I had an interesting learning experience when one of my kids dropped my phone last week and broke it. I had to go without a phone for a few days. It was annoying at times when I wanted to get a hold of people or when I wanted to look something up when we were out and about, or when I wanted to take a picture... but I kind of really liked it too. I felt more free and much less distracted. During this time, I noticed that I was more sensitive to the Spirit... I realized that usually my phone was my constant companion - I went to it when I had questions, when I was lonely, when I wanted to procrastinate doing something I ought to do. When it was gone, I had a greater ability to listen to my real constant companion, the Spirit or Holy Ghost.
I particularly noticed this when the kids and I tried going to a homeschool park day last Friday. Moving is lonely business. We have met a few people in the last week, but we don't have any close friends yet. So I decided to get us to a park day to start meeting people. We got there late and there were so many people. I noticed a large group of moms gathered in a circle and so many kids in various clusters throughout the park. My kids don't love crowded parks and they sure didn't feel comfortable just picking a random group to go talk to. Neither did I. So we put down or picnic blanket under a tree away from the crowd and had a nice lunch while we talked and watched all the people around us. It was nice being together, but I think we still felt a little lonely, being used to knowing a lot of people at homeschooling events and feeling the contrast of being the newbies here.
We felt pretty overwhelmed with the crowds so we left and decided to try again next week. As we got in the car, there was a Christian song playing. I don't remember what song it was, but I remember that as I was driving off, I felt a spiritual hug in my heart - a reminder that God loves me and I'm never alone. I felt overwhelmed at the realization that I wasn't going through any major crisis or difficult trial... I was just feeling a momentary loneliness - yet with all the real trials out there and all of the people who are going through really hard things - God took the time to let me know He cared about my tiny troubles and comforted me in them.
I also realized that usually my go-to source for when I'm lonely is social media. If I had had my phone with me, I would have probably checked facebook when I got in the car (maybe even while I was sitting with my kids on our picnic blanket) to distract myself from feeling lonely. I am fairly certain I would have distracted myself from the spiritual hug God was ready to give me.
I decided I don't want a quasi-constant companion anymore. It doesn't even remotely compare to the real one. I thought about how we could implement this in our home to support one another in being more sensitive to the Spirit. I realized that most of us (the older 2 and their parents) carry our phones in our pockets to wherever we happen to be. It is so easy to whip them out at any moment. We tell ourselves we need them for school, communication, etc. but we have laptops for school. And we have each other for communication. We can always set time aside to get out laptops and check emails and things, but we don't need to have it at the push of a button at all time.
This morning we are going to have a family council to decide where to keep all phones during the day. We will just get them out when we are leaving the house or at a specific check-email time... we'll talk about all the details and agree on something together. There's always the issue of wanting music or listening to talks or books while we work... I think there is a setting on Circle that lets you have all internet off except certain sites that you type in... I'll try looking into that. If not, we'll just live without it or put it on bluetooth for all to listen while we work. Maybe we can take turns listening.
Does anyone have any other ideas for keeping this distraction out of the house?
I didn't get many pictures last week since I had no camera, but here is one of Jess and a friend at a spa night I got to go to for Young Women's. They were both trying to avoid the camera. It was fun spending time with my sweet angel. That sweet girl is one of the most selfless, kind people I have ever known. I am blown away by her so often.
And Pics from Fiddler last week. There is one more performance for their cast. It's on Thursday at 7. They did super well - I laughed and cried. It was so fun to watch.