I noticed several weeks ago that my Iphone was like a dog yanking on a chain. I took it out to glance at it when it buzzed. Even when I was talking to my handsome guy, I looked away to see who was on the other side of that notification.








Google calendar

That’s just a few that buzzed, beeped, chirped and pinged, depending on the current setting.

I’m not addicted. . .

At least that’s what I told myself.

I reasoned, reminding myself that this is how we work nowadays (I sound 102 when I say that, I know) and it’s handy, yes it is. The problem is that all of those alerts and notifications weren’t really that important, not really, not enough to take my attention away consistently.

They could wait, I told myself, except for they didn’t.

Is it okay if I’m honest with you and don’t pretend that I have it 100% together? Because somewhere around this time is when I knew it had crossed from accessing some really great tools to addiction.

Yes, that’s what I said: addiction. 

I really wanted to check my phone even when I made a conscious choice to put it down. It was habit to continually scroll through Facebook (after all, I’m in ministry and that’s where the people are), or to check my emails one more time or click that heart on Instagram.

There were times that my phone buzzed or vibrated in the night and I picked it up just to see. . . and that blue screen led me from the notification to reading a chapter of a book to checking Facebook.

And what do you know it’s 1 a.m. in the morning and I’m going to be super tired the next day.

I turned off notifications on almost everything except my calendar and texts and messages, because I didn’t need them.

I didn’t want them.

Can you hear the addict behavior? Deep inside I KNEW it was moving into unhealthy territory, but I continued to check it because I didn’t need notifications anymore. My need to tune in was my notification.


One night Richard and I were sitting in a restaurant and I saw a couple with their kids. Dad was scrolling. Mom was texting away. Kids were sitting in silence eating. I looked at more families and couples and friends, and saw much of the same.

It broke my heart.

It’s not the first time I’ve noticed this new way of doing things and I was feeling frustrated about it, because after all this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. Why would you ignore the loved one across from you to check out what someone had for dinner or to watch that funny video or play yet one more game of Candy Crush?

That’s when the Counselor, our Advocate, the One who loves us spoke to my heart.

You do it too. 

How many times had I chose social media over the warm body in the next room? How many times did I stand up at the dinner table and walk away because I heard a text ping?

How many times had I woke up with circles under my eyes because I read one more chapter, played one more game, checked one more status update. . .

Addiction to anything is never pretty because it means that we’ve allowed something to be bigger than us and it’s a bully, but we continue to feed it and nurture it as if it has value.

Oh, Lord, the addict is me. 

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)

That’s the freedom offered in any addiction. As women who are absolutely loved by God, we are not powerless. Jesus may not have been tempted with Instagram, but He knows what it is to be distracted by the enemy and offers a way out.

{Click to Tweet} When something tilts from harmless to unhealthy, we are not powerless

When I talked about this with a friend, she said, “Sometimes those things are just a way to have some downtime,” and she’s absolutely right. This isn’t pointing a finger at you if you wile away a few moments checking out FB or play a hand of Spades. It’s not saying that these aren’t amazing tools that help us stay connected, or that my struggle is yours.

It’s simply saying that when the Holy Spirit gently points out something (even if it’s good) that has tilted from harmless to unhealthy, we aren’t stuck in that behavior.

When something of lesser value is claiming a bigger part of our identity or our family or our hearts, we still have a Helper who leads us back to those things that are of greater value. It puts us back in balance, right where we long to be.

So I’m in the process of actively choosing something of greater worth over that of lesser value.

Sure, I’ll still have my phone. But it won’t have me.


It’s #livefreeThursday. Women from all over the world are gathering to talk about “I give up,” today. What has God been leading you to give up? OR what does it mean for you to give up, good or bad?

I can’t wait to dig in deeper with you.

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