There are many avenues that the enemy attempts to distract, discourage, and plant the seed of discontentment in women.
I believe one such avenue is the cell phone with all it’s glorified helpful apps and social engagement tools.
Let me just clarify that I do not have the conviction that they are evil, but rather these tools are neutral. I do believe that they can be used for both good and evil at times though. Wouldn’t you agree?
Just like any tool we use in life we need to come to a place where we ask ourselves, has this tool become an idol in my life?
This particular question is one that I consistently challenge myself on personally and have been careful to set specific boundaries for myself so that I do not, Lord willing, fall into that trap or sin.
One question I get often is:
“How do you manage to be on social media, running an online ministry, and being a homeschool mom of seven?”
Do you want to know my secret?
It’s that I have a standard for the disciplines I practice daily in my life that I was able to set as a young mom who wasn’t distracted by a phone or social media.
Now, I have to be really frank. You may see me do a few Instagram stories in a day, maybe a Facebook Live once every two weeks or so, a blog post or two every month, and a few daily posts mixed in with days completely passed by were I didn’t engage at all. The truth is my family and my relationship with God always trump everything else. And when I do post, I do it because I want our “ordinary life” to glorify God and encourage others in what they are doing to build the Kingdom in their homes. I am on a mission on social media.
But that mission comes secondary to my first jurisdictions and priorities.
In fact, if I wanted to be a really savvy online business lady I would need to massively up my game and post more often. But that just can’t happen in the season of life I am in. And I am ok with that. Again, it comes back to the standard of mothering I have set for myself. God will use what I do accomplish for Him how He desires.
Standard of Disciplines as a Stay-at-Home-Wife and Mom
What do I mean about a standard of discipline within my daily home life?
I have a standard of maintaining basic, not perfect, care of my home on a daily basis. There are nine of us living, eating, working and doing school in our home every day, so I TRY TO have realistic expectations for cleanliness, order, maintenance, as well as expectations for what is accomplished on any given day as a mother of seven. Most days may look slightly different but on a weekly basis pretty much the same.
Home management and homeschooling are a priority in my daily life, as is connecting with each of my kids, reading my Bible, and serving my husband.
These are my most basic daily expectations for myself. And if by chance I am able to get these accomplished, then I take time to go to social media to post.
- Ministry & Relationship with my Husband
- Ministry and Relationships with my Children
- Other Ministry & Jurisdictions Inside my Home
- Ministry Outside My Home
To Read My Social Media Mission Statement &
Get a Free Download to Create Your Own Go HERE—> Should Christians Be on Social Media & How Should they Act
My Young Motherhood Story:
The first five years of my marriage and mothering, cell phones were not commonly owned by just anyone, the internet was not wireless, and the most popular form of life planning was either a “Year-at-a-Glance” planner or a Palm Pilot (electronic planner & roladex).
People still sent thank you cards and invitations via snail mail and no teenager needed a phone to babysit because everyone had a land-line! I remember when I got my first iPhone. I was a mom of five children under seven years old. Back then, there was no social media, and blogs were just becoming the popular hobby for those who have techy minds.
Technology changed and grew so fast. To be honest, because I was a stay-at-home-mom, I had no desire to join “My Space” or another brand new social space simply because I witnessed how it affected our employees and colleagues. It affected their focus, seemed addictive, and even dangerous.
It wasn’t until we had a branding company literally tell us that if we wanted our company to continue to grow in the 21st century, we needed to get with it and get on social media. That was year ten of our marriage. So upon having our sixth child, we entered in the social media world for the first time.
I do believe that those first nine to ten years of not being on social media helped me to set a standard for myself and my household.
Those years of mothering without social media or cell phones helped me to set a standard of disciplines in my home that has become a what holds me accountable and motivates me to have self-control.
I count myself blessed that during those early years with my little ones I didn’t have the distraction of social media because, to be honest, I don’t think I would have had the spiritual maturity to put it down and pick up the Bible instead. I just wonder how it would have changed who they were then, as well as who they are now, if they had a mom who was on her phone all the time?
While there are many aspects of cell phones that make our lives easier and tasks accomplished faster, leaving us more time for what really matters, I guess we all still need to ask ourselves this one question: Do I use that extra time wisely on those things that are eternal? Or do I waste those moments strengthening my thumb and index finger muscles scrolling?
I do see a different challenge for those moms who are a decade behind me in mothering. While I struggle with knowing what tools to utilize and navigating technology, as well as remembering to check DMs, PMs, and text messages, many young moms spend countless hours a day online… and they aren’t working.
I just wish everyone could have the luxury of experiencing motherhood without a cell phone or social media. It truly helped me to create the habits and life disciplines that have become my standard for today. And it’s those standards that hold me accountable for finding balance in my home and life today.
I don’t think getting off social media is the answer.
I think what is needed are boundaries.
Set Healthy Boundaries
Moms need to set wise boundaries to protect themselves from getting sucked into the comparison trap, becoming discontent in their marriage and families and potentially enslaving them in a bondage of paralyzation from living out the calling of ministry God has called them to within their homes.
If this is you, leave me a comment.
Ask questions. Share your story.
Tell me what boundaries you set.
Boundary #1: During our homeschool days, I am unavailable by phone and technology from 7-11am four days a week and I am unavailable all day from 7am-4pm on our co-op day.
Emergencies are an exception, but otherwise, I am focused on my kiddos. Sometimes I do a quick Instastory of what we are doing to give you all an encouragement or vision, but then that phone goes right back in my room. I have to have this boundary because without it how else would I keep my kids on track and focused on their school work?
Boundary #2: As a mom of seven, I am on the road often, which means I am unavailable while driving. I have an app, setting in my phone trigger texts responses to people who call or text me while I am driving telling them why I am not available.
Boundary #3: Sundays we don’t work and prepare ahead of time to truly rest and enjoy the day. We have a limited amount of time we allow on devices on Sundays to prompt family time.
Boundary #4: No phones or devices at the dining table during meals. Breakfast is when we meet for our Bible & Prayer time. Dinner is a time to eat together and talk, connect, and discuss politics and cultural issues. Phones are not welcome at meals.
Boundary #5: No screen time when we have guests over, or we are out on a double date with another couple, or out at coffee with a friend. This is a purposeful meeting time, which is rare, so we intend to not be distracted.
These are just a few of my boundaries. You don’t have to adopt them all. Just some ideas.
Boundaries are crucial to us, not just to proactively protect our minds and hearts from discontentment and the comparison trap, but also because we are LEAVING A LEGACY! Regardless of if you are aware of it or not, you are teaching your children and modeling for them how to use and interact with social media.
My husband always calls it being a producer vs. a consumer. I can’t possibly expect my kids to exercise self-control on their devices if I cannot. So this IS ESSENTIAL!
I model for my children the discipline of not being owned by my phone in hope that they will not be owned by theirs. All we can ever do is teach and model, the rest is up to them. But imagine what will become of those who are never taught boundaries?
My Story of Addiction & Depression as a Young Mom
I don’t want to leave the impression with you that I think every generation before cell phones had motherhood easier.
No, there were different temptations and distractions of escapism.
Yes, I said ESCAPISM because I believe firmly that we as women need to guard our hearts against discontentment because it leads to ESCAPISM.
In fact, the first year I was married, I got ensnared in watching a soap opera.
I know what you are thinking. SERIOUSLY?
Yes, this is my most public confession.
There I was, sicker than a dog, puking my brains out while I was pregnant with my oldest daughter. I wasn’t able to finish my last year of college because I was too ill. I had weekly hospital visits for IV’s just to stay hydrated. And during that time, I became depressed.
DEPRESSED & LONELY
I was a newlywed with no friends, pregnant with terrible morning sickness, and I was dropping out of my final year of college. Yes, I became depressed.
I was emotional, physically, and spiritually weak and during that season in my life, I remember lying on the one sofa we had, nipping on saltine crackers, and watching soap operas on cable because it was either that or Matlock and Judge Judy.
I guess my suffering is one reason I have such sympathy and compassion for other young moms in the childbearing season. It was one of the hardest seasons of my life.
I was isolated, lonely, and needed more of Jesus both from His Word and in the flesh, in the form of His body on earth. I am certain this is why God has called me to minister to and equip mothers in this season through Redeeming Childbirth and the Christian Postpartum Course.
Fortunately for me, my husband had me quit my internship as a youth pastor and we changed churches to one where I was immediately welcomed by women of all ages into their women’s bible study. It was there that I admitted my addiction and those women both held me accountable by calling me daily to make sure I wasn’t watching them, but also opened their homes for fellowship, friendship, and mentorship. They prayed for me, loved me, and walked with me. They didn’t look down on me for my struggle but instead walked me through setting biblical standards for myself as a stay-at-home-wife and mom.
These women were just faithful in what they did by opening their hearts, lives, and homes for me to watch and learn from. I say just on purpose, not to belittle what they did because what they did was HUGE. I say just because that’s all it takes, ladies. We all need to be faithful and willing to open our hearts, home, and lives to one another and help each other.
So please don’t take my words that I share above as condemnation because I don’t struggle with the trap that social media can be. I had my own battle. But I overcame it with the help of the Lord and few older women and friends in my season of life who helped me to be who God wanted me to be. We set a standard for striving to be biblical women and we let each other grow.
My hope and prayers are that if you are struggling to meet those basic biblical standards for biblical womanhood in your life, those priorities, that you would evaluate and consider setting some boundaries in your life this year.
Be honest with yourself and get help.
I am so glad that the Holy Spirit convicted my heart that I was in sin and was on a road to destruction by allowing discontentment to take root in my heart. I thank God He sent help in the form of honest sisters in Christ to walk with me through it without condemnation, but love.
Once you reach out, there is love, fellowship, accountability, and FREEDOM from the bondage that can entrap you!
Choose who you will let influence you– in real life and on social media.
Do they inspire you to think, grow spiritually closer to the Lord and understanding the Bible?
Do they cause you to stop and pray?
Or do those you follow and watch just share fluff that doesn’t actually cause you to grow?
Thank you for joining me on this journey and pursuit of holiness!