Tag Archives: Idleness

I ate the bread- part 2

I shared with you in part 1 about retiring from my bread factory 😉 I’d like to add a layer of butter on this bread story!

My daughter brought up that little ones of today are competing with a screen for worth. Thankfully, her younger years were before the online world took over. She remembers face to face time with people & knows the value it held.

Today’s normal is a society of people with phones in their hand. Myself included.

Conversations aren’t had with the very ones in front of us. Life, real life, isn’t being lived. Precious time, that can’t be replaced, is spent on a screen.

The example has been set.

We drive with our eyes competing for screen time, we eat meals with a screen. We go to the movies with an extra screen on the side. Church. Birthday parties. Funerals. School. Jobs. No matter what we’re doing, our eyes & fingers are consumed with a device. We think we’re missing something if we don’t check our device every 20 minutes.

We are missing something. We’re missing living the life that’s all around us. We’re missing time treasures.

Excitement, drama, entertainment, or the next new thing waits to capture our attention. Addiction. Any addiction can be devoured online, including being addicted to the very device we’re using to feed what’s taken us over.

Sometimes, our vision gets cloudy. Our environment seems overwhelming. The click of a button welcomes momentary escape. Phone scrolling becomes a numbing agent. It’s an ‘out’. A temporary boost of anything other than our circumstances. Aimlessly searching & entering a unrealistic online world in an attempt to feel better, connect, or avoid.

No matter what the scenario..the bread of idleness is still being consumed.

There is a lot of good to be found online- connecting with family & friends who are far away, offering hope, raising money for worthy causes, seeing pictures, getting helpful information in seconds, pointing lives to the cross. It can be a huge blessing.

Unfortunately…with the good comes the not so good. Good intentions quickly turn into daily rants, comparison, hate, judgment, defensiveness, inappropriateness, idleness, selfishness, gossip, ingratitude, pride, debate circles, negativity, pot stirring, division, point proving & self centered sharing …all from the very ones that claim to be a follower of Christ.

Colossians 3:12-17

If it saddens my soul, I can’t even imagine how the God who created us feels. We keep eating bread & casually add in baskets of other sins as if they’re mere condiments.

Ephesians 4  shares some serious truths about being made new in Christ . I think we forget that to the world…we are His image bearers.

The hours we could be spending reading His word, praying, serving, worshiping, being purposeful, using talents, nourishing relationships, spending time with loved ones is being robbed.

Robbed by a thief called ‘self’.

If we logged how much screen time we spent each day, I’m pretty sure we’d be shocked. ‘Strongholds’ are called that for a reason. They can have a mighty strong hold.

The internet & phones aren’t evil in themselves. The enemy is & he’s found another tool to use to distract us from our true purpose. The God of heaven sent his very own Son to die for our sin so that we can be with Him for eternity. He willingly took the punishment we deserve.

Our lives are to bring Him glory. Him alone. He purchased our freedom. Chaining ourself to anything on this earth is not being free. Eating the bread of idleness isn’t where freedom is found either.

1 Peter 2:24

I don’t know what the answer is. Technology advancements are here to stay. Maybe, we just need to pause & pray. Ask the Lord if this is the best use of our next 30 minutes before we open our phone screen. Let’s trust that His ways are always better & follow as the Holy Spirit directs us through each hour.

Praying above all else, we choose to guard our hearts! Proverbs 4:23 

I’m washing the crumbs off my bread plate & butter from my knife. Fruit platter…here I come 😉

In His endless love,

Tracy

rose

 

I ate the bread- part 1

Confession time…I totally ate the bread. Every-last-crumb-of-it.

There I was, reading a book that’s taken me way too long to finish (that always seems to happen when I’m not in a place to fully learn yet). I came across a sentence that got my mind whirling. I got a little riled up and much too enthusiastically shared it with my husband when he came in the room. I kept pondering the information and then it hit me. This message was for me…

My ranting quickly turned to understanding & then remorse. The Lord has been showing me something for awhile & I’ve ‘mastered’ rationalizing my behavior, when in fact… it was mastering me. The Lord knew I was in chains & took a different tactic. I’m so grateful He doesn’t leave me to myself.

“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27 (NIV)

Ach!

He had been trying to tell me about social media, my phone & chasing multiple rabbits. I would hear, make small attempts and get sucked right back in. It’s not that I wasn’t convicted, because I was. What I wasn’t willing to do was cut off the root and change. Which means I wasn’t listening, obeying or repenting.

Weekly devotions, bible verses, church sermons, teachings, people and books were all delivering the same message over & over & over again on the use of time, purpose, and glorying God with my days and choices.

When the Holy Spirit directed me to this book that I had been procrastinating about finishing, and I came to the verse on idleness…my eyes were finally opened to the depth of my sin. I was eating loaves & loaves of bread. At the very center of the platter sat my phone & social media.

When I switched to a smart phone, books stopped being read. Any extra time found me reaching for my phone. Eventually, I slowly pulled away from blogging. He kept pointing out what He created me for, and I kept handing out excuses. I can tell you this…I wasn’t created to sit idle scrolling through my phone. For me, social media & online living became my bread of idleness.

You see, even if our time on social media is for good things…it’s still time. Is it how He wants us to spend our time or is a limit needed? We can do good things too much if it starts consuming us. Helping others is a great opportunity & that was my initial purpose online. We can reach people across the world without hopping on a plane. It’s amazing! Just like everything else though, it requires balance.

Balance is a weak area for me. I’ve always struggled with it. I know this & yet still didn’t put safeguards in place.

There is never an end to social media roads. Videos, lives, stories, posts, podcasts. It’s like going to a squirrel circus.

I knew the Lord called me to share my story, blog & offer hope to others. When another round of waves hit our family, I sunk deep into social media. I pulled away from where He placed me & tried to keep afloat my way. What started as a temporary shift, turned into a major trail of idleness.

How can I watch over the affairs of my own household & those placed in my care (there’s no ignoring the first half of this verse) when I’m unplugged from them & plugged into my device?

My daughter saw it coming. She knows when I need time, alone time, with the Lord. She kept urging me to go refill my soul with Him. To get in the lifeboat & row to an island for healing. I didn’t go. Instead, I ate more bread.

I have some good news…

I’m officially on a bread diet! It takes gluten free to a whole new level 😉 I would appreciate your prayers as I maneuver through this new way of living. My online activity can’t be severed completely & the enemy knows my weaknesses…but-

I have the light of life in me! John 8:12  The latest & greatest technology advances will never be greater or mightier than He is. He IS the One who leads my life. I’m following Him!

Transformed by the One who saves,

Tracy

sliced bread and stainless steel knife on top of brown wooden chopping board