Sunday, February 9, 2014

After IF: My Thoughts


This weekend I spent many hours with a group of amazing women, watching the IF: Gathering. We really didn't know quite what this would be. We knew awesome women would be sharing, like Ann Voskamp, Christine Caine, Jennie Allen and Jen Hatmaker- just to name a few. We knew it would be good, but there were also lots of unknowns. Lots of people asked, what exactly IS this thing called IF? We smiled and said that we weren't quite sure either, but to come and go deeper with us.

As we planned for this event, I knew one thing. I knew that God was going to be there with us and that the dreams and purposes that our creator has been tucking into us, were going to be pulled out. Ladies were going to realize that yes, they were created with a purpose and that yes, they can go after that "thing", that's been tugging at them inside. And come on, I hope you all know that I'm a dreamer. I secretly live for this stuff.

So, we gathered and it was awesome and inspiring and God worked in us. I thought a lot about this space while I was there. I thought about words and how powerful words are. You might have noticed or maybe you haven't, but it's been a bit more quiet around here lately. 

Honestly, the internet and I aren't exactly friends lately. I'm a bit turned off by Facebook right now and sometimes I just wish I could delete it all together, but then it's like the world revolves around Facebook and it's basically a necessity- which actually makes me even more annoyed. And don't get me wrong because there are some things that I do love about Facebook. Obviously, because I'm a "poster" and a "liker" and a "commenter".  But, I really can't stand some things about it. I love how people can connect on there, but I hate that some people need to "check in" everywhere they go- like dinner with your family wouldn't be complete without a "check in" or a workout wouldn't burn as many calories without a mention. But, then I feel guilty for being annoyed because really my judgmental thoughts are just as bad or worse, as whatever it is that's being posted. 

Words are so powerful and there are those that write words that speak life into people and then there are those that write words that are NOT full of life. These words on the internet are real words that impact people and the more I see how powerful words are, the more hesitant I am to write them.
Love these ladies! Photo credit to my friend Nancy. 

You guys, I've been thinking a lot about this internet thing lately and how BIG it all really is- the connections on Facebook, the way a simple photo on Instagram can make a person feel. The way someone portrays their life by only showing all the good stuff and in turn that makes others feel like their life doesn't quite measure up.

See, we all have our imprint that we make on the world around us with in-person conversations and such, and then we all have our imprint that we're making on social media. The thing is that once you leave the room from a conversation in "real life", most likely what you said in that room wasn't written down. People might remember what you said, but they can't go back and read it again and again. And that thing you said in person, it came across with body language.

But, it's different when you blog or you post things on Facebook. That stamp you're leaving on the world can  be looked at again and again, word for word and without body language, just an added exclamation point here and there, or a smiley face, if you're a smiley kind of gal, which I totally am. And if I can't do this internet thing right, then I don't want to do it at all. If my words could ever be portrayed wrong or ever make someone feel inadequate, I don't want to write them. 

You guys, I seriously almost just deleted my blog last night.
And you know why? It's because I want to use these words that God gives me in the correct way and that's hard. I don't know what that looks like right now. I am baffled, lost and totally confused. I keep on waiting for some really smart person to say "write this, this and this and NOT that", but so far, that hasn't happened.

See, God gives me extra words each day that need to be written down, but you guys, I've been writing them in my journal, not here. I want to do the internet differently. I want to challenge myself to journal just for me, as much as I write for other people to read. I want to take pictures and not feel like each "good one" needs to be shared for all to see. And then I want to recognize that I DO love writing and that sharing  in this space is a blessing to me and I do love it.

I learned A LOT this weekend and as I drove there tonight for the last session, God told me to not leave that place frustrated that I can't go out and change the world, but to take a thing or two away with me and do a FEW things well. To do what I'm already doing better. 

We see these big successful women out there changing thousands of lives and it can make us feel so inadequate, but it shouldn't be like that. Tonight when I came home, I walked into a house strewn with toys. Kids were ecstatic to see me and I carried my baby around with me everywhere I went until the moment I tucked her into bed because I missed her a crazy amount.

I sang songs, picked up toys, did dishes, changed diapers and tucked kids in. It was back to normal life and after some time away, normal life can hit you pretty hard. Here's the thing though---God's telling me that these little things are the things that matter. We are called to be faithful in the small, before we reach out for the big. While we do those small, daily things, we need to have open hands, telling Him that we're ready for whatever it is that He's calling us to do.

So often I feel like I'm not doing enough. That I need to go after more, that I need to do more with my life. But then I come home to those babies after some time away and I see that this normal life is His gift to me and He's watching me, hoping that I'll do something great with these small things that I've been trusted with. These normal everyday things that I do are my chance to be faithful in the small and as I sweep crumbs and feed babies, He's preparing me for greater things.

This goes for YOU too. As you're faithful in the small, bigger seeds are being planted, but those seeds can't grow until the smaller ones are first thriving.

One of the best things I learned this weekend is to be a cheerleader for the gals in my life. To call out the gifts I see in others and tell the ladies in my life how awesome they are. We are called to encourage each other. not to compare or tear each other down. When we see a women succeeding, we need to come along side her and build her up, not be filled with jealousy or comparison. We are called to bring out the best in our sisters and I love that.

Thanks for listening to all my thoughts. God is working on me right now and I hope what I've shared makes sense.
Angela

If you want to watch the Live Stream of "IF" it's available until midnight on Monday 2/10. Just go here and click to watch.
http://new.livestream.com/ifgathering/ifgathering

4 comments:

  1. Angela!! I feel the SAME way. I sometimes can't stand Facebook and others I'm glad for it because it keeps me in touch with friends and family. And I totally agree with you about blogging. Blogging can be so tough because you don't want to come across as "I have it all together" or braggy or whatever! It's so frusterating. I also want to spend more time with my REAL family ;o) and less on the computer so something's gotta give, you know? Great, honest post. I love it and can completely relate!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catie, Thank you for telling me that I'm not alone! You are amazing and I'm so grateful for you sharing with me.

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    2. FRUSTRATING. Sheesh. Where's spell-check when you need it?!

      And, thanks! :) I'm grateful for you!

      Delete

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