A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Facebook Is My Crack - My New Plan Of Attack!

Hello, My Name Is J-La-Sta and I am a
I'm sure this admission comes as no surprise to the majority of my FB followers.  Before FB, I was addicted to Internet dating.  Yes, I am now a Married woman.  No, I am NOT still addicted to Internet dating!  I don't think that would sit too well with my Husband, and understandably so! :-) 
  • I am a very social person, so it is not surprising that I would be addicted to social media.  However, I've come to realize this about social media and in my case, Facebook:
In doing research on social media/facebook addiction, I've read that FB can be more addicting than drugs and alcohol.  I believe that, because it is for me!  But just as stated in the pic above, FB makes you feel that you're connecting with people when actually you're just not.  I agree that it is a form of connection with people you probably do know, or have known in real life, but it is no replacement for real human interaction, real human relationships.  
We've become a society that's so reliant on technology we've forgotten how to communicate with each other.We need to be not ruled by social networks. We need to go out there and actually connect to the world around us. Technology has made our life easier, but it's stopped us from connecting.We've become a disposable society; a society where relationships are no longer important. We basically use people as we use phones. We have one year contracts. It's time for us to really connect again because the world is becoming a disconnected place, right when we need each other most.  David Wygant

For the past few years now I've felt as if many people know what's going on in my life, without much effort on their part, because I post a lot of status updates on FB.  However, it takes more effort on my part to find out what is going on in their lives because they don't post on FB.  I have no one but MYSELF to blame!!  I think b/c I post on FB frequently, people may feel they know what is going on in my life.  Yes, they may know what is going on (although I don't post everything on FB believe it or not!), and that is the great thing about FB.  It keeps people up to date about the happenings in our lives in this very busy world.  But I miss real relationships.  Do I socialize outside of FB.  Yes!  Do I socialize enough outside of FB? No!  I want to get more connected at our Church and hopefully we will get plugged in to a Small Group soon!   
  • I think one of the reasons that I'm addicted to FB is that I have a fear of missing out!  Who likes the feeling of missing out?  No one that I know!

          It's not facebook, its crackbook - and we all suffer FOMO. 
Summary: FOMO -- fear of missing out is keeping us addicted to our social networking sites according to a new connecting and communicating study released today.
Eileen Brown

  • I think another reason that I'm addicted to FB is that I'm an approval addict as well.  Come on, admit it, does anyone else check FB to see who or how many people have "liked" your status update?  I have! Many times!

Not until I learn to remind myself of how little the opinions of others matter in deciding who I become in life will my social media addiction be entirely cured. It's not my use of the websites that trouble me, but my dependence on them to make me feel whole. Feeling complete should never be reliant on someone sitting at a computer pressing a button and accurately reflecting who I am online is impossible because no digitized photo album or self-aggrandizing "About Me" section will ever do me justice.
High School Senior
Jonathan Jacob Moore

“Our desire for approval can only truly be met by receiving God’s acceptance and approval of us.”  Joyce Meyer 

I've put FB above my relationship with God for FAR too long.  So what am I going to do about my addiction?  With HIS help, I will overcome my addiction.  Here are the steps I've taken/will take to wean myself of this addiction.  Do I think people should quit FB altogether?  No!  I believe that when used in moderation, it can be a very handy tool for communication, encouragement, etc. 

  1. Last night I created a new FB Password.  It is 15 letters/numbers long.  There is no way I could possibly remember it.  I then logged off of FB on my cell phone.  I deleted my FB and Twitter Apps on my phone. 
  2. I will only use FB on the laptop, which we moved out of the living room and into our guest room.  I will have the password written down there.
  3. I will start off by limiting myself to 20 minutes on FB in the morning (AFTER showering and my quiet time with God!), and I will allow myself to use FB for an hour and a half in the evening.  This is FAR FAR less time than I had been spending on it!  I will not have limits on yahoo, google, etc for now b/c I am not addicted to the Internet.  I am addicted to social media.

It’s like an eating disorder. You can’t eliminate food. You just have to make better choices about what you eat.” She added, “And what you do online.”  Katie Hafner

Please pray for me as I begin this weaning process!  I need all the prayers and encouragement I can get!  Just like I gradually weaned myself off of overeating via weight watcher's.  I will now wean myself off of FB gradually, till I reach a healthy amount of FB time for me!  I'm sure I will now have so much time that I won't know what to do with myself, but I'm sure I'll be tons more productive outside of work!  (Thankfully we can not go on FB or the Internet at work for personal use!)

I feel this is the last addiction (that I know of) that I need to confront.  Baby steps!

Here is a tool if you are curious to find out if you are addicted to FB or not:

Rate yourself on the Facebook Addiction Scale.
Record your responses -- very rarely, rarely, sometimes, often or very often -- to the six following statements.
•You spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook or plan to use Facebook.
•You feel an urge to use Facebook more and more.
•You use Facebook in order to forget about personal problems.
•You have tried to cut down on the use of Facebook without success.
•You become restless or troubled if you are prohibited from using Facebook.
•You use Facebook so much that it has a negative impact on your job/studies.
Now count up the number of times you answered "often" or "very often."

Quick Poll
Did you respond "often" or "very often" to four or more statements?

Yes -- Congrats! You're a Facebook addict like the rest of us.

No -- Woohoo! Your Facebook dependency hasn't reached the level of addiction.

Sara Gates


Saturday, July 20, 2013

My FPU Story

     There is FREEDOM in being debt free! But it hasn't always been that way for me! There is always hope! I'm hoping my story can give people hope to keep on keeping on! In September of 1998 I went to a consumer credit counselor b/c I couldn't pay my credit card bill...I was only paying the interest. I had 10K on a credit card. I had Student Loans. I had a car payment. I lived alone and had to pay rent. I had other bills. You get the idea! I was 24 years old. I was probably making 22K if that?? Life was tough! I didn't really budget and I will say that I wasn't the most responsible with my money...eating out (fast food) a lot, etc. The consumer credit counselor helped me, but would only work with my creditors if I cancelled my credit cards and no longer used them. It took me 5 years to pay off my CC.

     I have not used a credit card since September of 1998. 15 YEARS of not using a Credit Card and I've only had a second income (Jonathan) for 2 years. It was scary! I had no one to fall back on. But I needed to learn how to handle my money first. While Jonathan and I were dating he took Financial Peace University and I started Budgeting and working on the first few baby steps. We paid for our wedding without incurring any new debt. We came back from our 1 year anniversary vacay and paid off our last debt.   

     We just celebrated our 2nd Anniversary on July 8th! We were both single with no kids and had never been married. God is good! We now have a fully funded emergency fund and our goal is to bless others with what we have been given, travel a bit, and buy a condo in a few years. Jonathan just turned 38 and I will be 40 in January. We are very Blessed! So yes, I'm in a really good place right now, but I haven't always been. Just wanted to encourage those who get discouraged trying to make ends meet and get debt free. It IS possible. VERY Difficult, but it is possible! Keep on keeping on! You never know what tomorrow may bring!

     The hard work it takes is worth the FREEDOM that being debt free brings!

Friday, July 5, 2013

I Can't Believe This Is MY Life!

God has Blessed me with FAR more than I ever could have asked for or imagined!
I am overwhelmed with awe and thankfulness for the life I am living right now!  Is this really MY life?  Had I not gone thru years of challenges, difficulties and loneliness, I KNOW I wouldn't be even half as appreciative as I am today!  God is GOOD Now and He was GOOD Then!  It's just easier to see when life is going very well!

What I'm Thankful For
  • Undeserved and definitely unearned GRACE from my Savior Jesus!
  • MY HUSBAND.  I was single for 37.5 Years!  We will be celebrating our 2 Year Anniversary on July 8th and I couldn't be happier!  I am Married to my perfect match and now all of my single years make sense!  There was a purpose!  God was strengthening me thru the tough times.

  • The fact that we are DEBT FREE.  Yes, we worked very hard to get where we are at, but it was only because we are both Blessed with jobs.
  • VACATIONS!  We have this coming week off of work and get to spend it in Northern MI enjoying each other, and the beauty of God's creation!  We get to rest and get rejuvenated from our challenging start to the year (FIL passing and my hospitalization the same week - This was our last "vacation").  In  September we get to visit my MIL in WV, and in January we get to go to ARUBA where we will spend 7 nights at an all-inclusive resort.  It will be a nice break from the Indiana winter permacloud and  we will be celebrating my 40th Birthday.
  • HEALTH.  I am so very thankful for my health and the health of my Husband!  I had my dead and gangrenous gallbladder removed in March.  I was hospitalized for 3 nights.  Between my Husband and I we have collectively lost 123 lbs since February of 2012.  That's a whole person!  We are eating healthier and also walking.  We LOVE Weight Watchers Online! :)  We both feel SO much better and it's an Amazing feeling to be fitting into smaller sizes of clothing that we haven't worn in years!  I was prediabetic in Feb of 2012 and I am proud to say that I kicked prediabetes to the curb! :)
  • FAMILY & FRIENDS.  We have wonderful family and lots of wonderful friends.  We LOVE being "Aunt Jenny & Uncle Jonathan".  We are blessed to have lots of little (and many not so little anymore) ones to love and spoil!  What an Honor to be in these influential roles!
I know that life can change in an instant, but right now I'm thoroughly loving and enjoying this life that I am Blessed to live!  Thanks God!  :)