Making Your Offline Minutes Count {A Less Digital Life…Day 28}

Today, I’m happy to have my friend, Trina Cress, from Beginner Beans sharing how she balances online time with family life. I first got to know Trina through the blogosphere, but was blessed to get some time face-to-face time and even to share a meal together at a conference we both attended last fall. She is approachable and authentic with a refreshing take on life. If you can’t meet her in person, I hope you’ll take some time to interact with her online at Beginner Beans where she’s finishing out her 31 Days of Lessons from an Epic Beginner.

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My husband travels for his job. A lot. We knew this before he took the job, and decided it wasn’t a big deal, because at the end of each trip, he would return; and we knew those times together mattered more than the few he would be gone. So when he returns from a trip, we make a special effort to reconnect as a family. Continue reading

Auto-Correct and the Human Eye {A Less Digital Life…Day 23}

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On my screen my photos look balanced and crisp and my children have clear green eyes or blue with all of the tricks I learned in Photoshop watching over my brother’s shoulder years ago. But my edits have an enemy. It’s the machine at the one hour photo. Continue reading

Google Balloons and the Gospel {A Less Digital Life…Day 20}

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We walked into our friend’s office downcast at the news of another scuffle in the Middle East. When we asked whether he’d be canceling his upcoming ministry trip there, his eyes sparkled. We had looked at the situation from the exterior. He had seen it from the heart, he himself a native of the region. What this meant, he told us, was that people were becoming disenchanted with the way of their upbringing and were starting to search for truth.

We aren’t the only ones thinking of the global community. When my brother got hired at Google last year, I jokingly told him that it was his first step in trying to take over the world like Pinky and the Brain, his favorite cartoon as a kid. But in actuality, Google’s Project Loon description reads like a humanitarian missions pamphlet at an evangelical church: “Two-thirds of the world’s population does not yet have Internet access,” and these Internet balloons are “designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps, and bring people back online after disasters.”

Sounds kind, but I’m bothered. What will become of us when there is no place with spotty Internet, no place to get away from the Internet altogether, when there is no cabin or lake house or country home that can truly be off the grid? If our only option for restful retreat is our own willpower to keep from turning on our devices, we may be toast. And maybe Facebook makes us all feel a little famous, but do we really want things hovering over us, sending signals here and there, maybe someday taking pictures of our houses even more invasive than the Google truck cams, polluting our privacy and never letting us be truly alone?

But before I get completely curmudgeony, my husband speaks up. When the world wide web truly becomes world wide, when those in rural and remote areas have access to the Internet, they can read or hear the Good News for themselves, a testimony to all ethnicities. Maybe the bad keeps getting worse, but the good keeps getting better all the same. My husband’s words, like our Middle Eastern friend’s view on the troubles of the world, keep me looking up…past the balloons. I’m reminded that technology isn’t going to tie up all the loose ends of humanity’s story, the Gospel is.

Here’s a little Internet break for you. Right now, before you do anything else online….
Go outside. Look up past the airplane trails and focus on handmade heaven.

 

 

{I’m linking up with Nester for her annual 31 Days blog get together. Don’t want to miss this series? Be sure to subscribe by entering your email in the box on the homepage sidebar. Find all posts in the series here.}

Touch vs. Touch Screen {A Less Digital Life…Day 19}

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The little thing stands at the garage door and there’s nothing she can do to stop this. I’m heading out to pick up dinner and she’s throwing out every parting word she has in her small vocabulary like a lasso to get me back. Continue reading

Who Wants to Be the Mom on the iPhone? {A Less Digital Life…Day 18}

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When I ask her what she wants to be, I expect her to say “ballerina.” My little girl pirouettes and dances her own version of en pointe in her signature kitty cat tutu whenever the inspiration hits. Or maybe she’ll say “doctor,” with all of the heart checks using a real stethoscope and mandatory shots with the fortunately not-real syringe. But no, when I ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, she jumps and shouts, “a mommy!”

One time, the morning after my writers’ group, she says, “Maybe I will be a writer sometime.” When I ask her what she’ll write about, she doesn’t even have to think about it. “Jesus,” she gleams. And it makes me gleam to see her loving what (and who) I love, and wanting to do what I do.

But there are some things I don’t want my kids to pick up. Continue reading