Thursday, April 28, 2011

Message from the Past: Letter #2

Exactly 7 years ago, I wrote the note below to my hall of freshmen, sophomore and junior women. Funny--I needed to hear this wisdom today. Supposedly I'm now 7 years wiser than I was, 7 years older, 7 years more seasoned in the ways of man and God ... and yet, this reminder, from a younger, naiver (is that a word?), less tainted me was a breath of fresh air. Humorous, isn't it?

April 28, 2004

My beautiful ladies…how are you doing? Life is a whirlwind right now, isn’t it?  In the midst of all this chaos, remember to “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…” (Colossians 3:15) and “be still and know that [He] is GOD…” (Psalm 46:10).

I’ve been reading in 1 Samuel and was struck by this paragraph in Hannah’s prayer:

The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up.  The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.  He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; upon them he has set the world.  He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. 
­­It is not by strength that one prevails. (1 Sam. 2:6-9)

The LORD is over all the earth; what makes me think He’s not over me? 
Or that He needs help guiding my life? 
All He asks is that we be faithful to pursue Him and surrender all.  Hold your life with open hands, and He will bless you in His way and His time. 
I love you girls and pray that you continue to learn to let the LORD show you His path for you. Don’t try to blaze your own trail; by your own strength, you will fail. With Christ, all things are possible!

I was reminded today that I answer to and only to Christ. My service here on this earth, no matter with what group of people or in what area, is for Christ. People will fail us; people will hurt us. People will reject us and people will neglect us. 

But my God humbles and my God exalts. My God brings death and my God makes alive. My God is in charge, and He is who I serve. No matter how ugly life on earth gets, no matter how hurtful life can be, my God is greater, my God is stronger ... 

And I serve Him.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 45 without Facebook ... was yesterday

Yesterday was my last day without Facebook.

I wish I had reveled in it more.

It's funny, I feel compelled to get back on Facebook, and I'm not entirely sure why. So I can aimlessly browse the 419 friends I've slowly acquired over the over 5 years that I've been on the site? So I can share Joshua with far away family? (A good reason for sure ... but my blog has been fairly sufficient and has taken less of my time.) Is it to feel more connected to friends?

Even though, what I've learned in the last 45 days is that the feeling of connection is entirely different than real connection. Just because a person posts an update to his 327 friends, and I read it doesn't mean we are necessarily connected. 

How many times have I felt like I developed a good connection to someone via Facebook, only to run into them in real life and realize--ha, still awkward small talk! Still pretty much strangers! Still long death pauses where we are both probably wishing we could whip out our phones, open our FB app, and post statuses about uncomfortable social interactions.

How many times have I thought I was fairly good friends with a person, just to realize I'm out of touch with them because I missed status updates because my home feed got messed up, or clogged with all of my other friends' updates? Come to find out, I'm up to date on some peoples' lives not necessarily because they specifically want me to be an integral part of their life. No, I'm just one of the many on Facebook.

Now, is any of this inherently bad? Of course not! Facebook is a useful tool for doing just what I mentioned above--shouting thoughts to hundreds of people at once, disseminating information about one's life quickly and efficiently--with the click of a button. It connects far away family and long lost friends ... but at what cost? 

When I'm on Facebook, it envelops me. I truly got jitters and felt sick when the Lord laid it on my heart to break from Facebook for Lent. I honestly thought I could not do it--it is my window to the world, the vehicle for a large percentage of my "connection" throughout the day.

But I did it.

And I realized some stuff. With Facebook and it's false sense of connection (or okay, it's unique and different form of connection that should not and never will replace true connection) I find myself lamenting my lack of friends, and swirling around in the loneliness of hours upon hours of almost purely cyber-connection.

Guess what? I have friends.
The last 45 days without my 419 FB friends taught me that. 

And I'll be frank--it's not like I instead spent my "former FB time" with God. There were many days I simply--humanly--chose to fill my time differently, and still neglected my Father. So, no--Facebook is not the only enemy. There are many.

Surprisingly (for me), after the initial withdrawal period, I rarely missed it.

Oh, when I heard exciting news (usually via Erik who did not give up FB during this time) and realized I'd missed the chance to add a pithy comment on a friend's status, I was a little sad.
And there were moments the technology for uploading photo and videos on Blogger drove me nuts and almost had me running for my Facebook log in. For sure I had times where I just wanted to mindlessly zone out and "connect" with "friends".

But all in all, it took as much effort to log back into Facebook today as it did to deactivate my account 45 days ago. This was a good exercise for me--I do not need Facebook to survive. In fact, it helped me remember who my "real" friends are--my true connection, the people I do life with. 

Please don't get me wrong--I love keeping up with people from all the days of my life. It's fun! But it's time consuming. And so I have committed to trimming my "Friend list" down (please do not take it personally if I removed you .... It's not you, it's me. Really!) I've committed to at least trying to use Facebook for the tool it is--and not the obsession is has become.

So, a big thank you to the season of Lent for this opportunity to realize that

I do have "flesh and blood" friends,

I do enjoy spending my time other ways, 

I am less stressed with my son when I'm not trying to browse FB while he's wanting to play,

I am capable of giving something up,

and I am more than my Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dear Joshua: You Little Person You

Joshua, you are walking!

I absolutely cannot believe how incredibly



you are when you find your legs, steady yourself, and toddle across the floor, with a smile plastered on your face that says,

"Mommy Mommy look! I'm so proud of myself! I'm coming to get you!"

Baby boy, Mommy loves you. You look like an ape when you walk, and I love it. You love showing your teeth when you babble authoritatively, and I love it. You grab my legs and rub your face when you're tired, and I love it. You shake with insane amounts of joy when you see someone you love and I love it. 

Joshua Nelson Lindeen, Mama loves you--you little walking man!

Cousins Cousins Cousins!

Joshua and Katelyn--exactly 6 months apart

Samuel, age 5 here, once said, "I wish Joshua was my brother."

Josh may be the first on my side, but he make grandkid #8 on Erik's side!

We love cousins!

Elias, 7 here, making Joshua a Vikings fan already!

Serenity, 3 here, is such a sweetie!

Abby (5) and Lydia (2) love baby Josh!

Fall in Minnesota! Oldest cousin Ethan (9 here) taking care of Josh.

Uncle Jordan's a natural! :)

Josh loves Renny!

Josh loves the camera!

Renny, you're such a good picture taker!

LOVE Josh's face here ... like, "Why is she smiling again?!"

Grandad and his boys, Samuel, Elias, Ethan and Joshua

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Being a Woman is Confusing

Ever shopped for underwear?

Kill me now. 

Top of the "hate to shop for" list for many women is:

Shopping for bras.
Shopping for swimsuits.
Shopping for jeans.

I now have a number 4--shopping for underwear.

I was at Gap Body.

For like, 35 minutes. Paralyzed at a shelf of brightly colored underwear, incapable of deciding which cut of "panty" I wanted.

I don't know! I just want it to fit! 

I dug, and read tags, and asked my sister, and listened to my mom's advice, and hemmed and hawed ... for 35 minutes. 35 minutes! I'm pretty sure the employee (who was nearby the whole time, and never once offered clarifying assistance ...) thought I was at least slightly crazy. Or at least overly dramatic. The latter would be correct, of course.

Do I want hipster? or girl short? or tanga? (what the heck is tanga?) or thong? or high cut? or bikini? and if I want bikini, do I want teeny bikini? or low rise bikini? or ultra low rise bikini?! and what IS the difference?!?!?

And don't even get me started on colors, patterns and fabrics.

why is underwear shopping so hard? 

Well, it's not like if you make the wrong decision you can return the product.

You're STUCK with it. For-ev-er.

My drawer is full of ill-purchased panties that aren't what I expected.


The drama of being a woman ...

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Day with Auntie Tara

Another video!

I love that my sister Tara came to visit this weekend! Seeing as I live near my parents, I never get to host my siblings overnight. Currently, though, my parents are in Florida, so Tara got to sleep at Josh and my house! Yea! We had a great day, allowing Joshua to "remember" and get accustomed to Auntie Tara. We played, and ate, and went to Target, and picked out birthday gifts, and ate Mexican food, and rode a train, and played on a playground ... Good times with Auntie Tara. Enjoy the video capturing our day!