The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapters 11 & 12 {Motherhood & Technology}

chapters 11 & 12 motherhood

Hooray!  We are at the half-way point. We have completed the first half of the book  Women Living Well - on Your Walk with God and Your Marriage.  Now we are up to the section titled: “Your Parenting.”

Let’s Discuss Chapter 11 – A Mother’s Influence

In Chapter 14, I write about the influence of a mother.

Abraham Lincoln reportedly said, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my mother.

The Statue of Liberty was said to be modeled after the sculptor’s mother. 

When Super Bowl football players look into the camera – they don’t say “Hi, Dad” –they yell, “Hi Moooooooooooooom!!!”

Children are sponges.  They soak up the influence of their mother.  And though your name may never be in lights – we must not forget the many many unnamed mothers who rocked the cradles of great men and women who changed the world.  They will forever be unnamed, but their influence is with us forever.

Do you wonder some days if what you are doing matters – changing diapers, kissing boo boos, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches over and over and over.  We say night time prayers and tuck littles ones in bed and then they pop right.back.out.of.bed.  Oh! That is frustrating – I know!!!  And then there’s those moments when we lose our temper and feel like the worst moms ever.  We wonder if we are a failure or if our kids are going to end up in counseling forever. Lol!  The overflowing laundry baskets and sticky kitchen floors are enough to make a mom want to run away.  But you don’t. You are strong!  You keep going – loving, feeding, caring, helping and working hard for your family.

You matter.

You are priceless.

Don’t give up – don’t waste your influence. Call on the name of the Lord for help and keep going.

the influence of a mother

Let’s Discuss Chapter 12 – Parenting in the Digital Age

As I think about our influence as moms – I wonder how we influence our children through our use of technology.  Little eyes are watching.

One key, I learned from my parents, was to not hold a double standard.

For example, if a movie was unacceptable for me as a child because of violence, language or sexual content –it was not okay for my parents to see either!  They didn’t have an imaginary age when suddenly, we could watch more “adult” content.  Though some movies had a rating of PG-13 – my parents felt they were unacceptable for me at age 16 –and them at age 43!  If it was not good for me to see — it was not good for them to see either.

It is SO very important that we practice what we preach.  My parents were powerful role models and eventually their convictions became my convictions.

“I will set before my eyes no vile thing.  The deeds of faithless men I hate. They will not cling to me.”
~Psalm 101:3

 Three of my main points summed up in this chapter are:

1.) Be aware of what your children are doing!  It is our job as parents to pay attention and know what they are doing on social media or on the web.

2.)  Know Your Child. Is gossip their weakness? Watch their texting. Do they have a thirst for violence? Monitor their video games.  Are they curious about the opposite sex – be on guard for porn. Are they lonely? Do not let them talk to strangers that could be predators.  Each child will have their own unique struggles that will require guidance.  That is our job – to impart knowledge and wisdom to our children – especially in their areas of weakness – don’t forget there is an enemy who wants you to not care or be naive.

3.) Teach them to think for themselves.  We will not always be able to oversee our children’s internet use.  As they grow older, they will begin to use the internet at their friends house or the library or on their phones when we are not around.  Train your child to have a godly conscience and a healthy fear of God – so they are convicted when they go outside the bounds on-line

Help your children have a godly conscience

 

On Friday, we skipped the webcast video for a special Valentine Video – so today’s video is that webcast.

This video was the Opening session to the Women Living Well Conference this summer.  I know that it’s long (42 minutes) but if you can sneak in just the first 10 minutes – it will be WELL worth your time!   I guarantee you are going to get a laugh out of Karen Ehman’s opening skit and laughter is good medicine – so don’t miss this!  Following her skit – I speak for 15 minutes about marriage and motherhood and then 6 of my blogging friends join me on the couch for a 20 minute discussion.

(If you cannot see this video – click here)

Discussion Questions:

1.  When you think of the concept of our children being sponges who are soaking in what they see and hear and observe in us spiritually, how does this make you feel?  Does this cause you concern in any area? If so which one?

2. Read Philippians 4:8.  How can this verse be used as a grid to determine what guidelines your family will have about using devices in this digital age?

For extra discussion go to the forum and click on the thread that says Chapters 11 & 12.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

I Was Contacted To Have My Own Reality Show

So this production company contacted me to have my own reality show.  Okay – you can scrape yourself up off the floor now from laughing because trust me – that’s what I did too!

Back in October, I got an email and I returned the call.  The company said they were interested in a documentary.   That caught my attention and I was very interested.  We talked multiple times on the phone as they interviewed me and learned more about my life. (I first verified that this production company was respectable with 2 people in show business).  They wanted to know about my marriage, faith, daily life and my church life.  The more we talked, the more the casting director became interested in the other ladies in my life – my sisters and a few other friends.

She felt we were on to something special and asked to have the contact information of 2 of my on-line friends.  After she spoke with them – she was ready to fly out and meet us and she asked me to invite my sisters and these friends.  So in November, we met and the intent was to see if we would be the cast of a reality show.  The production company’s plan was to pitch the show to TLC and OWN (Oprah’s Network).  Both networks were interested in a show of this nature.    The company liked us and we went forward – laughing – laughing because seriously – if you have seen any of the “Real Housewives” reality shows – these girls are OVER THE TOP – they are wealthy, tan, outrageous and well – we are just simple moms in Ohio…we weren’t convinced there was  a story line here but we wanted to be open to God’s leading.  We fasted and prayed for God’s leading and moved forward.

From there, there were Skype interviews for all the women and they nailed it.  Then the contract came out – and it was time for us all to sign on the line in the month of December…and this mama got cold feet.  Am I ready to have cameras in my house?  What if I say something accidently – there’s no taking it back.  What if they edit me to be kinda crazy?  What if – what if – what if? This blog post written back in November was birthed from the fears that arrived from the possibilities of this show – I was freaking out a little bit lol!

Many many prayers went up – “God is this you opening a door or is this something to walk away from”?  My husband and I wrestled and wrestled and wrestled with this.  Over Thanksgiving Dinner, there was a family discussion with my sisters and their husbands – should we do this?  At Christmas dinner again we revisited this question but at this point my oldest sister was out and my other sister was on the fence.  And by New Years dinner, my husband and I had made our decision.  We would not be signing the contract. :( 

Oh Ladies – I love you all SO sincerely much. I want to give God all of me – surrendered for his glory – but it felt so risky putting my life in the hands of non-believers to edit.  The production company was SO very kind with my decision and left it in a place where there’s still a crack in the door if I changed my mind…I hated passing up this opportunity.  I love being bold for Christ – but I know my weaknesses and I also know my time constraints and when we looked at my calendar and other projects I’m working on for ministry – there seemed to be no way to do it all without it hurting my family.  The integrity of my writing lies in the integrity of how I live – and I could not live well with this on my plate. I’ve realized that the Duggars are very special people!

There is still a chance that the show will go on…there are 5 ladies still going forward (Clare from Peak 313 was also being pursued and has backed out.) The rest of the group is waiting to hear back from the networks to see if it can go forward.  Do pray with me that God does something great here.  I’d just LOVE for you to see my friends, their family’s, and my church on reality television – can you imagine?!!!  Oh it’s fun to imagine what God could do!  

Ephesians 3:20,21:  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Walk with the King!

Courtney

 

How is Media Affecting Us? (Final Media Monday)

 

Today the 8 week series titled Media Mondays comes to an end. The question I sought to answer in this series was:

How is social media and this digital world of ipads, iphones and ipods affecting our relationship with God, our marriages, our parenting, our homemaking, our friendships and our health?

8 weeks ago – we started here with these thoughts:

 Tim Challies, the author of The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion, writes:

“Our lives have become saturated with sounds and images flashing in front of our eyes, blaring into our ears…At work we spend forty hours staring at computer screens. at home we watch television or visit our favorite websites. Between work and home we check our route on the GPS and dash off a few text messages. Even at church we watch our pastors on screens before returning home to watch sermons on the Internet. Life is mediated by the screen.” p.89

Here are the links to the week by week posts if you missed one:

Media and Our Walk with God

Media and Our Marriages

Media and Our Parenting – Part 1

Media and Our Parenting – Part 2

Media and Our Homemaking

Media and Our Friendships

 Media and Our Health

The reality is times have changed. Jesus lived in a different context than we do. Never before have women carried access to all the world’s knowledge on a tiny device in our purse! Screens are everywhere – at church, work, gyms, in my homeschool room, on airplanes, in the car, and in our pockets. Twitter, Facebook, Blogging and Youtube have become the new front porch affecting all of our friendships. In 60 years, we’ve gone from zero screen time to an omnipresent screen – they are everywhere and we don’t even notice them! There has been a massive pace change in the last 100 years.  It is affecting us! 

There are a few areas I never addressed in this series, that are affecting us:

1. Privacy - The use of social media has affected everyone’s privacy.  I’ve even seen private emails (of a well-known pastor I adore) leak into the hands of the wrong people and posted publically on-line to be used to harm him.  It made me realize that every email I send must be filtered through God’s word…and be potentially ready to be made public. 

2.  Photos – I have a cabinet full of photos that I’ve slipped into albums and into scrapbooks 5 years ago…but my photos from the last three years have remained jpegs.  Our digital cameras are able to take so many shots that it’s hard to keep up with the plethora of photos we are taking.  But the quality of our photos and the way we can tweak them with photoshop and other applications is truly amazing!  Never before have images been so rich for the eyes and again so public!

3. Creativity is at an all time high.  All you have to do is spend 10 minutes on youtube and you’ll see exactly what I mean!   I know that I may have never taken up writing if blogging did not make it so easy for me to get my thoughts out.  I’ve journaled since I was 15 years old and I have a feeling I’d still be journaling all my thoughts, for no one to see, if it weren’t for social media.

 

Media is amoral – it is neither good nor bad – rather it is the use of it that determines its morality.   We must filter it through God’s word and come to our keyboards ready to glorify God with every word we read or write.  We must remember – no matter what era we live in or how our culture changes:

 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

 

 So let’s get our final discussion of Media started.

What are your final thoughts or conclusions on this series and what can you add to the list – how else is social media affecting us?

1. If you are a blogger and you have decided to join this series by blogging each week, please place the Media Mondays button somewhere on your blog so your readers can find us here and then link-up below (right click – “save as” the button).

2. If you are not a blogger but are on Facebook or Twitter, I want to encourage you to copy and paste this link from the browser above on your status update and ask your friends for their thoughts.

 

3. If you have thoughts or questions you want me to address in this series, please leave a comment above. I will try to answer as many as I can either during the series or in the comment section.

Walk with the King!

Media and Our Health

Let me be honest…either I’m getting old and my metabolism hit the brakes this year or blogging is causing turbo weight gain!!!  Here’s the deal – I started blogging 3 years ago and in those 3 years of blogging I have put on 20 pounds!  I can only conclude that blogging is not physically healthy – nor is hanging out on Facebook and twitter all evening long!

Years back I shared my struggles with my weight.  Some of you may look at my pictures and videos and think I have a screw loose for worrying about my weight…but I come from a family of thin people and I am the only one who ever seems to have trouble with her weight!!   So 3 weeks ago Janelle from Comfy in The Kitchen,  invited me to join Weight Watchers On-line with her.  I entered in my height and weight – and indeed even Weight Watchers told me – I was one pound from being considered over weight!  I’m not trying to be as thin as my sisters – I’d have to lose over 30 pounds to do that…and I understand that I was not created to be like them – I am me.  BUT I would like to fit in my clothes in my closet and stop the weight gain before it does become a real problem health wise.

 So I turned to my real life friend and now blogger – Clare from Peak 313 Fitness and asked her to write on the topic of Media and Our Health (and you must check out her new “Deskie Workout!”).  Clare writes:

Is media affecting our health? The answer is a resounding YES!!!  Adults and children spend over 70% of their waking day at a desk, in a car, on the computer etc. We sit down to read our emails. We sit down to browse the web. We sit down to write our blogs.There is even a new science of “sedentary behavior” or “inactivity physiology”. There are people who actually study this for a living!

Here are some common ways media is affecting our health:

1.) Lower Back/Neck/Wrist Pain: Whether it’s an uncomfortable office chair, a computer monitor that’s at the wrong height, or hours of punching in numbers at the computer, we are BOUND to get pain while sitting at a desk. I know many people who have had to get intense therapy for the damage sitting has done for them. Carpel tunnel was a syndrome none of us spoke of 15 years ago and now we have people getting surgery to correct it all the time. Our posture gets worse as the day wears on and all that takes it’s toll on our joints.

2.) Exhaustion: If there’s one thing I’ve learned since blogging it’s that it’s HARD to shut down at night. I’m always looking at “just one more thing.” Experts say that we should shut down all media ONE HOUR before we hit the sack. That gives our body enough downtime to prepare for rest. So whether you’re hopped up on some blog you just read or just hitting the sack 2 hours later than you planned, we are not getting enough sleep.

3.) Weight Gain: We’re sitting. We’re eating. We’re drinking. We’re skipping our workout. And we wonder why last year’s jeans are too tight. One of my favorite sayings is “Objects in motion stay in motion. ” Unfortunately, there’s nothing “motion” about sitting in front of a computer or tv and we end up seated for longer than we plan.

4.) Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) This is the scariest one of all yet the one that no one probably thinks about. Studies show that people who sit for more than six hours a day are 18% to 37% more likely to die of diabetes, heart disease, or other causes than those who sit for less than three hours a day. Let me give you a little science into this.

We have an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in cells that line our capillaries. This enzyme is important because it grabs fats out of the bloodstream and moves them to the muscles or to fat cells for storage and fuel. After just a few hours of not standing, LPL basically turns off. With LPL suppressed by sitting, harmful triglycerides (fats) build up in our bloodstream, and good HDL cholesterol levels drop (HDL-C is the “clean up” crew for your body). This all elevates your risk for cardiovascular disease.

These 4 areas still affects the person who gets their daily exercise in and those who are of normal weight, so NO ONE is exempt.

♥♥♥

Here are some practical ways to seamlessly make changes to your health:

1.) Set a timer. Every 20 -30 minutes get up and walk to the restroom. Stand up. Stretch. A timer is also handy in keeping you aware that you need to shut down for the night. :)

2.) Stretch. Roll your head forward and side to side. Reach your hands behind you and above you. Stand up and reach down to your toes. Circle your wrists and ankles one way and then the other. Keep the body loose and moving as much as you can.

3.) Small steps. When possible, stand during a phone call. Stand while at the computer. Dance a little jig. Get up at commercials. Everything counts!

4.) This workout. I have created 2 workouts with you in mind! This should not replace your usual routine. Even if you can only do bits and pieces of these in small segments, something is better than nothing. Do the routine all in one sitting or set a timer and do a few exercises here and there. Click here to see my NEW Deskie Workout I’ve created(these pictures were taken at Courtney’s house)!

One final thing. There is a difference between fidgeting and standing up. Fidgeting (which yes you can do while sitting) will help a little with your waistline and calories burned, however, in order to help fight against CVD, we must stand up (and move if possible)!

**********************************************

Thank you Clare for your insight!  I always love having Clare into my home to teach me new fitness tricks :)!   Let’s take care of our bodies-  our temples – so we can serve our mighty God with vigor and strength. 

Now it’s your turn!  Tell me – how has media affected your health?

1. If you are a blogger and you have decided to join this series by blogging each week, please place the Media Mondays button somewhere on your blog so your readers can find us here and then link-up below. (if for some reason the code is not working for you – please – right click – save as – the Media Mondays button and link it to this post)

2.If you are not a blogger, join the discussion in the comment section! I look foward to hearing your thoughts.

3. If you use Facebook or Twitter, I want to encourage you to copy and paste this link from the browser on your status update and ask your friends to join the discussion.

Walk with the King!

 

Social Media and Our Friendships


I LOVE social media because I love to be social!   I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know many of my friends in new ways through their daily status updates, links to things they find interesting, verses they post, pictures from their daily life and interaction in my comments.  I have connected with strangers on Facebook and Twitter, and those strangers – turned friends - have become real life meaningful friendships off-line!  I  LOVE that!

 To be honest, it has nearly eliminated all my phone time in the home.  If I have something to say to a friend, I hop onto Facebook and Twitter to “chat”.  I miss my friends who are not on Facebook (but respect their reasons) simply because I feel like I have less access to them.  I have to remember to be sensitive to their feelings of being “left out”.   I have gotten closer to some of my acquaintances who are regulars on Facebook and Twitter – cause that’s where I hang out when I need a break from cleaning, homeschooling or parenting lol!


But it comes with some dangers.

1.   Hurt feelings – I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve read a comment and have thought “What does she mean?  Is she mad at me?  Is she joking around?  Am I being too sensitive?”  Facebook comments are dangerous – beware and think before you type!  I am sure that I am guilty of this too!  Proverbs 26:18,19 says  “Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!”  Beware of comments that are sarcastic – you could lose a friendship over it!


2.  Judging
- I have friends who have quit Facebook because they struggled with the status updates of friends who they thought lived one way but they discovered lived a very different way.  This is where sin and matters of liberty and conscience come into play.  We must call sin - sin but give grace to our friends on matters of liberty.  I will admit that when I see a swear word pop up – it mars my dear friend!  Oh and those bikini photos – I’ll never understand…do you see how ugly those thoughts are that ooze so easily out of me.  I must admit - I struggle at times.  I have to continually consider – is it worth confronting or will I let it go – let it completely go.  I am not on Facebook to be everyones Holy Spirit!  That’s a really quick friendship killer!  Which Satan thoroughly enjoys!  John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Satan would love to use social media to destroy our friendships – but Jesus came to give us an abundant life.  Do not let sinful judgement of friends destroy your friendships.  Remember, we are all human on the journey toward sanctification and we are all in different places on our journey.


3.  Public embarrassment -
I will raise my hand first and say I’ve embarrassed myself publically on many occassions because of my loose lips.  In the moment, a status update or comment feels right – but sometimes the next day I wonder – what in the world was I thinking?  Words carry power – and I feel like it’s been a learning and maturing process on what to say publically and what not to say publically.  Proverbs 10:19 says “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”


4.  Jealousy –
The comparison trap is just that – a trap!   Pictures of vacations, new homes, new cars, or fun nights out with friends are a breeding ground for jealousy.  There are two sides to this coin.  First there’s the person putting the information out there.  Is it wrong to show your vacation or fun night out?  NO…but can we be sensitive to those who weren’t invited or who can’t afford a vacation this year.  We don’t have to post every picture or every night out.  Philippians 2:4 says ” Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  This is one reason why I did not post my pictures from our Myrtle Beach trip or Willliamsburg trip this year on the blog.  I want to be sensitive to the fact that not everyone will be happy to see those pictures. 

On the flip side, jealousy is all throughout the Bible and we see how deadly it is to all friendships.  Remember Cain and Abel, Joseph and the coat of many colors, Haman and Mordecai, Sarah and Hagar, Saul and David,  the Pharisees and Jesus.  These are just to name a few, if we looked into it further we’d find many more relationships in the Bible that were ruined by jealousy.  Jealousy comes when we take our eyes off of Jesus. 

When I feel discouraged by things happening in the social media world I always come to a point of realizing…I have taken my eyes off of Jesus.  Hebrews 12:2,3 are some of my FAVORITE verses and they say, “Let us  fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Who for the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”


5.  Inappropriate Relationships with men. 
I am in NO way suggesting that women cannot have healthy relationships with men.  But for me – (again I am just saying this as my personal conviction) I have decided to not have friends on facebook who are male.  I wrote an entire blog post here about this decision if you are interested.

One rule of thumb I follow for the words I type on the internet is this:

If your pastor put all the words you said on-line this week, up on a screen for your entire church to view…is there anything you’d be embarrassed of?  If something comes to mind…delete it…and remember Proverbs  10:19 “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”

Social Media has GREATLY impacted my women friendships.    We were created for relationship.  God created Eve because it was not good for Adam to be alone.  Outside of our husbands, we long for deeper friendships with women but sin has entered our relationships simply because we are all sinners.   Some women hide behind the computer and chat all day on-line but never make real life friendships.  I do it the opposite way.  I take my on-line friendships and go deeper with them by having women into my home for bible study, creating Good Morning Girls groups where we email each other daily about the deeper things of God, I skype my on-line friends who are too far away to get together.  I pursue real life friendship through Girls Night Outs and playdates in my home.  My life is fuller because of my women friendships.  I encourage you to pursue taking your on-line friendships off-line.

Now it’s your turn – tell me – how has social media affected your friendships?

1. If you are a blogger and you have decided to join this series by blogging each week, please place the Media Mondays button somewhere on your blog so your readers can find us here and then link-up below. (if for some reason the code is not working for you – please – right click – save as – the Media Mondays button and link it to this post)

2.If you are not a blogger, join the discussion in the comment section! I look foward to hearing your thoughts.

3. If you use Facebook or Twitter, I want to encourage you to copy and paste this link from the browser on your status update and ask your friends to join the discussion.

Walk with the King!