Allume and the WIP Wednesday Link-Up

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I don’t really know how to even describe my feelings during and after Allume. They are surely not what I expected and probably not what you’re expecting either.

I fully expected to come home from Allume chock full of ideas and enthusiasm for blogging–chomping at the bits to get started. That’s not how I feel at all. I have a couple of ideas brewing in the back of my head, but the most significant thing I’ve come home from Allume with is the need to pull back just a bit.

Not from blogging, necessarily, but from everything else. Facebook and Twitter and Stats and daily writing.

I started blogging because I love to write and I wanted an outlet to write and share my love for Christ in the process.

What I didn’t expect was to meet so many totally awesome people while blogging. This weekend only confirmed that these people I’ve met really are incredible. When you combine incredible people with an already easily addicting (for lack of a better word) medium like social media and the internet–it’s so easy to get lost in this world of the interwebs. Time passes more quickly here. Every little red badge notification or e-mail alert taken as another sign that I matter–someone likes what I said or wants to talk to me.

Let me back up a bit.

The second my husband walked out the door of the airport with my son–the second my heart walked away from my body–I began to freak out. What was I doing? Why was I leaving the two people I love more than anything?

It took me a full 24 hours to pull myself together. Every time I thought about Thomas I wanted to lay down and cry. If it hadn’t cost an arm and a leg for me to fly home early–I probably seriously would have considered it. Finally, Friday afternoon, I went to my room and let it out. I cried and cried because I missed my baby.

I firmly believe God called me to this conference–but not for the reasons that I expected. It was in the being away from what matters the most that I truly felt it in my gut. I say it all the time–blogging isn’t the most important thing–but my time and attitude towards distractions and interruptions from blogging and all the social media that goes along with it would say something else.

My heart is with my baby and my husband. I don’t know who said it this weekend–but they reminded me that you have to go out and LIVE–then come back and write about it. That is precisely what I plan to do. Not that I wasn’t really living before, but I feel like I was beginning the slippery slope into a place where many of my relationships were online. That’s not where I want to live.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that no matter how “real” we are online, there is always a tinge of “unrealistic” to these relationships. We aren’t responding to each other in real time which changes things. There were tons of people I really wanted to sit down a “talk” with this weekend, but it just didn’t happen because we had a finite amount of time to work with. Even though I’m able to easily respond to their tweets and comments here, I was unable to truly connect with them in person because of time constraints. That’s hard, but that is real life. There isn’t time for deep connections with everyone. (I apologize for this tangent…refocusing now…)

Going back to what I was saying earlier–about all the awesome people I’ve met blogging. They really are great. (I’ll try to write more about this part later) But I’ve got tons of great sitting at my feet playing, waking up beside me every morning, and in this community that I live and breath in.

I’m going to run hard after those relationships. The ones I can interact with in real time and dig deep with in more than 140 characters. I’m going to pursue them. I encourage you to do the same. Sally Clarkson told us Saturday morning that no one ever invites her places–she always does the inviting. I’m like that too, and sometimes it frustrates me. But in the end it’s so much better than the other option–being isolated.

What does that mean for this space? I’m not 100% sure. I definitely plan to keep writing, but probably not daily. I’ll be around on social media, but I probably won’t respond as quickly. I’ve met too many great people on this short journey to abandon ship, but my main thing is going to be my main thing. Hold me accountable to that?

My challenge for you this week is to step out and make plans to do something IN PERSON with someone. Make a new friend. Plan a play date. Get out of the house. Take a chance–it might change your life.

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  Work In Progress WednesdayIt’s time for the WIP (Work in Progress) Wednesday Link-Up! 

What is God doing in your life? Link up a post below or let’s chat in the comments! Please make sure you link back to newlifesteward.com! This helps promote the community and allows everyone’s posts to be shared. If you aren’t sure how to do that, e-mail me! I’ll be glad to help!

Feature Post: I’m pinning and tweeting and Facebooking my favorite posts! Trying to tag you as I do it, so you know if you were shared!

Link Up Rules:

  • Please link to the post’s permalink so that it will go directly to the post you want us to read.
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  • Limit 3 Links per week.
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  • Use Hashtag #WIPwed when you tweet about your post!
  • One Post will be featured each week from the previous week’s Linky!
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Comments

  1. I’m so glad you had a great time and that you got to go. I struggle with getting caught up in the stats, posting schedules, and blog reading too. The past few weeks I have taken a step back and not freaked out if I missed a thing or two on the web. It has been so relaxing and rewarding. It is nice to remember to invest most in those right in front of you.
    I had noticed your tweets and updates had been a little less frequent this week. Glad to get to hear the reason.
    P.S. ML, Noah, and I will be at the game Saturday. We might stop by your tailgate afterwards… hopefully celebrating a win!

  2. Mary Beth, it was a joy to meet you – even from a distance! – and to see your heart for others. I too began blogging as an outlet to share what God was teaching me, and it has blown up into this incredible, amazing community and opportunities I too often take for granted. I have concluded – seek first his kingdom, and his righteousness. Go after your familys’ hearts. I won’t speak until he speaks, I won’t move until he moves me – I won’t write unless he is moving me to and I will resist the temptation to participate in a bazillion link ups! It’s not for me! Looking forward to spending more time encouraging others, pouring into my family, and seeking HIM.

  3. Yes, yes – I agree! I was not at Allume, but have been sensing some of the same things during the past few weeks. And have been having a refocusing of some of my priorities regarding blogging. One is that I am no longer checking stats – maybe will at the end of each month? I want to be writing solely for Him, just listening and sharing what He wants me to share. Cultivating friendships and responding with encouraging words, but keeping my focus more directly on Him and on those close around me who need my love. I think I have done so quite well even while blogging, but sometimes in my heart, I think that the online world slowly becomes a bit too important to me. Thank you for your example.

  4. I appreciate this post so much Mary Beth…
    And it makes me like you all the more :)
    And I echo your conclusions.
    When Sally shared that her daughter said–
    “I heard everything you ever DID.”
    That just really stuck with me.
    And while I was there, I realized the strength and freedom I pull from those face-to-face-arm-around-my-shoulder friends at home…and from my identity in Christ.
    Makes it easier to say…I want to rejoice in the good gifts from this time, but not forget who I am and what really matters to me.

    • P.S. I would’ve enjoyed more time for us to talk…but I was thankful that we were at least able to connect a bit…

      • I would’ve enjoyed talking to you more too! That quote from Sally has really struck me too. And you know…it’s true either way…whether we set a good example or a bad one…they “hear” it all. I’m just praying by God’s grace mine is good.

  5. Ha! Ha! It’s so funny that I came home with some of the exact same thoughts! I even told my hubby that I wasn’t going to be writing every day. I will still stick to some sort of schedule but it won’t be every day. Yes…living in the here and now and in real life is definitely a good thing! I am so glad that we did get to meet…and talk a bit! It was really awesome! :D

  6. “My heart is with my baby and my husband.” YES! Making those choices to be IN real life with your hubby and son as well as IRL people you know…or don’t know YET…is an awesome thing. To focus on what God has given you in that respect will be such a blessing to you! It was a pleasure to meet you this weekend. Funny how I have read several posts about how God worked in hearts in ways that were not expected! Go…enjoy life…real hugs…flesh and bone…laughter you can hear in the moment not in the for of a written “LOL” :0)…and then…as time allows…share with us!

  7. What an awesome revelation to have. I’m so glad you had a wonderful time! The consensus seems to be that “what I expected and what I received were different”…isn’t that just like God?!?

  8. a break- so necessary and refreshing! blessings to you!

  9. melanie keck says:

    YUP! well said. I find that I have to learn to unplug and get real with those I love. It is not always easy, but it is soooooo important for us all. My family speaks the love languages of time spent together, and touch. There is no substitute for it. You have to be present with them in order for them to get it. You cannot take shortcuts here. Once the time is gone it is gone.
    Our church leaders recently really put emphasis on this during our last general conference. You have to spend time developing relationships with those around you. One speaker warned of society and the tendency to post things on facebook and other social media and fooling ourselves into thinking that we have really connected with others. It was said that we should avoid being like the boy who stuck his toe into the ocean and then announced that he had been swimming. I love that you challenged people to get out and connect one with another. Thanks for your inspiration today

  10. Chelle Wilson says:

    Wish I could have been at Allume with you, my fellow (in)courager. What a beautiful experience, and what rich advice.
    Peace and good to you, and thank you for sharing. I pray to be there next year.

  11. This sounds wise and healthy and God-y. It can be a hard thing to realise when to step back. I am going through similar questions myself at the moment! Solidarity, sister. :-)

  12. I appreciate your honesty and listening to what God placed on your heart…we do only have a finite amount of time, and we do need His wisdom to guide us…I just listened to Ann V’s talk online, and the line you quote sounds like it was her quoting Max Lucado about living first, then writing out of that living…paraphrase …blessings :)

  13. Mary Beth, in the whirlwind of Allume, I didn’t get to meet you in person, but your words resonate with me here. I’ve just finished {well, one more post to go} 31 Days, and I’m exhausted. It has been good, but the real life connection–most significantly, the time spent with God and the real life people He puts in my life should not be made second to on-line communities. But look at you here, letting His spirit move you and sharing it and blessing us all because of it. . .So, it is difficult to feel like we are getting it right . . . and I think we just need to keep our hearts turned to His, trusting He will keep us on track. Thank you.

  14. The only problem comes when you CAN’T get out of the house to meet with real-life people. Then the online people are sometimes your only connections.

    Nonetheless, way to go standing up for what God is calling you to: spending more time with your real-life people. It takes courage to pull back, especially when you seem to be gaining momentum. I’ll be praying that God continues to show you His direction, as you continue to seek Him daily. Blessings!

  15. “But I’ve got tons of great sitting at my feet playing, waking up beside me every morning, and in this community that I live and breath in.” Yes, yes, and Yes!! Going out to lunch with my mom today :)

  16. Mary Beth, I am so glad He spoke to you, and I get how hard it is when reality differs from expectations. You are brave! You are also a great wife, mama, and blogger. As little or as much as you are online, I’m blessed to know you.

  17. You know I love you, friend. I really do consider you that. and I love how God is moving through you.

    You won’t regret it…heeding this.

    and those of us that see your heart here…we’ll still be here even if it’s a couple times a week.
    Now go give Thomas a hug for me ;)

  18. I have often told my hubby…I don’t know how young mom’s do this…to be honest…I am not sure I could have handled blogging and all the social media when I was a young mom…I hear wisdom in your heart…keep seeking His heart for you and your family…and don’t be afraid to follow where He leads…blessings and grace to you~

  19. What a perfect takeaway. I experienced a similar takeaway after [accidentally] kicking my iPhone into a sewage drain a couple weeks ago and going without a phone for a week! (Seriously, God, let’s teach me lessons at conferences next time, okay?) I don’t know how else to say it. I’m with you. I’m watching you [I like to be creepy with accountability]. I believe God is going to do big things with you.
    Tyanne

  20. I love that God spoke to your momma heart at a blogging conference. We just never know exactly what He has for us in those moments. I am cheering you on and lifting you up to Him friend. Blessings.

  21. I also took away something much different from Influence than I expected. I didn’t come away with all kinds of ideas for my blog or blogging. I did come away fed, and inspired to put God first, and write what He would have me write.

  22. I think you came home with the best idea. I also came away with a different “take away” than I anticipated but I am so thankful for what God is teaching me this season. It was so great to meet you in person

  23. Christina says:

    I know what you mean. Social media is very time consuming. We often get the affirmation we need from the virtual world and forget about the real world. I’m so glad you got to go to Allume and that you have shared this. Looking forward to hearing more about it. Now go have coffee with a friend:)

Trackbacks

  1. […] my trip the the Allume Conference in October, I had the opportunity to hear Sally Clarkson speak to a small group of us who gathered […]

  2. […] The Wellspring,  Graceful: Faith in the Everyday’s Hear it on Sunday, Use It On Monday, and The WIP  Wednesday Linkup at New Life Steward, Related posts:Freezer Fiasco: A Lesson in PatienceSomething Beautiful: […]

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