Goodbye Series

Update: Social Media

7 months has gone by with not having social media. I’ve filled my time with things like kayaking (when it is warm enough), reading, writing, spending time with friends and family. I feel it has been a great 7 months where I have felt freedom from my phone and from the pull of social media.

So when do I know when I am able to have social media and not get sucked in again? Do I really need that full year, or is 7 months enough? I’ve been wanting to have some social media back again, but for what reasoning? Is there really a good reason to get it back? Or is it all down hill if I decide to get it again? 

When I read back to my post in January about my reasoning for giving up social media, I am reminded of what I used social media for before. I would use it to know about people, to feel like I know them personally. Doing this left me feeling lonely and less than.  

I’d like to think things are different now. I don’t want social media to see what people are doing with their lives. If they want me to know, they will tell me about it. I don’t want social media to boast about how great my life is. I want instragam to follow people who make a difference. I want to follow my favourite fair trade companies. I want to follow heathy eating accounts and workout accounts. I want to have an instagram account that inspires people, remind them that life is a struggle and they aren’t alone. 

I pray that is what this blog has been doing. If I am able to be real about my struggles in life, my hope is that people who read my blog can know it’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to doubt, and fall. If you’re like me, it’s okay to fall flat on your face and have tons and scrapes and bruises…. and fall over and over again. It’s okay! It’s normal. We can’t get it right all the time. 

As one of my favourite sales guys says to me when I’m having a bad day “Hey, we can’t be stars every day.” He is so right! Social media has this “everyone’s life is perfect” kind of persona. I don’t want to be just another one of those accounts because my life is far from perfect. I can’t even pretend on instragram that my life is smooth sailing. Why would I want that? I want people to be able to relate to me. I want people to feel like they can be open and honest with me about how thier life really is.

Goodbye Series

Goodbye Series Part 4: Alcohol

silhouette psalm 46














To be completely honest, I am writing this post as an encouragement and a reminder to myself of why I gave up alcohol. As of right now, I am having a hard time resisting it.  There is nothing wrong with wanting a drink or two, but thats not what I want. It’s not really the alcohol I am craving at all. It is the feeling alcohol gives me. I have a craving to alter my current mind state. And that is why I said goodbye to alcohol.

For as long as I can remember, alcohol hasn’t been just a drink. I always thought people drink alcohol to get drunk and that is its purpose. I do not know where this thinking came from, but I have recently found out (in the past year) that its not normal to think that way. I do not see a point in drinking alcohol unless I intend to get drunk. I don’t understand the point of getting fruity alcoholic drinks at restaurants… I don’t taste (or feel) the alcohol so why bother. I have tried changing this mind set, but I haven’t had much luck thus far. When I think I have changed it, all I really have done is suppress it.

The thing is, I am unsure if my mindset around alcohol will ever change. I know that as long as I can’t drink without making myself drunk, I can’t drink at all. A big part of this issue, I believe, is the feeling of needing to change my minds state. I may be in a not-so-great state of mind when I am craving these drinks. I feel lonely, so like every country song out there says, alcohol is my best friend. Alcohol makes me feel like I am more fun to be around when I am not feeling like I belong. The thing is, drunk people are only fun to be around if you’re drunk. If they are drunk, and I am drunk, well then I feel like I belong. I feel like I am worth being around. I feel like I am good enough to be included.

Oh, so there it is. At the core of it all I don’t feel like I am enough. I don’t believe that who I am as a person is enough to be included. I deserve to be alone. I feel I need to change myself to be accepted. I need alcohol to make me braver, to socialize and “be myself.” To be someone I think is just a more fun version of myself.

That thinking is really sad. If I had a friend telling me this stuff, I would feel broken and sad for her. I know who God says she is. She is loved. She is protected by Love. She is made perfect in Gods eyes. She is treasured, and her name is written in the Palm of Gods Hand. She is a precious daughter of the King, and she is made for a divine purpose. She is enough. I know all those things about every single one of my friends and women that I know. So why don’t I believe them about myself? Why is it that this voice who is made of lies seems to scream louder than Gods truths?

That voice that lies is the one who tells me I want to drink. That voice cannot speak truth. I am tired of listening to that voice like it is my own. I am tired of hearing those whispers and thinking that it is truth. It has gotten to the point where I get angry when I hear those thoughts. That is when I know I am ready for something to change. I get so angry at the way things are, that I need to change them.

Anger is a great motivator for change. I will continue on the road of changing. I will continue to say goodbye to things that do not bring Glory to God or bring me closer to Him. God is within me, I will not fail.

Goodbye Series

Goodbye Series Part 3: Stuff

I always needed more stuff. More clothes, more candles, more gadgets, or more plants! My room was pretty much terra greenhouse at one point. Oh! I also had a phase of needing all the at home workout equipment Walmart could offer. Ha! At home workouts… not a thing that works out for me. Get it..?

None of these things are bad things. The problem with accumulating all this stuff is that I am filling my life with unnecessary stuff. I was filling my life with these things because they made me happy… for five minutes. In that five minute span, this thing, this object that would soon just be a part of all my stuff, had made me feel a little more whole.

I have this void inside of me. I wonder how many of you have felt it too? I am surly not alone when I say I have tried filling the void with my smartphone, social media, stuff, alcohol, and a meander of other things. Those things had put a bandaid on my empty feeling, but a bandaid wears off after some time. They loose their stickiness and fall to the ground. They loose their intended purpose. I was buying room decor, pillow cases, plants, clothes, anything. I was buying anything that i liked because it made me feel good! Soon after, it would loose its intended purpose. It wouldn’t make me feel good anymore.

I would buy it online, that way I had something to look forward to. I had a conversation with a friend about a year ago, and we talked about just that. I introduced her to a very cheap website where you can buy anything and everything. I would go through shopping sprees where I would buy a bunch of unnecessary things, and then two months later when it shows up, its like Christmas because I don’t even remember what I bought. Unbelievably Unnecessary. My friend would buy one or two things a month, because it made her feel good. It was something she could look forward to. I am not shaming her at all because I was doing the exact same thing! She just had more self control to not buy 15 things in 15 minutes. She wanted those things, where I felt like I needed them. We chatted about how nice it is to have things coming in the mail to look forward to, rationalizing my unnecessary spending habits.

We aren’t wrong. It is very nice to have little gifts to yourself show up at your door wrapped in the bubble wrapped white bag. It is nice to have a new little something to wear, or put up, or use. Heres where the problem lies. Bringing the problem back to the void. This void can be permanently filled and healed, if I so choose. Yet, I choose to clutter my life with stuff, burry myself under things, so that I do not need to put in the hard work.

Clicking a couple buttons and buying something is so much easier then having a strong relationship with God.  I can’t speak for the long term habits that come with a strong relationship with God because I am still forming those. Although, I have friends with these habit, and I know it is something to look forward to. It is so much easier for me to pick something worldly to spend my time with because that is what I am use to. I am use to sitting in front of my laptop on Netflix, or being in the car with the radio blasting. I have been filling my life with unnecessary noise and unnecessary things for so long that if I don’t have those, I feel uncomfortable. My habit is to always have noise, my habit is to fill sadness with stuff. As I try and change that, it is going to be uncomfortable. If I look longterm, I am so much more better off spending my time with God, then with stuff.

Stuff is the bandaid, and God is the mothers kiss that makes it all better. God makes my emptiness, filled. This is a God shaped hole that I try and fill with my smartphone, social media, and now as you know… stuff. I am a very imperfect person, and I am glad to be. If I was perfect, what would I need Gods grace for? To receive Gods grace, all I have to do is tell Him I’ve messed up. I need to ask God for forgiveness, I will tell Him I have been trying to fill this hole inside me with stuff. Ask Him to fill the void, because He is waiting for me to ask. For that to happen I need to spend time with Him. I need to close my laptop and turn off my radio, find a quiet space in my mind and pray. God is willing and waiting. All I have to do is accept the invitation.

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to share it around.




PS- This post took me so long to write because as I go through this series of things I am saying goodbye to, this is the most recent that I continue to work on. I felt very strongly I needed to write it anyways. Being vulnerable in the middle of struggle is so much harder then talking about it after the fact. Although, I have read a handful of minimalist books and have gone through my closet 3 times and got rid of garbage bag after garbage bag of clothing (I could open my own good will at this point), I still have so much stuff. What I talked about today is still a very real struggle for me. But everyday God meets me with Love and Grace.

Goodbye Series

Goodbye Series Part 2: Smartphone

Apple comes out with a new iphone constantly. I got my new iphone 5C, then soon I am feeling like I need to upgrade to the iphone 6 or 6s. I have been feeling this pressure to always have the best smartphone. I just got an email the other day, and you probably did too if you are an iphone user. The iphone 7, in red. Guys, its red. It is exciting, don’t get me wrong. I love the feel of a new phone, but it is also hard to keep up with the ever changing upgrades (and expensive I might add…). I am not sure about you, but I am getting tired of feeling like my phone is never good enough. I got so tired of it, that I decided to accept it. I went and got rid of my iphone 6s all together.

I said goodbye to my smartphone.

I said goodbye to feeling behind. I said goodbye to the culture pressure to have the biggest and the best. I said goodbye to carrying a little computer everywhere I go. I said goodbye to being tied to my phone. I said goodbye to instant replying to people. I said goodbye to being glued to my phone when I was out with friends and family.

With saying goodbye to my smartphone I have given myself a chance to see what I have been missing out in my present reality. I am learning to have the ability to just be myself and be comfortable doing nothing. Not the nothing that I use to do, scrolling through my social media on my phone. The doing nothing of sitting, and just… sitting.

I found myself checking my phone every few seconds to see if someone had liked my picture or post. Checking to see if I got a text message or snapchat from someone. My iphone became my way to feel social validation. It was an involuntary response to measure how much I was thought about or loved by my peers. In turn, that would tell me how much I was worth, or if I was good enough. It was a craving that could never be completely filled. I searched for validation from my friends and family through a screen, and when it wasn’t there, I had overwhelming feelings of sadness and loneliness.

Now, because I was feeling sad and lonely, I would turn to my smartphone to always feel connected to people. Being on my smartphone allowed me to avoid these large feelings that I was having. It allowed a distraction from the anxiety, depression, or loneliness, or whatever feeling it was that I did not want to feel.

That validation I was looking for in others, is the very validation I could have been looking for in the Lord. His continuous grace and love is proof enough in my life to know that I am valid. I am enough. I am worth so much more then I let myself believe. I placed my value in the wrong spot. I was relying on other people to make me feel loved and valued, where I should have been relying on God. The people in my life do an amazing job at loving me, but ultimately I was trying to fill a God sized hole with a false sense of human interaction. I tried to fill a God sized hole with my smartphone and social media.

I had an unhealthy relationship with my smartphone. I replaced the richness of human interaction with the view of my small smartphone screen. My smartphone took my attention away from the present moment. To live in the present moment is to live where life is happening. The attention I get from my smartphone can never replace the need for human interaction, as much as I subconsciously believed it would. Technology is our friend, but only if we use it, not it using us.

I am taking this time away from my smartphone to reevaluate what a healthy relationship with my phone looks like. Today, I use a little no name phone with a full keyboard. It doesn’t have wifi and I don’t need data. I do not know how long I will go with this phone, but I am enjoying how I am not feeling the need to have it with me all the time. I am enjoying the freedom I feel, and the awareness of Gods presence I have with less screen interactions.

I would like to challenge you to step away from your smart phone. If only for a hour, or while you’re at dinner with friends or family. I challenge you to put up some healthy boundaries with you’re phone. See if you feel something different.

Goodbye Series

Goodbye Series Part 1: Social Media

Have you ever felt bombarded or overwhelmed by social media notifications and a constant view of peoples lives? Feeling on the outside of things all the time? Is your life not measuring up to what you are seeing from your friends on social media? Are you constantly scrolling through social media, trying to keep up? And then left wondering why you do this?

Same here.

So I said goodbye. I said goodbye to Facebook, Instagram, and snapchat. I said goodbye to comparing myself to what people let me see about them in their public feed. I said goodbye to a false sense of friendship and intimacy that social media brought me. Goodbye to fear of judgement and not feeling like I am enough. I said goodbye to all my social media.

I have a friend who, for as long as I can remember, has not had social media. I could not imagine my life without social media at this time. The only way she finds out things about my life is if I tell her. To me it was inconvenient that she didn’t have Facebook because I wanted to see what was going on in her life, but I didn’t necessarily want to ask. I did not want to be asked about my life. Social Media was a way for me to know about other peoples lives, and feel close to that person, without actually having a relationship with them. For someone like myself who has a great fear of intimacy, this was a perfect set up for me. I am realizing more and more about how it was so easy for me to feel close to people I didn’t even know because I saw the pictures and updates that they decided to share.

That friend who doesn’t have social media, is now my best friend. She has been for years. She invested time into her friendships. She got to know me on a level no one else has. She knows who I am, not just what I did on the weekend. She has this true interest in peoples lives when she listens to their story.

She inspired me.

So many times I’d talk with her about leaving it all behind. Yet, never feeling ready to actually take the step into the unknown world (literally…) of no social media. After my two month stay at a rehab centre in Tennessee, I decided it was time. I spent 65 days without it, so how about I go into 2017 without social media.

On January 4th 2017, I hit the deactivate button on all my accounts. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Tumblr, and I’m sure there are other accounts that I can’t think of right now, and they are all gone. January 4th 2018, I can reactive them if I so choose. For the first month or so, and sometimes even still, I thought I would for sure get them back. I went through a social media withdrawal. I had some serious FOMO. I believe my stress level was heightened, which actually caused headaches. I had become so addicted to checking my social media account, that being away from it actually affected my health. YIKES!

Although, as the FOMO fades away and the withdrawal period comes to a close, I can appreciate what this social media cleanse has done for me. I spend so much less time comparing myself to people on the internet. Doing so has increased my self esteem, and I have began to fall in love with myself and who I am. I am able to spend more time one-on-one with people, having real, intimate friendships vs the false sense of friendship I accepted before.  Now that I do not spend my free time scrolling through social media, I have so much more time for hobbies and focusing on the things in my life that matter.

I have time to spend with God, and learn about who He says I am. The noise of social media clouds Gods voice. I kept myself so distracted, choosing social media over the Lord all the time. I have much more clarity on what is important in my life now. Anything that gets in the way of my time with the Lord needs to change.

Social media is not bad. Actually, I have seen it many times used in good ways. For me, I was not using social media in a healthy way. Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram in moderation are not bad. When it becomes something that is distracting you from your present life, it may be something you want to reevaluate and wonder why it is so important to you.

I said I could never live without social media and that was the very reason I had to get rid of it. I do not need social media in my life. It was a tool I used to not feel lonely. I do not have that tool anymore. Today, when I feel lonely, I can call or text a close friend. I now have friendships I can completely rely on. I love them so much, and know that I have someone to lean on when life gets hard. There is much less fear is being vulnerable because there is real trust and closeness in the friendship.

It is a two way street as well. I am able to be present and loving with them, without distraction. I enjoy getting together with my friends face-to-face and hear about their lives, good and bad. I use to have a fear that if we weren’t always talking, that the friendship would die. That fear is gone because in real friendships there is confidence that we are there for each other and will continue to be there for each other. There is a practice of healthy communication and a sense of peace that allows me to feel secure.

I love the freedom of not having social media. My hope for you is that you will give it a try, in whatever way that looks for you.