I have a confession to make: I need to unplug during this Advent season. I need to stop distracting myself and focus on preparing my heart for Jesus. I find myself less and less able to just live life and BE. Instead I keep reaching for my phone, filling the minutes between one activity and the next with social media and it needs to stop. NOW. This quiet, reflective time of Advent is coming at just the right time for me.
My Advent Unplugged Plan:
Remove the social media apps from my iphone. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and maybe Instagram. The only reason I’m hesitant to delete Instagram is that I find it more life-giving and less distracting and overwhelming than the rest. I love my little Instagram community and sharing prayer requests and snatches of life is refreshing and encouraging. So, I may keep that one around. It’s Facebook that really gets me and sucks me into a vortex of distraction.
In addition, I’ll be doing my best to keep the laptop CLOSED during the day. If my kids are up, the laptop shouldn’t be open. Period.
I’m going to fill those little lost minutes with the following:
Spiritual reading during Advent. I love Watch for the Light (most of the selections, there’s a few low points) and I’d love your suggestions for other Advent reads, so please leave them in the comments!
Lots of eye contact and engagement with my kids.
Time with the kids, maybe drinking a cup of coffee or tea, maybe with a book in hand, but leaving my phone inside.
Do you want to join me for Advent Unplugged? My struggle to embrace quiet and preparation this Advent might not be the same struggle you’re facing. Is it your phone? The TV? The laptop? Figure out what’s distracting you and unplug. If you’d like to share your Advent Unplugged goals…
1. Write an Advent Unplugged post.
2. Add the Advent Unplugged button.
3. Link up below!
Tomorrow I’ll share some Advent music playlists with you and a giveaway of Marian Grace’s BEAUTIFUL new Advent CD!
For more ideas on observing the season of Advent intentionally, check out Feast! Real Food, Reflections, and Simple Living for the Christian Year, our cookbook full of ideas about liturgical living with reflections on keeping Advent sacred. It’s currently on sale for $4.99 through Thanksgiving!
Thank you so much for hosting…what a great idea…I love your tips!
Be well and enjoy this lovely Sunday evening!
Thanks for linking up, Chris C 🙂
An excellent idea. I’ve been needing a kick in the pants to get this going. Thanks for the kick. 😉
Btw did you get a chance to check out my glowing review of yalls ebook?
I did! Thank you! I linked to it on my FB page, too 🙂
oh awesome. I didn’t see that! 🙂
Ruth Anne says
Thank you so much for posting a linkup. I *selfishly* didn’t even want to post my post at all (not just here, but anywhere), but like the commenter above, I needed this push to get going.
I posted the link-up because I need the accountability to really follow through! 🙂 Thanks for joining me, Ruth Anne!
I’ve never commented on this site, though I’ve been a big fan of the theological postings you’ve made and I very much like the idea of urban homesteading. But this idea of unplugging myself during Advent just struck me as such a good idea that I decided to crawl out of my reclusive no-commenting shack and commit to it!
I’ve never really gotten in to the whole social media thing, but I’m tired of being slavishly devoted to my computer, phone and video games for entertainment. So, I am going to stop using those things for entertainment. I’m going to stop hemming and hawwing and read Whose Justice, Which Rationality? because After Virtue transformed me from the weak Enlightenment-esque quasi-Catholic deist that I was and brought me back to Aquinas (I know MacIntyre wasn’t yet a Catholic when he wrote After Virtue, but his reliance on the Aristotelian metaphysical biology and his understanding of its weaknesses might be why, I think, he made the conversion to Catholocism in the early 80s). If I need more than that, I’ve got my guitar and The Complete Father Brown that I shamefully haven’t cracked the spine of yet.
I’m sorry if this comes across as (or simply is) an enormous rant, but I’ve been feeling like I need something like this for a long while. This is just the impetus I need to try and divest myself from glowing screens during my free time. The only exception I’ll make is that I’ll continue to allow myself to watch the Cowboys play. Thanks for indulging my egregiously overlong comment, and God bless you and yours this advent!
I’m so glad you took the time to comment, Jacob! Can you believe that After Virtue has been sitting on my nightstand for almost a year and I still haven’t started it?! Thanks for the motivation to add it to my 2014 reading list and really take the time to absorb it 🙂
Sarah Doll says
“Come, Lord Jesus” by Mother Mary Francis is a WONDERFUL book for Advent. I cannot recommend it enough! It has daily meditations and they are so beautiful, if there is anything I try to do for advent, it’s read that book. It truly prepares my heart for the Christ child :).
Oh, that sounds wonderful!
Michael J. Lichens says
I used to “unplug” every Advent. It was a great thing to do and I was amazed at how at peace I could be without getting into petty internet arguments. Now that I use it professionally, I’m not sure what I’ll be doing this year.
I’m struggling with the same thing! I think it will really help me to remove the apps from my phone and then commit to just checking in a couple times a day instead of staying connected all day long.
What an awesome idea! I’ve been needing a kick in the pants and this is exactly what I needed. Working on my post and will be linking up soon!
yay! I’m so glad, Rachel.
I was just thinking about this last night before I went to bed but wasn’t sure if I really wanted to do it! After my prayer time this morning, where I did some more pondering on unplugging during Advent, I read your post and felt like it was a confirmation for me that this is something I need to do!
So glad you’re joining in, Charity!
“Reed of God” by Caryll Houselander is an amazing book to read during Advent. It is a profound meditation on Mary, the Mother of God, her humanness, what she experienced here on earth as the Mother of Jesus, and how her eternal “Yes” has flowered incredible holiness and impact. I read it for the first time last year and it completely changed my idea of Mary and her important role in the Church. I am going to continue to read it every Advent from now on! I hope you can enjoy and thank you for your beautiful insights!!
Oh, that sounds wonderful! Thanks, Bailey!
Love this, Haley! I’ll have to think and pray on it but I’m feeling that same nudge lately, too.
Thanks, Mary! I’m sure the practical side is different for everyone. For me, I just know FB has to stop taking over!
Jamie Jo says
This was a great idea for a link up!! I just wrote my post, thank you for the inspiration!
Great! Can’t wait to check out your post!
This is a very timely post. I have been thinking similar thoughts about Advent. I have a book I can’t wait to start on: A Child in Winter with readings by Caryll Houselander. I did sneak a peak at the first reading and it looks awesome.
Oh, that sounds lovely. Thank you for the recommendation, Emmie!
Joined the party! Thanks for the inspiration. I’ve definitely been feeling like I’m in a social media rut and completely distracted from real life. This detox will be good for me.
Mary @ Quite Contrary says
You know, I gave up social media apps on my phone this past Lent and only used the laptop for non-essentials (I did use it during the day for paying bills and the like) for a strict 20 minutes when my girls were asleep. And I loved it! I got so much more done and was more present to my daughters (she types as #2 is sitting next to her). But what did I do the week after Easter? Put them all back on! Thanks for this little kick in the pants!
Hi Hailey. I have been following your blog for a few months now and am a huge fan. My family is in the middle of our journey home to the Catholic faith, so this is our first Advent. I got our first Advent Calendar and some Advent candles today and I am so excited to start new traditions with my 4year old son. As it is my first Advent, I wasn’t prepared for goals, but reading thus post has inspired me. I was already planning on starting my Read the Bible in a year reading plan. I may look for some other good reads, too. But, i will make a more conscious effort to unplug as I am also guilty of constantly reaching for my phone. I am also planning on working on stepping up my prayer life for Advent. Have a blessed season. I love your posts!
Thanks so much for sharing about your Advent plans, Amanda! Love the idea of starting a Read the Bible plan.
My husband was just talking about the exact thing. Thanks for posting. I just saw this Novena today, and I am going to do it. Here is the information and the link. I hope you can pray it too.
“The St. Andrew Christmas Novena, also known as Christmas Anticipation Novena is prayed 15 times a day for 25 days beginning on the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (Nov 30th) until the Eve of Christmas (Dec 24th). It is piously believed that whoever recites this novena prayer 15 times a day for 25 days will obtain what is asked. The novena is not addressed to Saint Andrew but to God Himself, asking Him to grant our request in the honor of the birth of His Son at Christmas.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold.
In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayers and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
Imprimatur – Michael Augustine, Archbishop of New York – Feb 6, 1897.”
That’s one of our Advent traditions! Just memorized it last year. It’s beautiful!
Amanda @ Erring on the Side of Love says
Haley! I missed the link-up but am still participating at home and on the blog! Love this link-up, but like in me-fashion I’m late. Prayers for your unplugged time and for all others trying to approach this season in joyful anticipation. Hoping to put down the phone more often than not and spend more QT with the kiddos, hubby, family, and friends!
Sarah K says
I’m a little late to the game, and the link-up is closed. I am joining you nonetheless. 🙂