Tuesday, 26 January 2016

R - Rebooted, Re-set, Ready!


So, my 21 day social media fast lasted 8 days!

The thing is, when I wanted to quit I hung in there a little longer but the motivation to do so had changed.  Instead of it being about putting the Lord first, it had become about proving I could do it.

Instead of making excuses let me tell you what I have learnt and gained from my "8 day social media fast":

  • I have determined that I was spending WAY TOO much time on social media, more than I spend in the word and with the Lord
  • Scrolling down my facebook feed was more by rote and because of boredom and FOMO (fear of missing out) than anything else
  • I was starting to replace God's word with all the many little encouragements available on social media.  That is not to say any one of them is wrong, only that my first source of inspiration should be the Lord and His word
  • Some stuff on there (or some people) bring out the hurt in me (time to let them go)
  • Facebook is a great tool, to be used by me to the glory of God and for encouraging of others
  • I need to as a rule limit my time and interaction on social media and not let it grow out of hand.

Was my time of social media worth it?
Did I learn anything?
Did I achieve anything?
Did the Lord speak to me in all this?

The answer is YES!  

I feel the Lord tell me that I need to find balance in all things.  My initial motivation was to show the Lord that He is first in my life!  I do not need to give up social media to do that.  However, I do need to have self-control, balance and a mind on guard not to be tripped up by the evil one!


1 Peter 5 v 8:   Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times;  for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

I feel re-booted!  Re-set!  Ready!  to practice balance and temperance in all things.

God bless
Tracy

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Q is for Quality


As I am currently on day 4 of my 21 day Social Media Fast it has become clear to me that the quality of my choices when it comes to encouragement has been not as good as they could be.  For example, I am finding that I am on facebook way too much.  I'm there when I'm bored, when I'm waiting, whenever possible actually and that is not good.  There is no balance in that.

Now, I am very selective who I have on my facebook and because of that, most of my facebook feed is very encouraging with lots of positive quotes and biblical quotes and I find it easier to go scrolling through facebook for my encouragement.  I should be going to God's Word for my encouragement, for my growth, for my soul, for my heart and for my nourishment!  God's word is the ultimate QUALITY encouragement and learning ground for me.  It is where I am exhorted and fed and convicted and blessed the most.  It is where I will find all the answers to my questions.


My post this morning is not long, but it is for me a reminder that if I truly want quality input in my life, God's word is the place to be.

Heb 4 v 12:   For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.

God bless
Tracy

Friday, 15 January 2016

Fasting Social Media for 21 days "BEFORE" post!

Oh my goodness!  How hard is this going to be?!  I have been challenged by my fellow blogger and sister in Christ, Stacey, to fast social media with her for the next 21 days starting on Sunday the 17th January 2016!  What am I going to do?  Will I survive?


Yes, I jest!  But it will be hard.  The whole idea is to spend more time with the Lord.  More time in His word.  Put Him first over social media because we all know how easy it is for social media to take over a fat chunk of our time.  And seriously, how productive is it most times?  I know that I get a lot of encouragement when scrolling through facebook.  Partly because of who I choose to be "friends" with.  I am selective!  I do not want continual garbage and negativity running through my feed.  But, there is NO doubt in my mind that I spend way too much time on social media!

So, I am going to fast social media, alongside my sister over the sea!  If you want to join us I will not have a facebook group to which you can join, because well, that would mean being on social media!  But you can leave a message here and I will pray for you and we can pray for each other as we put the Lord above social media for 21 days!


I will continue to blog but only my automated post will pull through to facebook so I won't post it physically myself.  I am stepping away from facebook, pinterest, instagram and twitter!  I am adding Candy Crush (woe is me) to this list so I do not replace one with the other.  If there is enough interest I will start a group on my Whatsapp (its like BBM but broader) so inbox me and we can swap mobile numbers to get that right!

This is my "before" post and after the 21 days I will post an "after" post as to what I have learnt, how the Lord has spoken to me in this time as I show Him He IS more important!

Mark 12 v 29-30:  Jesus answered, “The first and most important one is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; (30) and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul (life), and with all your mind (thought, understanding), and with all your strength.’

I would love for you to join myself and Stacey from She Stands as we put the Lord before social media for 21 days!

God bless
Tracy

Thursday, 14 January 2016

P - Perspective


My One Word for 2016 is Choice and having chosen this word I am becoming more aware of the choices I am making on a daily basis.  At the moment, more in retrospect.  Like this morning, I considered my choices of yesterday (as opposed to waiting until everything crumbles to figure out that my choices have caused bad stuff to happen).  

I considered that the choices I made led to how I feel this morning.  This being more aware of my choices is giving me a different perspective on why I feel the way I do, or why a choice affects me positively or negatively.  I think this is a good thing IF I learn from evaluating my choices and start to make different better choices.

I am also learning that sometimes a choice is not always a right or wrong choice, but maybe a better or worse one.  Consider sugar for example.  I have chosen since the beginning of the year not to knowingly have sugar.  But last night I mulled over this and thought, "Why can't I have sugar in my tea when having tea is an event for me, you know, an exhale moment in the day?"  And it dawned on me that having sugar is not a wrong thing (for me) but maybe its a better thing to NOT have it.  The perspective I am seeing (finally) is that I need not be driven by guilt - "don't have sugar, its bad for you, its poison, its addictive, you'll get fat(ter)...."  and to a degree it probably is!  However, more important than the sugar I put in my tea, is what is in my heart!  Am I anxious?  Am I wallowing in unforgiveness?  Do I need to bring my heart before the Lord for renewal?  All these things are more important than whether or not I have sugar in my tea! Perspective!

So, perspective is important!  It says the following in Luke 12 v 29-30: (29) And you, do not seek [by meditating and reasoning to enquire into] what you are to eat and what you are to drink;  nor be of anxious (troubled) mind [unsettled, excited, worried, and in suspense]; (30) for all the pagan world is [greedily] seeking these things, and your Father knows that you need them.


What I saw when I read this is many diets out there are worldly and self-seeking.  Don't get me wrong!  I need to lose weight!  But I am anxious and worry about food ALL THE TIME! That can't be right?!  So I believe the Lord is telling me not to worry about what I eat so much because He knows I need to eat.  I need to worry more about the condition of my heart.  Now, this is not to say I am going to eat everything in sight.  But it does mean I am trying to come to grips with a different healthier perspective on food so that it nourishes me and does not rule me. A good and better choice?

I am certainly learning that choice reflects my perspective and I hope that through considering my choices more thoroughly, my perspective becomes more balanced, more positive and more God-centred.

God bless
Tracy

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

O - Outlook


I have been dieting since I was 15 years old.  Every Monday I would start afresh and I cannot think of a time in my life when I was not dieting.  The result of 32 years of dieting?  I need to lose weight!!!  Lol!  One could safely say that, in my life, dieting is hopeless!

I was telling my husband this morning how my whole head is about dieting!  What to eat, what not to eat, don't eat this, eat more of that, I can't cut out this, I refuse to go without that, let me try this, let me try that, and on and on and on and on and on and on...

And the scale, oh my goodness!  An emotion determinator of note!  If I lose weight this morning I am am happy and chirpy and get on with things, until something I shouldn't have slips into my diet.  And if I get on that scale and I have put on weight, AND I was good the day before, oh my, the thunder clouds that follow me.....

I hate feeling guilty about eating something which in general is not bad.  Its just bad now, because its not the latest craze or dietitians say x, y or z!  I hate being constantly aware of food, and diet and never getting a sense of general well-being towards food.

I finally figured out that it is time for an outlook change!  I need to view things differently.  I need to NOT be on diet, I need to figure out a eating lifestyle I can live with and make healthy/good choices (oh look, there is my word for the year).


Its amazing how perspective can change one's behaviour.  I am choosing to not listen to all the experts.  I am choosing to go with what works for me.  I am choosing to not diet anymore.  I am choosing to focus on balance in all things instead of being overwhelmed or driven by one aspect of my life all the time.  I am choosing to look after myself better because God gave me a body to look after and until now I have pretty much not done that!

1 Corinth 6 v 19-20:   (19) Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]? (20) You were bought with a price [you were actually purchased with the precious blood of Jesus and made His own]. So then, honor and glorify God with your body.

I am changing my outlook on life this year and I am doing it with the Lord's help!

God bless
Tracy

Friday, 1 January 2016

My One Word for 2016 - Choice!

I had my One Word for 2016 all planned out.  I had a blog post all written and ready to post on the 1st of January 2016 and 2 days before the end of the year another word chose me!  

So today, I unveil my One word for 2016.....

And the word is.....



This word hit me full in the gut!  It did somersaults in my heart.  Every single day of my life I have choices.  Looking back on the last year, a lot of my choices were negative, self-destructive, and not life-affirming.  I have not been choosing life!  In my words, in my thoughts, I have been choosing "not life"!  God in His Word has given us a choice...

Choose Life
Deut 30 vs 15-20:  (15) “Listen closely, I have set before you today life and prosperity (good), and death and adversity (evil); (16) in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk [that is, to live each and every day] in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgements (precepts), so that you will live and multiply, and that the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to possess. (17) But if your heart turns away and you will not hear and obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, (18) I declare to you today that you will certainly perish. You will not live long in the land which you cross the Jordan to enter and possess. (19) I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore, you shall choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, (20) by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding closely to Him; for He is your life [your good life, your abundant life, your fulfilment] and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord promised (swore) to give to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

And so today, I not only unveil my One word, I unveil also my scripture for the year: 

Duet 30 v 19:  I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore, you shall choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants


My goal for this year is to be more aware of what choices I make before I make them.  I want to make choices that are life-affirming, life-giving and bring hope, growth and joy.  I think in the emotional times, it will be tough.  But I think too, that making the right choice takes practice and decisiveness.  I know that as I step forward into this new year, God-willing, every day I will make right choices and when I don't I know that God's mercies are knew every morning and that it is also my choice to accept those undeserved mercies that the Lord so freely gives, and start anew every day!

So bloggers, what is your One Word for 2016?

God bless
Tracy

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