Unconnect to Reconnect

“Good morning, sweetheart,” I hear my wonderful husband whisper to me as my eyes struggle to open. I grab my cell phone and begin to scroll through my notifications from the night before.

“I love you.”

“I love you too,” I mumble as I continue to fix my attention on my cell phone, an inanimate object that didn’t hold me as I fell asleep last night, instead of this sweet man that is standing in front of me that God has given to me. My husband lovingly snatched my cellphone from my hand and looked at me straight in the eyes, longing for me to share a moment with him before he went off to work that day. The sad thing is, this isn’t the first and only time I have done this to him or others for that matter.

Now, I know that I’m not the only one who has grabbed their cellphone first thing in the morning or stared at the screen during dinner with a friend, so I have to ask:

When did we get so consumed with technology that we’ve allowed it to capture our complete attention more than an actual human being?

When I had this interaction with my husband, I realize how all he wanted was a little attention before he started his day. Imagine how God must feel when we not only choose other people before Him, but THINGS.

I want to dig even deeper and ask is this dependency on electronics and technology also affecting our relationship with the Lord?

Matthew 6:33 asks us to seek the Lord FIRST.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

KJV

That means putting Him first in our lives at all times, even the first few moments of our day. He is the One who graciously woke us up, gave us the breath in our lungs, and provided us another opportunity to live another day. He deserves our devotion the moment our eyes pop open, even if it is a mere “thank you, God” before our feet even hit the floor.

As we live in the great information age, we are bombarded with opportunities to fill our time and our minds with so many things that can so easily replace our time of fellowship with the Lord.

Information available to us, literally at our fingertips, at all times, is wonderful gift, but that mobile device that we carry around in our purses and pockets can also be a mobile distraction that follows us everywhere we go.

Although our cellphones, tablets, iPods, laptops, etc are not evil, I do believe we need to be cautious as to how much time we are devoting to them. We need to be aware of where we are directing our focus. We need to be attentive of what is capturing our attention.

Perhaps you may not have an issue with technology distracting you from the Lord- good for you! Stay strong and be an accountability partner for those around you who are easily pulled away from the things of God because of the ever-increasing information age.

But if you are like me (a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom) and you are finding yourself with limited time to spend with Jesus in prayer and the Word, I challenge you to ask the Lord if there is something you can arrange in your schedule to allow better time management. Also, ask Him if He would like for you to fast (technology, that is) something that could be causing division between you and Him.

Devote specific time every day to spend some quiet time in fellowship with God and reading your Bible, without your cellphone or iPad within reach- turn them off during that time and perhaps put a timer on the most-used apps that you access throughout your day.

Be thankful for the benefits of the tools and global connections that technology brings us, but don’t allow technology to rob you of your connection to Jesus. 

Let’s un-connect for a while, refocus, and reconnect with the Lord!

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The Warmth of a Friend

Have you ever heard a statistic that just seemed to leave an imprint on your heart?

Recently, I heard someone say that 80% of babies in orphanages die because of a lack of compassionate, physical touch. Being a mom of two little ones, this statement obviously hurts my tender momma heart.

It does not take very long to see our children’s independence start to blossom. Understanding that my little ones won’t always be this small, I try to take advantage of all the cuddles and snuggles that I can get. I know that this has only strengthened my bond with both of my boys. Even medical professionals urge moms of newborns to enjoy times of “skin to skin,” which also aids in mother/baby bonding. Science has proven the release of Oxytocin, the “love drug,” occurs with physical touch and creates a lasting bond between humans.

As I let images of lonely, unloved little ones in those orphanages run through my being, I begin to wonder:

Do we ever outgrow the need for physical connection and affection?

In the age of hyper-technology and social media, we can communicate with anyone and everyone from around the globe, around the clock. It’s obvious that people still enjoy connecting with one another, not just as networking partners, but as friends. Right, Facebook?

But are we truly connected?

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV) tells us the value of a friend:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Over the years, I have to admit that I’ve allowed myself to rely on social media and texting to keep my friendships going. Although convenient, I have wondered why I’ve always felt short-changed. The reason is because my friendships on social media — merely texting my friends — will never allow them to pick me up when I fall or hold me when I’m “cold.”

The warmth of a hug or a shoulder to cry on or hands to hold when fervently praying for one another simply cannot be found online. No, we can only find that kind of affection face-to-face, enjoying the physical presence of a beloved friend.

I challenge you to join me in being intentional with physically spending time with our friends. 

Keep that coffee date on your calendar (don’t cancel it again!), go on a shopping trip with your girlfriends (even if it’s just window shopping), or cook dinner with your married friends (and put your phones away and enjoy the conversation during your meal together!).

It’s easy to say we “don’t have the time.” Well, it’s time to invest in our friendships and see them flourish into a lasting bond that could last a lifetime.

And that reminds me of another statistic I heard, one worth striving for: If a friendship lasts longer than seven years, psychologists say it will last a lifetime.

Let’s make it a priority to cultivate those types of long-lasting friendships; not just those we connect with on social media, but those who we can physically connect with on our journey as we grow older alongside one another, walking hand in hand, and holding each other up when we are weak. Let’s be those kinds of friends.


The Warmth of a Friend was first featured on incourage.me.

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