intentional

Unplug to Connect

The sound of an airplane swoosh – Incoming email or text.

A high tone beep – A reminder.

A banner across my screen – incoming text, email, or calendar reminder.

A blue box – Face Book update.

And more.

We have become a society overwhelmed by all we can do in the palm of our hand. Social Media, connect anywhere to anyone, find anything at a moments notice and sometimes with the help of Siri asking ‘How may I help you?’ and better yet, if you like, calling you by name. The name of your choice. Mine is Daughter of the King, just in case you were wondering.

I personally love how efficient I can be on my iPhone 4s. Email, text, write a blog post if necessary, twitter, music, Google search of anything at any time. It helps me to get things done. To get places I need to be.

Truth be told, it gets in the way too. In the way of a relationship in front of me at the moment. Misunderstood text or email due to lack of voice inflection leading to conflict or doubt. And simple things like – what is a clock on a wall really? I’m ready to go back to hanging one! I even use my phone to check the time. Good grief.

I find I need to DISCIPLINE myself to step away from my phone from time to time.

UNPLUG

I heard on the radio today that a representative from Google suggested unplugging your phone for one hour a day. I need to accept the challenge. When we take the time to intentionally unplug from our devices, it offers a space to connect in real time with other human beings face to face. Or voice to voice like we used to do in phone calls. When is the last time you unplugged?

I am reminded of the verse in Hebrews – 10:24-25 – Let us And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another… I wonder what it looked like as they came together and encouraged one another.

Don’t get me wrong, we can encourage each other through our incredibly efficient devices, but something powerful happens when we gather together, meet together, and look into one another’s eyes. We CONNECT on a level that we only scratch the surface on otherwise. I know, it is easier for some to have hard conversations via text, but I personally think if we will unplug and come together, much more can be accomplished. Much can be worked through. Much can even be enjoyed.

We have a generation of youth who relate best through text message, Face book message and other like avenues of communication. How can we encourage them to communicate face to face, voice to voice? By engaging them.

Face to face, voice to voice.

And showing them how to unplug for a while.

By doing it ourselves first.

They ARE watching.

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Impacted for the Journey

The kitchen assignment chart.

Now it seems a crazy place for the impact to start. But as thoughts come flowing gently back, that’s where they land.

Enter the back door of Grandma’s house, through the screened in porch, and I can count on it to be there…attached to the front of the fridge. Four columns to be exact. One for me and one for each of my three brothers. I couldn’t wait to see what my “job” would be today. She would assign us aprons and give us job descriptions for meal time, then she would step back and become the supervisor overseeing all jobs. Of course…she trusted us and let us know that as she kept her distance and gave us independence. I remember feeling like the queen bee!

Leaving behind a world of fear and chaos the from the home life we lived, every time I walked though those doors and into her home as a young elementary aged girl I found safety and comfort beyond all I hoped and longed for. In her home I mattered. She would sit for hours and teach us to play games. Board games. Card games. Building forts. She made it all about us. She knew we needed it. It was our escape from reality.

Over the next few years as the chaos in the home escalated we would often sneak by her house as we walked to or home from school. Thank God it was on the way. She offered a safe place we knew we could take refuge in. Even if it was temporary. At age ten the courts took us from that home and placed us in another. For a season, she breathed life and hope into a child who might not have known it otherwise.

Could she see past all the pain we endured? Could she trust God would use it all for His glory one day? Did she see who I could become all those years ago? Did she have any idea the impact her love for me would have on my life? My WHOLE life?

All these years later as I consider who has impacted my life – who intentionally made a decision to love me and pour into my life – it begins here. She could have chosen to open the door when we walked in and went about her business as an adult. Surely she could have chosen to. Grandma didn’t. She sat on the floor with us and joined us in our world and made it an exciting child-like place to be. We needed it.

Who was the first to impact your life in such a powerful way? What was the impact?