Last week, when it was windy and raining sideways, I came home from running errands and found a box on my doorstep. I picked it up carefully and brought it inside…It was clearly marked with a “d”. I slowly opened it finding the card and reading the encouraging words inside (and learning that it was from my friend Emily at Sweet thing by EH). Also inside the box was this adorable camera necklace ~ I didn’t take it off for the rest of the day.
There is something to be said for those moments of encouragement that come randomly and intentionally. Sometimes it is unexpected words, a card in the mail, a comment or a hug. But those things fill my heart, simply because it means that someone was thinking of me.
We live in such a busy, busy time. You might think that with all the technology around us that we would be forever connected, but we aren’t. I believe even through all the social media outlets we can be misunderstood and judged, even when our intentions are pure. This year I have wanted to make an effort to reach out and have more personal connection, not only with the community around me, but with the people I have connected with on social media. I love when virtual friends become new real friends…and when new friends grow into old friends as we start to share life together. I love having time with people, sitting across the table sipping our caramel macchiatos and earl gray tea’s. I love knowing how I might pray for people and finding moments to try and speak life to those I care about.
Remember when going to a coffee shop meant getting your drink in a cup the size of your head?? And you walked around the small local band playing and sidestepped the study group while you found your corner of the room to chat with your friend? We could whisper and giggle and talk and no one would know that we met unless they happened to run into each other. I used to go to this place called Stuarts in Bellingham that was so gritty and grunge and ALIVE with people! That was social media back then.
Something happened about 6 years ago…when all of the sudden we all became so connected online and at first it was really fun to see everyones life right there in front of me! But I started looking at what everyone else was doing and became discontent with my life that was laid before me. I started looking at all the photos and knew that my photography would never be good enough. I read through twitter feeds and was never funny enough. I look through my Instagram feed and my dinner isn’t pretty enough to want to share. But I just can’t stop…it’s become ingrained into so many facets of my life. This need to share strips me of those things that should be intimate. Things like a walk with my son, the flowers in my garden or a sunset that I watch from my deck.
If I am completely honest with myself, I post because I am looking for affirmation. I want someone to notice and tell me that I am enough. (Gosh I hate to admit that!). And the thing that kills me is that those likes, shares, comments are just so temporary. I forget about them the next day, when I start anew looking for virtual validation that I am important.
I want to encourage us to slow down and learn to enjoy each others company again. Okay? Let’s try to live just a little more intentionally…we don’t have to change the entire world, but learning to be PRESENT with the ones you love can let them know that they are more important than any text, Facebook message or Instagram “like” the digital world tosses their way.
Now…go and hug someone you love, smell a flower, dip a cookie in some amazing coffee, bless a dear friend and live a little more purposefully today!