I’m on the living room floor on my shins and forearms, pounding out some words on Gabe’s laptop because even though I finally figured out where I hid mine, I’m too lazy to actually make room for it at my desk, counting the seconds until my feet fall asleep and my 36-year-old back starts to protest.
If I sound like a hot mess to you, well then.
I have something to say, and rather than wait until it’s all processed and I know how to say it neatly and sweetly, I’m just going to air it out now and get it off my chest.
Some things have got to change around here. And by “around here,” I mean this blog. And my life. And my heart.
Yesterday at church Pastor Rich mentioned 9 of the most common sins, and I’m delighted to tell you that 3 of them are not really a struggle at all for me, 3 probably are, but I haven’t really realized it yet, and 3 are pretty glaring.
Pride, anger, and self-centeredness.
God has been gently hammering away at me for awhile about all three of these. And while the anger thing is something best dealt with in the privacy of my home and family (for one, because that’s where it shows up pretty exclusively), the pride and self-centeredness need to be dealt with here, because the internet is where I struggle most with both of those things.
It’s amazing how quickly I can make everything all about ME.
I don’t have the time/energy to re-hash all that’s happened in the past couple years on the “career” front for me, but here’s the scoop in a nutshell: I’m an author with real published books under my belt. And so that’s kind of a big part of my identity (whether it should be or not). But it’s been three years now since I’ve had a book published, and there’s a lot of hard work ahead of me if I ever want to get to the place where I can publish another one (through a publisher, not on my own). And that means a lot of platform-building and getting lots of people to notice me and know who I am and all that.
And I sense God telling me that I need to be done with that. For good.
Now, I have a ton of author friends who I love to pieces, and I’m not saying that building your platform and gaining followers is all prideful and self-centered and whatever. I’m just passing on what God is saying to ME.
And I’ve been thinking the past couple days (a dangerous activity when you’re suffering from jet lag) about the things I do (and am) online and wondering which of those things are a part of my life because God wants them to be and they bring him glory and which are things I’m just doing to get people to notice me.
I’m aware of the fact that I’m not making any sense, so I’ll just start explaining some small changes I’ve made.
Pinterest. Why did I join Pinterest a few months ago and then never look at it again? Why was I getting a ton of notifications in my e-mail that such-and-such had started following my boards?
Pinterest is cute. And swell. And helpful. But for me, it’s too overwhelming. I have too many things to do already, and there’s no space for it. I don’t really need to know about all the amazing, creative, adorable people out there that are way more awesome than me. And I don’t have to live in fear that if I’m not a part of it, I’ll be missing out and that people won’t know who I am and yadda yadda blah-blah.
So I canceled my account.
And I unsubscribed from The Writer’s View (a Yahoo group for authors) and a Facebook page for writers that I was a part of. And I unsubscribed from a bunch of blogs that I don’t have time to read but read anyway just so that I can feel like I’m “in the loop.”
And Twitter might be the next thing to go, because I haven’t even been on it in 2 months.
And I’m evaluating everything I say and do online to see what purpose it’s serving. Whose purpose it’s serving. God’s? Or mine truly?
The internet is amazing. I love the connection. I have seen God use it in a million different fabulous ways to make his name glorious. But I also know that if he calls me to just live a faithful life without telling the world about it, I need to be willing to do that.
If he calls me to move to Cambodia without blogging about it every day I’m there, I need to be willing to be his hands and feet and not his mouth.
I need to do this online thing on his terms, not mine. So I’m going to spend some time (as much time as it takes) asking him what that means practically speaking.
And I’m anticipating that I will screw up A LOT over the next few days, weeks, months. Your grace and patience would be a balm to my soul.
I’ve had a rough 24 hours. And I know from experience that getting my mind off myself means I need to take some other people to God in prayer. So I’d love it if you’d share a prayer need with me (either in the comments or e-mail).
And wouldn’t you know it, my back is aching, and my feet are asleep. That’s my cue.