Monday, December 16, 2013

My First Really Real Post In Quite Some Time

This is the post where I quit the internet. I just know it.

I suppose if you've been here long enough.. you might remember I almost quit the internet last year around this time. And then God stepped in and was like Boom here's a job on the internet with some super awesome women to let you feel encouraged and not heart icky with your time out here. And being part of The Influence Network showed me that I could look around online at what the Lord made and see that it was good. Forever and ever. Amen.

But still.

Maybe it just that time of year again when my worst enemy ol' friend Depression rears its ugly head as the days gets darker and my bed seems more and more inviting. I start to let Satan's little lies, usually just a whisper, grow into a full on roar in my ears until I can't hear or think about anything else and I just want to… well... pretty much quit the internet.

Now about this time you might be reading this and thinking But wait a minute, isn't the whole point of Influence Conference using your online time for good? Aren't you one of the women out there chanting "The Internet is real! Hurrah!" and you might be making faces at your computer like my girls do at me when I make them match and take pictures.


Don't look at me in that tone of voice. 

And to that I say, you're right. I am. But I'm not always so convinced. 

*GASP * SHOCK* THE HORROR*

Now don't get me wrong… the internet IS real and I believe was made by the Lord and can be used for His glory and for the good of those who love Him.  But I'm not one of those women out there saying that a strong internet presence doesn't come without sacrifice or that I'm totally convinced that The Lord would have me be a big presence out here in this season. When I read the "Dear mom on the iPhone" posts I want to cancel my phone plan and throw away my computer and, totally seriously no crossing out the words here spend all my time striving to be one of those picture perfect 1950's stay at home moms who literally spends her days cooking and cleaning and child rearin'.

I'm dead serious.

Because if there's anything Influence has taught me, it's that God sure-as-heaven doesn't want us to do #allthethings. But, that doesn't super feel like my issue. I feel like, I want to do #someofthethings but I don't know #whichofthethings God is calling me to, which are my own thoughts and which are just distractions. Or #howtobalancethethings that are online and the things that are right here in front of me. Because no one knows better than me that when you take your eyes off of #anyofthethings for too long you can end up with a big ol' lipstick covered sister kissing mess on your hands.


I mean, really.

The thing is, the internet has me struggling to keep-up-with-The-Jones' on the reg. And not in a covetous way. More of a what-kind-of-posts-to-post-and-when-to-post-them-and-how-many-to-post-and-how-to-leverage-the-influence-God-has-given-me-like-The-Jones'-do kind of way. I guess, the internet makes it glaringly obvious who I am and who I am not. No, I hope I don't do that for any of you here and I can pretty much guarantee I don't do that on my instagram but seeing all the white washed pictures and posts of who these moms are and even seeing their ugly just shows me who I am and what my ugly is. And not in a I'm-so-awful kind of way but more of in a I-don't-super-fit-in-with-the-internet kind of way.

We live a pretty non-internet compatible life here in well I guess I don't tell you just quite where California and I do pretty non-internet compatible things and post non-internet compatible pictures of bread and to tell you the truth? I kinda like the idea of having a non-internet compatible life except for the fact that I kind of love all the internet people.

I guess what I've found this last year is that I have to be more intentional. Intentional with my time at home. Intentional with my girls. Intentional with my husband. And intentional out here on the internet.

So for now, I'm going to think about it all. And pray about it, because honestly and truly, even though i pray for y'all when you ask and always for Influence stuff, I never really pray about this space much. And I can make a few "for sure" statements.

For sure I want to quit the internet but not really.

For sure I am not making any decisions when I'm in the thick of depression because I have been down that road and it does not end well.

For sure, the Influence Events in 2014 are going to rock and so will the network as a whole, which I am and intend to stay very much a part of.

For sure there are going to be changes around here, but I think they are going to be really good, for you and for me.

For sure I am going to somehow trick my husband into agreeing to sit down and put on paper what a super intentional 2014.

So there you have it, my first really real post I've written in quite some time. And it kind of felt good.

14 comments:

  1. I love this vulnerability, and embrace you even more for it.

    Know that this sister is praying over you, your family and your brand. It is inspiring to see women connect with those I-want-to-quit-but-not-really moments and really take them on.

    And if it suits your new space, I think I speak for many when I say I'd love to hear what you learn from your prayer time!

    you're officially on OUR hearts, Ashley! xo

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  2. Loved this really real post, girl. Thank you for sharing because I have been feeling the same way for some time.

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  3. Oh friend. I drafted a post today with the same theme. I hate having to overthink my content. I hate feeling like there are rules and that my content needs to fit in a box. It was more fun without a box. And I had a long serious thought about quitting the Internet yesterday, because, really? Wouldn't life just be simpler that way? I'll pray for you and your space. I feel ya, sister.

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  4. I've never dealt with full-on depression, but was just explaining to my husband the other day that I just feel...sort of sad. For me, I think it's just that it's winter, and I think the Lord's stretching me, and those stretches are uncomfortable, and maybe I'm a little Vitamin D deficient. And I should probably make a point of being outside more often!! I plugged in to the first half of Jessi's Wild class tonight, and...it was so good. Just good to see other Christian mamas. Good to be reminded of the Lord's faithfulness.
    Glad you're not going anywhere; excited to see whatever changes you have up your sleeve ;)

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  5. Oh girl.. What a post.. First of I just want to say I love you and if you ever want to talk I'm here and would love to be closer friends. Depression is not something I normally struggle with but the enemy has tried to convince me that I had it every once in a while and the feeling is awful and sad..But I speak joy over you in Jesus Name!! He loves you so so much and has great plans for you. Keep fighting the good fight girl! It's all worth it :)

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  6. Thank you for being open and honest with us! I so enjoyed this post and I could Identify with a lot of the things that you were saying. Keep doing what you are doing. I really enjoy reading your blog and everything that God has laid on your heart.

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  7. Oh yes Ashley!!! I feel these words so much

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  8. I have come to realize that I definitely don't fit in with the internet, so from my perspective the internet NEEDS more people like you. For my own emotional and mental space I have simply stopped reading and following various bloggers whose content does not match what I need to take in in my current season of life. The internet is also this murky and awkward thing to me especially in half formed relationships. It seems cool to *feel* connected to various internet peoples, but the truth is it's not a *real* connection most of the time. In the era of social media connectedness yet growing loneliness, I do not have space in my life for mirage friendships.

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  9. I've been feeling so much of the same way lately. You had me at 'white washed photos'. yes. those. Those make me feel non-internet worthy also. :)

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  10. Loving the honesty, hun. I guess I'm in the exact opposite space. I feel completely free in my blog space and especially my social media space. I struggled with it for a while over the summer, especially while I was going through first trimester woes. But God has shown (and is still showing me) just what He wants me to do with the space and I'm excited to see where it goes. And He's using Influence Net to encourage me to really be comfortable with being a mess. I smile at the pretty, clean, neat homes and they don't make me want to imitate them like they used to. Instead, they make me appreciate what I have and want to simplify my life more so I can give more. Pics with moms and their babes don't intimidate me like they used to, instead they calm me down and we countdown the 13 days (or less) until our first child makes her debut. I think I just had to change my perception in order to better see the beauty within the beast of the Internet.

    xoxo

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    1. Ash I realllllly really super love this.

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  11. Such honesty. Good and real. You are loved and appreciated (and a wonderful mother). Picture perfect is overrated.

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