Enough already!!

Okay, firstly I have to start with an apology. I started this blog with the intention of writing in it regularly. But, over the summer, I made a conscious effort to spend quality time with my kids and pare back my work, only focusing on it for short, intense bursts (such as when they went to stay with my parents). I have to say it was definitely the right decision – I had some brilliant times with the kids and it made me feel I had brought back some balance into family life. But this blog has suffered as a result. It can be hard to get back into the habit of writing it – particularly now I have less time to work each day due to fitting in 3 school runs. But anyway, enough of that – I’m back to write about the things I ponder about and mull over day by day…

Today’s title is referring to the ‘noise’ we all live with. On Saturday I had the privilege of attending a day of a ‘healing prayer school’. I think I went with some preconceived ideas about what the day would involve, and I was totally wrong! 😉  I spend a lot of time with people who are hurting and broken in our church, and sometimes feel totally out of my depth (a good way to learn to cling to God!), and I hoped the day would give me clear instructions on how to approach various ways of counselling people biblically. The day didn’t really go like that – after each short section of teaching the speaker then invited people she felt needed a particular type of emotional healing to stand up and they were ministered to there and then. While at times it made me feel like a spectator, what I was struck by was how much she had heard God – and how quietly she stood there and listened to Him and then directed the team who was working alongside her. It was obvious that she was really connected to God, really understanding who He wanted to touch that day and what He wanted the team to do to aid that process. I long to hear more from God but know that I need to slow down in order to do so. It’s all about practising the presence of God – going to that quiet, calm place where we can actually listen to God as well as talk ‘to’ (in reality ‘at’!) Him.

I have to constantly remind myself that I can only do so much with my writing at this time, as my primary calling is to be the best mum I can be to our young children. And yet it is hard not to get swept up into the Twitter frenzy, especially all the Christian debates etc that go on. I can compare myself to others who write for Christian publications and be very conscious that I don’t have pithy soundbites coming out of my fingertips, being launched into the Twittersphere, constantly. It can make me feel lacking in some way and, on my worst days, makes me surmise that I will never get to write for a certain editor’s magazine because I don’t tweet like they do. However, I have been doing some research for a piece I am writing about the pressures that face 18–30 year old Christian women. To help me with this, I created a questionnaire and some of the answers I have received have been very revealing. I didn’t expect that age group, those that seem to embrace social media to its full, to say this, but three-quarters of them indicated that at times they feel totally overwhelmed by the information that is thrown at them via the media, Twitter and Facebook. I had to admit that I found that quite refreshing! And, even today, Vicky Beeching tweeted that new research indicates it is possible to be too connected in this digital age, giving a link to a survey about how social media can distract at work. Apparently workers are interrupted, on average, every 10.5 minutes, and it takes them 23 minutes to get back to their original task. The stats they cite are staggering: there are more than 1 billion posts added to Facebook each day, 62 billion emails sent daily and 400 million tweets. At the bottom of the page I found it very interesting that it asks, ‘How often do you unplug?’.

Having spent the summer not following things so closely online I can say that I don’t feel so hooked at all – somehow it doesn’t seem so important. I realise now that, rather than trying to keep up with the Tweeting crowd as it were, I need to draw closer to God and hear what He wants to reveal to me, to learn what He wants me to write about – rather than regurgitating clever ideas I may have heard elsewhere or trying to gain inspiration for myself through them so that I am somehow keeping up with the ‘in’ subjects in Christian circles. Sometimes I truly don’t understand how certain people have the time to do it all – but then they are in full-time Christian media work and I’m a full-time mum with only a few hours a day given over to working at the moment. What is true for all of us, whatever our situation, is that we have a responsibility to ensure our voice is authentic to who we are. So I’m going to leave you with the same question: how often do you unplug – from whatever it is that distracts you, be it the internet, TV or even an unhealthy obsession or habit, to make sure you are still in step with God, walking closely with Him? If you haven’t heard Him speak to you recently why not try saying the following: ‘Enough! I will silence everything that is crowding me, vying for my attention, long enough to connect with God each and every day.’

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6 thoughts on “Enough already!!

  1. scskillman says:

    I do try to “unplug” at the beginning of every day (that is my aim, anyway!) This could involve sitting quietly with a lit candle before me, in contemplative prayer or meditation. It has been said that “Time spent with God saves save in the long run.” But often I forget – my mind is so full of things I have to do, task that have to be accomplished, emails I have to deal with. I agree that the social networking frenzy can take over your life. It occurred to me that while you’re trying to keep up with all the exchange of opinions on Twittersphere, what is really being achieved? Does this babble of voices lead to true wisdom, true understanding, and change? All the time we have to try to regain our sense of perspective.

    • clairemusters says:

      Hi Thanks for your comments – and how true they are! Sometimes I wonder how much good we have done – or whether it just makes us feel more important. I am not having a downer about Twitter as I think it can create some brilliant opportunities for exchanges that would never otherwise happen. But it is true that we need to maintain balance – and perspective. And for someone who can be task-orientated, it takes an awful lot of willpower for me to leave jobs that need doing to sit quietly with God. I usually use the excuse that I can’t fully relax with Him until the jobs are done – but then I run out of time and have to go and collect one of the kids! It is certainly a discipline – but one well worth cultivating both for the good it does to ourselves but also others.

  2. Susan Keir says:

    Just read your blog and it made me stop and think – especially as you used the phrase “practicing the presence of God” the title of the little book that I learnt so much from a few months ago, but have obviously slipped away from so soon. I shall try your enough already and try to make sure that I do connect properly with God on a daily basis. So thank you for your blog it is certainly making me think things through again.   Much love   Mum  xxx 

    ________________________________

    • clairemusters says:

      Yeah that phrase cropped up a fair bit over the weekend and made me stop and think again. I really must take some time to work through that book. Thanks for your comment – you didn’t need to tell everyone you are my mum though! ;D Not that I mind at all… 😉

  3. Christine says:

    I’ve cut right back on my social networking and marketing and find that Im working better, or is the buzz word ‘smarter’. I’ve deleted Twitter as that was what my time line had become there – lots of streams of mindless twitter. I still have Facebook but limit my time there. My writing output hasn’t gone up as such, more the quality has improved, so that I am getting more pieces placed.
    I still need to work on connecting with God at the moment – He seems to be able to fight His way through to me, but not the other way around.

    • clairemusters says:

      Wow you have been quite radical in your approach – and good for you! It is interesting to see your comment about the amount of writing not increasing – just the quality. So often I think we can settle for the mediocre in so many areas – but I’m thinking mainly here of God. We settle for crumbs when there is so much more. Here’s to us all finding a way to feast at His table every day! 😉

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