Becoming Unshakable {A Guest Post}

psalm168-FBSocial media is a funny thing. It’s sort of like a party where you’re having one conversation and overhearing bits and pieces of other conversations nearby. Sometimes there’s so much chatter it’s hard to get all the details of the conversation right in front of you. So it was as my writer friend Nancy shared about her fight with cancer. I knew she’d dealt with the diagnosis before and was now dealing with it again. I prayed for her and looked for updates on her wall, but it wasn’t until I sat down with Nancy’s book in hand that I got the whole story Continue reading

How God Comments on a Blog Post

rockpilecontemplationI don’t expect much when I hit publish on a blog post. I know there’s a lot to read on the Internet and my writing takes a little longer to dig into than most. I’m just about as slow in writing social media posts as I am with posting pieces on the blog, so getting my work in front of a wider readership has never really been a natural thing for me. And so, when I finish a new piece and hit the button to send it into the ether, I usually look for a comment from my mom and maybe a friend or two (Thank you to those who chime in!). And that’s that.

But with this Stacking Stones post, I’ve been chatting back and forth with another commenter about the theme of rocks, remembrance, and cathedrals of stone. Continue reading

Homecoming

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Over the trees, the sound of trumpets came to me. Drums bellowed back at mallets punching. Summer days, the marching band played like always. I could hear it from my backyard. Some days it was the sound of war, other days of celebration. I knew something was coming one way or the other.

I hadn’t known if we’d get to keep this house, this town and its music, these neighbors and our walks to school. I hadn’t known if we’d have the money to send my four year-old to preschool, the dream she’s been talking about for two years straight. I hadn’t known whether to plant my garden. But I planted it anyway, there in the backyard to the sound of distant music. Continue reading

So, I Guess I Needed an iPhone Break {A Less Digital Life Postlude}

mmjiphonebreakI had just dropped off a meal at one friend’s house and was on my way to a birthday dinner for another. My bags were as full as my brain, overflowing with diapers, bib, baby food and somewhere in the bottom of my purse were my own belongings. I had grabbed my phone from the passenger seat where I had laid it after sending a text at a stoplight to ask for a high chair at the restaurant. Maybe I stuffed the phone in my purse or maybe I put it in the cup holder on the stroller, wherever I put it I did so on autopilot. Making my way into the restaurant, I balanced my friend’s birthday gift along the stroller handle and tipped the stroller up onto the curb. I hadn’t had enough foresight to look for the ramp on the other side of the entrance. 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.}