Saturday, June 11, 2011

Who's Cheating?

I watched a DVD sermon by Andy Stanley this week that has given me much food for thought. He was talking about one of the biggest decisions he ever made: to cheat the church instead of cheating his family (his words, not mine!). Let me explain. He was saying that when we find ourselves in the position of having not enough time to get everything in our lives done (hmm, this sounds somehow familiar!?!), we have a tendency to lean towards the things which we can measure. Work. Ministry. Not family. Not home. Somehow it is so much easier to call home and say we’ll be late, than it is to call work and say the same thing. Andy decided when his family and ministry were both young and requiring a lot of his time and attention, that if someone were to ask he didn’t want his family saying they felt cheated by him. He prioritised his family by leaving work at the same time every day, regardless of whether things were finished or not. It was messy. People were upset and often didn’t understand. But in the long term, he now has a great relationship with his family, and a healthy, thriving organisation. He decided to do it this way because he felt that God hasn’t called us to love the church or build the church. He tells us very specifically to love our family. (1 Timothy 5:8 actually goes so far to say that anyone who does not provide for his immediate family has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. Pretty strong stuff). So the idea is that it is not okay to leave our family hanging while we head off into the big wide world to do God’s work. God’s work includes home. God’s work starts with those who are closest to us. On the other hand, God doesn’t really tell us to build the church. He does tell us to make disciples. But what Jesus did say was that HE would build his church, and nothing would stop that. So we get this amazing opportunity to build it with him, while loving our family. That seems to be the order he meant it to be in.

So, why am I talking about all this? Well, I need to decide who I will ‘cheat.’ There’s just no way I can do everything I want to do, or need to do. Something has to give.

I was reading Notes From the Frugal Trenches earlier in the week. And she was talking about internet use. And how much time it takes up. And whether it should perhaps take up quite so much time? Made me stop and think. I spend WAY more time blogging and/or reading other people’s blogs each week than I do praying and reading my Bible combined. I hop on and off my computer all day long. Even though I don’t generally write posts when Munchkin is up, I still check emails, read blogs, look at my calendar, think about birthday ideas, check which row of blanket squares to crochet next, check the budget…you get the idea. I’m a bit worried that Munchkin’s going to end up feeling cheated. That he will think the computer is more important to Mummy than he is. And I’m concerned about starting habits now that will result in me wasting precious time. Precious time that could be spent rolling a ball around the kitchen floor with my baby, folding yet another load of washing so it isn’t sitting on the couch bothering me, calling a friend, making a card, hugging my man, or actually noticing that it is a sunny day and feeling how nice that soft warmth is on my face. There are so many other things I could be doing. So many other things I most likely SHOULD be doing.

I have decided to cheat you. I’m sorry, I don’t really want to do it. But it is you or my husband and son. And they are more important. More important than any number of blog posts, encouraging comments, or things I ‘just have to share.’ I just have to keep remembering that when the internet is calling. It is so easy to think that I’ll just spend a couple of minutes. Yeah, right Amy. Sure. You know it doesn’t work like that. And even if it did, a couple of minutes here and a couple of minutes there, and suddenly you’ve spent an hour fluffing around online. So here’s what I’ve decided. Wednesdays and Sundays are blogging days. This includes looking at other people’s blogs, writing my own posts, and anything other blog related. I can take photos and write a single line idea on other days. I am not turning on my computer in the mornings while Munchkin is up. Between assignments and everything else we use our computers for, he has to see either myself or Boyo on a computer far too much as it is.

You might find that there are no posts next week. I have exams. I don’t know how this is all going to work out in the long run. There might not be many posts at all (I’m trying to stop putting lots and lots of little bitty posts just for the sake of sharing something, and actually write more meaningfully – so hard to resist!). Be assured though, I am still here. I still want to blog. And I will be working on something, it might just take longer to get to you.

I’d be interested in hearing how you manage your internet time. Any tips and tricks? Do you have any restrictions, or times you do/don’t like to be online?



Elizabeth said...

I have been so thinking about this also - Lydia often grizzles as I head towards the computer, which leaves me cold. I worry she'll also think that the computer is more important to me, than she is... what I need to do is to move the computer out of our living space - than I won't be so tempted. Might need to have a chat with Luke and see what we can do.

MaxineD said...

I know what you are saying - thankfully the computer was not around when our two were small, but now it is my 'social life in a can'... but sometime DH feels cheated so I make sure it is off pretty early in the evenings - apart from the weekly missive.

Claire said...

I had this thought when I got pregnant again, thinking, right, 8 months and then Connor is going to have to share me. So now I also dont turn my computer on before he is in bed (11am) for his 1-a-day nap, it gives me 2 hours to catch up on stuff (including house work) or just rest. It has been working well, I even didnt miss a grab-a-seat opportunity to Welly which was AMAZING!
The computer is on, of course, for the arvo but I dont feel the need to sit and surf etc as I've had my time to do this.
Good luck Amy, you are a wonderful mother and wife! :)

Amy said...

Hi Elizabeth, your new computer area looks lovely and inviting and I hope it works well for you.
Maxine, I love your 'social life in a can' analogy of the computer - very true!
Claire, thanks so much for your encouragement and sharing how you are working your computer time around your son and soon-to-be!