Monday, March 31, 2014

I believe in family. In all shapes and sizes.

Yesterday I taught a lesson at church on family. I teach the children at church, and I love them. Even the sassy ones.

During my lesson I shared with the children that I firmly believe in families. I believe families ARE central to God's plan. We talked about the fact that each of our families look different. And that no matter what our family looks like, in a family is where we best learn how to follow the teachings of Christ (ahem, or the Dalai Lama or Confucius or Muhammad or the Golden Rule): love, patience, service, kindness, forgiveness, joy, how to face the hardships of life. The list could go on.

What I didn't share (because I respect that a good majority of people at my church don't take their kids to our primary to learn this, sadly) is that I strongly believe in families of ALL shapes, sizes, colors, orientations. One mom and one dad. Single parent. No kids. Many kids. Blended families. Adopted families. Foster families. Two moms. Two dads. Straight children. Gay children.

Have you ever noticed that you are more sensitive to things your family says than things your friends say? Snide comments from family members cut more than from friends and acquaintances. Family members know you from the moment of you or they join the family. You are connected from the beginning. They are those who know you inside and out. Or they don't and you really think they should by now. And it hurts doubly when they misinterpret you.

There is something more to family relationships. I believe that for this reason the family is the place where we can most intensely learn to love. To be kind. To have patience. To stand up for ourselves and to stand up for others. To forgive.

A family isn't important because it looks a certain way. A family is important because it may just be the most effective environment to raise humans in all their potential.

So I stand for, believe in, encourage families. All of them.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

does anyone read blogs anymore?

Social media has taken over my life. But not all in a bad way. Yes, there are times when I am just procrastinating and wasting my time on social media, but for the most part it is enriching my life.

Facebook: A couple of private Facebook groups developed quite organically and I have found myself part of wonderful intellectual conversations with people I admire. None of that Facebook-drama-ridiculous-let's-prove-who-knows-more-about-a-topic-but-refuse-to-see-the-other-side stuff. Ugh. I can't stand those "conversations." While I would love to not be glued to my phone or computer, I do love that my time is being filled with learning and growing with like-minded people. (And by like-minded I don't mean that we see eye to eye, rather we are open to each others' ideas.) The down side to this is that every-day small talk is becoming incredibly boring to me. Do-able and enjoy-able, but second to such rich conversation.

Instagram: Oh, Instagram. How I love thee. Pictures of my favorite people and glimpses into their every-day lives? Yes, please! The key to Instagram is unfollowing and re-following people on a regular basis. I periodically go through the list of people following me and switch it up. That way I don't have too many pictures coming in all the time. I highly recommend this.

Pinterest: I am very much NOT addicted to Pinterest. Quite the opposite. I unfollow most people on Pinterest. Sorry, guys. I'm not interested in your food pins or your holiday pins or your house decor pins. I'm interested in YOU, but not necessarily the stuff you're interested in. And I expect this in return. I really don't expect you to follow my upholstery board. Why in the world would anyone not interested in upholstery want that to show up in their feed? Unfollow, people. Unfollow. Pinterest isn't much of a "social" media for me. I really follow a small number of boards, many of whose pinners I don't know. For me it's simply an idea board that I check periodically. Besides, most of Pinterest annoys me. Who in the world has time to be all adorable and crafty with every aspect of their lives? I'd rather pull out my hair.

Is social media sucking the life out of you or enriching your life?