Fairwell Facebook

after my own heartSitting in a counseling/listening type meeting this week God spoke gently but directly to my spirit. This gal and I were talking about the chapter we had read about peace. The truth on the page, although not in bold or ittalics were the only words I could see. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…” Colossians 3:15. From that meeting on Wednesday morning to another meeting with leaders on Friday, the theme of peace was moving into my heart space and taking over. Its been a year without peace on many levels and I am desperate for it.
It is August of 2012 and for about 8 months, I have been on a journey to narrow down, prioritize, and find a way to unclutter my life. This feeling of information overload and pressures to
and on and on we go with all the reasons I take moments out of my day and fill the spaces in my heart with this online community called Facebook. Some motives are pure, helpful, and encouraging. The others are unhealthy and all consuming and I’ve wrestled with my motives for all of summer. For me, for now…I am bidding my fairwell and what freedom! I am grieving connections with family, friends, and students on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis… but look forward to bringing back the good old phone call.

I also realize that not every Mom struggles with giving too much time to the screen and thats great. I have been, so it needs to go. I long for the conversations in my home, activities going on in it, and the plain simplicity of being “all there” to not be a haze that I see over the top of the laptop. I may bring it back into my life for a day here or there and hopefully learn some boundaries where I can handle not “knowing” every minute of everyones day (but seriously).

I will share with you the top 5 reasons that have tipped the balance and caused me to jump. The Lord has spelled them out clearly for me. There is no shame in my game and also no guilt for you!

1. Time
Getting stuck in the knowing and being known is stealing my days and moments. I need this time to engage with my kids and not wish the conversations about Bball shoes, zip line accomplishments, and frustrations away. I have spent less time creating in my home, making it less joyful to be in all day! Cheers to TIME.

2. Depth
Last spring in my small group I truly realized the how shallow conversations had become thanks to social media. Bottom line: there is nothing left to talk about. The whole group already knows! Blah…I am excited to put the “tell me about you week” back into conversations with students and actually be clueless. How fun is that to take a topic past “oh yea, I saw that on FB/twitter”. I will let you know how this goes.

3. Importance
Talking with my husband about our first born son turning 13 this week and how we did not want to just hand FB over to him because he is “of age”. Just cause its available doesnt mean its healthy (kinda like turning 21 allows you to drink and enter the bar scene but that doesnt mean its healthy for you). we need time to wade with him through the waters of relationships and courtship so that he knows our family plan, is confident enough in it to have an answer to the worlds suggestions. Does he want FB? Yes. Mostly because it is too important to me! I need to make it less important if I expect it to be that to him. I will step back for his sake.

4. T.M.I.
Too much info. I have debated over closing in my FB circle to 100. sounds so silly. I know. I have also tried only checking msgs during nap time, after bedtime, in between school time, etc but my self control stinks! Should I narrow it down to only far away fam and friends? Only Jackson students?  Only Alaska students? Only Georgia or Missouri friends? Only parents? Only certain groups? For me, there just wasnt a clean cut and I found myself taking in way too much information. I love keeping up with people…I love it too much obviously God has wired me relationally and I dont want that to change…just the way I connect those wires.

5. Ministry
The biggest concern is the awesome student ministry tool that FB is. Whenever I bring up “getting off” of FB the conversations turn to, “YOU CANT! you have a ministry on there.” While I appreciate those sweet words and hope they are very true…my relationships with students are not because of FB but because we do life together. It is great fun to comment, look at pics, carry on week long conversations about very important situations or complete nonsense, and be available to parents. I love those aspects but they are not WHY I have a ministry to girls. I hope to do some 
re-defining & closing in on how God choses to use my heart for ministry to families!

There ya have it…the convictions, the hopes, and the desires of my heart. I miss this blog…it is the live journal for the Howell family and I have neglected many stories and memories. I will give some much needed tlc to the nighthowells and hope to keep those of you want to keep up on our life and ministry fun up to speed!

Finding Peace & Peacing Out,


4 thoughts on “Fairwell Facebook

  1. I can relate to everything you had to share Jen! Especially the part of “self~ control”. Unfortunately I lack that too! I just gave up FB this week too and it feels so good~ what a silly addiction that I am so happy to be released from! Yay to good ole fashioned conversations with friends! Enjoy more sweet memories with your family!


  2. I applaud you, Jen, for knowing your boundaries and sticking to them. Like anything, Facebook can be a positive tool, but also have a negative impact if we lose our perspective.

    Hold strong to Zach not needing a FB account yet, please. Sydney just turned 13, and I don't see the need for her account despite her pleadings. In fact, I know it would be too big a distraction for her at this point, and perhaps open us up to unneeded social issues with

    Look forward to the bloggy world at the Howells. Had fun last night at FSM!



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