Back home in South Carolina after a week full of old friends, new friends, 80 degree weather, 40+ hours in the car, hating Oklahoma, swhite being pulled over, armadillo roadkill, ghetto spiderman impersonators, and lots and lots of laughter. So thankful for my friends, and for the time we get to spend together, even though we all live apart.
The wonderful thing about being cooped up in the car for so long, minus time with friends, is there's time for introspection and asking the Spirit to be the Revealer.
Being "unplugged" for the majority of the week was such a good thing for me. I'm not one of those people who goes on frequent tirades against social networking and all, because I really do believe that it's a tool that, if used well, is beneficial and good. What I did realize, though, is that my insecurity and even my vanity and materialism (which is another blog post entirely, which I'll get to later this week) seems to be spurred on in a huge way by what I'm feeding myself (what I'm reading, what I'm spending my time doing and thinking about). When I read through my google reader every morning and eye all of the fashion blogs that I follow, I find myself coveting. The expensive clothing, the endlessly stylish wardrobe, the beautiful skin and hair. It sets my mind and heart on things that aren't good for me-- it spurs my heart to insecurity and a desire for things that aren't eternally worthwhile. Instead of setting my sights on paying off our loans so we can get on the mission field, I find myself wanting to go shopping. It really grieved my heart this week when I allowed myself to be convicted by this realization instead of brushing it off.
As a disclaimer, hear me when I say that fashion blogs are not bad. Shopping is not bad. Wanting to be fashionable and express yourself in what you wear is not bad. I'm simply speaking to my own sinful tendencies, and how I can tell my heart is turned from pure and good things when I focus so much time and attention on these things. Contentment is unattainable in this area. What my heart needs is to read of and focus on its true worth and where it comes from. All I can think about is "Here, God! look at my sea shells!" (via John Piper's book Don't Waste Your Life).
One of the reasons I keep a blog and write about some convictions or thoughts I have is because I know that, because it is out in the public and many people read it, I will be held to a standard in some way. It's an accountability that I appreciate being there. As of now, up to an indefinite point in time, I'm only going to read the blogs of my friends and some select others. No fashion or beauty blogs. I look forward to the refreshing of my spirit and the diminishing of a lot of things that turn my heart away from the Lord and towards myself.
grace and peace,