I’m turning off my social web for 2015.
I’m not excited about it.
I find Twitter useful for discovering good content. Facebook is sometimes entertaining. (Although it’s also infuriating so, of all of it, I am looking forward to a break from Facebook.) I really enjoy the pretty pictures and the mommy community on Instagram. I like this space — Spits And Wiggles — for the outlet it provides. I am a fan of social media. I enjoy it.
But for some weeks, my soul has been arid. There have been oases, in God’s great mercy, but in general it’s been dim.
I know that the desert is where spiritual growth happens. I know that everyone goes through those seasons. But I was starting to feel like something needed to change. Like I couldn’t keep begging God to take me to a new place, and not start walking.
So one day, as I sat reading about John the Baptist — for no particular reason — a still, small voice seemed to say exactly what I didn’t want to hear.
“You’re building your own kingdom.”
I knew exactly what that meant, because that’s how He speaks. At least to me. He speaks simply, but He opens eyes when He speaks. (“Did not our hearts burn within us … ?”) Read more…
I’m cross-blogging ’cause I really want to share this with everybody.
The whole story and the video is over on The Esther Project.
Short version: I wrote a spoken word piece for our church’s Christmas Eve service a few years ago, and it went decently well. I woke up about a month ago determined to make a video out of it, so I could offer it for free to those small local churches with no media budget.
It turned out to be much harder than I thought it would be, and I learned a whole lot in the process, but that’s another time.
Hop over to the other blog and check it out, and please forward it on to any church staffer you know who might find it useful. I know it’s a little late in the game for a lot of churches, but I also know there are those smaller congregations who don’t have solid plans yet. (I talked to one last week.)
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve started baking bread. I made a quiet, inner vow to never go back to store-bought bread (“quiet” and “inner” because I’ve learned that “never” is an almost impossible concept), but only partly because of the money it saves us, the preservatives we’re not eating, and the way it makes the house smell.
The other part (and some days it’s the main part) of the promise I made to myself is just for myself: because of the process. Because it seems like I need to make a new loaf of bread every week, and every week the process reminds me of the importance of rest.
Because first you have to proof yeast. (You don’t have to, but I got dry, active yeast because it was a better bang for my buck.) Stir yeast in hot water, with a pinch of sugar, and let it sit in a warm place for at least 15 minutes.
I can at least mix the other ingredients together while that’s happening, but as there are only four other ingredients, it doesn’t take 15 whole minutes to put them all in a bowl – even when I augment the wheat flour with some freshly ground flax seed. I have to wait.
As soon as it’s done, and I get everything mixed up, the dough needs to rest before I can knead it. 15 minutes on the counter. Just waiting. Read more…