Cloudy or Focused? Breaking from the Crazy

Jadyn Noelle Photography
I recently decided to take a break from the crazy. My world had become too cloudy. (The wording "breaking from the crazy" was just borrowed from my friend Michelle. It perfectly describes what happened.)

Let's start with this: We are addictive people by nature. There are so many things to be addicted to these days. Right?

Sometimes it takes giving things up to see how much we are affected by them.

Occasionally I get tired of social media, then realize my angst is funny because I can choose to turn it off. The times I get fed up with it most are when I see adults sharply jabbing each other over their differing opinions on controversial topics. I get queasy over what we're doing, and take a break.

For example, there was a blog from a mom nicely correcting girls on a topic some need to be corrected on. (I'm not going to refer to it because I don't want to jump in the melee). Facebook blew up with her blog, and a slew of people hated on her and wrote blogs in protest. (This has happened more than once with different blogs). People I know and respect were on both sides of the argument. Both had valid points. But the spiteful approach is more than I can bear. That makes me slide away from the entire topic and click "logout". I don't want to be a part of that world.

The truth is, I read people I disagree with almost everyday. I read to keep an open mind and to hear perspectives other than mine- to gain insight, to keep informed, to understand. Never have I been tempted to leave a mean comment on a blog or an article. I'm choosing to read their article and their perspective- if I don't like it, I can choose to stop reading it, or to write my own perspective in a different place.

We worry about kids being mean to each other, yet there is an online world of adults beating each other up with comments and blog-one-upping. Maybe it takes debaters to save society-(I do see a few meaningful, respectfully-disagreeing debates that are well done), but the hateful stuff, it's just not my style.

Then I think about the opinionated blogs I've written- Am I doing the same thing? Am I contributing? If I write about something I feel strongly about, am I coming across as dissing anyone? I hope not. It honestly makes me not want to write sometimes. I don't always like the online world I see. Can I write about a topic that I believe in, even a topic that may be controversial, without joining this craziness? I hope so. But sometimes I'm not sure.

There are so many articles out there. So much news. SO much information. I think sometimes too much information.

Over Christmas break, I had almost two weeks off, and decided to take a break from social media. I wanted to give my mind a break, and be fully present. It was amazing and liberating. My mind had so much room in it. I realize how much extra time I had. It was a vacation for my mind.

One of the struggles I've had since starting to work full time is figuring out when to have my alone time and when to do Bible study, one of my favorite things (and my lifeline to survival). Over break, during the fast of social media, my focus was Bible study.

Here's what I re-realized: The overload of ideas, information, news and opinions cloud my mind. The Word of God, and God's voice through it, sharpens and focuses me.

The absolute polar opposite effect in me is mind boggling. Cloudy vs. Focused.

Just like overeating- when I stuff myself with any and everything and then feel like a blob, (but at the time it feels good) vs. when I finally take care of my diet and am amazed at how good I feel.

The absolute focus, and the quickness at which it enters, is a relief in this world of so many opinions. For those who may not understand God's Word, it says in Hebrews that He IS the Word, that He's speaking through it to us, that the Word of God is active and alive, cutting through things straight to our hearts where we need it. I feel it. I feel the difference between that and human information.

It doesn't mean we stop reading, writing, or debating for what we believe in. Because here I sit writing a blog that someone may read. And I'm back on social media, in balance. For me, it has to be balanced out with the priority of keeping God's voice clear. His voice and opinion are really the only ones that matter to me.

I want to live sharp and focused, not like a blob of information and opinion.

I want you to live sharp and focused, hearing God's voice above all, even over any little blog I may write giving my opinion on a topic. Dismiss me if you need to, as long as you hear God.

I want to be, and want us all to be, careful what we fill our minds with- informed, but aware of the ultimate truth.

Cloudy vs. Focused- where do you stand today?


Does God Really Hear My Prayers?

A friend and I spent some wonderful time recently talking to, praying with and helping a young adult understand the process of growing in God's ways.

It's a great thing is to see a young person who has been through some stuff, at a young age, coming back to the ways they were raised in, not because of what anyone else says, but because it's what they want and have chosen.

And most importantly, it's because of the One who never gives up on us or leaves us alone, no matter what we do. He's relentless, yet a gentleman, in wanting relationship with us.

I was happy for the mom who can be at peace again, knowing that her child is choosing wisely again. Be encouraged, if you have one who is dabbling in iffy behavior. Keep praying for them. Prayers get answered.


I've Forgotten How to Blog

It's been awhile.

After 20 years of having the convenient, but very full life of raising kids at home, (thanks to a nice husband), I took a full time job almost 4 months ago (pesky college bills). Yes, we all wondered how I would manage to make it there by 8:00am looking good, while portraying a state of function at the same time. Morning is not my forte.

I've been doing the "roll out of bed" in time to get in the car (in pajamas) and drive the kids to school for a loooonnnnngggg time. I never went back to bed, but getting ready, putting on a face, and wearing actual clothing was done in a pleasant, leisurely fashion for all of my adult life. I know, boo hoo. I'm a diva. At least I was.

The part time jobs I have worked through the years have all been at home, entrepreneurial, or flexible at least. So this is a NEW phase. But one that I have surprisingly adapted to. Starbucks helps me get revved up for the day. They know me now. I'm the grande Americano with cream and _ sugars in the morning drive through. I often wonder if they know it's me, or if 200 other people order the same thing daily.

I spent almost two months both coffee and sugar free when I started my job, and I announced it publicly. You were so proud of me, and I regret to inform you that I've fallen into my old ways. My birthday started the quick downhill spiral. Sigh. Cycle starts over.

As you can tell, it's taken almost 4 months to sit and write again. Wow, I'm sorry to anyone I ever tried to get to volunteer or attend ANYTHING over the last few years if you worked full time. I don't want to do anything! What an adjustment.

Anyhow, I write in my head daily, so I'm really sorry you can't read it, because it's really good.

There are so many things to write about.

But for now, I'm just saying hello, and I'm actually still here!  I have had a lot of fun moments at this job with college students who ROCK, who give me hope for the future of our world, because the cream of the crop attend where I work, and it's a blessing to help them.

More to come.