Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17
I have a few regrets in life, like everybody else. As I reflect back on these past 13 and a half years of motherhood with all of the ups and downs, challenges, blessings and everything in between, I have come to appreciate the gift of the early years. Recently it dawned on me that there was something missing in those early years, something that, in retrospect I realize, I didn’t miss at all.
The fact is, I hadn’t even heard of Facebook until 2009 when a friend sent pictures for me to see and in order to access them I had to sign up for my own account. Twitter, Tumbler and Pinterest, were yet on the horizon. I certainly had no idea about blogging yet. Cyberspace was an unknown place to me as a new mom.
Lately, we have been learning and hearing about some of the effects of Social Media on people, relationships, and life in general. This has caused me to ponder further, my life before and after Social Media. One thing I have to say that motherhood comes with an onslaught of emotions, insecurities, joys and challenges.
I think moms, and women in general are prone to fall into the habit of comparing, whether we mean to or not. It’s what makes life, and online life especially, potentially so challenging.
The fact is, we do compare and Social Media just gives us jet engine speed and power instead of a backyard firecracker’s crackle. Comparatively speaking.
I am not here to tell you that Social Media is all bad, because I don’t believe it is. But, I only want to share with you what it was like to have the gift of a Social Media free mommy-hood in the early years.
The best part about that season was that those precious, intimate moments shared with my sweet girl were just that- intimate. Meaning, private and close, guarded and cherished. Intimacy by definition implies a private moment as a privilege for those present.
As a single mom for two years, that meant I was a mom often alone doting over a child into the wee hours. As a new mom, everything I did was done in the presence of God alone. Not tweeted, texted or shared at all. Of course I shared photos and stories with fellow moms, friends and family when we visited and got together.
But, there were many moments, as I look back that left strong impressions upon my memory more than those sharing moments with others.
They were the actual, in the moment living before God alone moments. I have never experienced greater intimacy with the Lord, or greater connected-ness with my child.
Maybe some moments and seasons are meant just to be lived, not shared.
I know that might sound selfish and even unrealistic in this hyper-sharing climate we find ourselves. And I, myself, currently do struggle to find the balance.
But what I believe the greatest gift of a SM free motherhood was the simplest, sweetest gift of all: complete presence and attention to the fleeting, temporary moments, that sometimes are better savored now instead of shared. When we do this, attending to the present moment, available completely, not trying to share, we are available to live in that moment, thereby solidifying the memory, making it sweeter to remember and share in the days ahead. Or not.
Lord, help us all live wisely, available to you and your will for us in these incredibly seductive, social media saturated days. Empower us to heed your gentle nudges regarding all of our choices in the present moment that we may glorify you. In Jesus name, Amen.