Obedience, Rest

When You Can No Longer Hear

When You Can No Longer Hear

Rest, seeking quiet
Comments and updates and blogs fill my inbox and my screen and my head. It’s like an all you can eat smorgasbord of rich information that I keep coming back to, and it’s all good and wonderful and filling until suddenly–it’s too much.

Balance is not a gift of mine and so I have to work hard to find it–constantly. I teeter in seasons, and eventually, I slip, I crash, and I have to let go.

The world–particularly the online communities I am a part of, teems with so many beautiful, powerful voices and wisdom. Truth is being pinned and integrated and tweeted and I read it all with a ferocious appetite, until I find that my own thoughts, my own words are missing. Silenced by the overwhelming chatter of a never ceasing arena.

Friends told me how brave it was to step away, to seek quiet, and in that quiet I thought about this again and again. Why is it brave? Why do we say that stepping away from the din of the web is an act of bravery? As compared to what? And why on earth did it feel brave? What does that say about my own mentality and view of my online presence?

Perhaps this notion that stepping away from blogging and social media is seen as brave when we have misplaced our significance. Bravery is not me being quiet.

To be fair, I think some meant brave as in, walking in obedience is brave. And in this way, I suppose I would say, yes, obedience to the Lord does take a certain amount of bravery. But even so, obedience is what we’re called to, the brave and terrified alike. <–Tweet this!

And yes, honestly, I was scared to take a break now, at this time. In my mind, this was not a good moment for this, but I’ve said no to God enough times to know better.

But the cure for a weary, wrung-out soul is not more time on facebook. Twitter won’t heal our hurting hearts or save our crushed spirits. When Pinterest only inspires self-loathing and doubt about our own talents and gifts, it’s time to walk away.

I’m so thankful for Shelly, who inspired and encouraged me to observe the Sabbth. In learning to let go for one day, I am finding freedom to let go for longer. My friend Michele-Lyn takes regular blogging breaks and by her inspiration I have scheduled my own. Monthly–an entire week offline.

But looking at my friends, I  don’t see any of this as bravery. I see budding wisdom. I see obedience, and care for the calling placed on these women’s lives. Rest is critical and too easily forsaken in this never-sleeping cycle of online community.

Starting this April, I will be taking one week offline a month. I’ll admit to being anxious about it, but also excited. I know how good the rest has been for me, and I believe that if I keep to this, if I am obedient to this urging, the rewards will far outweigh the potential fall-out.

If I profess with my mouth that the Lord is Lord of my blog, but then work as if I control my own writing destiny, then I am a fool. The only way to hear Him, is to be quiet. 

It’s 2 weeks until my next blogging break. I sorta can’t wait!

Have you considered scheduling regular social media or blogging breaks?

Tell me what your experiences have been. Leave a comment below.  

Ps: My book? It’s on sale today for $2.99 (Kindle version) That’s no April fools. 

Comments

  1. I left Facebook for an entire year…sometimes there are personal callings by God that we need to honor, and realize that in heading his Spirit we find His Love and Grace versus seeking our self worth through the slippery slope of comparisons or wanting our “friends” opinions/encouragement vs. the Father’s.

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  2. Breaks are a must for me. Initially, I struggled with this because let’s be real, it will take months for stats to recover, but you know, I need them. I’ve taken one and two week breaks at least a few times each year since I started blogging. It helps me refocus and reminds me to live big offline. I think it’s easier too that I don’t do any social media during the day because of work. It just cuts me off from everything and I can’t engage. I actually like that.

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    1. Breaks are such a blessing. I hadn’t realized just how much until recently. I hear what you say about stats, and I nod my head, yes, a break can be a complete blow to your blogging momentum, but then I ask myself, really, ultimately, what is most important? My health and sanity, and spiritual grounding must come before blogging. Learning it with you, my friend!

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  3. Larri

    I abandoned my blog & honestly have only felt a couple of twinges to return to it. Yes, I must take regular social media breaks. I know when it’s time when I start signing on just to see how many ‘likes’ or ReTweets I have. That’s when I absolutely know that, once again, I’ve turned my computer into an idol. Great post, Kris! Thanks for sharing your heart. Love you, friend. 🙂

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    1. Larri, I am so inspired by your obedience in this way. I am so grateful to wander along side you and watch you grow through this. So proud of you for doing it, and setting boundaries. Love you

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  4. so glad you took time away. it does help us regain perspective, i think.
    especially perspective about *who we are.* if i call myself a blogger or a writer, or even a mother or a wife, FIRST, then somehow competition and all manner of suffocation seem to ensue. but if i remember my smallness – myself first and foremost as a needy worshiper, as one loved and even *defined* by God’s love for me, not my communication of His love or even my ability to get it “right” for Him – then i start to get a hint of oxygen again.
    love this challenge to come away. to remember who we are. thank you.

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    1. Yes, oxygen, breathing room… this is what I’m talking about. As much as I want to go-go-go, I find eventually I’m just plain gasping for quiet, for fresh, still air, that doesn’t include the opinions and politics of others. I want to hear God’s whispers without feeling the need to share them– I love how you live, Kelli. Your faith and wisdom encourage me.

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  5. Times of rest and refreshing are so important. I take little breaks here and there. I never put pressure on myself to blog, read comments, comment to comments, Facebook or Tweet. I’ve come a long way. It used to be an everyday must for me. But I have realized that the Blog and those who truly are inspired by what I write, will remain if I disappear now and then.

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  6. “Perhaps this notion that stepping away from blogging and social media is seen as brave when we have misplaced our significance.”
    This is SUCH a great reminder of where we need to be placing our priorities. This online world is such a wonderful place, but our confidence can only stem from Jesus. Thank you for the reminder.
    And I don’t take regular breaks, but I do often hit a wall and give myself a hiatus. I’m not sure if it’s the most healthy way to go, but it allows me to breathe when I need.

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    1. Sarah, that’s how it’s been for me, breaking when I’m finally breaking, if you know what I mean. It hit me on my last break that waiting until I’m crazy-eyed and desperate to step back makes no sense. If I planned better, I could take breaks when it’s both convenient and when I need them, before I NEED them. Have you thought about scheduling a regular time away?

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  7. Thank you, Kris, for your honesty, and for your encouragement to keep first things first. My heart really resonated with what you wrote here. I love to blog, and to read posts, etc., – but after awhile it almost becomes as noise to me. And I need to pull back for an extended, focused time of quiet. Wanting desperately to hear first of all, from God. I guard my quiet times each day, but I still need to pull back from blogging from time to time to really quiet my heart to really be able to listen and hear from God in a deep way. I am learning, too, that this is essential for me. And I am wondering, too, about regularly scheduling a break time in. Thanks for your encouragement. Whenever I do so, it is so life-giving.

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    1. Cherry, I pray that you’d here the Lord’s will for you on this. I don’t think it’s a requirement for all bloggers to take regular breaks, but I don’t think we should worry so much when we do. 😉 I find them refreshing, and I am curious to see what the regular quieting does to my creativity and my faith-life. I don’t think it will hurt– So thankful for you and that you were encouraged!

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  8. Love these thoughts as I’ve been revisiting this topic again. I seem to do it every spring… I unplug on Sundays and am looking at taking regularly scheduled breaks. Our family will be taking part of the natl Screen Free week at the end of April.
    I always feel so refreshed after I’ve unplugged from outside stimulus and focus on my family, my home and most importantly spending intimate time with the Lord.
    I find that when I cant slow my mind down to hear His voice or spend time in His presence that I’m way overdue for some quiet.
    I love how God places confirmation continually in my path.

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  9. How many times do I say this?? I’m so very proud of you, friend…

    I’ve been praying about blogging breaks, too…the only answer I’ve gotten from Him so far is observing the Sabbath (I’m a Sabbath sister, too), posting less and linking up way less…so far it’s been really good. But I’m trying a week off in April, too (the natl Screen Free week, too, as I see already mentioned here), just to see what transpires from it.

    {HUGs}

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  10. I don`t blog, but I understand. I can “waste” hours on Facebook, Twitter and reading tons of blogs. Then I find I’m rushing to work and haven’t spend hours with Him. Like someone else posted, my laptop becomes my idol.
    I’d never thought of a break – a Sabbath – I like the idea.

    Reply

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