About a week ago I decided that I wanted to take a break from Facebook. There are a few heart-reasons for this, and I would like to explain my goals for the time away.
First, in the course of a few days, I read two blog posts that got my mind spinning. One was Preparing My Heart for Motherhood on a blog called Passionate Homemaking, and the other was On Quitting Facebook by yourwishcake. The first article included one idea that was particularly inspiring to me – taking a retreat before the baby comes. This allows for more time spent with the Lord, asking for grace and simply resting in His presence. For some expectant mothers this may mean a literal couple of days away for retreat. I don’t think that’s what it will mean for me, but I do want to feel centered and prepared. I want to feel like my relationship with the Lord is strong and close as I enter into what is sure to be a challenging and wonderful new stage in my life and motherhood experience. The second article was specifically about why the author (also an expectant mother) decided to quit Facebook. I enjoyed her humorous outlook and could relate to her thoughts on the downsides of time spent on Facebook.
During the time when I read these articles, I was feeling totally exhausted and spent a couple of afternoons crying about my lack of energy and accomplishments in a day. Since then I’ve had a blood test that discovered mild anemia. Taking an iron supplement has improved my strength, but it was also apparent to me that I needed to first cut myself some slack in my high expectations for my already hard-working body, and then cut out unnecessary things from life so that my waking hours could be spent more wisely. Facebook, of course, is a “non-essential,” and thus was one of the first things that came to mind in making these cuts (does it sound like I’ve been listening to too much talk radio about the budget deficit? true! ha!).
I really love Facebook. I love keeping in touch with friends near and far, staying “in the loop” about events, easily and instantly messaging friends when something comes to mind, sharing photos with family, etc. Social networking can be a really awesome tool. And yet there is balance to be found in everything, and for now I need a time of rest. Rest from constant updates, rest from temptation to compare, rest from thinking too much about others’ lives. I want to live these days as fully as possible. For me, that means separating myself from the world of Facebook for a time.
And you know what? The first week of this break has been a little difficult. Facebook has become a part of our life and routine. But, I feel increasingly confident in my decision and the time off-line been really nice too. My mind has been more restful. My time has been better spent. I’ve read Tolstoy instead of my Newsfeed. I’ve had more consistent (and longer) morning devotion times. And honestly, I feel like I have been a better friend even though I’ve been less “web-accessible.” I have spent more time praying specifically, writing personal letters and e-mails, having a few phone conversations, etc.
I don’t think Facebook is a villain by any means. I think its a wonderful way to be connected – but I also think there is a time for disconnection with a purpose. My purpose from now until Hudson arrives is soaking in these summer months and living fully, resting and preparing emotionally, physically and spiritually for our new phase (as much as can be done!) and fasting from a normal habit to make sure that it is kept in check.
In the meantime, I appreciate your prayers for our family as we are going into a really special time! We are so excited about the baby on the way, plus Nels is entering his final semester here at seminary. There are lots of unanswered questions and possibilities. I pray that God will prepare my heart to follow in whatever way He leads us!