Have we been conditioned by Facebook?

When I first started my blogging journey, it was like waking up to a cyber coffee shop where we all gathered together to sip our morning cup of joe. We would catch up on each other’s lives. We had a blog roll and we’d surf over to each link to offer our support and encouragement for the curve balls hurled in our direction. We rallied around our sisterhood community to promote each other’s projects and swing over to say welcome to the newbies. That’s what drew me into the blogging world. Then Facebook happened. Blog traffic slowed to a snail’s pace and ad revenue plummeted.

blue living room by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

Then I saw as so many of us changed our blog goals to a more business approach to get the hit count up and somewhere along the way it seems we have just about lost that ‘small town’ blog community we once had.

I miss our supportive mommy community.

My daughters and I were reminiscing about the days when they also sent their thoughts out to the universe on Blogger and WordPress. They connected with other kids through blogging. They’re still in touch with some of them through Facebook and Tumblr, but the method of connecting has evolved into clicking a ‘like’ button instead of having the life giving conversations we used to have.

Am I the only one who sees this happening?

I don’t know if we could get back to what we had before or not. Was it just a passing fad?

Can we offer grace to each other if we see typos? Can we let our guard down a bit and just let the words flow like we used to? Can we not be so worried about ad revenue and focus again on building relationships through blogging?

Or have we been conditioned to think Facebook is the only way?

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Organic Living

I made a few more changes in my online presence that I wanted to be sure you knew about. I changed my Twitter handle to @OrganicHSL. I feel it fits me better with where I am at in my life now. If you already followed me before, no need to re-follow. We’re still connected. More below..

 

Some might be wondering what I mean by ‘organic’ and I have mentioned it a bit from time to time, but for those who are new I’ll give a recap. I use the term for ‘organic’ for a few areas of our lives.

In our education: After we made some changes in how we home educate, we weren’t sure how to describe our homeschooling approach. We aren’t traditional homeschoolers, yet we aren’t unschoolers either. We have some books that we teach from, but in other topics we go for the more natural approach. We don’t like to test, but see the need for it in Math and Spelling. I found that if I don’t schedule Math and Spelling it won’t get done and I have yet to find a way to be organic with those two subjects.

We have our serious subjects in the morning then taper off into the natural methods of education toward the end of the day. I love the inquisitive minds of children and how their own interest leads them to learn without them thinking about it being ‘school’. We utilize documentaries, Barnes and Noble, the Library, field trips, and meeting with people in specific fields our children show interest in. We do everything we can to allow them to have exposure with a variety of things in life and then watch their interest level. We don’t want to force them into a box, instead we nudge them and then see where they gravitate to.

In our spirituality: We believe in organic church, not so much the ‘movement’ called organic church, but rather the flowing of the organic nature of the Church herself as she walks this earth in Christ. We have open house fellowship once a month where we cook together and discuss life, offer support, and have question/answer time about spiritual living. We aim to keep it as organic as possible so it doesn’t become repetitive or boxy. We do attend a regularly scheduled time of music and inspirational speaking in a town near us that we adore, but it’s not a traditional ‘church’. It’s a great group of people who are developing a community together and we love what they’re doing.

What is a Spiritual Gypsy? My daughter came up with this term and we discussed what it meant for both of us. We have different views about a few things, yet even in those differences we have so much in common. I decided I liked the term for myself as well. For me, a spiritual gypsy means I have my own soul liberty. I have chosen to believe in Christ, but I follow the leading of the Spirit in a way that more resembles the organic life Jesus lived when he was in his skin. He traveled home to home and sometimes to temples to love people. He spent time with doctors and various religious leaders, while also making ample time for regular townspeople from gluttons and  drunkards, to tax collectors. I’m a lot like Paul too. He knew the culture of his day, the various religions, and the customs of the people. He knew how to blend in, respect those traditions, and even participated in some of them so he could have a chance to share the good news with them.

I’m an avid theological student and I find enjoyment in learning about how other people believe and appreciate how each of them choose to worship. I look beyond the initial appearance of their practices and look for their heart. Sometimes I see people who see a ‘blurry image’ of God that has been misrepresented to the world by imperfect humans and yet their hearts still ring true to the melody and rhythm of his divine love. I don’t worry about their blurry image, I just love them where they are. I may not write a whole lot of theological point by point type of articles, but I know theology very well. I just choose to live out my love for God organically.

Living Organically: All of this combined is our organic living. I’m not a crunchy-granola type of person, although I do buy from the Farmer’s Market and Natural Food Stores. My daughter is studying to be a Holistic Practitioner so we practice herbal remedies to ailments as much as possible. We enjoy being outdoors and since we live by the beach we get to walk on the sand barefoot and soak up the sea moisture. Love it!

Organic Spiritual Practices: I believe in earthing (some call it grounding). It’s when I connect with God through his creation by meditating on his goodness and love through nature. I do a lot of visualization such as imagining the sea breeze is his breath, my feet are soothed in the sand, and the sun is his warmth. There is so much positive energy that comes from God and I can feel it in this gorgeous earth he gave to us. Some charismatic types of Christians like to seek the sense of his presence in a different way in their church services, I like to sense him in the nature he created. Here’s an example from Psalms.

In my Photography: I love my camera and the images I can capture are all about my love for God. I love to see the world from all different angles, whether I zoom in to see a close up of his tiniest work or I pan out to get a view of a majestic landscape. I experience organic spirituality through my photography. Here are some examples:

dragonfly by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

mini daisy by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

canyon by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

coast by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

blue ocean by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

In my business: I am a co-owner and the founder of our photo community for families, Pix-O-Sphere. It’s where families can host their photos in a safe environment. We also allow for photo sharing so bloggers can not only see your work, but use what you share in their blog articles. Not everyone is confident in putting their own images online and with the rising prices of stock photos and the unstable economy, we wanted to provide an alternative to the other popular sites. If you are confident in your work, you can choose to sell your images there as well. In addition to the main portion of the site we also have a blog (which is being redesigned this week). On the blog I am coordinating a lot of fun for the families of the blogosphere. I’ll update you more on that as the days go by. I follow an organic approach to this business in that I listen to the bloggers to see what they would like to have in the community. We’re building the site for YOU! So we want to know what your desires for the blogosphere are.

In my Home: The Home is my castle..my cabana..my place of solitude. It’s where I spin my life and nurture my family’s lives. After being out in the craziness of So Cal traffic and high paced community, it’s where we rest. This is the reason for the name of my blog, The HomeSpun Life. I make my home as comfortable as possible for my family so they can feel at ease here. A place where they can kick off their shoes and be themselves. It’s where they can be nurtured and healed from any chaos that comes their way in this life.

Bringing my home to my blog is my way of welcoming you into our lives. I want you to feel welcomed here…as if we’re sitting down for coffee together. Pull up a chair and introduce yourself. Feel free to leave a link to your ‘about me’ page in the comment section so I can come visit your ‘home’ on the net.

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I Include You

I’m forty years old and just this year discovered who I really am. Looking back on my adolescent years I could see who my parents and teachers wanted me to be. As I look back into my teen years I saw who my peers wanted me to be. In my young adult years I saw who religious leaders wanted me to be. I honestly tried to work within the framework that each group wanted for my life. I wrestled with who I am as a wife and as a mom. I thrashed my way through trying to figure out who I am as a blogger.  I battled my way through who the religious leaders claim God wanted me to be. Listening to the array of voices in the world is quite confusing.

I needed to know who I am, because of who I want to be.

I’m not sure why I danced a jig with this concept for so long. I have no idea why my journey had to be filled with so much confusion and uncertainty, but I know what I learned from it all. I learned compassion.

Although I figured out that God was working out a unique form of compassion in me, I still bantered back and forth between my voice and the other voices out there. Deep inside I knew what my fear was,

rejection.

I saw how many times Christians would reject people once they saw who they really were. Rejection causes people to recoil into loneliness, depression, and fear.

Is this the affect we, as Christians, really want to have on the world?

Taunya shared this quote in a conversation we had on Twitter,

” I feel uncomfortable, because I’m insecure about who I am.”

This quote is such a mind blowing truth that not many want to admit. We are such an insecure people and if we find our security in Christ then what have we to worry about?

Sometimes our actions, words, or even silence can convey a message that further damages an insecure soul. I wonder if we can practice saying this when we’re uncomfortable;

“I’m not sure how to respond to this, but I’ll meditate on it. In the meanwhile, you are a valuable person and God loves you. We’re all a work in progress.”

A response like this can alleviate our own insecurity and affirm the person we’re speaking to. It doesn’t mean we are agreeing with them. It simply expresses a willingness to think about it and extends love and grace at the same time.

I now know my spiritual purpose and am confident in God’s calling for my gifts. When I began walking through this journey, I lost a lot of friends. So I’m rebuilding my circle of support and would like to invite you in.

I believe that God gives us freedom to gather supportive people around us who can be a ‘Jesus with skin on’ Church to us. This kind of group is not intended to remove our already existing ‘in real life’ fellowship. This group is to create a safe space online where we can love each other even though we’re different.

Some might be hesitant to become a part of my support circle, because they may not feel secure enough to be inclusive to others in my midst. That’s ok. I’m not asking you to be. This isn’t about me telling you to be inclusive, it’s about ME being inclusive.

I include you. 

With this inclusive love, I want to begin sharing how we live our lives with an inclusive heart. I want to share our personal family boundaries and yet love others who have drawn different lines. You might wonder how I interact with pagans, those in the GLBT community, or even with Christians from different denominations. The short answer is;

with grace.

But what that kind of grace looks like could be different depending on the situation.

If you have questions about how to respond to certain things with grace while remaining steadfast in your own unique view, leave a comment below or contact me via my Facebook page. Let me know if you want to remain anonymous. I’ll be approaching some tough topics from parenting, to marriage, to society at large.

Last year the Christian community had quite a few chaotic storms and I have no doubt there will be more. How we respond to those storms says a lot to the world about the God we believe in. May we look forward to more years of growing in wisdom and in stature, as well as in knowledge and understanding.

You’re invited into my circle, my ‘church’….. I include you.

How can we help lift one another UP?

Sisterlisa

 

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