AVFM: I am a Social Media Rookie

This post is part of a series I like to call “A Visit From Mom.”  These posts are written by, well…my mom. I think she kind of rocks! My mom and her mother were the primary inspirations for me to starting writing way back as a little girl.  Now, I share my blog with my mom cause I think she has some things to say that you might really love.


I am a social media rookie. I have deliberately avoided getting too involved in emailing, facebooking,texting, and tweeting because I really like to speak with people face to face or phone to phone. Too much information is omitted when even the written words are being abbreviated. Recently, one of our children went to the Ukraine to finalize the adoption of a little boy. The need to communicate has forced me to blog and even skype. Can you imagine?. . . I find myself perusing facebook every day to
search for her latest news and to glean tidbits about our new grandson.

While I am ever so grateful for these lines of communication, I recall why I avoided them. I scroll down the screen, observing one person, recently divorced, bitter and sharing one-sided “war” stories. Another (or several) attack the president and his policies with far- fetched accusations and half baked truths. And then there are those attacking the attackers with more of the same. There are sweet friends who try to lighten the mood by sending me yet another witty saying or funny joke. There are birthday and anniversary reminders and simply quotations with obscure connections. I see young relatives who display inappropriate photos and use crass language , not realizing the impact they are making in a public forum. Very rarely do I actually see what I search for: news of friends and family.

We live in an age of technological advancement most of us could not have dreamed up in our youths. The communication technology is but a small portion of that. We can use our newfound technology to create immediate accessibility to one another or we can use it to create barriers and misunderstandings.

No matter how you use your social media outlets, use them with caution and forethought. We no longer are having a private conversation with a friend. We are conversing with a few million of them. It is so much easier to fire off a comment or two when you don’t have to look at the person while you do it. Somehow, it makes us feel less accountable for our own actions and more likely to speak before we think. I want to believe that we can use facebook to enhance our empathy and understanding for one another. Let us make it so.


Carlene Welch is the General Manager at Home Instead Senior Care of Northwest Arkansas, and avid writer and poet, and my mom. She serves as a Stephen’s Minister at her church and is one of the wisest women I know. She writes custom poetry and prose for cards and gifts. For more information, contact us at stringsattachedministries@gmail.com.

Vision and Invitation

There is a heaviness about me today.  A fatigue that is difficult to shake off, to smile past, to focus through.  In years past I would have labeled it with a medical name, Fibromyalgia, it was my catch-all.  A place I stored all the little stirrings of my heart, body, and soul that could not be defined as “pleasant.”  That’s not to say that I don’t still have symptoms of the disease, but more frequently now, I look deeper, past the physical symptom to the underlying cause.

Today, that cause was spiritual.  A tangible disquiet filled my soul this morning and colored my world.  At first, I wrote this all off to lack of sleep.  I stayed up late last night to watch TV, but in the midst of morning worship- Pow! Right in the kisser!

Music stirs my soul.  It quiets the ongoing voices in my head that cry out, “You don’t deserve…you’re not enough…you are a bad person.” But this morning, the music was dissonant within me.  Not in the way it sounded, but in the way it felt.

Disconnected.  Far away.  OPPOSED.

I closed my eyes and tried to force myself to focus.  To wrench up the discipline to worship. As I closed my eyes, assuming a physiology of worship, God smacked me in the face.

I physically felt the jolt of it.  The image that burned into my soul caused my eyes to burst open as if from a terrifying nightmare.  The pain in my heart caused me to grow faint and search for something to hold onto.  “Oh God, what is this?”

I grabbed paper to write it down simply to get the image out of my head.  This is what I wrote.

There is darkness around me. I see a chain from the pit of my belly running out into the darkness…pulling me deeper into it.  There is a light, but it is far away and I am disconnected from it.  I struggle against the chains, but they only dig in deeper.  I am bleeding, I feel the life draining from me. When I look it’s water that flows from me.

My heart is heavy- weighty in my chest. I am sluggish and drained and chilled to the bone. Lord, this picture is so vivid…so disturbing…so scary. Help me. Give me your peace.

“FAST,” he says, “you are being pulled away. Reconnect to the Light.”

And instantly I know that this is not a fast from food, although that would do my soul good, but this is a fast from something far more integral to my life: MEDIA.

Hi. My name is Cari and I am addicted to Facebook…(nervous giggle) It sounds silly when I say it out loud, but it is true.  I have known I have a problem for a while, but recently I’ve been under much conviction to take some time away.

So that’s exactly what I am going to do. Thanks to God’s thirty second horror movie (did I mention I was a big weenie when it comes to scary images- I am, ask my friend Heather..),  I have been spurred into to action.

I am writing this to let you know that I am taking a hiatus from social media and television for the next few weeks.  It’s not you…it’s me J , but  I promise I am not breaking up with you.  I do know that I need time to get back with my God, to soak up his words for me instead of what my friends in Florida are doing. To get my head back in the clouds so to speak.

I have scheduled several posts for you to enjoy while I am exploring God’s invitation to spend more time with Him, so in all actuality, you will be getting more posts from me that usual- how’s that for a little time apart, huh?

How about you? Do you need to lay something you do down so you can get closer to God?

Will you do that today?

Share it with us in the comments and let’s pray each other through this time of centering…