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  • Sarah Reijonen

Watch yourself. Challenge yourself.

Last week I wrote a 1,000-word blog about why people should quit FB. As I wrote it, I thought, I probably shouldn’t post this high-horsed rant, but I was going to anyhow.

That evening, my book about friendship focused on speaking the truth in love and sometimes just not speaking at all. It said that sometimes the things we invest in—some of which might be bad habits or unhealthy behaviors—might not be about “willfulness,” but instead about “wounds or unmet emotional needs.”

More importantly for me, it addressed the phrase “watch yourselves” in Galatians 6:1: “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves or you also may be tempted.” Of course, I’m not at all saying social media is a sin; instead, what I’m saying is that I’m the one with issues [the book I’m reading is, after all, called “All My Friends Have Issues: Building Remarkable Relationships with Imperfect People (Like Me)”]. **Italics emphasis mine.

As the author explains, “watch yourselves” points to the fact that “I am much more likely to succumb to the temptation of pride and judgmentalism…when I bring up an issue I see as a problem, I have to be very careful to stay humble and not try to control how (someone does or does not) take my advice.”

God was definitely talking to me. I knew it...but I figured I’d run it by my husband just to be sure (even though, deep down I already knew what he was going to say).

“You shouldn’t post this,” he said. And, I knew he was right. Instead of getting mad or offended, I told him it was going straight to the Rants folder. That was that.

“That” has been a long time in the making. “That” did not happen overnight. If you know me well enough then you know I am prideful and err on the side of outspoken, and lately—like many of us—wildly opinionated. But, what I’m learning very slowwwwwly is that our opinions don’t always need to be shared (contrary to what social media leads us to believe).

In Bob Goff’s book “Love Does,” he talks about how as a believer, I am not “here to build consensus”—I am here to build a kingdom.

Ouch. Talk about conviction. My heart just stuck its tail between its legs.

So, instead of preaching about the evils of FB, I’m going to practice encouragement! How about that sweet half-FULL glass of lemonade??

I want to encourage you by sharing my personal challenge last week and by urging you to choose your own challenge in the coming week or month.

Last week while Spanky was gone pheasant hunting in South Dakota, I decided I was going to try to hang out with a different girlfriend all six days that he was gone. Success! I hung out with seven! I hate to even call it a “challenge” because it was so fun and rewarding, but I have to admit that female relationships are not easy for me. I have a lot of scars from past friendships, but I’m also more of an introvert than I like to think or admit. I recharge by being alone: drawing, running or listening to podcasts on a hike or walk. My husband is the one who recharges by being around people 24-7. It’s easy for me to hole up in my RV for a week doing my own thing and not seeing a soul, but again—should we always do what’s easy? Let me hear it in the back! NO!

So, I scheduled a “play date” every day last week and dug deeper into my relationships, many of which are in their early blooming stages. Nothing will bloom unless it is watered and nurtured though, so I set off with that in mind.

Aside from hanging out with girlfriends, Spank and I hosted his cousin Jared last week after Spank’s hunting trip—the two actually flew in on the same plane from Seattle. We took Jared to our favorite restaurants that have stayed open through all of the madness, road tripped our beloved Highway 49 and all the old gold mining towns, and stopped for wine at Binz to sip their new releases and get a hug from Virgie, who runs the winery with her winemaker husband Gordon (Virgie gives the best hugs!) The boys rounded out the weekend by finding gold (Jared got to take an almost-quarter-ouncer home! There’s a little incentive to visit us!) Besides that, Jared said California was “not at all what he expected” i.e. more rebels and less beaches/Hollywood.

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