrs. Baker!! Your words encouraged me so much! Love you!

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