Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quiet

In the past couple weeks, I have quit updating my status on Facebook, and using Twitter. I also haven't said much on my blog. We went to lunch with my family on Sunday, and my mom told me she was downright scared because of how little I was talking. Apparently I have never kept my thoughts to myself...in my entire life. (I know you're all shocked)

Here's the thing I'm wrestling with: how much of what I think about is worthy to be shared with other people? There is a place for being honest with people, and accurately portraying myself to other people so that I don't look like I'm trying to be superwoman, but there's also a place for keeping my negative thoughts and feelings to myself so they don't become contagious. Or if I have to vent, at least sharing one-on-one with my husband or a trusted friend rather than the entire Facebook world. I feel like people reading my once-frequent updates on Facebook might get the feeling they know me and understand what my life is like, when in reality, they only know the tiny part I have chosen in the spur of the moment to put in the little box. I might think the status I post sounds clever or that it would attract sympathy or excitement. It's not really a true representation of my life, necessarily.

None of you who are regulars here fall into this category, but I think we all know people who become internet _____ (use your word of choice here), and display their every emotion, their every thought, and air all their dirty laundry on their blog or networking site of choice. Ew. Not attractive. Not helpful. Not the point.

Our friend Pastor Ross Parsley has a talk he gives about secrets. He says good secrets are a large part of what makes our relationship with God an intimate one. He says there is no such thing as a secret, that everything eventually comes out in the open, but there is a such thing as temporarily concealed acts. (He usually gets a laugh at that one) This concealed time where we allow God to work deeply in our hearts through His Word and His Spirit, and change us without input from the outside world can make us into the people God wants us to be. I want that kind of relationship with God. I want to respond to God in a way that overflows to my interaction with people - where God's truth and life just flow from my heart because of the "secrets" I have with God. I don't want it to feel or be contrived in any way. I want that to become the real me - not that I'm hiding anything, that's just who I am.

In order to settle some things in my own heart, I've grown quiet recently. But it's a good quiet. It's not a bitter quiet, or a depressed quiet. It's a fairly peaceful quiet. At some point I'll have things to say again. And if you're in the right place at the right time, I may have things to say even now. :)

Alright. Off to go work towards nap time already. We didn't sleep much around here last night. :)

9 comments:

  1. That's very insightful Sara. I don't get the whole Twitter thing, but I doubt you sounded constantly negative, you are not a negative person. I understand what you are saying and I think we go through times in our lives where God wants to work in us in a introspective (is that the right word?) way, just us and Him, and I think it's great that you are realizing that right now. I desire that too. I think dealing with God directly on issues should come before getting feedback from other people, and lots of times I do it backwards. Thanks for the reminder. :) Love you.

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  2. I was thinking about this while I was driving to pick up Cole from school. The truth is that you put out there what you want and it will never be 100% representative of you as a person. You are complex and complicated like most people.

    I think you represent yourself beautifully on your blog (maybe I am getting old, but I just don't get twitter). You are into your family and natural health issues. You love music and God. Sometimes we get grumpy or tired. But I also think you are diplomatic and fair and honest.

    I think of my blog as an outlet to write about what's on my mind. My toddler is grumpy today and it is driving me crazy. I wrote about it and someone left an insightful comment, that helps me. One day I wrote about my love of antique tableclothes, later when I read it I thought it sounded lame--but then like 3 people said to me I LOVE ANTIQUE TABLECLOTHES TOO (who knew, right?)

    I don't know...I guess maybe I would say is to not take it all so seriously. I know you can be introspective and that is good--but don't let it thwart you.

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  3. I agree with you in some ways I guess. But personally I use my blog as an outlet to write whats on my mind whether people read it or not. Kind of like a dairy (which I've always been terrible at keeping, but blogging works for me.) I'd like to look at blogs I've written in the past and think wow, I've come a long way or "wow I was in a good place then I need to go back there" type thing. Also I know that you should completly depend on God for answers and keep some things intimate between you and him but at the same time people's advice could be led by God and he uses people to speak to you. Someone I knew from many years ago posted a status update that was "Joe Schmoe just can't let go of the past." Pretty deep for a status update and that made me feel the need to talk to write them a note about it. Turns out he really just needed someone to talk to and someone to pray for him. I recently posted a blog about "forgiveness" that I felt may have been heavy but I did it anyway, and recived a comment that I felt very helpful and releiving. And honestly my husband and I would have loved to share things with a trusted friend but you know we don't have any that know the Lord and that gets really hard and lonely sometimes. Lisa Bevere once talked about being in that place a few years ago (not having any "real" friends) and she said she realized that was just a season of life that God had her in and she eventually was okay with it and I now have too become okay with it. But sometimes I just want to be able to twitter and share my excitement about my son starting preschool or "attract sypathy" for posting that I'm feeling exhuasted from sleepless nights from having a newborn because I don't feel like I neccesarly have anyone to really talk with it about, you know? So maybe if it seems like people are "airing their dirty laundry" maybe that's just the only place they really have to talk about anything. Can you see what I'm saying?

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  4. You all have made good points. I wasn't in any way being judgmental of the kind of blogging Christina and Irene are talking about...I know you have to have a place to communicate with SOMEBODY about stuff sometimes. I have been there. For years, I have been there. Having trusted friends available to talk to is a fairly new thing for me. Like you were saying, Irene, there are seasons for that, for sure. I do think it is important to pursue relationships when we are able though. Obviously the past few weeks for you, Irene, are not the time to be doing that. But long-term, I think we have to be in relationship with people to thrive. Our society is very fragmented and we're not meant to live alone. I think sometimes big churches even contribute to that, "I'm surrounded by people, but I'm still alone" thing. We have to find a way to be connected, or we're missing the point of church in many ways. But, that's a post for another day.

    I guess what I'm getting at is two things:
    1. I'm craving REAL relationship - not just the internet variety. Sometimes I feel like internet relationships satisfy us just enough that we don't pursue real life ones, and a friend over the internet cannot come to your rescue on a hard day, or give you a hug. Sometimes I just need a hug!

    2. If our ultimate purpose in life is to glorify God, not just survive, then I want to choose what I communicate carefully. Sometimes I might have thoughts or feelings that aren't worth dignifying by posting them somewhere. There are some things that are better turned directly over to God than communicated. Not to say we can never vent or never ask for encouragement, because we need it! Often! Just that we do it mindfully, going to God first, before trusting in people only.

    This is not something I'm stressing over or stifling anything in myself. Does that make any more sense?

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  5. Well said. I agree 100 percent.

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  6. Sara, From someone who doesn't know you very well. I always enjoy reading your blog and hearing what is going on with you on Facebook. It inspires me as a wife and as a woman getting ready to have children. While we all have to "keep our nose clean" I just wanted to let you know I enjoy what you share of your life. You never know how God is going to use what you've shared.

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  7. Well put. I think many times we (I know I do this) throw things out there without thinking about how they will sound or affect others. I know I want to represent Christ well, especially since many of my blog readers are relatives who are non-believers. I don't want to say something that would not be glorifying to God. I think REALLY personal thoughts (or unhealthy griping) should be between you and God, or a spouse or close friend who knows you and loves in spite of your imperfections. That doesn't mean that we need to put up a false image, just that we should keep in mind who could be reading our personal thoughts, etc. and judge things accordingly.

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  8. I am just now reading this :) I miss seeing you in the hallway! Great insight - and good food for thought. Happy Birthday to Audrey by the way...2!!

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  9. Thea - I miss seeing you in the hallway too! I keep catching myself looking for you when we're at church. Hope you're settling in and enjoying school starting. :)

    Thanks so much for your thoughts, everybody. I never know what will strike a chord with everyone. Never would have expected this to start such a discussion. :)

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