no longer present

There are days it seems our faces are too far apart from one another. My ear is inclined tofocus the voice of another… a voice more shrill and exciting than yours… at least… for the time being.

We stand at a party, you and I, taking turns sharing our souls. At first I listen, but then my mind and my eyes drift away. My glance is drawn, imperceptibly at first, to a blurred image in the corner of the room, just over your left shoulder. There is another conversation taking place. And soon, I am no longer present, my mind drugged and its edges blurred until the outline of your face is out of focus — your voice an echo of nitrous oxide. You’re fading, and I am no longer present.

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children rarely wait

Children rarely wait
for all our prayers to be answered
before they saunter into adulthood,
bold, unafraid, and short-sighted

They so rarely pause,
glance back over their shoulders
and ask if we know the way
to God knows where and when.

But then again, neither did we.

c.2015 Stacey Littlefield

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twitter too? (now this is just getting ridiculous)

TwitterSuddenly, I just don’t care anymore. A few weeks ago I went off of Facebook, and I haven’t really missed it, other than a couple of funny videos people tried to tell me about.  Now I’m giving up Twitter, too. Let me explain.

Last night I found myself inadvertently drawn into a Twitter argument with someone who was, honestly, just downright nasty and angry. And I really didn’t understand why. I’m sure they thought it was “conversation,” but I didn’t. And I didn’t like how it made me feel, either. I was distracted and anxious and unable to let it go.

I began to reconsider why I was even on Twitter. To my chagrin, I realized that similar forces in my personality that were at work in Facebook were also at work in Twitter. It wasn’t nearly as time-consuming as Facebook, but it was still distracting. I know, I’m slow. Anyone else would have seen this coming long before I did.

Then I ran into someone who isn’t on either Facebook or Twitter, and I talked with her about it. Her words only confirmed the direction I was already leaning. She encouraged me to stop listening to so many other voices, to practice listening to the voice of God’s Spirit instead. Not that you can’t do both, but I am beginning to realize that doing both is not something I should give my time to. I can’t speak for others, but too much input clogs my spirit and brain, and makes it more difficult to hear what God might be saying to me. Twitter was just adding more noise to my life and needed to go.

Honestly, now I just find it all kind of exciting. What more might I discover about myself or God, or my family, simply by being more present and having real conversations? God only knows.

One bit of irony is that I will now have no way to “promote” this blog so that others will read it. Once again, I find I really don’t care. I’ll just write for the sake of writing, whether anyone else every reads it or not.

Posted in Missional Living, Spirituality | 4 Comments

Farewell to Facebook

facebookToday is New Year’s Day, and I’ve  been reflecting on something, off and on, for most of the Season of Advent. As I’ve prayed about the season and my own attentiveness to it, a word has repeatedly come to mind: distraction.

I like distractions, generally. Which is the point. I like them too much and I’ve decided to take action on one distraction in general. On January 6 (Epiphany), I will deactivate my Facebook account. I’m not saying Facebook is evil or that it doesn’t, in fact, have some real value in and of itself. It does. My personal opinion is that because of Facebook (and other social networking venues) we as a population probably laugh more, discover a little more inspiration here and there, and are sometimes even better informed (but also, honestly, sometimes, misinformed) than we were before Facebook came along. But this isn’t about Facebook at all. It’s about places of unhealth in me.

Very simply, it’s not that I spend too much time on Facebook. I don’t. It’s that I care too much about what others do on Facebook. I care too much what others say about things that matter to me (Do they agree? Do they disagree?). I care too much about whether the latest clever thing I’ve posted is “liked” by many people (which is really a bit sad, if you think about it). I care too much when people argue and bicker and are unkind toward one another, thinking that their hastily posted comments pass for “conversation” or “community-building” (I’ve never heard anyone say, “I used to feel that way on the issue, but a post on Facebook changed my thinking.”). All of it is a distraction. And, to be honest, it just no longer interests me. Saying farewell to Facebook doesn’t feel like as much of a sacrifice as I thought it would be when I first began to consider it.

I realize I will lose some things, of course. There is some real connection with people that’s been beneficial, as well as some genuine laughs and inspiration from time to time. I’ll have to look for that elsewhere. And I’m not saying that this is permanent (though it may be). It’s just what I need to do now.

Again, this is about me and my own need to eliminate Facebook as a distraction in my life. No one else needs to read anything more into this in terms of what they think I might be saying about others’ involvement therein. No judgment against avid Facebookers is intended in any way. This is all about my own issues. I just didn’t want to disappear without some explanation, that’s all. My hope is that I’ll have more mental and emotional capital to invest in face-to-face relationships as a result.

In eliminating Facebook from the mix, perhaps I’ll blog a little more in 2015 than I did in 2014. Maybe I’ll have more room to reflect, read, and write. Maybe I’ll get better at getting to know my neighbors. That would be nice.

Posted in Community, Productivity & Creativity, Spirituality | 3 Comments

a house divided | who needs us?

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On Sunday I preached on the division of the kingdom into the Northern (Israel)and Southern (Judah) kingdoms.  One of the points I was making was that while the division was God’s doing in judgment against Solomon’s “divided heart” or half-heartedness toward God, … Continue reading

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snow, treachery and the grace of God

Yesterday, as the snow was falling and cars were sliding and churches (including ours) were canceling services for the day, I was reminded of the beauty of snowfall and my past reflections on how much it reminds me of the … Continue reading

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in memoriam | imitating my little sister

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Tomorrow, New Year’s Eve 2013, marks one year since ALS took the life of my younger sister, Chana.  On her birthday later this month, she would have been 50 years old.  I had considered sharing some words at her funeral a … Continue reading

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