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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June's Monthly Musings

I have been going to church since I was seven years old. I gave my life over to Christ at thirteen. I have read much of the Bible, highlighting key/popular verses. Somehow though, I never sat down to read through one entire book (with multiple chapters) this entire time nor have made opening God's word a routine.

June 2015 marks a significant change. Each morning during the workweek, I get up and grab a bowl of cereal, a glass of water, and my bible. I sit at the kitchen table, eat breakfast, and then delve in to Hebrews.

The change began with the realization that I was spending more time focusing on the posts and comments written on Facebook than I was in my Bible. I'd use my phone to scroll through my newsfeed for at least five minutes every hour. In a 12 hour period, that is an entire hour wasted focusing on the lives of others while forgetting to focus on my own life, especially my spiritual life. I'd like to say that I only spent an hour on Facebook in a 12 hour period, but most hours included 10-15 of wasted time.

I went through the month of May with a gut-feeling that I needed to delete the Facebook app on my phone, but I used one silly excuse after another. It wasn't until the first weekend in June during a technology deprived Women's Retreat that God used someone else to speak to me. That evening, I turned on my phone and deleted Facebook. I needed to show my dedication to God, not to man. Step 1 was deleting the app, and Step 2 was routinely delving into scripture.

I still check my newsfeed using my computer, but I have to intentionally open and turn it on which makes it more difficult to access. This hasn't come with some struggle. For instance, I've told myself that using Safari to check Facebook was completely different than using a Facebook App. But, no, it's not, and I have to remind myself of that often.

All of this will sound silly to some, especially those who rarely use social media. However, addictions come in all shapes and sizes and don't always have to be considered bad to the mainstream in order to be an addiction. Addictions keep our eyes off Jesus and our eyes on ourselves and others. I don't want anything to do with something or someone who distances me from the Lord, and that's exactly why a change was necessary.

I'm excited to continue reading Hebrews. I'm only on chapter 7 because it's deep and takes time to digest and understand, but I'm finally spending more time with God than on social media, and I'm 100% thankful for that.

Refine me, Lord. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Weekly Wonder: Retreat

There is always something, great or small, that leaves me in a state of wonder. A few of those wonder-moments for this week are listed below. 

1. I attended a women's retreat this past weekend. Little did I know that it was exactly what I needed to quiet the inner critic inside of me. You know, the one that says "you can't" to everything, while lists of excuses tumble one upon the other. I'm not listening to that critic anymore, and when it creeps in, I'm going to hit it with Philippians 4:13.

 2. This place left me feeling ultra-close to God.

3. I call them "mini-concerts." The drive from the town I grew up in to the town I live in now lasts nearly 3 hours. I fill those hours worshipping in song as I drive, and they just might beat any concert I've attended. The real kicker is the fact that Emily slept for two of those hours. I'm thankful for moments like those.

4. Every time my daughter wakes up, I'm greeted with sweet smiles.

5. Just as the pediatrician finished Emily's 4 month check-up, she asked if she could pray for her. After an enthusiastic "yes" and a prayer, we talked and she explained that while on a missions trip to Jamaica, the Lord impressed upon her to pray for patients at her workplace.

6. This week, Wes and I discovered that we have not 1, not 2, but 3 cherry trees in our backyard. We thought they were apple trees this whole time! Between the cherry, pear, apple, and peach trees, you'd think we'd be set. We also have strawberries and raspberries growing too! I know we'll be sharing.

7. Each week, I'll post a video that I love.  I watched this video three times. There's something about a baby giggling over silly antics.

8. Each week, I'll also post a scripture that resonates with me. Right now, I'm reading Hebrews, so you'll probably see Hebrews verses for the next few weeks. Here's this weeks: "And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest;" Hebrews 1:10-11a

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Blog Changes

Dear Readers, 
Thank you for bearing with me through the process of updating my blog. I've done so to make your experience much better! 

Here are the changes:

  • You'll find new tabs just under my blog title. The new ones are "Parenting, Pregnancy, and Prayer", "Weekly Wonder", and "Monthly Musings." I'm excited to bring content to these pages very soon. 
  • If you used the pages before, don't worry! On the right hand side of my blog, you'll find a "Labels" section. Just click on the subject you are looking for, and posts related to said subject will appear. 
  • Also on the right side of my blog, you'll find a blog archive right under "Popular Posts." I'm most excited about this.
  • I've added more links and blogs that I love just below my blog archive. You should definitely check them out! 
  • Finally, I've changed my "About Me" page. New to that are some fun facts. 

That's all for now. I appreciate each and every one of you! Feel free to share my blog with family and friends, and don't forget to like my Facebook page for updates. 

God's Blessings,
Shelby Hughes

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