Weekly Rundown: Offline
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!
You can look back here and here to see some of the process and I will do a full post with all the sources when we finish.
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:
A brand new homeschool day in the life with a homeschool DAD! It was really excellent!
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.
I am loving your blog. I have followed you for some time, and while I enjoyed you on Instagram (especially when you started sharing Luke bible studies back in December) I completely agree about the amount of time wasted on social media. I always say I need to keep social media for all my homeschool groups, but then at the same time scrolling those groups puts me behind in our school work! I love the amount of family time that 2020 gave us. It really had been a great time to reflect, cut the time wasters from our lives, and get back to family devotions and dinner every night! I am over the quarantine too, but I do believe that God has been giving us this time to make some much needed changes and change our focus back to Him!
Loved reading this weekly recap! Your bathroom and fireplace are going to be AAAAAAAMAZING! And thank you for always leaving me with something to chew on. Love and miss you friend!
I’m loving this way better than mindless scrolling on IG or whichever platform.
Thank you for sharing your heart with us.
You have helped me to look at my own relationship with the different platforms, namely IG. That one seems to pull me in the most for some reason. Dropping our phones and/or tablets at an inconvenient place is such a wonderful idea! More face to face with our families is always better.
Thank you for your encouragement
Proud of you for standing up for the Truth. I love your new content & I’ve always loved your blog.
That makes my day!
That bio sounds amazing! What a story he has!
Have a blessed Lent, Marilyn!
Maria, I just subscribed to your blog! Let’s bring the gramma blogs back in 2021!
Thank you for reading, Jennie!
That sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing!
Right!? What on earth is HAPPENING!? I’m glad you liked the articles. And thank you so much for reading and always being such an encourager.
HI Hannah! I miss the old blogging days too! Let’s make them make a comeback 🙂 And you so should paint something black!
I have really missed your posts since I dumped IG in December, so it was lovely to “catch up” with you again! I know blogs are like dinosaurs these days, but I so appreciate those who still post because I’m severely minimizing social media. I miss the old blogging days! Can’t wait to see how you bathroom and bookshelves turn out like! I’m itching to paint something black right now. Have a great week, Alicia!
I am enjoying these weekly rundowns so much. And I love how you break them down into sections. Please keep doing the weekly articles/noteworthy section. Those articles were eye opening and I wouldn’t have found them if not for your blog. The math one! What?! And the one on Mars and Spurgeon was so good. I appreciate you taking the time to do these weekly posts. Thank you.
I’m just loving these weekly rundowns! I am also taking a break from ig but I really do get homeschool encouragement from so many people on there, so I’m so glad blogs are making a comeback ☺️ One of my goals is to read more cs lewis this year and I’m absolutely loving the dialogue on the literary life podcast about The Great Divorce!
Me too, loving the weekly rundowns. Also considering getting back into blogging, instead of time on social media – because of the exact reasons you stated above. Thanks for sharing your links are excellent!!
Alicia- I LOVE this format! You are making me want to dust off my blog and begin writing again. I miss it dearly!
These weekly run downs are interesting and knowledgeable. Social media is habit forming. I am trying to cut down my time on it. I too enjoy biographies. Looking forward to next weeks run down. Have a blessed lent.
I really love reading about your faith journey. I am listening to the story of George Mueller with my kids (Which is so inspiring) and it is refreshing to read about your honest journey of a life lived in faith. Thanks for doing what you do.
I’m loving the “old fashioned” blog. It’s so nice getting a slower view of a whole week than many pictures throughout the week. It’s quieting all the noise! Now I need to settle on which blogs are worth following (like yours)!
I’m loving these weekly rundowns. I find myself excited for them to arrive in my box. 🙂