Own Who You Are | Guest Post By Crystal Ginn On Week 3 of the Social Media Fast

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

So, I have this friend who always says “own who you are”. I’m just going to own that I tend to be that impulsive friend who generally doesn’t think everything through quite so well. Like excitedly committing to a Jen Hatmaker book when your friends said “Hey, let’s do this book where you get rid of excess in your life”… Next thing you know, you’re getting a text on day one with a list of seven foods your friends have picked to eat for a month! These are things you would have known HAD YOU READ THE BOOK FIRST!

“Wait… What?!” is a common text my friends receive from me.

My true confession is that my iPhone has become an extension of my hand, my heart, and mind. I find myself reaching for my phone much more than I would like to admit. Although I know all the reasons why I should be engaged in other areas of my life, I still find myself staring at the screen on my phone…

What am I waiting for exactly? What is it I think this phone is going to do for me?

It’s officially been three weeks of our media fast. I am pleased to say the drama queen stage passed very quickly, and I have yet to develop that unhealthy twitch I fully expected to appear. Minus a couple of tempting moments in the beginning, while waiting in the car, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how freeing it’s been not getting caught up in the instant communication expectations the culture has created. I do miss the little window into people’s lives. Like Amanda, I do not see media as some great evil. I love having access to people, making connections with people I don’t see often, or maintaining a connection with an acquaintance I admire and hope to know better one day. Once my easy access through social media had been cut, I began to evaluate relationships more closely. It’s easier to see how deep relationships go when you realize who is more likely to call you, and who you are more likely to call. Whose emails you do or don’t have, who do you love being in contact with, but don’t know well enough to just call up and talk? I began to contemplate other ways to connect, like opening my home, or reaching out in person to truly develop those connections. I want to know people, like really know them. I don’t want to settle for a watered down or surface level version of a relationship with someone God placed in my path. The problem is, too many distractions make me extremely unproductive and very unintentional. Too easily, I forget that God calls us to be an active participant in our stories and in the lives of the people around us.

In the book, Jen describes media as a “faithful companion” throughout her day, which is exactly what I realized I was missing just a few days into the process. Media has been a companion to fill in the quiet spaces of my mind, or a distraction to numb my mind when it won’t be quiet.  I’ve not been abiding in Christ as much as I’ve been numbing my brain from responsibilities and the call to action in my life.

A few Sundays ago, we heard an amazing message from a new minister in our church. He has a sense of humor, which gets him bonus points in my book, and he’s a gift story teller. He shared a funny, yet touching word on how much God loves us. He spoke of how setting your hopes on things of this world will let you down, but God is constant. It was an amazing message and hit so close to home. It struck me most when he said “God is preoccupied with you…” That thought hit me hard, in a good way. God is preoccupied with me, and what am I preoccupied with? If my mind and heart are so full of distractions, how can I receive anything God has for me? Who’s Glory am I living for? These are questions I’ve been asking during this fast.

I generally have more questions than answers in this life, because I see ten sides to everything, but I am certain these last couple weeks have been more peaceful and precious to me and my family. I have learned to capture and treasure the moments in between. We went on a trip to Orlando to kick off summer, and have some much needed family time. A few of our days were spent in hustle and bustle of Disney (for which I have a love/hate relationship. Don’t judge me. It feels less like the “happiest place on earth” when my little people are crushed by a mob of people in the dark trying to see a show). We have an 8, 5, and 4 year old, so there were times we split up a bit to let “The Dad” introduce “The Big Kid” to the wonder of roller coasters. 
Some of my favorite memories have, without a doubt, been the moments in between. We waited in lines, and they played. We sat at tables, and they played. We rested at benches, and they made new friends. There was that time my two youngest liked each other. (I documented this moment so I could have proof it actually happened.) There were belly laughs, lots of belly laughs. I took note of the growing pains and felt my heart tug over my eight year old daughter who began to question if she was too old to be a princess… She keeps reminding me that she’s almost nine, and “after that comes ten, you know”.

The greatest revelation for me during this fast has been that these moments in between are more treasured when I am present in them, than when I am gaging each moment in relation to the response I will receive from others. While I was waiting, I could have passed the time by looking at something on my phone, sharing a pic, texting a friend… instead I stored up each smile, each laugh, each brother/sister moment (we all know those can be few and far between!). Titus 2:3-5 says we are to be “Keepers at home”, and I believe maybe this fast has helped me be just a bit closer to that.
~ Crystal ~



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