This is a post from Stacey Blevins of Abiding Woman
Do you ever feel like your mind is just overloaded? Do you feel like you’re on the edge of burnout?
I felt like this. I thought my mind was going to explode I had so much in it! I couldn’t figure out why things just seemed so difficult and stressful and chaotic all the time. Then one day I tried an experiment. I turned the data and internet off on my phone. My life and thoughts were drastically different almost instantaneously! I finally figured out one of my biggest contributing problems to this feeling of being overwhelmed and overloaded. Perhaps it is yours as well, and maybe you don’t even realize it. It is too easy for us to blame other things and not look at what we may be doing to cause a problem. I myself was shocked to discover that it actually wasn’t my children, my housework, my to do list, or even the bottomless pile of laundry. It was that subtle little thing I did probably 10 to 20 times a day.
We’re doing morning routine, and I walk down to the kitchen to make a sippy cup of milk for the toddler and then, “Ding, ding,” the noise goes off. I quickly and casually pull out my phone from my pocket, see the notifications, and check them immediately (it’ll only take a second). They could be emails, facebook, instagram, twitter, or pinterest; if a little notification popped up, I checked it! After checking and responding to the notification I would see something else that caught my attention – a beautiful picture (click “like” or share), an interesting status update (comment), an intriguing article (click link, begin reading). One click would lead to another, and suddenly I’d hear someone yell from upstairs, “Mom, you forgot to check our chore chart and sister is crying for her milk, what are you doing down there?” Bam! I pop back into reality and realize that I just wasted 5 minutes staring at my phone. I was neglecting what was going on around my home that I was suppose to be managing, and I was setting a terrible example for my children (after all, I don’t want their faces stuck to screens all the time). Suddenly things felt very chaotic, and you may laugh, but I couldn’t figure out why. This constant checking of my phone had become so much of a habit that I would do it even if there were no notifications. Just mindlessly, pick it up and start browsing.
Let’s put some Biblical thoughts on this habit and call it what it is: sin.
What is this mindless habit actually?
- a lack of self control which is not a fruit of the Spirit, but instead a work of the flesh Galatians 5:22-23
- being idle and a busy body, going from house to house (internet style) 1 Timothy 5:13
- neglecting my God-given work at home Titus 2:5
- not training my children in the way they should go Proverbs 22:6
The consequences: Information Overload!
We were designed to walk in fellowship with the Lord and with other believers, but the internet mimic to Biblical community is actually making it harder for us to do what we ought as individuals and as the church. It may feel like that void of desire for relationships can be filled by social media, but that isn’t God’s design for relationships. The ultimate consequence is that our relationship with God and with others suffers.
God has told us in His Word “aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands” (1 Thessalonians 4:11) And this is for our good! His desire is for our hearts to be focused on His Word and His Kingdom, and they can’t be focused on those things if they are being filled with so much noise and clamor from the hundreds of thoughts and stories one can get with just the clicking on of a cell phone. And we have a God-given job to do mamas! This is Kingdom work! This is a noble calling to guide and teach little hearts and to point them to Christ. It will be difficult, if not impossible to do this job well with our heads stuck in our phones, laptops, and ipads.
We really must resolve to turn from this!
Will you resolve to be an unplugged mama?
I’m not saying you have to unplug your internet or turn off your phone! I’m asking you to unplug from the distractions and plug in to real relationships: your relationship with the Lord Jesus, your relationships with your husband and children, your relationships with believers, and your Gospel-filled, hope-giving relationships with the lost.
For some to be able to do that they will have to turn everything off, others will simply have to become more intentional with how they use modern technology, and others will do something in between like setting personal rules and boundaries, or having certain times during the day that the internet is turned off. Find out what you have to do, and do it! You may even set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself each day.
Laura Lane of Harvest Lane Cottage says
This is a very good point.
Raising Up Stones says
I couldn’t agree more with you!! I too tried this because I was feeling the same way as you and I was amazed at how my mind was less overwhelmed. I have now set my phone to remind me to look at certain times of the day (I blog so I have to stay up a little on social media for that purpose) and Sundays I have turned off social media all together! For me it was about becoming more intentional. Thank you for sharing this!
Tracy @ OurSimpleLifeSC says
I have felt the same way and had the same revelation you had! I now never take my phone outside with me and always shut it off for hours each day. Great post!
This is so true! I loved what you revealed about how these habits can be sin and I totally agree.
A couple of weeks ago, our stereo (which runs the DVD, Wii, and Netflix) decided to quit working. We haven’t missed it, and in fact, my house is staying a lot cleaner and the kids aren’t fighting *quite* as much. I think eventually we may replace it but just use it to watch a movie now and then.
Anyways, thanks for your encouragement and uplifting article!
I had been struggling with this for awhile, but once I started setting those boundaries, I was more at peace. I was overwhelmed with blogging, emailing, networking… it was too much while trying to be a mom and wife. Just unplugging for a few hours and making it a point to be a part of my family made a difference. I’m glad I did it!
Thank you for linking up with the SHINE Blog Hop this week! 🙂