Today is supposed to be the first day back to school. The first day of the routine that I crave. The first day of stability and predictability. The anticipation of new books, a new adventure and fresh starts. Alas, 2020 has thrown yet another curve, and school isn’t happening today. I must wait for it. It won’t be the same. Masks. Hand sanitizer. No visitors. No workshops for me. Perhaps you are out of the back-to-school routine and today is just another day for you. But no day is ever routine, is it? Each day brings its own challenges, its own opportunities and its own joys and sorrows. Time doesn’t stop until our final breath has been taken. I want things to go back to normal. I want to have things “the way they were”. Maybe I won’t be granted that. Maybe God is teaching us new things. Different things. Things meant to challenge and grow and stretch us. I must learn to be adaptive. To trust in the future and learn from the past.
I had a few ideas about what to post this week, but none of them seemed settled in my heart. (Did you know that I worry, fret and pray over each week’s post and hope that it touches you and my internet audience in a way that God wants?) And so, I thought I would link a few of my previous “back to school” adventures for you. If you’ve read them before, sorry. If not, enjoy. Joining the adventure of mittonmusings.com means following along in our journey of ups and downs, past and present. All the while learning. So — see you next week friends, with new thoughts.
Well my friends, this post is going to be late. Apologies to those who read early on Tuesdays, but it just is what it is. I wanna say that I had “technical difficulties” and there was trouble uploading or downloading or syncing or something. Truth is, I’m just lazy and never got around to posting until now. But for the sake of saving my blogging status, let’s just say that there were technical difficulties, okay?
It’s what I’ve been musing about a little this week. That weird and wonderful subject again: technology. It’s a topic I chat about now and then, not because I am a big fan, nor am I techno-savvy or in anyway an expert, but because I am just the opposite. Self taught and struggling through. Our world is so automated now. Especially in this 2020 pandemic: Zoom chats, iphone messages, and let’s just take a moment to ponder how many students are now being educated via a screen! Bless your hearts, educators who have stepped up and had to put yourself out there “online” for all to see. If you saw my “unboxing” in last week’s post, you’ll note that technology (especially videos) are really not my thing. Leave me a printed note and this girl’s a happy clam. But, I digress.
The Mitton crew had a moment last week where we did have some technical difficulties, however. Minor, for sure, but our computer “upgraded” and suddenly we were locked out of our usual password. After numerous tries (why do we always check? It’s like pressing the elevator button over and over — it doesn’t make it work faster but we are convinced it does) we finally ended up changing the password and moving on. I’m positive ya’ll have experienced this in one form or another. Or you need to access an account you rarely visit and have forgotten the password? Or they make you change it — oh, and not to one you have used in the past, oh no, it must be new, with 8 letters and a symbol, but not an uppercase letter, nor your mother’s maiden name but contain the number 3 and be linked to your first pet… you get the picture.
I know, I know, Computer systems are there to help. Just think of all the advances we have made since the internet! Efficiency is the goal. Fast speeds and 5G’s. And it’s not the computer program’s fault if something glitches, it’s the user’s error, right? I’m learning a new system at work, and am struggling to remember the “steps” to get to certain screens. I know the information I want is there and available — but how do I access it? You hear me, right? I’m not alone here, right? All these thoughts have been swimming in my head this week and I’ve been trying to make connections (literally!). Are computer systems like our spiritual walk? We serve a perfect God who has all sorts of information available to us if we only knew how to take the correct steps. We are fallible humans who fall one too many times into the category of “user error”. We get “locked out” of blessings and joys because we haven’t linked in recently to the program and God’s plan for us.
Perhaps you’re debating the pros and cons of physical, real life connections versus “online”. Does God still work via the internet? I hope so, or this blog is not worth my time. Are you and your church leaders struggling to serve your communities “from a distance”? Should you open up the building or continue on YouTube? Are you a parent trying to plan for a safe return to school, but still being supportive of your teachers and your child’s friends? I want things to be different. I want things to be “real” and not the polished Instagram version of faith. I want to have truth and not algorithm based “likes”. Yet, maybe I am wrong. Maybe I’m limiting God too much. Surely He works above and beyond the confines of the internet. Of course the one who created the universe is not limited by digital glitches and binary systems. My faith is small. For Christ does not have “technical difficulties”. May you and I both be encouraged by that thought this week.
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Well… I’m just going to start typing this post and see where it ends up. It’s hard to write a “lifestyle blog” when there has been very little “life” happening. Do you really want to hear another thought about my laundry? Who knows? Maybe you do. Maybe you want to hear that I have been sleeping in, eating whatever, whenever. Maybe you want to hear how the teenagers are running amuck and personal hygiene is going out the window during this pandemic. Would it bring you comfort to know that I, too, have been falling apart some days and letting the day pass with very (and I mean very) little accomplished? Do you want to see more of my baking, craft fails or urban gardening? Perhaps pet pics? Cat videos are popular, right? I can do those. Or #momlife woes of teenage messy rooms and lost socks?
I feel like I have been stuck in this time warp — I know things in my head — but have been stuck in the valley of “unmotivation”. I’ve classified mittonmusings.com as a “Canadian, lifestyle blog with an inspirational twist”…. but how do you inspire others when there is little left to feel inspired about? Truth be told, I know that’s not accurate. I know that if I honestly took a good look around, the natural world would inspire me to smile. Our urban garden is slowly starting to produce, my family is safe and generally happy. We have been blessed with a stable income and good food on the table. We face very little persecution based on race, religion or culture.
I’m so very, very lucky in a plethora of ways. I tried looking back at some other faith based blogs… fabulous writers who have book lists and bible studies and printables. Their instagram pages are flooded with tailored shots of dogeared, leather bound Bibles and cups of coffee in handmade pottery cups from local, sustainable shops. What’s their secret? I work hard at my social media… but it doesn’t come naturally to me. I worry about showing off my kids “in public” or exposing personal information only to be used in some sad meme. Or hacked into and all my life savings stolen. Not that I’d ever be on that top priority list, I’m sure. It’s a funny paradox as a blogger — wanting to go viral but not to be exposed to the world at large.
Yet, I am encouraged when I get little notes and comments (sometimes privately) from other wallflower readers that they liked this week’s post; or that some professional photographer liked my photo. The blog blossomed as my way to learn technology. I’ve learned some. I need to improve my skills, though. Perhaps that should be on my goal list. Anyone have suggestions? Free classes ‘cuz I’m cheap, though. Partnerships, perhaps? Maybe I should write a book? Should I curb my internet fears and make YouTube videos of family adventures? They would be interesting — trust me.
I’ve been thinking about our pastors and church leaders who have been forced into this internet world during the lockdown of 2020. They were called to serve people. And although the world wide web is a valuable tool, I am sure many preachers wish they didn’t have to share their sermons to a camera screen. I suspect it’s really hard to shepherd while self isolating. No one thought church would have to move online. Ministry is hard to do via Zoom. Or is it? God is bigger than my little world and He has given me an outlet to reach folks I would never (and may never) meet. And He has called us to be disciples — to put ourselves out there. Even if it’s only in my own comfortable little box right now. Even if it’s not to 1K followers. I’m here to bless the few that are are gathered — google analytics can just eat cake. And if I get up the courage to throw caution to the wind and step out of my box, I suspect He will bless that, too.
First Thessalonians 5 is rich with instruction, and reminds us to “hold on to what is good”. To test and encourage one another. Perhaps this whole world pandemic has given us a chance to see the good and make it the essential service. Things that you can’t buy or sell. Personal touches that you feel and experience. The things we miss by not being together… and the the frustrations we feel by being together just a little too much. We are such complex creatures, aren’t we? Which means there should be no end to musing about life and the great, big God that gives it to us each day. Keep on, keeping on, oh faith bloggers and loyal readers, as will I.
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