Friday, October 25, 2013

I Am Addicted to Everything

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So maybe everything is an exaggeration. And maybe it's not exactly text-book addiction. But there are a number things I rely on in my life on a regular basis to bring me happiness, energy, distraction, affirmation, entertainment, and escape. They are not necessarily bad things, but they can be. They can squeeze out sleep. They can cut short real-life conversation. They can fill me up and leave little space for time spent with God. They can crowd my head so I can't hear God's voice. They can fill me up so I don't realize how much I actually need Him to fill me.

For the past few weeks, I have heard God nudging me to be "stripped." It's the word that keeps coming to me. I often think about those in third world countries and wonder why they get to witness all the healings and much more supernatural action from God. Why do those in extreme poverty often have so much faith? Is it because they are stripped? Because God is all they have so God is all they need? What does that even look like? Of course, I don't want to be that stripped. Don't take my health. Don't take my family. Don't take my freedom. Don't take my access to healthcare. I like to be comfortable :) But for seven days I am going to voluntarily strip myself of some of my addictions and worldly comforts and privileges. I want more of God and less of me.

(I took this pic of Elijah on my iphone in Hawaii. My father-in-law tweaked the coloring. I love it.)

In the past, I have fasted from certain things individually. A week or two I go without sugar as my craving for it spirals out of control. A day without food so I am hungry for God or I fast and pray for a specific need. No social media for a month as I find the compulsion to upload all funny moments to instagram or facebook too consuming and addicting.
So this is my wussy offering. My weak attempt at being stripped of a few worldly comforts. No, I am not living on $2 per day or camping out in a rat-infested bunker. I am not looking to be a martyr or an ascetic. But I want to be faithful to what I hear calling me to for seven days. (And yes, I love Jen Hatmaker's book 7. I guess this is kind of like my tweaked and condensed version of it.)

Even my dog's addicted to her iphone.

For seven days:

1. I will not be on social media. You will have to find your pinspiration elsewhere, folks.

2. I will not be on the internet. Which for me includes no and the like. News sites can easily be a time vortex for me. One minute I'm are reading about an earthquake and the next thing I know I'm reading about a huge fish washed up on the beach in San Diego and then Kim K and Kanye are engaged and then Lamar is MIA and then . . . you get the drift. Time suck.

3. I will not consume caffeine. I am not a coffee girl, but I make a delicious breakfast shake every morning with cacao powder and I drink iced tea in the afternoon. And I love them both and want to marry them.

4. I will not eat sugar. I'm not into direct hits from Fun Dip, but I love treats. And there will be no work around for me. No honey, no maple syrup. But I will eat fruit so take that.

5. I will not watch television. I love The Biggest Loser. I watch it while I work out and then I cry and then I can barely breathe because I already can't breathe from Shaun T's workout and then add the cry. If I die while working out, you'll know why. No oxygen.

6. I will not play games on my phone like zoo pals and candy crush. Actually, I only play one game and only with three people, but still. Two minutes here. Two minutes there. It adds up. No Scramble Free for me. Sorry HC, Peter, and Alissa my sweet Scramble friends.

7. I will not be checking my email frequently. Just in the morning and night. Or maybe I will just have my husband check it for me. I will not be attached to the screen of my phone. We are breaking up.

Some people in my life group are going to join me in this week-long journey so I thought I would throw it out to my blog and FB friends as well. Keep in mind, this your journey. Maybe you have something else to cut out (alcohol? Pinterest? shopping?). Or maybe cutting out caffeine will cause you to lose your job and die. You figure out your own guidelines and boundaries. I plan on journaling each day, spending more time reading God's word, and listening to Him. Clearing away the distractions and addictions to make room for the King. Will you join me? You can start whenever you want, but I am starting this Sunday, October 27th.

P.S. "Coincidentally," I just got asked to speak at a women's event where the theme will be "Declutter and Delight in Christ." Funny how God works. He gets his message across to me through multiple avenues. I guess I will have some material for them :)

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Isabel said...

I'm going to consider joining you in some form. I need to check email for work (paid and unpaid) and I do some of my unpaid work on FB pages I help manage, plus Twitter, and website. I know one real quick cut I could make - this 3am rendezvous with my iphone - the peri menopausal insomnia pastime (after all the sleepless nights raising children you'd think we'd get a break). No Candy Crush - I'm stuck on level 70 anyway (for two weeks now) and want to just quit. No personal FB or Twitter for 7 days...that will be challenging.

No, I won't (can't) give up coffee - it actually helps me focus (ADD). I'm not into sugar or candy but my downfall is homemade muffins/bread. I could do with a week without.

Adding in more time each day communing with Him and listening will be spiritually healthy. Adding in time to send snail mail to friends/family I need to reconnect with...this could be an interesting experiment.

Annett Davis said...

Love it! I really need to do that myself. Being that my job is mostly done on the web it makes it hard for me. BUT, I will figure out a time where I can take a week off and Do this! Thanks for your inspiration. I love how God worked with the conference title. :)

TDM Wendy said...

I hear you - the internet/social media thing is more of a challenge if it is your job. So you just have to figure out how to keep that stuff work based. Let me know if and when you do it!

TDM Wendy said...

Sorry to hear about the sleep issues - that is awful! Sleep is my best friend. And I understand, coffee for some people is a must. A guy in our life group (who gets up at 4:45am for work) has given up his daily starbucks and is instead getting it at the office. I am impressed with that because if you are getting up that early . . . HELP!

Janene said...

Glad I happened upon this. Now to listen to the nudge and act.

Becky said...

I love this, Wendy. And I love your heart.