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Friday, 20 March 2015

Technology has taken over everything but still there is hope

The other day I was committed to clearing out and throwing away.  I didn't make it very far before I stumbled onto some old journals of mine.  A journal on real paper.  Those were the days...

The other night in bible study I reached behind me and grabbed my bible - the one that I used to put sticky note prayer requests for folks on every page and freely highlight something that spoke to me.  It felt like it had been years since I picked up an actual bible.  My iPhone bible app is my daily read most days with its nifty devotional plans and highlight feature, copy and paste directly to FB.  It even offers to remind you if you forget a day and it says, "Great Job!" if you do your devotional.  I think that's a bit weird but you've probably seen it too.

When I go home to Georgia I buy tons of thank you notes, the real ones, 8 in a package for $1 at the dollar store.  I also buy birthday cards for all our family, friends and supporters.  I actually have the very real intention of using them up before I come home next, of writing in them and sending them via what is now sentimentally referred to as "snail mail".  Do I do it?  Sometimes I do but never as much as I would have liked.  Most friends and supporters get the VERY lame, "Happy Birthday" via FB because I have not yet setup a reminder for each of them that will send a message to my phone and tell me that so and so's birthday is in 10 days (it has to be at least 10 days in advance so I can get the card ready and mail from Germany).  This too is on my very long "hasn't been done and I don't know when I'm getting to it 'to do' list".

Last week Chloe and I made Easter egg hunt invitations to send out to her classmates.  Besides cutting them out and gluing on the cute bunny and chic with a glue gun, everything was done on the computer.  I used word to create the egg shaped invitation, used word art to make the neat text on the page, used google to make sure everything was translated properly into German and said the proper way using other people's invitations they had posted online as examples.

Cooking for me has become a task of looking up online the most popular recipe's and then carrying them out with my phone by the stove as I follow along to the instructions.  Before that though I use the recipe's while at the store to make my notepad grocery list and barely avoid running people over while pushing the cart around the store.

Yesterday Chloe had an envelope waiting for her at school and inside one thoughtful mother had printed three photos from the spring festival we attended on the weekend of Chloe and her son together.  She didn't email them, she printed them so we could hang them on Chloe's mirror.  This reminded me of the thousands of pictures I put up on FB, DropBox or Shutterfly but actually printing them... well that takes effort!

As I sorted clothes for refugees in Iraq in our church basement yesterday, I was reminded I could turn on my playlist on my phone and listen to Christian music to help make something that was sort of a dreary task into worship.

Plane tickets are booked on kayak.
Prayer requests are asked for, compiled and sent via email, blog or newsletter.
Calls home to mom and dad are made via Skype.
Chatting with my sisters takes place on What'sApp or Facebook.
Details of whether someone will attend or miss bible study happen via text.
New clothes are purchased online and delivered via Kohl's via eBates with coupons from Retailmenot.
Cinderella films are dressed for and enjoyed by all at the local movie theater.
Decorations for an easter egg hunt are bought using Amazon.
Studying for bible study involves a google search to one of several commentary sites.
Curiosities about new aches and pains and I visit WebMD.
My incentive to go 10 more minutes on the eliptical runner is my ability to play Hay Day (a very silly and addictive children's farm game on my phone) while I do it.
Updates on a dying friend are listened to, cried over and prayed for in a FB group.

and I could go on and on and on but I don't think I have to.  You have your own list.  It's scary but I'm afraid there's no going back now.  As I push the publish button on this blog I am perpetuating this fact but yet believe it or not there is still hope...

For example, yesterday I went to a ceramic store in Heidelberg as I have done a dozen times or more in the last few months to continue my new found love of painting.  I think I get it from my mom who is infinitely better than I will ever be but what an incredible relaxing and creative way to meet people and take up a new hobby.  The ceramic store has dozens and dozens of non-painted, unfired pieces that you can choose from to paint.  They set you up with a little place to work, give you your brushes and paints and any instruction you need for doing stamps,stencils or screens.  You come up with your own design and sometimes you have to come back several times just to finish one piece.  The last one I did took about 12 hours of actual painting time and I loved every minute.

Then last night I visited a mom of one of Chloe's friends at school and we sat around the kitchen and talked and then went outside and actually sat for two hours while other neighbors came over and all the kids played together.  It was a chilly but clear night in Neckargemuend, Germany and the view was spectacular.  God gave us a perfect sunset and one neighbor brought over fresh baked cake right from her oven.  I think Chloe ate three pieces. The children hung Easter eggs from the bushes and chased each other around the yard and down the slide and it was perfect.  Before we left I was invited to attend a Tupperware party the next evening (a TUPPERWARE PARTY in the 21st century?!?) and the little girl we had visited walked us up the hill to our home as a kind gesture.  Absolutely no technology anywhere in sight and it was priceless!