8:15 last night:
Our house was a disaster. (Like every room – including food and garbage- type of disaster.)
Supper was drying on the uncleared dishes.
Half the groceries were still on the counter from earlier. (I had managed to put most of the refrigerated items away.
Errands went long. (Like the door greeter at Walmart laughed when he saw me leave and said “You’re STILL here?” type long.)
Nap time was given up after an hour of trying to get my 4 little bouncing beans to keep their heads ON THEIR PILLOWS. (Seriously, it was like one of those groundhog bonking games where you are supposed to keep them all in their holes with a padded mallet – and you bonk one, and then another pops up…)
And the kids FINALLY went to bed …45 minutes late.
It was at this low moment (when I should have stopped to pray for strength and focus) that I did what I have done far too many times.
I raced to my beloved laptop to check favorite blogs and to ‘connect.’
To ‘like’ and ‘be liked.’
I’m not the only mom who does this.
Surrounded by dishes and tantrums, I too often find myself, at the first moment of reprieve, reaching out – hoping for someone to understand – to put into words the discouragement, the hopes, the fears and the joys of my messy, lonely life.
I think this is why stay at home moms make up one of the biggest group of blog readers on the internet.
We are lonely.
We are really longing for someone to relate to.
(And we are too tired to drag the kids off every week to join a MOPS group, and too poor to hire a babysitter more then a couple times a year.)
But there is danger in the Mommy Blogs. I’d never thought about it until I started writing my own blog. But now I have to voice it, and I’d really love to get your thoughts on it.
We always hear about how the mommy blogs can cause envy - of the woman who has the Martha Stewart-type house, cooks 100% from scratch and runs a thriving home business while raising 6 children (who always look like models and never sin.)
We also hear about how these blogs can cause discouragement because no one really has it altogether. It’s just easier to make it look like you do when your blog only records carefully selected pictures and stories.
However, I think the BIGGEST danger of blogs (and all social media) is much closer to the heart.
We Use Blogs to Fill Heart Needs That They are NOT Meant to Fill.
Tired and lonely, we head to the computer when we are spiritually struggling or needing fellowship.
1. We use blogs to fill our spiritual needs.
Rather than retreat to our Bible and reach up toward the One Who will fill our longing souls with His grace, we turn first to our computers.
We do find something in the Christian blogs, but it is like a crumb of food in comparison with the meat of His Word that would fill our starving souls.
These blogs are convicting and spiritually encouraging, but our first moments should be spent filling up on Him, and our later moments could be given to the words of wise Christian sisters.
(To be honest, in my lowest moments as a mom, I have the hardest time picking up my Bible. I may have just yelled at my kids; I may have let the house slip and be struggling with guilt and discouragement. I don’t feel holy enough for God. I would much rather find a blogger mom who I can relate to and yet keep a safe distance from. It is these darkest times though, that I need His pure words the most.)
2. We use blogs to fill our friendship needs.
Rather than reach for the phone and call a friend with whom we can share deep and meaningful conversation, we start surfing through posts.
Rather than looking for friends in our community who will come into our home and know us for who we really are and with whom we can share experiences, we use technology to make ‘connections’ digitally.
But cyber friends can often be smoke and mirrors. Someone with a thousand ‘friends’ can be one of the loneliest.
We become very attached to our favorite bloggers – even though they barely know us. We send our comments out to them with all the love and care of our bestie.
(I’ve completely done this. I checked one of my favorite blogs routinely when her baby was due last year, and when a different favorite blogger failed to respond to a personal message, I was deeply hurt.)
And virtual medias can even distance us from our real friends. We feel like we’re keeping up with our friends because we check up on how their children are growing on Facebook, but we haven’t had a worthwhile conversation with them in 3 years.
And there is a difference. A former roommate on the other end of the phone, knows your struggles and can call you on it if you are wallowing in self-pity. A blog can often convict and encourage us, but it cannot do what a friend does. It’s not meant to.
Blogs DO have their purpose.
As long as we don’t depend on them to fill unprecedented positions, blogs can be a great blessing – adding to our days worthwhile thoughts and encouraging conversations!
My blog has helped me connect with sweet sisters from my past and also make some new friends. I do hope for future conversations and friendships!
So in their place and fulfilling their purpose, blogs (and all social media), are useful and fun!
The main thing is to use blogs as blogs.
Our relationship needs must be filled by relationships!
So as I walk away from this post, I want to commit myself to go to God when I am filled with loneliness rather than surfing aimlessly through Mommy blogs, and then I hope to call or email a friends who will encourage me, instead of quick checking Facebook statuses.
And dear sister may I encourage you also, when you find yourself with a rare moment of silence, to pause BEFORE reaching for the computer. Instead, pick up your Bible and fill your need tank from the friendship that will be forever – and then maybe reach for the phone to call the old friend you’ve been meaning to call.