I recently deactivated my facebook account. Around here we're calling it "a facebook fast" (Sam Horney is happy, that guy isn't a real facebook fan). I didn't actually delete my account, because I fully plan on logging back in one of these days, but for now it is a welcome reprieve from a constant stream of opinions and chatter. I love social media, and consider it an important facet in this century of relationships, but sometimes it is just. too. much. And I've found, in all honesty, that since I became a mother, my skin is somehow much less thick than it used to be. I'm really bothered by what people think of me, and any negative comments or messages that I receive dig much deeper than they used to. Before Clara arrived. Before my heart lived outside my chest. Before I felt so gosh darn vulnerable all the time.
So, I'm taking a break. And I've noticed some changes already.
My home, somehow, seems much quieter. The only voices allowed in here right now belong to my husband, my daughter, and the people who make a phone call or stop by. Archaic? Yes. Good for my scattered head and thoughts? Definitely.
I feel a sense of calm. I know that there are lots of ways to communicate with people, and I enjoy every single one of them. (Says the girl writing a blog about leaving facebook. Somebody slap me.)
But don't you think that all of these fun new ways to connect with each other can actually dillute the meaningful things we have to share? I get overwhelmed with all of this pressure and commentary and bizarre false intimacy that I allow in my life. And it's like, I don't have the SPACE for anyone or anything else to exist.
That's how I feel, anyways.
But when I step back for a minute; when I refocus on the actual center of the Universe, who also happens to be my Creator, I remember a few truths.
First, God will sustain me. He is the source of my energy.
Second, when I use my energy to make decisions that please Him, I get MORE energy.
It's in that place where I close in, where I try to protect myself from injury or strife, that I become exhausted. And there's no space for anyone else in there. But when I step out of my own fears, and act like the true, VALUED version of myself, the one who is loved beyond loved beyond loved? I have exactly what I need to love others. And all the space in the world to do it.
There are small moments to notice.
It turns out that breastfeeding is this magical moment in time when you are actually expected to slow down. You have to sit. You have to free up your hands. You simply have to stop. And I have learned something in those quiet times with my daughter in my arms.
We need those moments.
Not just we, nursing mothers: we, everyone. There is a quiet kind of gratitude that exists in that pause. I can hear the churning of my washing machine, and be thankful for clean clothes. I notice the winter sunlight fading through the bedroom window, and am thankful for a warm house. The weight of my child against my chest is a thankful that exists on a whole other parallel, but it is only in the quiet that I can really feel her heart beating against mine. And like a photographer with one minute of light left in the day, or a traveller about to turn towards home, we must CAPTURE that moment. We must see what we are thankful for, we must say it aloud, we must swirl it on our tongues and run it through our fingers until the memory of this moment - hard or easy or desperate or lovely- is so marinated in our thanks that there is room for nothing else.
Those things right there? They need air to live, and when we take that air and turn into a breath of quiet thanks...they go away.
Oh my friends, let's capture those moments. You might not need to turn off facebook. You might not need to nurse a hungry baby every few hours.
But stop anyways.
Sit down for a second. Listen. And count your blessings, one by one.
I'm right there with you, counting away.