"Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you..." (Deuteronomy 6:14)

Do you remember the update that I posted back in September, when I began blogging again? The one where I talked about watching the documentary Captivated and how convicting it was? That documentary (and the Holy Spirit) inspired some major changes in my life.

I was - and am - seeking freedom from media-captivation. I finally faced the fact that I was addicted to cable TV, Facebook, texting, media multi-tasking, computer and phone games. To be honest, I still am. I cut way way way back... for a while.

I actually did pretty well until Christmas break and the death of my aunt. Then I found myself with a much quieter schedule and a higher level of stress, so I allowed myself to numb my brain a bit. Then, school started back up and I found it very difficult to quit.

It only got worse during Doug's recent business trip. I was using TV as a replacement for human companionship in the evenings. Again, once he got home, I found it very difficult to quit. I don't like where all of this is going.

I think it's time to remind myself of my resolutions and renew my prayer and efforts toward change. I liked the freedom I felt when I was sticking to these restrictions and I want it back.

1. I talked before about wanting to cancel our AT&T U-verse subscription. I honestly don't remember whether I talked to Doug about it or not. Either way, I will bring it up again. The idea makes me kind of squirmy and uncomfortable, but those hundreds of channels are just a temptation that I don't need.

I still plan to keep Netflix and watch TV shows that way (and online, if I really feel that I must).

2. I haven't gotten too loose with Facebook (with the exception of Doug's trip, when I needed the instant gratification of comments and 'Like's). Still, I am looking at it more than my goal of only once per day, in the evening.

I've decided that I will keep going with Instagram. It doesn't take up much of my time anyway. I do, however, need to take the time to use our real camera more often. I've been using photos from Doug's business trip for the past several updates because I haven't taken any pictures myself.

3. Here's a really tough one. Back in September, I said, "I will not text, play phone games, or play computer games when there is another human in the room with me." . . . [shifty eyes] . . . I'monlevel221ofCandyCrush!

Gonna have to take a hard line on this one again. It seems to be my weakest area.

4. Now, I also vowed to use only one type of media at a time. No playing phone games - or computer games, or reading email - while watching TV. I had a tough time with this one, right from the start. Intellectually speaking, it makes sense.

Practically speaking, I like to have busy hands! Also, if I'm not using my phone (other than phone calls) when there are other humans in the room... that kind of leaves only one time to play them - during rest time. I use the kids' rest time to watch one episode of whatever show I'm making my way through on Netflix.

I think I'm just going to compromise with myself. I can play Candy Crush (Let's be honest. That's what we're talking about here.) while watching TV during rest time. In the evenings, when watching my one episode of something-or-other with Doug, I will stretch my ability to focus only on one thing.

Wow. That sounds kind of pathetic. For one thing, I watch two episodes of tv during the day, and that's still cutting back. For another, how wasted is my brain if I have a hard time paying attention to one thing for 45 consecutive minutes?!?

5. I did follow through with my previous idea of switching from a digital newspaper subscription to getting the real paper thing. That has resulted in less time spent staring at a screen. An even more satisfying result has been seeing Lila pick up the newspaper and scan it.

The only thing she's really interested in is the weather chart on the back page of the main section, but that's a start! And it's fun that she's so interested in the weather chart. Ooh! She would probably love it if I gave her the paper first every morning and asked her to tell us what the weather will be like!

So, those are my renewed resolutions. Making them public should be a good motivator for sticking to them!

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