April 17, 2018

The Real Value of Old-Fashioned FaceTime... aka Being Present.


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Over the last few years, I have learned to love Mondays!  


Now I must be intentional about doing that earlier before the rest of my day unfolds. Mondays now start off with quiet time, but have expanded to include snuggles and stories and diapers and nap time with lots of pouring out love, too!


This simply meant that looking back made me tired, and looking ahead made me wish the days away sooner so the week would fly by.  


However, I know the value and necessity of staying present in the present! 

How I spend my Mondays now has changed with the arrival of Lil Miss, but for a season, Mondays were spent gloriously alone, just me and the Lord! 

One particular Monday not too long ago found me even more exhausted and depleted than normal. That was because the weekend was filled to the brim with good extroverty things and my week ahead was also filled with good somewhat extroverty/family things (which should read introverts gathering to introvert together!) 

Sometimes it is work to remain, yes?



The discipline of staying in the right here right now takes intention and purpose and we must check in with our soul from time to time just to see how we are doing!
For me, that is what Mondays are for!

So, my body was speaking louder than my spirit on that day and what it was telling me was that I wanted a nap but what my soul knew that I needed more than actual sleep, was a bit of silence. 
A bit of quiet, old-fashioned face time between the Lord and I! 

I was listening to a sermon the other day and the pastor pointed out that both in the New and the Old Testament, the word 
Presence literally means 'Face.'  

So in the Bible, when we read about Presence, it's literally talking about intimacy and being face to face with God.

If you're not new here, well then --you know this is my jam!

Several verses come to mind, but the first one is found in Psalm 16:
"You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever." Ps 16:11 NASB
I love how this reads in The Message Bible: 
"Now you’ve got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way." Ps 16:11 The Message

Come On! 

Don't we all want to shine on and radiate from the shining of His face? I mean...!

How much do we long to see Him, face to face... to look into His eyes and see Him as we are being fully seen?  

It makes me think also of when Moses boldly asked to see His face... and how after God passed by him, his face shone brightly and everyone could tell he had spent time with the Lord!

I think when we make connecting this way a priority in our relationship with God it blesses His heart! But I also think He desires us to want to connect with each other this way, too!

I was invited to a dinner party last week... a sort of ladies night out.  We gathered around a crowded table and enjoyed a delicious meal. It was slow and savored and the conversation flowed freely and at one point, we talked about the real value of being face to face and not staring at screens!

Don't get me wrong... I love me some screen time. I'm connected to social media and I love the way the Internet has given me kindred friendships that are more real and that run deeper than many of my 'in real life' acquaintances. 



However, in the constant draw to reach for screens, we so often block out the person or people sitting right across from us without even realizing it.

It was such a gift to connect with women of all ages, who were fully engaged and not constantly looking at their phones.

I know my Honey and I have been practicing being unavailable more often and it has been amazing!  We charge our phones in another room and we hang out on a whole different level... (of our home, yes --but in a deeper sense, too!)  We are showing each other that who we value most is actually already in the room with us!

My Girlie recently downloaded an App that tells her how much time she is spending on her phone. As a new Mama, she was noticing how her own Lil Miss is already reaching for the screens around her and it caused her a bit of concern.  To be parents in this modern age, if you want to raise your kids without constant contact with screens and strangers, you will have to be extremely intentional!

I shared over that dinner a practice I learned a while back. It is the practice of piling the phones in the center of the table or in the middle of the room.  The goal is to never reach for the phone throughout the evening. This is real life and sometimes we have babysitters or are expecting a work-related text from time to time, but overall the point is to put the phone down and to be present... to be face to face with those whose faces we can actually see without needing to look at a screen! The rule is the first one to reach for their phone either pays the bill, buys the coffee, or does the dishes.

It seems over the last few years we have been throwing around buzzwords like Present and Intentional and yet... 


Are we putting those words into practice?  
Are we willing to be unplugged
in order to be connected? 
To each other, of course... 
but also to God?  

As one who has had to learn to lean into seasons of Silence, I can relate to longing for a distraction! I've been guilty of using screens in moments of boredom or avoidance or just to distract myself and zone out while waiting. However, isn't there a better use of my time? At least most of the time? 

What if I put the phone or tablet down, and actually engaged in a conversation? Whether it is with a person nearby, or with the Lord through prayer, I'm pretty sure that is what this longing of being "Present" and "Intentional" is aiming for! 

Of course, screens are not all bad! (Hello... I'm hoping you spend a little screen time right here, with me, from time to time!) 

But I'll be bold enough to say that all this interweb connectivity is actually isolating us and leaving so many feeling lonely and alone.  

Let's purpose to be present... 
as in, face to face
with God and with each other,
more often!


I think we will all be better for it!

Let's purpose to do this (Speak Life. Be Love. Shine On.) 
in real life, with real people, as we practice being present
and enjoy some old-fashioned, old school 'FaceTime'...



Photo's courtesy of Unsplash

I'm also linking up with the lovely writer communities linked below:

Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp


Lori Schumaker for #MomentsofHope










Barbie Swihart for #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
















Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory
















Have you noticed a longing for real-life connections? What are some tips that you can share that will help us to unplug a bit, in order to connect on a deeper level? 

I'd love to hear in the comments below!

8 comments :

  1. Yes. Be present and not just in body, but in mind and by engaging with the other person. Even if we just sit in silence for awhile with nothing in our hands. Love this.

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    1. Oh yes... as an introvert, sitting in silence, side by side, is some of my favorite connecting! ;) (For real, though!) Thanks so much for stopping by, Theresa!

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  2. I totally get your needs the Monday after a busy weekend. I too need to "recharge" after a busy weekend. As an introvert I do have to be careful to make sure I include face to face time with people...but not too much! And when I do have face to face time...to make sure I'm really there! It's been a lifelong learning process! Good reminders to be ALL there...ALL present with our loved ones!

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    1. From one introvert to another, I completely understand the need to include time with people --but not too much time (or too many people!) ;)

      Here's to being Present --with God and with each other!

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Amy!

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  3. This is so spot on! So many of my online friends who have found community online are advocates of being in the moment and face to face more. However, sometimes we can't be face to face so online is the next option. How can we work so others don't feel lonely? It hurts that so many are lonely and are longing for community. So much THIS: "Don't get me wrong... I love me some screen time. I'm connected to social media and I love the way the Internet has given me kindred friendships that are more real and that run deeper than many of my 'in real life' acquaintances." This made me smile friend! Love you! xoxo!

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    Replies
    1. I love this question... how can we work so others don't feel lonely? I wish there was an easy, guaranteed answer! I think being intentional... using social media to bridge the gap and set up in-real-life connections when/if possible! I think we can do both -connect online (hello blogs, facebook, twitter parties, and voxer!) as well as in person... maybe not with the same people, of course. But I think it's important to attempt to do both!

      As much as the internet gives the option to lie or paint a picture that is not accurate to others online, I think it also gives the option to be more authentic and vulnerable than many are in their real lives, with real face to face connections! Of course -I'm a huge advocate for authenticity and being YOU wherever you are... so I think the more we practice being honest and real online, the more it will hopefully seep in to our other connections in our own communities, too!

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  4. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT on all counts!

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    Replies
    1. (At least in this post!) ;) Love you, friend!
      xoxo

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!
~Karrilee~

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