Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Scaling Back

In the description at the top of my blog, I have these words:
"Thoughts on the joys and struggles of one Mom's journey..."

Well, here is a bit on a struggle I'm having at the moment - the computer. I know from reading other blogs that many of you share this struggle. I've posted about it before. But I was convicted, once again, that too much of my time was being spent here. You may have noticed I'm posting less. If you have your own blog, I'm sure you've noticed that I have been visiting less.

As Dr. Richard Swenson, author of the book Margin, says, "Progress means more and more of everything, faster and faster." Computers, cell phones, blogs, networks, email, voicemail... all fabulous tools, but also all time-suckers. And each new thing competes with the rest of our life for the same 24hrs. In a radio broadcast Swenson did on Focus on the Family, he recommends unplugging as a way of simplifying, allowing us to maintain balance and margin in our time and emotional energy. He says to look at how much time you spend watching tv or using the computer, and see if you can simplify your life (and thus add margin) by cutting back.

So that's what I'm doing. Swenson also says, "Everything I own, owns me." You have to maintain and keep up with your stuff - even "stuff" like google reader, email, blogs, and networks. I think the Lord is showing me that I can't be faithful to His calling to nurture & educate my children, manage my home, and love my husband plus spend so much time in front of a laptop - even if I'm doing good things there. That's the hard part of finding margin - saying "no" to good things.

I think we're all in the same boat, really - don't you? We've all got a thousand things to juggle, and we all have the same 24 hour day. Computer-networking is a fun outlet for a busy mom who may find it difficult to catch up with old friends by phone or in person. You can email or blog in the middle of the night! But there has to be a limit, and I think I've reached mine ... at least for now.

I may not post or visit very often, but I'll be around from time to time. And those of you I've gotten to know better will for sure be in my prayers. God bless!


Mary Bernard said...

I'm with you, Jennifer. I struggle with this as well. And sometimes I find that my computer time is more of a "numbing distraction" so that I can avoid more pressing tasks.

So hard to find that balance. So hard to find those margins.

Just the other day, I was folding laundry while talking to my little girl. I feel as if all I ever do is laundry! I asked her, "Susanna, does it seem like all Mommy ever does is laundry?" She said, "No, Mommy. All you ever do is the computer." Ouch.

Thanks for your post today. :)

Cathy said...

I understand. I have another friend who recently made a similar decision. She's scheduled herself in for two posts a month and jots down things in her daily notebook as they strike her so she'll remember them later when she does get to the computer.
I'll miss your insight and humor, but I can't begrudge you time for your precious family!
love ya!

About Janice said...

No skin off my back. I'm so glad we live so close to each other!!

Jennifer said...

For me, it's helpful to schedule it in. Have a specific start time and end time. Now, if I could just stick with it...