As most of the country is experiencing some type of extreme weather, we too, in Minnesota are freezing cold. It’s been below zero for a couple of weeks now. Today is supposed to get up to 18*, which will be a nice change.
My heart goes out to Texans and all the other warmer states that are experiencing the power outages and waterpipe breaks and freezing cold and having to rush around to protect your farm animals and all the other horrible things I’ve seen this week. It’s just awful. At least here in the north, we are prepared with firewood and generators–not so in the south–this is such a rare thing! Praying for you all!
WEEKLY RUNDOWN: Offline
This week, Lent began. Although I was once a Catholic who was expected to give something up for Lent each year, I do so now most years just to try to keep myself focused on what Lent is–a preparing for our Savior to died and be raised for us.
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Giving something up for Lent, heck Easter in and of itself is not a requirement for a Christian, but my opinion is, if it helps to grow in your walk with the Lord, great!
This year, I’m taking a sabbatical from social media. Like many of you I’ve heard from, are having a harder and harder time navigating your time online. For me, it’s Instagram, and here’s why:
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We can’t have civil discord anymore. Have you ever looked at the comments section of basically ANY post lately? It’s a debate about everything. I am fine with debating on a topic, but throwing around names and profanities is not debating—in fact, my opinion is, when you resort to name-calling, you’ve automatically lost the debate.
Secondly, I am not concerned at all about losing followers for saying what I believe, but when IG itself removes your followers for you, I take issue with that. I had multiple people that I know in real life text me (yes, they know me well enough to have my phone number) to tell me that they were REfollowing me because they had been removed. That’s just not ok.
Thirdly, IG is a free platform. But the owners are multi-billionaires. Wanna know how that is? I am the product they’re selling. You are the product. Given the behavior of these “elites” and their creepiness and their openly telling you that they are reading your private messages and scanning your camera rolls, I’m just not feeling great about being there and spending hours and hours of my time there.
And lastly, I’m tired of the snippets, the rapid scrolling, the skipping ahead, the double-speed. We’ve all become attention-wrecked humans just looking for the next dopamine hit on our phones. I’m sick of it all. What I’m looking for is longform writing. Complete thoughts. Full sentences. (<—— an oxymoron?) And deep conversations.
The Lord has opened my eyes to so much over the last 12 months. I’ve felt prompted to dig deeper and learn more about Him. I’ve been questioning things I used to think were just fine for Christians. Also, I’ve felt an urgency to make sure my kids know exactly what the Bible says about a multitude of things–starting with their own salvation.
And all of this requires me to break up with IG for a time. Maybe not forever, but certainly for now. Not technically “offline,” but since blogs are prehistoric in the technological world, it feels very offline.
Lent for the Family
We are also focusing on a few things as a family. Right now, my boys (18+15) have phones and we have a family iPad. I know it could be worse, but it just seems like EVERYONE is on a separate screen ALL the time and it’s not good for our family. 2020 ushered in the world of virtual school, virtual play dates, virtual happy hours, virtual school board meetings, and more. And I, for one, and O.V.E.R. virtual!
I want eye contact, hugs, human interaction, social–without the distancing. It’s not good for a family to not speak to each other for a whole day because they’re all interacting with who knows who online.
SO, we’ve decided for the next 40 days, we are leaving our phones at the buffet by our front door when we walk into the house. If we have to do something on our phones, we have to stay at the table and do that thing. Honestly, I’m loving it so far. All of our screen time is WAYYY down just in the last couple of days.
Really enjoying the offline life.
Tiny improvement in the bathroom since last week that took Jack and Jarrod forever to do. The thing about home renovation projects is that they just take a long time. And I’m not patient. 😉
We’re working around jobs, school, and recovering from the Rona–it wasn’t too bad for us but our energy is not back where it normally is!
Jack and Jarrod got the underlayment down and mudded so it is ready for tile. And it’s hard to see in the picture, but they also furred out the studs so it is now ready for fresh cement board, taping, and mudding. They also installed the little shelf under the window—now that I’m looking at it, it looks like it’s going to be a challenge to tile. Yikes.
As soon as the cement board in the shower is done, we can tile! We have a white, beveled subway tile for the shower and a grey 6″ hex tile for the floor and I’ll do the floor when the shower is tiled.
See the difference side-by-side? You’re excited for that little bit of progress, right?
As for the fireplace….
We are alllllmost done with it! I just need to touch up a few spots where my painter’s tape bled through–ugh! And we have some trim to add and get that painted.
We did get the mantel up, but I’m afraid if I show you what it looks like now, I won’t be able to show you a good, finale next week. So, for now, here’s what the black paint is looking like…I am loving the dark, moody change!
Here’s a tiny sneak peek. My darn painter’s tape bled through, so I need to go back and touch up before I can show you!
WHAT WE READ THIS WEEK
The girls and I have been plugging away this biography on C.S. Lewis. It’s so good so far! I love to read biographies in conjunction with their works and I plan to start reading C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity in March.
WHAT WE’RE LEARNING
It’s a mid-life miracle, but I have to announce something big: all THREE of my students have persistently plugged away at SCIENCE! You probably know, I’m not great at science.
Jack has been working on his own (with some help from me) on Apologia Physical Science. This week, he did some experiments on his own and taught the girls how to start steel wool on fire with just a battery (that was not part of the experiment.)
The girls and I have been working through Apologia Zoology I all year and we are on pace to finish the ENTIRE BOOK with weeks to spare! Who is this new person!?!?!?!
Anyway, I am proud of us. Here are a few things we worked on this week.
I read some amazing (and amazingly awful) articles this week! Lately, if I see a great-looking article I want to read, I will print it off and grab it at the end of the day and read it. Don’t you love paper?! I do!
- The Epoch Times reported on “racist math.” You guys, this is getting beyond insanity. Racist math?! It’s math. Math. M.A.T.H. Make it stop already! Kids these days have ENOUGH challenges–virtual EVERYTHING, trying to navigate social media where most adults don’t even know how to do this, and so much more. If we are teaching kids that 2+2=5, we are setting these kids up to be the most ignorant, arrogant, emotionally crippled generation of all time. Friends, homeschool.
- Speaking of homeschooling and public schools having no idea what they’re talking about, this article out of West Virginia is so telling. This woman is very upset about WV voting on funding kids instead of a school district–a topic I haven’t fully formed an opinion on yet. But her premise is that it’s the school system that unites us. Um…no thanks. And she goes on to like homeschool parents that might be teaching their children religion to Middle Eastern extremists who bombed the World Trade Center. Truly.
- Lastly, this article was so incredibly good I had to reread it several times and I will again I am sure! Karl Marx and Charles Spurgeon lived in London at the same time. The article contrasts the two and how each were making an impact in the same place at the same time. The author sums it up by suggesting that maybe because of Spurgeon’s solid, biblical, and unwavering sermons rejecting Socialism, it kept the people wide awake to the evils of Marxism, setting the course for the UK to remain free of it, even when other countries like Russia and others fell to it. It was a fascinating read.
ALSO ON THE BLOG THIS WEEK:
So thankful today…
Last week was hard. I was really down. This week was better. I stayed busy. We had a great week of school. We’ve been working on things in our home and in our marriage that feel significant.
Today we have friends coming over to work on a badge for American Heritage Girls. We have progress happening on our house projects.