In May I read this book called 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.
It's about recognizing that we are on overload...we have toooo much, we do tooo much, we waste tooo much, we stress out tooo much, and in other words we would be so much better off if we would simplify life! It made me think about the areas of life that are just "tooo stinkin much"!! The author decided to take one month at a time and fast from these areas. She chose 7 different areas of life...food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste, and stress. For food..she whittled life down to 7 foods for one month! Clothes...she only wore 7 items of clothing for one month! Possessions....she gave away 7 items a day for that month! Media....she chose 7 areas of media and her family refrained from those for an entire month. You'll have to read the book to see how that all played out for her, but what a challenge it was to me!
As our family headed into summer, one area of "too much" was very apparent to me! All of a sudden with no school to keep us busy, TV and computer seemed to be consuming our time! So for the month of June we fasted...no TV, no FBook, no computer. Let me tell you...it was painful....
I have always admired the Amish. I LOVE their simplicity! I LOVE seeing their simple clothes hanging out to dry, children working and playing outside, bare feet, no electricity, thier habit of early to bed and early to rise, and their worship, rest, and family time on Sundays. In many ways I have thot..I could live like that! And in many ways I think I could. BUT...there are things in our modern day that I have become accustomed to, and it was very hard for me to give them up for even one month!!!
God taught me soooo much during this month. Here are some of my simple reflections as our family refrained from TV and computer for the month of June. In Part 2 to come I will share my deeper thots.....
...life is VERY quiet with no TV or computer!
...I had NO problem whatsoever giving up TV, in fact I LOVED it!
...giving up FBook was painful
...life without computer is lonely
...I got soooo much more accomplished each day!!..WOW does the computer eat alot of time....
...the quiet gave me time to pray. I prayed for so many more people as they came to mind
...I wrote alot of letters..it seemed to be my only form of communicating! I'm not a huge phone person...
...bed time was much earlier
...we read ALOT!!!! I read 3 or 4 books very quickly, and the girls were found all day long nestled in a chair with a book!
...I was much more available to my family
...the no TV was much harder for Mike and the girls than me
...I missed my Massachusetts family terribly. The little snippets of life that they post on FBook keep me connected and knowing what is going on in their lives from day to day. I felt like I was cut off from them...but remember I was the one who did the cutting....
... I grieved that I also had cut off my entire family and friends from hearing what is going on in my life....
...I missed the people who I have come to love and interact with on a very regular basis. I was lonely, and it made me scratch my head and wonder how can being without a computer make me feel sooooo lonely??
...we had people to dinner often! When life is no longer full of TV or computer...you crave something to do and someone to be with!
...we went out for ice cream ALOT in the evening!
...we took naps
...my relationship with my girls grew tremendously over the month of June. We had THE BEST summer days together..without distractions!
...we exercised ALOT!! 5 days a week at the YMCA!
...I missed Paula. Am I allowed to say that without offending anyone else?? We have communicated every single day...many times a day...since she was diagnosed with cancer. It has been a huge source of encouragement for me to share life with her, and to discuss God and His Word together and how to apply it to every day of life. She long ago simplified life by not spending time talking on the phone. So here were were..one girl who doesnt use the computer,and the other who doesnt use the phone...and it was like someone completely cut us off!
...I cheated. Several times. I longed for a glimpse of my family in Mass., and I longed to talk to Paula and didnt want to call her. So I cheated....
...the computer is an outlet..a place to throw yourself out there for others and an easy way to interact. I spent the first 40 years of my life keeping all of life completely to myself. I dont want to be that person who keeps life all to myself anymore.
...I still love the Amish, but in many ways I dont want to live their life. Technology can be a good thing!
...I already knew this, but I realized in a much deeper way..that what really fills the void in life, the lonliness, the pleasure that we seek, the longings that we have...is God.
Part 2 to come soon.....