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A Year Without a Smartphone, PART II

For some reason it’s been hard for me to finish this post!

A few friends have told me that they’ve been waiting in suspense, hehe, and I’m sorry for that. Though I was so passionate about the topic when I posted Part I, Part II would not flow so freely from my fingers…

After some thinking, I know why I’m having trouble getting the words out. It’s because, well,

there are not really any :cool reasons: why I gave up my iPhone.

Unfortunately, and this fits well with my Millennial status, unfortunately I am guilty of wanting to be real and honest and open, yet also to be cool. But it’s silly… because those things just don’t go hand in hand.

And by “uncool” I guess what I really mean is: showing my weakness. Not my cool/likable/relatable kind of weakness, ya know the kind with a hashtag: #reallife, or #keepingithonest, or whatever.

Ultimately my weakness is shown in my need for a Savior.  This need is shown even in my relationship with a phone!

And I’ll lose half my readers now for mentioning my Savior, and that’s okay. 💓

There are only uncool reasons why I gave up my iPhone and only uncool reasons why I :am: giving up my iPhone. So there’s my decision. I’ve decided to stick with my flip-phone.

And here are my reasons why.

As a Mother, many of my weaknesses are exposed.

I want excitement in my day; purpose and passion you could say. But being a stay-at-home-Mom can be equal parts boring and aggravating at times! The constant demand for snacks and books and answers to questions and wiping bottoms and cleaning up messes (and trying to teach the children how to clean up their messes) can be mind-numbing and exasperating at times. I know I’m not alone.

Will I ever get a shower without one of my children rushing in to inform me her sister threw a pair of underwear out the window and it’s stuck out of reach on the window below? (True and recent event.) Will I ever finish my cup of coffee before it gets cold ? Will I find time to exercise or read my Bible or text a friend with out being interrupted?

In Christian terms this is the concept of being “poured out”. My life as a Mom is an offering, for the glory of a God. And my life as a Mom is not about me. But, oh, how I’ve fought against this in my heart!

If I’m not careful, my day can so quickly become a quest to escape the monotony and hassles of home-life. And this was especially hard in that season two years ago when I got my first iPhone; when my girls were so much littler, and their need much greater.

Social media was accessible at any moment if I just reached in my pocket. And an endless supply of podcasts and any-song-I-can-think-of-to-listen-to was just too much for me. My smartphone helped to numb me to the conviction of those kinds of thoughts mentioned above, and it nursed my desire to escape.

Instead of asking God to help me get through my day, I asked my smartphone to help me get through the day.

So this is me as a stay-at-home Mom, struggling with that. But I wonder if others out there are using theirs smartphones to escape the monotony of their lives, whatever it may be.

Another thing I noticed is that my smartphone kept me from finding *quiet* in my day. All Moms know that there is no guarantee of true silence in a day when you have little ones at home! But if I was intentional with my time, I could have planned to use the little quiet moments that came along for Bible time or other reading; for creativity, or exercise. But in reality, in that season, any quiet time I found went to mindlessly to scrolling my phone. I forgot what it was like to just be alone with my thoughts.

I remember how uncomfortable it felt the first few times I drove in my car without my iTunes of podcasts to listen to! I eventually began to enjoy the quiet as it came, but it took some getting used to!

If my phone kept me from quiet, it also kept me from prayer throughout the day: that continuous communication with God I had once known and loved. Asking Him for help and comfort when life was hard, and thanking Him as He provided it. Asking for eyes to see how He was at work in my day, instead of using my phone to escape the monotony.

Another major thing I forgot how to do when I had a smartphone was to “treasure all these things up in my heart.” Whenever my girls did something sweet, out came my phone to capture that moment with a picture and a share, instantly sent out to everyone I know.

Ironically, the moment was often lost, as the next minutes were spent uploading to Instagram and choosing the best filter and witty caption. Not to mention the time spent the rest of the day, as I’d check my phone repeatedly, watching the likes adding up one-by-one.

I remember how weird that first week without a smartphone felt! When my girls would do something cute, I would have a moment of panic like “How will I remember this forever without a picture and a caption??” It had practically become instinctual.

I remember God brought that verse to my mind a lot that first week or two. He was calling me to treasure the moments in my heart like Mary did, with Him, not with everyone I knew. It felt like my mind and heart were being re-trained to prayer and praise, instead of tap and share.

Honestly, it brought a refreshing reminder of my finiteness! I don’t have to remember every cute moment my children have! There will be millions of those moments throughout their life under my roof, and I won’t remember half of them. And you know what: I don’t have to. Like the hairs of our head that are all numbered, God knows them. Because He’s awesome like that, I don’t have to be.

I could go on and on with other examples, but I think you get the idea. I’ll stop here.

Obviously I do not hate the internet, I have a blog after all. I thoroughly enjoy the internet! But much like the delicious piece of cheesecake I shared with my husband on our datenight this week…I personally just could not handle the temptation of keeping it by my side at all times. I tried to have self-control but it was too much for me.

This is my weakness. And it may not be yours.

As a Mom, I need to live my life connected to The Vine, not the Internet.

And I want any unexpected moments of quiet to be seen as an opportunity for prayer and praise, not an opportunity for podcasts and music and videos.

I thought that my phone helped me feel less alone as I walked throughout those hard mothering days with a baby and a two year old. But what I needed most was to know that God was with me.

And having a flip-phone helps me to remember that God is with me.

He’s with me on my hardest days as a Mom,

and my happiest, enjoying-every-moment-days as Mom.

And He is my constant source of joy and peace in both, not my phone.

Of course, it wasn’t the phone’s fault, it was mine.  This is just another picture of my sinful heart that is constantly trying to put other things in God’s place. He is faithful to correct me, this stubborn child of His, because He loves me and knows what’s best for me.

And just to emphasize the fact that my family does not think iPhones are “of the devil” or something weird like that!, my husband still has an iPhone. And it still has its shining moments like I shared about in my last post.

He also graciously allows his wife to have her Instagram account on his phone. That separation -to not have it with me all day long- really helps to keep my relationship with Instagram (and the internet) healthy and in its proper place.

And I can still enjoy the sweet square shapes and pleasant filters IG offers, and that easy creative outlet and connection with friends. Though I still continue to take regular breaks to keep my wandering heart in check.

I :also: have Instagram on my iPad, but,

I can’t use it to post pictures during the day, or scroll online, unless I have Wifi.

And guess what, we have lived ::without Wifi:: in our home for the past 9 months!

But, that is a post for another day. ❤

(I won’t say anything about when that will be posted because you know how good I am at sticking to that. 🙂 )

In conclusion, I love you dear friends and readers! Thanks for your patience in my second installment of this post.

And just a reminder that this is not at all meant to cause guilt or shame, or arguments! This is just a story of how God has been patient and kind with me. Another story of how God showed me my weakness and made me more thankful for His Gospel.

So, please do enjoy your smartphones! But don’t let them be your source of comfort and strength for your day. Don’t let them rob your life of quiet and prayer, and all the sweet opportunities in a day to “treasure up all these things in [your] heart.”

I would love to hear in the comments how you have kept your hearts in check with having a smartphone, as well as any good tips you have to not allow it to take over your life.

And in the off chance that anyone :is: considering trying out life with a non-smartphone, please know that you have a cheerleader in me! 🙂

2 thoughts on “A Year Without a Smartphone, PART II

  1. I just randomly found your blog and have been so blessed by it. This is helping me process my own thoughts and struggles with this problem as a fellow SAHM. I gave up Facebook over a year ago, but have felt the Lord pulling my fingers of my vice-grip to technology. This helps it feel not so scary. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    1. thanks so much for your comment, it encouraged my heart!!! i haven’t blogged in a couple months and knowing it encouraged you made me smile. I’m always trying to refine how i use technology and social media as a mom so i’m sure i’ll write more on the topic! looking forward to following you and reading more of your journey!

      Like

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