Be a participant.
There needs to be a separation between social media and my personal life. I am realizing this more and more each day as I get older and deeper into my 20's. I've been thinking about this so much lately. I want there to be something for keeps. I want every single one of us to have something for keeps at the end of each day, something that belongs to only us.
It's so easy to have something wonderful happen-- a job promotion, an engagement, a birthday-- and then immediately think, "How can I share this? How can I announce to the world this is happening?"
I don't think there is necessarily anything wrong with that but when we put it online, we release it from our hands. It is no longer our private moment.
When I have babes, I want to teach them to grab life quickly and furiously. I want them to be proactive. I already have so many big hopes for these nonexistent babes that have nothing to do with the iPhone or the computer screen. I want them to read classic novels. I want them to feel life. I want their little fingers to touch the paper of cookbooks. I want them to go and see the dinosaur bones and build forts. I want them to participate. I want them to know life is something you go and do and see and build and fight for. People are something you live for and die for and work for and sacrifice for. God is someone you dance and sing for. All of the above will make you laugh and go crazy and want to pull your hair out and ultimately trust that this whole thing cannot possibly be an accident. Accidents have never been as beautiful as this.
2017 is an extension of what I began in 2016-- the quest to be anything but a spectator of other people's lives.
Find a way to participate in people's lives relentlessly. It will be your own fault if you never invest in someone's life, only watching what they publish on social media. Get them coffee. Make them chili. Listen to their first date stories. Do the inconvenient things because those things always end up meaning the most to others.
"We owe moments of excitement and surprise to our dearest and oldest friends as much as we do to our partners and lovers," Dolly Alderton wrote. If I could add to that quote then I would write: We owe moments of excitement and surprise to our friends and our dear family more than we do to people on Facebook who never reach out to us anyway.
Lane and I had coffee and apple crisp with another couple last night, Sara and Jonathan. The two were at our wedding three weeks and ago.
"I got a picture of you two on your wedding day as the ceremony was happening," Sara told us before we left. When Sara says she "got a picture" it means God has downloaded something into her brain, a vision meant to edify and encourage.
Sara proceeded to tell us that her vision included Lane and I standing in the middle of a crowd blowing bubbles. She said at first we were blowing big bubbles and they were very impressive to the crowd. However, the big bubbles popped quickly. Eventually we began blowing these tiny bubbles and the small bubbles floated above the crowd and reached even more people. The smaller bubbles had much more of an impact than the bigger ones.
To me, that translates to influence. We think influence is about blowing the biggest bubbles, doing the most notable things to impress people. In actuality, the things with the most impact are usually the small acts and the tiny, obedient steps the world never sees. They are the times when we are alone, in a quiet room, on our knees and saying "yes" to God.
I've been thinking about this blog a lot and how much I adore this little space. I spent some time this morning praying for the people who read me in this space. I think my biggest prayer, biggest ask of you in 2017, is that you would leave comments.
Of course, you don't need to leave comments but I would love if the comment section was a community space, a place for us to dialogue with one another. That's my prayer for this blog in 2017-- that community would spread through the comments and we would grow closer to understanding one another through simple sentences.
So please, leave a comment today. Tell me where you're coming from and what is a "small thing" you want to do in 2017 to help other people. I would love to be reading and responding.
You make life good and you make work fun. Never doubt yourself.