Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Giving Thanks: Choosing to Think

On this third day of gratitude, I am thankful I quit Twitter.

Although, if I'm honest, I sometimes miss it.

What? You didn't know I quit the Twitters?

It's OK. I didn't tell anyone, and even those close to me didn't realize it until weeks later. I just closed the account, and went about my life.

To be honest, I had struggled for a long time with Twitter, because it greatly impeded my thinking powers (not to mention sucked up time). I felt certain that thinking in 140 characters or less was draining my capacity to think deep thoughts, but I couldn't pin down a good excuse as to why that would be true. So I continued typing short sentences with bad txt tping...only I wsnt LOL'ing. U knw wht I mn?

As a result, all my thoughts were becoming shallow. I began to tweet mundane things that nobody wanted to know. My entire brain-power was about trying to quip one-liners...and y'all know I'm not that funny.

I read Jerusha Clark's book, Every Thought Captive: battling the toxic beliefs that separate us from the life we crave , and was smacked in the head with this quote from the first chapter*:

How we think determines our spiritual, emotional, and sometimes physical health. Elizabeth George notes, "Like a virus, our thoughts have the ability to drain our energy and cripple our usefulness. Our thoughts can, however, also be a source of strength when we dwell on the powerful truths of Scripture."
I got the one-two punch when I read this:

Proverbs 4:23
Be very careful what you think, your thoughts run your life. 

Wow. And yeah...

Truth. Sometimes it comes gently. Sometimes it hits you on the nose.

I realized that Twitter (for me) wasn't just about what I was thinking, but how it made me think of myself and others....sometimes it made me feel prideful, "Wow, what I just tweeted about my pedi-cure was so clever!" and sometimes it made me feel insecure, "Why didn't anybody respond to that great tweet about clipping my toenails?"

I am very hyper-aware about hiding my needy-ness. Let's just be honest, I like to appear like I've got it under control so people will like me. Twitter fed into this already crazy-frenzy, mixed-up, Kellie the CoffeeGal thought life, and I didn't like the down-hill trend.

This quote, also from Chapter One* hit the nail on the head:
Many of our thoughts, unfortunately, are both negative and untrue. At different points in their lives, most women have believed poisonous lies such as these: I'm not good enough. What others believe about me defines who I am. I am the sum of my accomplishments and my relationships [and my tweets**]. We have all believed self-defeating falsities as well, lies that have hijacked and poisoned our minds.
I wish I could tell you that I am the woman who escaped this generalization, but I'm not. My lack of thinking deep and truthful thoughts was "draining my energy and crippling my usefulness," not only on Twitter, but on this blog, in my conversations with real-life people, and in my quiet-times in the morning. 

When my kids were babies a wise women in our church came to my home to speak to my mom's group. She said that when choosing activities for ourselves or our children, we should ask ourselves this question: Will this activity build us (as a family) up? Or tear us down? 

As a mom, friend, and wife my thought life is the doorway to everything I do. If it tears me down, the fall-out has the potential to pull all those things I endeavor to pursue down with it. Twitter wasn't building me up, it was robbing me of my thought life, but what's worse, it wasn't building anyone up in my circle of influence either. 

So, that's why I quit.

I am grateful, for authors like Jerusha Clark, and other writers who share God's wisdom in books that tell the Truth, though its sometimes hard to hear.

And I am grateful, though I do miss the camaraderie of my Tweeps, that I quit typing thinking in 140 characters or less.

* I'd like to give the page numbers, but I read this book electronically, and the pages are wonky.

** my words, added for emphasis.


Candace said...

Great thoughts, Kellie. I've never tweeted, but I can totally relate.

Kristin said...

love your thoughts this morning. Love the quotes. I think I'll check out the book - thanks for sharing!

Gretchen said...

We've talked about this as I struggled with my Twitter fast. You are so right, m'lurve. And I really miss checking in with your daily blog posts, as well. But hopefully, that season is about to end. Even if I'm not posting, I want to check in w/you.

I need to get that book. Love you oodles. BTW, I did order the one by Elizabeth Prentiss. Lurve!

LJ said...

Thanks for being so honest. We are doing a Bible study about the way we think about ourselves and your blog really hit home. I crave deep meaningful things in my life and I have chosen not to get caught on "hamster wheel" of some of the "Mc-technologies" out there. I prefer to be with friends (like you) enjoying their friendship!

Tiffanie said...

Bravo! Very well said!

Nora Greer said...

Wow, the words jumped off the computer screen and into my heart...much needed for today. I'm adding that book to my lenghty list of books to read!

Elizabeth said...

I love this post. I've realized recently that I spend a lot of time telling myself lies, some big, some small. It's very difficult to be a loving, kind person when lies are filing your head, and the deep thoughts that do come do not need to be shared. I need to be reminded that my thought life is a doorway to many things my kids experience.

I've never tried twitter, but sometimes facebook feels so superficial that I want to quit.

Deena said...

Wow! This is powerful! Thanks for sharing. I have missed you on Twitter, but I so respect your reasons for getting off. You've given me something to think about.

Be blessed!

Carpool Queen said...

Would you quit smacking me with a 2x4?


There are days when I want to pull the plug on the blog, Facebook, and everything else. Then there are days when I think about how it's enriched my life and I'm not sure I'm ready to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

His Girl said...

I keep thinking I'm going to be able to come up with a comment that isn't exactly like Sus' - but I guess I'm just not.

just copy/paste what she says...

and also know I've been missing you over there....

Tanya (In the Dailies) said...

Ditto what CPQ and His Girl said.

I had to learn quickly to build strong boundaries with my online time. It can suck my life away if I'm not careful. I mean that quite literally. I can find myself feeling closer to people I've never met than with the people I see face to face every day. That's not right. While it's great to have bloggy friends (like you) I can't allow it to hijack my "real" life.

And the whole thoughts element ... Call me the nail. You hit me on the head (probably with Sus's 2x4). Thanks for being so honest --- with yourself and by extension with us.

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

I love this, Kellie. I think I'm going to blog about my reasons for quitting...which overlap with yours a little. I'm just trying to figure out how to say it all...

BTW, my account has only been closed a few days, but already my mind feels so free and uncluttered.

Amy said...

I noticed that you had not tweeted lately, but had not investigated further. Just make sure I have your contact info if you start pulling the plug on everything else!! :-)

hav2sing said...

Thumbs Up! I like! (wish blogs had that like FB...)

I have a twitter account. I can't sign into though, somehow. So "eh" I don't care!


Lori said...

I also read that book, but it's been a while and I'm thankful for the reminder. The parts you highlighted were just what I needed to hear right now. :)