“I know you’re busy, but….”
“Wow, your business seems to be doing well. You guys are staying busy, huh?"
“Being busy is a good problem to have!”
‘BUSY’ is the word that I’m still trying to figure out the definition of. What does that really mean? I feel that whether we want to admit it or not, we feel valued when we are busy. We feel important when we say the words, “Yeah, I’m busy.” It’s what defines our level of success in our society. It’s what makes us feel good and feel worth in the midst of being just a speck in this big world. Social media has not helped with this phenomenon. In fact, it’s getting worse day by day as social media controls our lives more and more. We are deceived into thinking that when we have a lot to post, we are great because we have a lot 'going on'. The number of followers, likes and comments are what defines so many people’s status in their minds and really believe that in their hearts. It's becoming our identity. We deceive ourselves into thinking that we will find fulfillment and success and ultimate life achievements through these meaningless numbers. It’s causing serious addictions because as we get each notification, it makes us want to do it more and more and more. There’s no end because in the end, it will never satisfy. The higher these numbers grow, the more ‘fame’ we gain, and the more ‘fame’ we gain, the more ‘platform’ we have in thinking that we have this special power to influence and control what we want our followers to believe. We enjoy being idolized and being "cool". And then the world just becomes about you. We start thinking highly of ourselves and begin forgetting about THE One that it’s really all about. The only true Famous One. Instead of pointing people towards Him, we begin pointing people to ourselves, our life and how great we are.. I say all this because I too thought all of these things at one point or another and caught myself being deceived. I think social media is a great tool and I use it daily for our business, but just like anything else, if we don’t use it right, it can be a dangerous place to be for our soul. Social media in itself is not a bad thing, but if not used right and with no accountability, it can be just like alcohol, drug or sexual addictions. I have seen close and distant friends change because of social media and compromise who they are and what they stand for. I have seen close and distant friends be one person on social media and another off of it. I've seen people busy posting about what they're doing that they actually don't get to really experience what they're doing and also end up ignoring and offending the real people around them. It’s like they have this “virtual” life and their “real” life. They just can't seem to put the phone down and common courtesy is out the window. They're so consumed in impressing those online that they sacrifice their real relationships. Their 'reality' is confused. There are folks who are very vocal and ‘loud’ on Facebook, yet they are very timid and shy in real life. They want to portray an image of themselves that's not real at all. They make it seem like they're more busy than they really are, more put together than they really are, have more friends than they really do, etc.... I have done all of the above, and the scary part is that I did it without even realizing it. We are all kidding ourselves and each other, yet we believe everything we see and read. It’s a very interesting phenomenon that's going on, and it is really affecting our entire culture especially the younger generation who has not known this world without the 'online world'.
Last year after one of the busiest seasons of our lives, we knew that being ‘busy’ was not something we wanted to continue. I got so tired of saying the words, “I’m busy…” and "I don't have time." I was tired of being tired, and I hated feeling that way and I hated that "busy" was the only way people thought of us. God is not that way with you or me. He is always available, and He is never too busy to be there for us. When my friends began texting me with, "Hey I know you're busy but....", I knew what I was portraying and how I was living my life was not what we intended, and it was not right, and that change had to be made. Being busy is not a Godly character and that was something I was determined to change. Yes, I want to have a successful business. I want to raise successful children, have a successful marriage and successful friendships. I don’t want any of that to be mediocre. I want it to be excellent and it takes hard work for all those things to be at that level. However, where is the line? Where is the boundary? For our business, does success mean that we have to book 100 weddings a year? That we have to have 100K followers on Instagram? That we have to have the latest and the greatest equipment to take photos with which has nothing to do what equipment you own? That we have to look like we have the most perfect life and be 'in' and 'cool'? Where is the line? “The line” is where your conviction lies and when you cross that line is where you begin to compromise. And once compromise occurs, it just doesn’t matter anymore…. We will find ourselves accepting anything, being ok with anything. When there’s no conviction, there’s no right or wrong. There’s no truth in our life – we will no longer be able think for ourselves; rather, other people will think for us and these days, many of those people are who we follow on social media. We have more idols in our lives than ever before. With everyone making a statement, blogging, anyone getting featured and published with no real experience or credibility, we have to be careful who and what we believe. Just because there's a 'real' article out there or just because it 'looks' or sounds professional doesn't mean it is. We have to be able to decipher between real experts and expert wanna be's and know where our source is coming from before we begin believing everything on our newsfeed. We are bombarded with temptation all day which is in the palm of our hands literally, and it's a complete information overload, so we need a good filter system and that's our discernment and wisdom which can only come from God above. I believe that being busy is our society's biggest enemy. It sure is mine. That’s what’s destroying and stealing our faith, our values and beliefs. This doesn't mean it's ok to be lazy and do whatever we want. Work hard, yes! But, we must balance ourselves. Balance is not just a physical thing; it’s a mental sport that we all need to learn how to play well. We need to equip ourselves with great time management skills, prioritizing skills, efficiency skills, organizational skills to conquer the battle of balancing daily or even hourly. At the end of the day, what we do with our time is our choice, so let's choose wisely.
What does this have anything to do with my birthday? Earlier this year, I turned 39. Wow… how did I get here? It’s still unbelievable… it’s my last year in my 30’s and I will enter the big 4-0 next year! An age that I thought I will never reach because you know, that’s just ‘old people’. But nope, here I am… God has been dealing with me in so many areas of my life lately and I’ve been trying to figure a few things out. One thing is that there have been so many times when I wished and have expressed the thought, “Gosh, I wish I didn’t have to do anything! Just one day… Lord, can I have ONE day… just one… just 24 hours where I don’t have to think and just do NOTHING?” As my birthday was approaching, I told my husband that this was exactly what I wanted. Nothing more or less. Please… just give me 24 hours of peace and quiet. I just want to disconnect from everything and everyone around me for one day. I needed that day to press the "reset" button for myself. I always thought that something was wrong with me for not liking parties for myself and that I should have one just like everyone else because that’s just what you do on birthdays, right? But, for any birthdays that I’ve had (and I so appreciate them), that was the most uncomfortable thing for me. As much as I’m so grateful of course, but I just don’t like that kind of attention especially from a large crowd. This is definitely the introvert part of me coming out. I LOVE throwing parties for family and friends that love and want it, but I’ve finally came to a conclusion that it’s ok for me to want something other than a party.
So, guess what I got to do on my birthday this year? NOTHING!!!!!! That’s right. My hubby got me a room at the brand new hotel at the Avalon (which is so beautiful), and I did nothing. Rest is something even the God Almighty did, and that is what I’m working on this year. Rest… That’s the word and goal for 2018 for me and my family. I have no picture other than the one below because I did nothing y’all, and it felt amazing! I think especially all mamas can agree that 24 hours can be quite a long time of freedom. I mean, I guess I did do something though hehe... Instead of just hearing about “This is Us”, I totally binge watched that show and cried a ton. Lol I don’t know when I last watched a TV drama! Now I see what the hype of is all about and Tuesday nights have become my favorite! I got to read the Word some in peace too and that was wonderful. I had room service for food, and boy was that yummy or what? Some of you may wonder if Craig was there? After some thought, I let him come. ;) Only under one condition…. He could not ask if I wanted to do anything. Just be there and let me be. If you know our personalities, they’re complete opposites, and he doesn’t understand how doing nothing is fun. So, I told him that he will get bored, so beware.
Next morning, we had breakfast in bed, and Craig left early to get the kids and go to church with them. I stayed until 1pm. That was the latest I could checkout without any extra fee, so I walked out right at 1pm. ;) Craig and the kids met me at the hotel lobby and we spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at the Avalon, and yes, we had Jeni's Ice Cream. :)
After this experience, I know exactly what I want for my next birthday ‘bash’. TWO days of doing NOTHING! TWO! LOL!
What I’m learning so much these days is that no matter what the ‘trends’ of this world become, no mater what becomes acceptable, no matter how much this world and people change, for me and my house, we will serve the Lord... the faithful One, the unchainging One, the solid rock on which I stand.
Friends, thank you for reading and may you find rest and identity in Him.
With much love,
Craig + Unchong