Tuesday, May 1, 2012

the 10 to 10 challenge: why I'm going to keep doing it

terrible cell phone pic of our library trip, but Ava was so cute I couldn't resist. :)

Two weeks ago, I started the 10 to 10 challenge as a way to refocus my brain and my priorities at home. I was becoming very ADD with all the things going on around me all the time. :) The challenge was to turn off the computer from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day so that I can focus on my children and husband and not be distracted by what was happening on the internet.

The first day was hard! I found myself wanting to check something and having to stop before I did it! And for a few days I felt like I was missing something important, that I needed to be doing more online.

But by the end of the week I started feeling a calm in my spirit that I hadn't felt in a while- like I could breathe again. I realized I didn't miss anything that I couldn't find out between 10 p.m.- 10 a.m. :) and that I had so enjoyed being present in mind at home. {so cool- mary from finding healthy hope told she experienced the same thing when she did the challenge!}.

With my mind being free from the pull of the urgent internet {ha!}, we all walked to the library and checked out books. I had so much more free time to read since I wasn't "allowed" to do work or anything online. :)

My husband noticed the most, I think. He told me he was happy that he had his wife back {sheesh, again!}. Honestly, I felt the same way. My brain wasn't being split in two {or more} all the time.

Elijah got his first library card {sniff, sniff}.  He's so big.

I didn't do the challenge last week, but I'm planning on going back to it again. I think I learned something about my heart last week that stepping away from the computer really brought to light.

This sounds really strange, and it's hard to write because it sounds so harsh and awful to me, but I realized that I am an information glutton.

Agghhhhh. That's hard to take. I don't like it. It sounds altogether too serious for a little too much involvement on the internet, but it's such an ugly thing. It's sinful for me.

I have been constantly feeding my need for information and relation through the internet. And so much like food, in moderation, information and social media is a good thing, but in excess it hurts me.

If I ate a piece of carrot cake every time I was hungry or wanted it, I would be a very unhealthy person- in fact, it would probably make me very sick over time.

But that's exactly what I've allowed myself to do when I am constantly on the computer whenever I want to be throughout the day. If I indulge in my fleshly desires constantly, my desires will eventually take root and become an idol in my life.

My soul is at battle in this place, and if I am distracting it with what brings me pleasure all the time, I'm losing the battle without even realizing it.

I am losing hours of my life to things that don't matter, and in doing that, I'm losing hours of the things that do matter.

I think that I need to discipline myself- and with His help, take control of the time He has given me and use it for His kingdom instead of for my own pleasure.

I don't have that many hours here in this place- I don't want to waste them on things that don't matter. I'm in a race to endure to the end, and I can't afford to lose because of something so seemingly benign, but so deadly to my soul.

Now I'm really good at justifying it. :) I tend to sugarcoat it and give excuses for it- like I'm learning important things, or I'm in community, or I'm trying to be a better home keeper. Again, in moderation, these things are good for me, but in excess, destructive to my heart.

In the week of my challenge, I was pushed to become more disciplined in my time, and to seek to understand where I was really needed both at home and on the internet. I was able to blog before my deadlines, and just turn it off after that, with a lunch break of checking in. It was very, very good for my soul.

I think I'm sticking with the 10-10 challenge long-term. It's really hard for me, because I love being connected. But I definitely want to make the most of this time I've been given, and make my family first priority over everything else that can wait until later. :)

I've changed the rules just a bit, because I've found it difficult to answer emails and things after 10 because I'm really tired, so I'm adding another 15 minute check-in during the evening so that I can answer emails as much as I can.

The husband has approved and recommended an earlier deadline, so the break is approved. :) It's a work in progress, and of course it might look different for someone else, but the heart of it is that I am present in mind with my family throughout the day, right? :)

If you want to join me in the challenge, I would love to have some accountability! For those who need it too, we can even start a Facebook group where you check in with the group and give report if you want! :D

Let me know if you want to join in! The more, the merrier!

I'm praying for you guys! :D Please pray for me to be diligent with my time, if you think of it too. Let's run this race together! :)

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

1 Corinthians 9:24

edited to add: I created a Facebook page for us as a tool to stay accountable. :D Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/The12HourChallenge

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