Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What Fasting Showed Me About My Addiction





Hello, my name is a Alecia and I am addicted to social media...

******
I joined my church for 21-Days of prayer and fasting. I didn't fast in the common sense of the word with food; but I did fast from blogging and all social media.

What did I learn? It was so much harder than I ever thought it would be.

I felt pretty confident this was going to be a fast I could handle with no problems. I didn't feel I was online too much and that I had a firm handle on my screen scrolling.

I was wrong.

I floundered the first couple of days. I went into withdrawal (ridiculous, I know). I had gotten so accustomed to "checking in" online that suddenly I felt I was missing out on everything!

I felt in the dark, out of the loop, and bored. Ha! When I find myself in downtime during the day I mindlessly scroll through my feeds.

In the beginning I reasoned I needed to check in at least once a day, I needed to make sure the GSD website's social media was being handled and give updates to my writer's in the Facebook page.

I realized, I was addicted to "checking in."

I finally put down my phone and went all in.

God handled the details of the social media for GSD, and I knew if there were any important updates, that couldn't wait, I could ask someone on my management team to do it for me.

Instead of scrolling through social media when I had down time, I caught up with my bible study plans. I have one or two through my Bible app (Check out First 5, if you haven't already) and then some through email, (LOVE Christine Cain's)

I had a couple of books that I needed to finish for book reviews and a book launch.

I learned I had grown too attached to being connected to the world and not God.

Before these twenty-one days my prayer times had become stagnant and routine.

My attention span had grown shorter, and I found it hard to sit and actually get through an entire chapter of a book! I think I had grown accustomed to scrolling and not sitting on one page longer than a few seconds. (I believe there is an actual study on our attention spans since the arrival of smartphones, if I can find it I will share it below.)

But, guess what? I enjoy reading now without giving into the urge to grab my phone. I've been writing a ton, and have started a new project that I hope to share with you soon.

Social media can be a blessing if we do not let it consume our time. When it becomes the first thing we look at when our eyes flutter open in the morning and the last thing we see at night- it's a burden, not a blessing.

My fast opened my eyes. I plan to be more aware and disciplined, and be more eyes up instead of down.

I want to stay in the loop, and I love connecting with readers on social media, but I want it to be a blessing again, not a burden.


xo,

Linking up with: #TellHisStory, Coffee For Your Heart, Thought-Provoking Thursday

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Breaking Busy Book Review

"Okay, let me get this straight. Women are sacrificing sleep, recreation, hobbies, friends, and even family all at the altar of busyness. We we aren't sleeping, we aren't taking care of our bodies, and we aren't doing things we enjoy with the people we love. Then what in the world are we busy doing?" (Breaking Busy, pg. 21)
I'm so glad I had the opportunity to participate in this book launch! The words of Alli Worthington were what I needed to start off the New Year.

Very similar in idea to Emily Freeman's, Simply Tuesday and Bonnie Gray's, Finding Spiritual WhiteSpace; this book encourages us to not only discover ways we are wasting time,but how to live the life God has called us to without people pleasing (uh hmm, my anthem for this year.)

I enjoyed reading the examples she shared from her personal and business life, and how we can apply her breaking busy strategies to our own. I personally liked how relatable Alli is. If you are unfamiliar with her, she is huge in the blogging business world and comes across so personable, funny, and humble. She easily makes fun of herself while teaching us all a lesson from her fumbles.

The book is broken down into ten easy-to-read chapters (you won't believe what a fast read this book is!):
  1. Capacity- (Know your sweet spot in a world of crazy busy.) Basically, know yourself well enough to not over schedule yourself. Know your limits before you have a crazy meltdown. She used a great example of her iPhone. She knows her phone's capacity, how much info it can hold, and how long the battery will stay charged. We are the same way. Only we know how much we can take and we need to respect this limit and set boundaries for other people to respect it as well. Amen, anyone?
  2. Relationships- (Finding your connection in a world of acquaintances.) It's not the things of this world that will bring us purpose, peace, and happiness, but our relationships with those we love. So true.
  3. Calling- (Finding your purpose in a world of striving.) I loved this chapter! Finding our callings is one of the greatest gifts from God. Living out who we were made to be? Now, that's breaking busy-and living life on purpose!
  4. Editing-(Finding God's best in a world of options) "Here's the thing about breaking busy. Sometimes it calls for tough choices, for making drastic changes even in the places where you've been highly successful. I call these choices "edits."" Sometimes we have to trade good for great. And this will mean some hard, painful decisions will have to be made.
  5. Thoughts- (Finding your peace in a world of worry.) "...life is about our constant, ongoing choice to trust God." We can choose trust or anxiety and worry...our choice. Do you believe God is taking care of you?
  6. Traditions- (Finding your groove in a world of expectations.)What traditions do you need to let go of and make your own? What stresses you out and sucks the joy from you? Traditions are a good thing, but if they are done with the wrong motivation, i.e. keep up with the Joneses, then they shackle us with unrealistic expectations.
  7. Time-(Finding your rhythm in a world of overwhelm.) Managing our time is the most important thing we can do each day. Are you frazzled and overwhelmed trying to get it all done? Spend a couple of days making note of how much of your time is spent online mindlessly scrolling or watching Lip-Sync Battle on YouTube, ah hem. And what are you doing offline? You will be shocked to discover how much time you waste! "Our lives have gotten so cluttered up with things we think we "should" do, we can't figure out what we were meant to do."
  8. Decisions- (Finding your confidence in a world of choices.) In this chapter Alli introduces us to the Decision-Making Framework. It's the framework she uses to help make big decisions in her life. This is a great chapter on different ways, besides her own framework, to help make the best decisions in our lives.
  9. Communication- (Finding your voice in a world of noise.) Are you an over communicator or under(I won't tell you which one I am :))? Why don't we communicate better? Alli digs into some of the reasons in this chapter. And offers helpful suggestions. 
  10. Worth- (Finding your value in a world of never good enough.) "The lie the Devil wants me to believe, and you to believe, is that we are never going to live beyond the consequences of our actions." If the enemy can keep us busy trying to prove our worth to everyone we won't have time to live out our callings. We have to remember to whom we belong, and because we are His, we are valuable, worthy, and forgiven; we have worth!
There. If you read all the way through, yay!! This book is a keeper. Get your highlighter ready, because this is one book that is going to glow like a neon sign.

Alli's book is relevant to our world today, because we are all so much busier than we need to be. And her wisdom and advice is spot on.

One more thing...each chapter at the end has action steps for easy application of her suggestions.

Can you say book club friendly? Oh yeah. Perfect book club book.



                                                                                                                                                               


About the Author:
Alli Worthington is a blogger, speaker, author and Co-Founder of  the former Blissdom conference; a conference for business entrepreneurs. She is currently the Executive Director of Propel Women. Alli is married and has five sons; therefore, she knows what busy means! Alli has a no-nonsense and sassy approach to business and life. Her goal is to help women live the life they were created to live.

Alli's book releases today, go grab your copy!!



psst! Speaking of book clubs once you have grabbed a copy of Breaking Busy, join God-sized Dreams this March. Breaking Busy is the next book! There may even be a book giveaway :).

Monday, January 25, 2016

A New Year, a New Verse, and a New Word



For me, I'm drawn to people whom I can tell are Christians without saying a single word.

They do not have to quote a single scripture verse. I can just tell by being in their presence there is something different about them. This has always been by goal, online-here in this blogging space, and in real life. I've always felt led to not preach to people but let my life speak for itself.

I think some good life-examples are:
  • Be at peace when everyone is panicking (i.e. the presidential debate). God is bigger and in control. Prayer over Panic.
  • Not gossiping, especially when you have an opinion on someone and it's nearly killing you to share it with everyone in earshot. Self-control.
  • Not rushing to judgement. Everyone has their own path they need to take to get to Jesus. And Jesus has each person on their own unique path. Trust Him.
  • Don't make blanket statements about groups of people, whether it's in regards to religion, skin color, sexuality, or affluence. Love others.
  • Don't be so quick to point out the fault in others when we have our own baggage to deal with. Pull the plank out. Don't judge.

Lord knows I don't do these perfectly, but they are good starting points, especially if I want to make a difference in the lives of those around me. 


************* 


My Word
I didn't choose a word last year, but this year, I am claiming the promises of God in who He says I am.

I am Approved.

In order for me to do anything that God calls me to I have to once and for all lay down all my people-pleasing tendencies.

In Christ alone I am approved and do not have to prove myself(my worth, value, talents, abilities) to others. My only job is to live out the life God has called me, and to live and love others well.

I have no reason to fear the opinions of others (Galatians 1:10).


My Verse

A verse that seems to be circling around me is Proverbs 3:5-6,"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

How does this verse look when we break it apart? Let's see...

Trust- The opposite of worry. Every time I start to feel the rise of worry, I should see it as a call to verbalize, out loud, my trust in God.

Lean not on my own understanding- Oh, how I want to be in control of things that affect myself and loved ones. But, in most situations, I can't stand tall in my own strength, and I can't manipulate circumstances. I must learn to lean in. Rest fully on the Lord and His perspective in all situations. (God's ways are bigger than mine)

Acknowledge- He alone is God. Instead of letting my emotions and feelings run away from me, I must reign them in, and acknowledge Who is really in control.

He will make our paths straight- He will show me the path I should take. He will go before me and prepare the way. "The shortest path to God's richest blessings is always paved with trust and obedience. My head knows this...Lord, will you help my heart catch up?" Lysa Terkeurst

********
I've gotten out of making resolutions. Instead this year, I started off with fasting from social media, and God showed me how much time I waste by being "social" instead of working. 

This year I feel God is calling me into new and exciting, yet, scary, territory. I feel He is calling me to live out the phrase, "There's Something Different."

I'm not yet sure what this means, but I am confident God will show me in due time :).

xoxo,
Alecia                                      



LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...