Friday, February 22, 2013

Lesson Learned

This has been sitting in draft form for several days.  I’m scared to hit publish. I write this for me.  Not to judge you or anyone else.  I write this to remind myself, to keep me accountable.  A forewarning of what’s to come if I don’t stay the course.  I guarantee I’ll be revisiting this post many times in these months/years ahead.

I wasn't at all surprised to find the following devotional in Joshua, next to the verse telling me to “be strong and courageous.”  I couldn’t keep the tears from spilling over in church when I read these words two weeks ago.

…you feel gripped with fear because your situation is extreme.  Its time to get control of your finances.  Or break off that compromising relationship.  Or say yes to God’s clear leading. Or come to terms with your priorities…  You’ve thought it through and you’ve considered all the alternatives.  Your throat is sore from praying and your eyes burn from weeping.  You know it’s right but you’re scared.  Really scared.

Had Christ not taken a drastic step, sinners like us would’ve never survived the Fall.  We would never have been rescued.  We would be permanently lost.  The cross was God’s incredible response to our extreme dilemma.  Christ did something radical.  Now its your turn.  Get with it.

- Charles Swindoll, Come before Winter and Share My Hope

I’m one of those that must learn their lessons the hard way.  I’m not proud of it.  There’s been some lessons learned in painful ways, scars that have healed but still exist.  They’re good reminders of where I’ve been and how far God has brought me.  But I find that my strong will has followed me even into my thirties and God is still molding me, painfully so.

I’ve had several soft warnings.  Side comments from Jon and my mom, a missed moment, Ashlynn literally taking the phone out of my hand.  That last one should have been the only neon sign I needed.  But still I continued…  phone in hand, convinced I needed to maintain my online presence to stay relevant, to maintain my business.  And therein lies the crux of it all.

Pride.  A false sense of security.  Trust in myself, rather than where it needed to be. 

I have been convicted.  Convicted to the point that I’m grieved in spirit.  I’ve spent days in tears, a gnawing in the pit of my stomach.  I know false guilt, Satan uses it against me often.  But I also know true conviction when it happens. When I know that God has brought me to the edge of myself and lets me peek at what’s ahead if I don’t change something.  This is where I’m at… I caught a glimpse of that woman, and I don’t want anything to do with her.  Things need to change.  Now.

I have loved the women I’ve met through Twitter.  I have genuinely come to care for so many of them, and consider them true friends.  But… I have friends here; I have neighbors that I can invite into my home for coffee; I have children who need me.  Not the 20 minutes that I throw at them.  They need to know that I’m really available, not just when its convenient for me to take a break.  I’m tired that they’re used to seeing their mom throw up five fingers and beg for just a few more minutes.

I’ve suddenly become hyper-aware at how fast time is flying by me.  I have an 8, 6, 4, and 2-year-old.  These past eight years happened in a flash, and I’m already seeing my time with Devyn slipping through my fingers.  I have flesh and blood people who need me… now.  Not on the computer, not on the phone.  I need to be present in the present.

And so I bid adieu to Twitter for my personal outlet.  I’ll still be there for business purposes, to announce giveaways, discounts, and new designs.  But its time to realign my priorities.  After all, I quit my job for a reason, not to fill it up with more stuff. 

Please know, I don’t write this to cast judgment on anyone else or make anyone feel false guilt (be careful with this one, it’s a draining process).  Some women can multi-task beautifully, or balance their lives in such a way that not one area feels slighted.  I am just not that woman.  I’m usually an all or nothing personality.  I KNOW this about myself, and yet, I still didn’t place safe guards.  This is the right decision for ME.

And since I’m being completely honest, I should probably admit that I’m terrified.  I have placed so much (too much) trust in the fact that a lot of business comes from Twitter.  I’m scared for the implications that this could place on Munchkin Land Designs.  But I move forward in obedience, with trust that God will be in charge of this area too.  After all, any success that my little designing shop has experienced HAS been at His providence.  Apparently, I needed a good swift kick to remind me.

So if you want to stay in touch with me, the personal me… not the business me, you can still find Munchkin Land Designs over there… I’ll be here, on Facebook, and Instagram.  But the majority of my time?  It will be with these four beautiful lives that I’ve been entrusted to nurture and grow and teach.  And just typing those words, this post, has brought more peace to my soul than I’ve felt in a couple of weeks. 

Lesson learned.


Some other convicting reads if you’re interested…  Unplugging | Finding Balance, Dear Mom on the iPhone, and for the small business owner, 5 Reasons to Focus Your Social Media.


Steph said...

I love this, Jenn! LOVELOVELOVE.

I'm very similar in learning things the hard way. I have limited my time on both facebook and twitter and spend the majority of my days with my loves. Although I'm not ready to entirely give them up due to living across the country from my family and many friends, finding a core group of friends here in person has made all the difference for me in being able to let go of a lot of online.

Good luck to you and I think that you have such a strong foundation for your business that even without twitter, you will be just fine in that vein. :)


Amanda said...

Good for you Jenn!

Mommy Mandy said...

Love this! And the pictures of your kids? So beautiful

Addie said...

I love this. I often find myself spending SO much time online, and it's a very hard habit to get out of! I definitely need to work on this. Great post, love!

Mary said...

Friend. Bravo for hitting publish. And bravo for being so transparent. And amen and amen. Walking that "scared crapless" path with you. . .

Maybe one day we'll actually meet face to face. . .

Praying for you on this journey


The Mrs. said...

Just what I needed to hear before our little one gets here... loved the honesty. Isn't weird how He can grab our attention?!?!

Lindsey said...

Jenn-this totally hit home- thank you! And just remember you are NOT alone! xoxox

Annie said...

I love this post, Jenn! Even as a single woman, it's easy to get caught up in everything that's happening online and forget to take steps back, not only for my family and my friends, but even just for my own mental health. God has given you great influence with your four kids and I know He will bless the time you spend pouring into their lives! I'll miss you on Twitter but will surely keep up with you here and on Instagram!

Claire said...

Gorgeous post, Jenn. Important to take stock of what matters.

Meghan said...

You are an amazing woman, Jenn. It sounds like you've made a decision that can only be positive for you and your family in the long run.

Gorgeous photos! :)

Lenette Sparacino said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, Jenn.

Lisa said...

Ahh this is SO true!! Good for you. In fact I just posted something similar. My phone addiction was becoming a bit ridiculous so I've turned off all my alerts and that made an immediate impact. I'm still checking in online, just not nearly as often or for as long. Surprisingly I don't miss it and I'm spending a lot more quality time with those I love - in person :)

Jules said...

Ahhhh...yes, I have uninstalled twitter from my phone and I am on hiatus from facebook. Breathing so much easier now. Enjoying the quiet times spent with my 5 precious ones.

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