Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wanting to do the Internet Differently, a Party and a Winner

I've been feeling restless lately to do this whole internet thing differently. To use this space more intentionally, to be on Facebook less, and connected in person more. I'm craving those real conversations over coffee (oh, how I love coffee!), not in comments or likes. I'm craving that un-distracted feeling, that I had just a few years ago. That feeling of not being torn to look at my phone, over the eyes of my children.

I read this a few days ago and I think there's a lot of truth here. This is Ashley from Under the Sycamore, interviewing Dr. Barbara Sorrels,  Executive Director of The Institute for Childhood Education.

About a year ago, I listened to you share at a conference. One key point you made was that we can starve our children emotionally through preoccupation. Being preoccupied with jobs, technology, etc. You said you believe we are a nation in crisis when it comes to our kids. Will you explain this more?
In the work I do with teachers and child care providers I am often asked, “Why are children today so angry and out of control?”
There is an increasing number of children in classrooms around the country who display challenging behaviors, causing problems with learning and social relationships.  Parent participation in schools is at an all time low.  Churches struggle with recruitment of volunteers for children’s ministry.  Experts say the rate of secure attachment relationships in our country is at 40% and plummeting.  The evidence is all around us that children are emotionally starving.
The primary cause of emotional starvation is preoccupied parents.
In order for a parent to truly nurture a child, the adult must be able to “hold” the child in mind and be attuned and aware of the emotional state and needs of the child.  Daily living can sometime consume our mental and emotional energies to the point that parents are unable to truly “see” their children.  Some parents are preoccupied for legitimate reasons.  Financial stresses, health conditions and family issues can sap adult attention and energy.  For others it is a matter of priorities.  Climbing the ladder of success at any cost, pursuing a materialistic lifestyle, and an obsession with technology are just some of the things that can consume adult attention and energy.
After I read that, I saw this that Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary wrote (that's the name of her blog- I'm not being mean) and I felt like she took the words right out of my mouth- although I'm pretty sure she said it way better than I ever could have. I've been reevaluating how I use the internet and I'm craving change. 

I wish I could tell you exactly what this means for me, but honestly I haven't figured it out yet. All I know is that I'm brainstorming ways to make this space a meaningful creative outlet, without letting it consume my life too much. I've seen the bloggers who spend hours each day creating new content for the purpose of crawling up the popularity ladder in the blogging world. I know without a doubt that isn't for me, it's actually so unappealing and sad to me that real people with real stories, feel like their blog readership somehow is connected with their worth. 

I want to learn how to do the un-distracted life better, to put the phone and laptop away and bring them out only at certain times of the day. I want to enjoy special moments with my kids and be there, fully present with them. I want more coffee chats with girlfriends, looking at each other, not typing at each other.
Does this make any sense? Ever feel this way?

Wrapping this up with a few photos from Judah's Superhero Birthday celebration. It's hard to believe that I'm the Mama to a 5 year old.

The winner of the "You Are Very Special" giveaway is "caregiver mom" who said, "I would share with my grandchildren, my oldest son completed suicide July 5 2012. We have not had much to share since our world changed on that day. I don't know how to answer their questions about why daddy left them, when I can't even understand or wrap my head around the fact that my son would rather die, than live another day here with us." 

Your comment made me ache inside for those kids and I'm so glad that you get this wonderful book to share with them. I've sent you an email.  This book is also available on Amazon, here


  1. Dear Angela -
    As I write this reply to these writings, the fog is lifting out in the field before me and the sun is warmly shining through. I believe this is a picture of your profound thoughts here. The noisy busy-ness of our present culture can never replace the warmth of human connection...meaningful eye contact, healthy human touch and other real human communications. We were just created with these needs and, in order to thrive, we must have large quantities of them. If we don't receive these basic human comforts...we can become frightened and angry.
    Thank you for this very meaningful message..and your photos are wonderful!

  2. Gosh...what a great post. I struggle with so many of these feelings. I crave the connection I've made with other women, but I hate that these aren't people I actually get to see in real life. It's all about balance, I guess. I've yet to achieve it. I've felt that whole "popularity" thing with Instagram too...the "big wigs" don't connect or interact with anyone (I know-how could they with thousands of followers), but then they become celebrities it seems like. It's craziness. :) Well-we are only a couple of hours apart, maybe one of these days we can have a meet up.


Thank you for your comments. I read every single one of them and they always make me smile.


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