let’s make the world great again: with a national book club!

*this is not a political post!

Remember how I said I’ve been unearthing treasures?!!

Well, this particular treasure is too good not to be shared!

It’s another book but,

this one needs to be shared with:

every student before they begin high school,

every young adult going off to college,

every man or woman entering marriage,

every professor,

administrator,

activist,

media outlet, Continue reading “let’s make the world great again: with a national book club!”

“no fb for you!” (in your best jerry seinfeld, soup-nazi voice!)

fluff & stuff:

“i see you’re on fb again!”

“is that really you on fb or were you hacked?”

“did you reactivate your fb page?”

“why DID you leave fb in the first place?”

What happened to:  “How are you?”  “I’ve missed seeing you.”  “What have you been doing?”  “How is your family?”   “Is everything okay?”  Since when did my existence become validated through facebook updates?  (Should I be laughing out loud??)

But of course the latter would be actual CONVERSATIONS and not just inquiring minds seeking to know!  (Now, I am laughing out loud!)   But, do we even remember how to have a conversation?  (Rolling on the floor laughing now!)  So, instead we talk in facebookese to negate any personal relationship with one another but still fulfill the need to be “in the know” regarding our curiosities. (I don’t understand how to laugh my face off yet…)

And all this sudden re-immersion of fb makes me miss the days (even more) when we walked 10 miles to school each day, (during a snow storm!)  And drug-store milkshake counters. That’s where we’d receive the latest “Newsfeed” information regarding our friends & loved ones!  And what happened to post-cards sent during a vacation?  That’s when I’d discover my great aunt, second removed from my third cousin was in Cozumel picking out a ripe pineapple. __57_thumb200 I could practically smell the pineapple as she described it to me in two tiny sentences!! And let’s not forget photo-albums or slide-shows and if you were really fortunate the projector tapes of Uncle Bud with the smokes rolled up in the sleeve of his t-shirt walking the beaches of the Jersey shore in his cuffed levi’s!  Yep, that was how we messaged one another.  I miss that personal interaction.

So… in an effort  to (for once & for all) solve the mystery for inquiring minds who seek to know…

My facebook was reactivated while I was learning to do widgets through my blog-site.  I did not recognize this until the “facebook questions” began to surface in several interactions with people.  It is NOT really me, but rather my facebook page…where you will find updates on my most recent blog posts. (But no, I have not been hacked.)  Please continue to share your life with me via telephone, letter writing, email, and face to face interactions as many of you have already been doing.  I LOVE BEING IN RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU!!!  And I would hate to see that stifled by limited facebook interactions!!  So please do not try to message me there BUT INSTEAD use fb as a tool to follow my cyber-journaling at my blog site hugsnblessings.com if you should like!!   I am not anti-facebook but to answer the final question: “Why did I leave fb in the first place?” It was a way to first & foremost disconnect from drama in my personal life, (which ultimately was a blessing.) But more importantly discontinuing fb, as a form of PERSONAL COMMUNICATION with others, has helped me to evaluate and focus on “what relationship truly means to ME.” (A self-discovery opportunity for which I am immensely grateful to have had!)  Quite simply put…I have discovered I crave more in relationship than what facebook can offer to me, and so I have put my time & energies there.  I value and respect YOUR right to use fb in the ways which are best for you and I love that you support me in defining it’s use (for me) as well!  

And if none of what I just explained makes sense to you (and you’ve yet to laught-out-loud even ONCE,) then there is another funny perspective regarding discontinuing fb as a form of communication/relationship building from a fellow-blogger, (who definitely writes much funnier than I,) you may link to below…

Story Shuker – Perspective

(Let’s just say I related to the article enough to be first in the soup line!!)

Tell me, “Why?”

Since I announced, nearly three weeks ago, that I would be deactivating my Facebook account indefinitely I’ve had many ask, “Why are you leaving Facebook?”  It has been easiest for me to simply answer, “For many reasons.”  Mostly because it is the truth!!  However those who know me well, who know how I “operate,” recognize I prayed and properly discerned this choice of mine.  Some of these reasons are, of course, obvious ones.  The “time” element leads the way!  And ultimately it IS the time on Facebook that has affirmed I’m not using this (my time,) as “wisely” as I should.

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How much time I’ve spent scrolling….scrolling…scrolling in an effort to connect with all the people I enjoy celebrating life with!  It can be so exciting!  In this small way I am able to experience the many wonderful things that my family & friends are showcasing in their lives.  The trips they have taken, the way their families have grown, the latest birthday or anniversary, weddings and graduations, and especially the color of my daughter’s latest nail polish!!! (I really liked the Valentine’s manicure best.) In the space of the 8 x 11 screen, which on most occasions sits on my lap, I can relish in the joy they are experiencing in those moments…and I somehow feel as if I too have been invited into that special time.  Not always a ‘daily newsfeed crawler’ I quickly developed a sense of GUILT if I ever missed a special announcement, or occasion, or failed to “like” a personal post or picture. (Yes, I’m a Catholic.) Then there have been the concerns, comments, & judgements if I didn’t click “like” or “follow” AND the reverse of both!!  And so more time is spent, in an effort not to disappoint, than is needed.

All in a world that I get to “see” but am rarely engaged in.  The exhaustion of it all…. images

At first I thought a quiet deactivation would work.  Quietly take a break and then quietly re-enter when I’d renewed my brain-cells.  (No one would notice, right???) Seemed like a good idea, until I tried it.

1234030_647524091936121_270619200_nFor the most part, it was a GREAT IDEA and it felt good for me not carrying the burden I’d self-imposed.  But when I reactivated I’d discovered there was a very important unread message sent to my inbox.  I felt crushed.  I had let one of my ‘soldier-boys’ down.  He needed prayer and I’d left him with only silence… (Hence, more catholic-guilt.)

After taking the time to reply back to my friend, to assure him of my commitment to pray for his special intention; I took some time for myself to ask, “How do I do this Lord?” “How do I develop a way to partake in the lives of those who desire to be in relationship with me and yet spend the time that is needed where You design as necessary.”  And then I became silent.

“It is our one business, my brethren, to worship Him and love Him, without thought of anything else.” – Brother Lawerence

The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawerence a seventeenth-century French monk, helped me to hear God’s whisper, God’s answer to me.  And I became still.

images It was in that period of quiet examination when my God revealed that He too ached that I was not receiving all the messages He was leaving ME, in the same way I had ached discovering the unread message from my friend stationed far away.  He used my friend’s ‘call for prayer’ to remind me it is prayer which is most important and that all prayer leads to Him.  All of this has helped me to examine how neglectful I have been with the time I spend with my God, checking in with HIM, scrolling through the days & the moments that HE showcases to me. And it’s all right THERE, not only in a screen or on a smart phone but in the real life I’m living.  The laughter of a conversation, or the holding of a hand, and even the difficulty of a tear wiped away.

“I must do everything and act in all matters now as I would like to do and act at the hour of my death.  For this reason, in every action, I must be mindful of God.” Brother Lawerence

I need to be more mindful. I need to be more engaged in the tangible world more than the virtual.  I need to be aware of my time spent in prayer, lived out and practiced.

Fully.  Wholly.  Holy.

And so I began my deactivation plan from Facebook!  (Not from my family & friends!)  I’m actually more excited now about the relationships I have than ever!!  It’s too easy for me to just click & scroll.  Just like it’s too easy for me to miss the many opportunities to receive those messages left to me by my loving God!  Now I must make the effort to engage in life again!

Fully. Wholly. Holy.

In the past three weeks I have heard from so many people sharing phone numbers, email & snail-mail addresses.  (I’ve connected lots of dots that were missing or not even in the puzzle!) I’ve made sure those far away have the information they need to contact me.  And I am trusting God to put others in contact with me, who seek me out in the future, in very Divine ways!! (He’s pretty creative, you know. Just look at the Peacock!)  I’ve encouraged people to send me their photos via text messages and email, as I still want to share in your joy!  (Plus, see Abby’s latest nail fashion. *Side bar: Do we even develop photos anymore??)  I promise too that I will try to keep up with this blog!!  (I invite you to check back periodically for a visit!) My Facebook page is going away, but not me!

And lastly, I promise: I will always have a hug & a blessing to share with anyone who wishes to receive one.  Given:

Fully! Wholly! Holy!

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 Hugs n’ Blessings,

Dawn Marie