Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It's A Virtual World

     I know that social media is such a huge part of society these days. There is Twitter, instagram, and Facebook, where you can share your life instantaneously. There are huge perks to that. I know on many occasions , I have been reconnected with an old friend, received important news,been invited to parties, and yes, even found out about the latest gossip. However, in a society where everyone wants to be connected, stay connected or get connected, it can be overwhelming, and very time consuming.
     I watched a mother so busy taking pictures and posting them on her Facebook page,(I could see her phone)and then responding to all her Facebook comments, that when her daughter asked her to "look" she missed an important moment. Now, trust me I have been there too,so I am not judging this mom, it just brought it to my attention.
Are we so busy trying to prove to our "virtual friends", how much fun we are having, how beautiful we look today, or how exciting our lives are, that we  are actually forgetting to live our "lives"'?Are we becoming so obsessed with what the virtual world thinks of how we appear to be living, that we are missing some important moments? Are we so self absorbed with how many comments,or likes that we have, that we forget to live in the present?
  I am guilty of spending too much time on Facebook, writing on my blog, and my latest addiction... Candy Crush! If I am honest ,I too have missed out on moments, or time spent away from my family due to the intense curiosity that the virtual world holds over my head.
   I just got an instagram, just so I could follow Nolan, and that's how it started. Now I post pictures, videos, and even my latest dinner! I don't understand twitter, but mostly I don't have this account, because all of my tweets would be: doing laundry, cooking dinner, at park, doing schoolwork, driving to baseball, driving to cross country practice, etc..., you get the point!BORING!
     I believe there is some sort of disorder associated with it. I know that for some, their mood depends on how many "likes" they get, like the bathroom scale to an anorexic.Its crazy. We live in a world supposedly so connected, and yet the suicide rate is at its highest. Depression medication is one of the top medicine dispensed by physicians. In this day and age, information can be found by the push of a key or the click of the mouse. You can find out about anyone, find everyone, and know everything about their daily lives, from when they brush their teeth, if they brush their teeth, to their bowl movements!
     We are on information overload. Everyone can live in their own reality show on a you tube channel,and we can praise, judge or bully them about it on Facebook! Where is the mystery anymore? I don't ever have to go to another high school reunion, to find out what happened to this girl  or that guy, because I can just stalk their Facebook profile and find all I need to know! (don't act like you haven't done that either, I mean I haven't, but I'm sure you have!:)
   On the other side of it,there are so many positives to the virtual world epidemic.. I love to find an easy recipe to cook for dinner, an easier way to teach algorithms( to look up the definition of algorithms!) to Regan. I love blogging and use it as a tool to attract readers.My kids take classes on the internet, and I have found out what illness I have and how to cure it by punching in my symptoms! You can pay bills, plan vacations, send instant messages, and renew subscriptions. You can order clothes, shoes, and books, never stepping into a mall.
     Yes, there are many benefits, and I am not saying we shouldn't use them or that I don't indulge in them. We just need, like everything else, balance. We need to know when to put the phone away, how many pictures of ourselves to post on instagram, and how much time we are spending on the internet. We need to remember to appreciate our life, live our  life, and experience our life to the fullest. We should live in the moment, be in the moment and enjoy the moment. Real life is worth living.....And besides, the more you live, and experience the more interesting your Facebook status' will become to all your friends!:)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Givers and Takers

I was having a great conversation with a good friend yesterday about women's relationships. We were discussing, based on some current events taking place in both of our lives, how do you know when to let go, when to back off, when to fight for one?
I guess in every relationship there is a giver and a taker. If we are honest with ourselves, we can admit that in each relationship we have been either one or the other, depending on the relationship.I think most of the time we try to balance the takings and the givings, because lets face it, relationships, no matter what kind( family, friends, spouse, and children), that's required, if we want to sustain the relationship for any length of time.
Every one of us has heard the saying" its a give and take". However, what happens when the person your in the relationship in, is a taker, and never gives back? I know right away that person's name just popped into your head. Awww, light bulb moment! You know the one, its the one your always chasing. The one you are always making plans with, only to have them cancel at the last minute, because a better offer came along. The one that you are  always calling, doing the invites, dropping everything for, but can't seem to get a hold of  when you need them. We all have them in our lives, and if you can't think of one, then look in the mirror!
I lean more towards a giver. That is just who I am. However, givers have to be careful, because in order to stay in a relationship with a taker, we will have to "give" everything we've got! Until, one day the taker realizes you have nothing left to give, and walks away.
Women relationships are difficult,and complex. I have had to let go of relationships that were unhealthy for me, I have been hurt by people who I thought I was close too, to find out the feelings were not mutual. I have cried,and grieved over them. As women, our relationships are so important to us.. sometimes too important. We try to change ourselves,the circumstance, or our opinions. We sometimes even compromise our beliefs in order to continue the relationship.And after we have done all these things, the person walks away, leaving us confused, hurt, and in disbelief.
I have been told I am too much of this, too little of that. I have been told that I am not "caring" enough, "wealthy" enough, "spiritual" enough,"pretty"enough, "thin" enough, you name it, I have fallen short in those types of friendships. The truth is, I would never truly be "enough" for that person, no matter what I did or how I changed, it would never fully satisfy them.
At 42, I have learned that not all relationships will last, some relationships are for a season, some are for learning, some are for teaching, and some were never meant to be. I have stopped searching for acceptance, reassurance, or fulfillment from any one person. Now, I look to my Heavenly Father to fill those needs. I turn to him for guidance, reassurance and advice. I have given up trying to please every one, now I seek to please only Him. I no longer try to change for someone else, I find my self-worth in my Creator.
Once you put your faith into the right person(Christ) you give up the notion that you were put here to please everyone, because in trying to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one, least yourself.
Relationships are important, we are called to be in them. However, we are not called to be in relationships that are draining or compromising to ourselves.God does not call us to continue to engage in relationships that pull us away from him, but rather cultivate relationships that draw us closer to Him.
I am enough, for Him, you are enough for Him, stop trying to please everyone, and learn to please the only One! In doing this, you will find the most rewarding, encouraging relationships that are not only meant to be, but will last a lifetime!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Memaw and Popop.. Setting the Example!

Today, we celebrated my mother and father in law's birthdays! We celebrated Memaw(86) a few days late and Popop(82) a few days early.I made them a homemade vanilla cream cheese cake with the help of Liam! I wanted them to know how much they mean to me, and there is really no other present I can get them, accept my time. I realize after all these years a cake is a small feat, however, with how busy I get, I wanted to show them that I still will make time for them,and that they are very important to me, more so than a busy schedule.
Memaw and Popop have been married 60+ years! They have raised two children and have bee completely involved with all five of their grandchildren's lives.They are the matriarchs of the Gary clan. When I first met them 23 years ago, I must admit, I thought they were a little more than goofy,with their ideas on family, love, marriage, and even God.  Every time one of the grand kids did something, we were having a celebration. Every time you had a meal, you actually prayed before and sometimes even sang! You always had to listen to old stories of the Captain growing up, or of the ice cream shop where Memaw had her first job, or how they met while Memaw was sitting at a piano at Bethany  College! I mean their was actual conversations going on with each other at the dinner table, not to mention we were sitting at an actual dinner table. Not growing up in a traditional home, I thought this all so bizarre!
However,after a few years of dating the Captain, I knew this was EXACTLY want I wanted for my own family one day. Over the years, they have loved me, embraced me, and taught me about life. They have accepted me as their own daughter, not a daughter in law,They have included me as a part of not just their family, but also their life.
Memaw and Popop are the couple you imagine when you are getting ready to say "I Do". They are the dream you have of growing old with the one you love. They are the picture in your mind,of what true love looks like. They are an example of what christian love and marriage should be.
 In the 23 years I have been in this family, I have watched Popop love, honor and cherish his bride. I have witnessed Memaw care, support and encourage her groom. You see they are HOPE, that not all promises are broken. They are ENCOURAGEMENT, that love can last forever, as long as you don't give up on it. They are JOY, that we can find our happily ever after.
The world needs more Memaw's and Popop's, more examples of positive marriages, more examples of love, grace and humility. I hope one day when the Captain and I are turning 82 and 86 that we will look back on our life, and have left a legacy such as this.
Happy Birthday Memaw and Popop, thank you for being such a blessing in my life, thanks for loving me and thanks for your beautiful marriage. Today, you should be receiving the gifts, but I find that I am the one who got the greatest gift.. Thank you for raising the Captain to be a Godly man, for setting the bar high, and giving us an example of a great marriage!