Self awareness is a funny thing, right? Its something we see the need for so clearly in others around us, yet it seems to be difficult to peg ourselves down in certain ways.
Why do I act “this” way?
Why is this a choice I keep going back to?
What in me lifts others up around me instead of pushing them down?
These are questions that go through my mind regularly and sometimes it is hard to allow God (and loved ones) to hold up the mirror to show me the answers. Its an especially hard learning process when what you learn about yourself seems counter to cultural expectations.
A small example for this in our home is homework and school projects. It has gotten hectic! With four kiddos, sign-ups geniuses, events, school shows, and sports are enough to drive us straight insane. So, after the fourteenth thousandth time of missing appointments and losing my patience, I had to do some self awareness digging. For us, we realized that focusing on God’s peace, loving one another, and character building is way more important in our home than accomplishments or success. This doesn’t mean we don’t do our best, but first things have to come first. As a result, starting in elementary school, all school stuff is on the kids to prioritize and remember. So if they want to dress up for something, participate in something, or go to something its to their own initiative. Of course, Mommy helps anytime any kid needs it, but for the sake of a sanely running home each child is responsible for their own schedule and school work. This bodes much better than a stressed out Mommy and Daddy trying to keep track of one hundred thousand items.
This is not popular. The expectation is that the parents are in it, all the business, all the homework, all the stuff. And make no mistake, we are in it. We are in their lives full force, but I have had to swallow my pride many many times at the wayward glances from school people and parents when the Furloughs “opt out” or the school project is not perfectly tidy because it was created fully by our first grader. Its just not us, and yes it is hard. But it is okay to be different. Right?
I am this way too with online living. As time progresses, and each day gets closer to my book releasing, I am having to do some heavy self awareness digging because having an online “presence” still makes me feel icky and stressed. I had an epiphany this week.
I finally figured out the reason why online marketing and book launching and social mediaing stuff make me so uncomfortable! My favoritest thing in the whole wide world is to be with someone. To look you in the eye, listen to you, pray for you, banter back and forth about all the life learning and God learning happening in our lives. Its. My. Favorite. It is where I feel most like me. Being online (email, facebook, instagram, blog) has often made me feel very unme. Like “did that sound right?” or “ugh, that is not what I meant to say” or “does this sound prideful, selfish, or bragging cause thats gross!” I have online identity crisis!
Yet, at the same time I recognize that I wouldn’t give it up for the world! So many of you I have gotten to know and love simply because we do have the gift of communicating across worlds and miles. So how do I reconcile these two things? The acknowledgement of discomfort yet the understanding of importance?
I liken it to the homework thing, I need to figure out a system that is true to who I am and yet still accomplishes a goal. I ask for grace as this also means I pray constant freedom over my life (and yours) from the social media norms and expectations that are put upon us. Following firmly first and foremost to Gods call, regardless of the “must dos” laid upon me by the world.
So, in the spirit of what I have learned about myself I am implementing a regular time where I will share via video on Facebook. Ugh. I hate being in videos. But I love face to face time, and so I think videos are the closest thing, right?
Here is my plan:
I will post regularly “a PEACE of my week.” I will share a Bible verse that God has used that week to bring me peace, in hopes that it might bring you some peace too. It won’t be fancy or put together, but it will be honest and truly sharing this life together.
Apparently “kids these days” are all using Facebook Live, in an effort to get with the times that is how I will post. Probably Mondays at around 6:00am (unless I chicken out and change that time!) and you can follow my Facebook page if you haven’t already to get notifications of when they go up https://www.facebook.com/maria.furlough/
So here is to self-awareness, getting to know the way we tick, and having the grace and courage to step out!
Here is an introduction to a PEACE of my week. Granted, this was my very first time and kind of a hot messish. I had my phone propped up on like 15 books, leaned up against a teetering bag, and heavens to betsy I have no idea where you are supposed to look when you are filming these things! Hopefully I will get better with practice. Hopefully.