Yes, yes, it’s been silent around here lately. And while I feel like I should give an explanation, and beg all of you kind, wonderful readers to forgive my absence, I’m not. Because this time, I have no explanation. I write when I feel it’s right, and if I force it, well, it’s not all that enjoyable for either of us. So…let’s just leave it at that and move on our merry little way.

We are currently in a series called, Overwhelmed, at South Bay Church, and yesterday Pastor Andy talked about our thoughts and how they control us.

Andy said, “When I can’t control the outcome of my circumstances I can influence the direction of my thoughts”.

On a personal level, my thoughts have caused me considerable fear and insecurity lately, so this message came at a good time. This is nothing new for me. Some struggles are fought, won, and stay in the past, while others are an ongoing battle of varying degrees. This is one of mine.

It’s amazing how the enemy can come in so quickly and steal our joy, our freedom, and the hope we have in Christ. Yesterday was a good reminder of why to fight for self control in this area. When I focus my thoughts on the things of God rather than the things of the world, my entire outlook on life changes.

A few weeks ago I started evaluating different things in my life that cause me anxiety and stress…even anger. One of the first areas I started with was social media. (Gasp) I took a week off of all social media sites (for me this included: facebook, twitter, and instagram). I deleted all the apps on my phone and stayed off for a week.

I expected it to be hard at first, but in reality, I felt strangely at ease. I can’t believe I hadn’t done it sooner. What was even more odd is that I felt more connected that week than I have in a long time. Sure I missed out what everyone ate for lunch that week and the cute pictures of their kids, but I communicated more directly with those closest to me. My interactions were more intentional and meaningful rather than distant and random.

So what now?

Social media is such a part of our culture it feels crazy to avoid it all together. But I realize that if I don’t control myself and my interactions, it will control me or cause me anxiety because I’m allowing it to have more of me (my time, my attention) than it should.

Since this little experiment, I’ve noticed some differences among the different social media sites. (This is completely personal for me, I realize you may not experience these at all or maybe they are opposite for you.)

For example, whenever I’m on Facebook, I often walk away feeling frustrated, and, as much as I don’t want to admit this, angry (like really angry. There was one day where I was VERY close to hitting “delete account” twice.) Oddly enough, with Twitter, I feel quite the opposite. I scroll my Twitter feed and find myself laughing, encouraged, and inspired. The same is true with Instagram. (Don’t spoil it people.)

Social media is an area, that for me, has a huge effect on my thoughts and how I view life. Our thoughts have SO much power over us. This isn’t the only area that affects our thoughts, but for me, in this season, it’s one I’m working on.

How about you?

How is your thought life? What are the things you dwell on during the day? Is it things that come from God? Things that bring life? Or is it things that cause you more worry and anxiety? Have you ever noticed social media having a negative effect on you?

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Mandy