Friday, July 15, 2016

Trading in my normal

I have been on Facebook for 7 years, and I admit that I have been addicted to Facebook for 7 years. At first it was just a thing I used to take a break from my day, and it has always been nice to see what family and old friends are up to. That is one thing I still like about it and always will....I have gotten in touch with people again whom I haven't seen in person in years and probably wouldn't have ever talked to again without social media. It's great to see how they are doing, see family photos and hear stories about their precious children. I  also think that hearing about Lucas and the progress he has made despite his disorders over the last 7 years has brought inspiration and happiness to others. People have told me that.

During the last few years, Facebook became even more precious to me, because it allowed me to become a part of the Beachbody world when my coach first invited me to her challenge groups run on Facebook. I had no idea when I first signed up to do a challenge with her that I would become a coach too. Being a part of this amazing team and running my own challenges where I get the joy of helping other people feel better just like I did when I changed my lifestyle has brought me such fulfillment. It gave me something to do that was outside of the world of Fragile X Syndrome and autism and just being a wife and mom. It allowed me to use my gifts to help people that I might have never had the means to help without both my company and social media. I transformed and got to help transform others. 

Another wonderful aspect of Facebook is that I have become real friends with people I have never met in person because we do Bible study together, or we belong to the same Facebook support group for people living with Fragile X and autism in their family. While I absolutely do not believe that online connecting can ever take the place of connecting with others face to face, I feel so blessed to know that I have other women and parents praying for me and my family, who truly care how things are, and who help me get a deeper understand of God's Word. Sometimes they give me a new perpsctive on what He might be doing in my life when I can't understand. These are the things that make me exceedingly grateful for the Internet and for Facebook. 

Could you tell there was a BUT coming around? Facebook has been a blessing to me in all of these ways BUT it can sometimes cause issues for us too. For one, it wastes time. Yes it's nice to catch up, but lately I have been scrolling into oblivion and then I realize it is not bringing me good feelings, but negative ones. I think it just has to do with the season of life I am in. I am in a season when aging parents quickly became parents who really need a lot more attention from me, because my mom is not well. And in other areas, I am doing the things I think God told me I should do, and I am praying big prayers and dreaming big dreams, but I feel like I am in that proverbial waiting room of life when it comes to all of those things I have been talking to God concerning. And that leads me to the other trap that social media can set for us....comparing and questioning. We may be truly happy for our friends who got the blessing we were praying for, but that doesn't mean it won't still cause pain to wonder when our time will come. Also, I avoid watching the news most of the time, because I have the kind of heart that breaks over the stories that are heard and there is little I can do about most of them. I have trouble with hearing about all the trouble in the world that I can't change, and it makes me sad to hear the awful stories of child abuse, shootings, and the like, which I somehow can't avoid when on Facebook because everyone shares them. And lets not even get into the arguments that take place there over politics. I am not condemning anyone for using their own profiles however they choose, They are free to post as they wish. But I feel like there is a lot of negativity that I just don't need right now while my mind and heart are not where they should be. During this season of life, when I need to be more present for my family and seek harder after God and His wisdom for my life,  I feel like I have to take time away from my normal. In a typical morning, I get up early, brush teeth, put the dog out and read from my First 5 app while the coffee brews. Then I mix the coffee my way and open my Bible, with my prayer journal ready. After my time with God, I either get into my workout first or post in my challenge groups, depending on how late in the morning it is. I need to get something up for my challengers before 6 AM so they can incorporate it into their own morning routines. I could use other sites to schedule these posts for me, but I like my challengers to have the feeling that I am actually right there with them. I also always post one of the Bible verses from my reading that spoke to me, because I have always done this since the beginning. People have also told me how much they appreciate them, and I want to share them because I realize that maybe that verse is the only one someone will see all day. But then, it's the part after posting where I start scrolling mindlessly and some of the content just tries to erase all of the good things I just took in. The enemy will use any tool available to get into your thoughts. So while I will ALWAYS be a coach and I will ALWAYS be available to my team, I know that Facebook is not the only way to be there for them. I need to step back from my normal and see what God can do in my life when I focus more of my day on Him and His truth. But I will still be right here for my fit fam or anyone new who wants to join the beautiful community we have. In fact, there is a free app from Beachbody that is really cool, and it is designed to run our challenge groups the same way we would on Facebook. For anyone who wants to take advantage of program sales this month and in August, I am going to open a challenge through the app. Just ask me for details! Also, because I want to unplug some of the time but not disconnect completely, I will stay on Pinterest and Instagram during the time I am off from Facebook and you are more than welcome to come follow me there. My handle for both is Jensusa1013. Of course you can also keep up with me right here, and I do hope to have great stories to share with you about how God is working in our lives between now and Labor Day. That is when I will come back to Facebook and will have some nice end of summer beach photos to share with you! I know that God can do great things in our hearts when we prioritize Him and people before other things and that is what I intend to do. I look forward to sharing what happens and wish all my Facebook friends a very happy finish to the summer. 

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