John 13:34
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

This past week my family and I had the chance to spend an extended weekend at Big Lake Wilderness Lodge, “The most remote drive-in lodge in northern Minnesota.” As we made our way from the quaint downtown of Ely, MN we were perplexed when our GPS revealed it would take nearly an hour to make the 22 mile drive to our cabin. We thought it had to be wrong.

As we twisted and turned down the winding road, thankful our little guy who gets carsick had fallen asleep, the drive time quickly made sense when the pavement ended and the hairpin turns tightened. Making our way through the tall pines and between the pristine lakes, with “no service” appearing on my iPhone, we arrived at our temporary home.

Settling in to our modest but comfortable little cabin, we spent the next few days canoeing, fishing, hiking, exploring, watching eagles soar, and eating s’mores around the bonfire. With sparse wi-fi reception beyond the lodge, the usual pull of technology was left miles behind.

Having the uninterrupted time with my family was precious and priceless. To not only be with, but to be fully present with my family was a gift.

But can I be honest? Our time at the cabin only highlighted how much I am usually plugged in to some form of technology. Given I work from home, I find it is easy to blur work and family time. I am often on my laptop before my boys are awake and then throughout the day. I justify my time on technology because I am working. When my husband or boys make a comment about it I get defensive. After all, I am not on social media or shopping…most of the time…yikes. However, regardless of what I am doing, when I am plugged in to technology I am not plugged in with those around me.

Now obviously there is a time and place for work and for being on technology, but maybe like me, you need to be more intentional about breaking free from media so you can be fully present with those around you. Good grief, earlier this summer my 3 year old son nearly collided with the side of a pontoon because I was so intent on capturing the perfect picture of his jump into the lake on my iPhone I overlooked the need to help him!

As we read through the gospels we see how Jesus was the master of building deep and meaningful relationships with others by giving them His undivided attention.

Granted there were no iPhones or internet then, regardless, Jesus knew how to love others by giving them His time and full attention; I know I can learn a thing or two from His example.

Have you ever tried to talk to someone only to have them check their email or send a text while you do? Irritating, isn’t it? And I realize that’s how my boys feel when I tell them I am listening, but am doing something on media at the same time.

How about you? Do you spend more time on media then you would like to admit?

Rather than being fully present with those around you, are you working, checking email, or scanning social media? You plan to only be a quick minute, but next thing you know you are watching a viral video, checking sports updates, or scanning pictures of what celebrity children look like today…not that I know anything about that!

What boundaries do you need to put in place with technology so you can unplug and truly plugin with those around you?

Is it no media at the dinner table? Shutting your phone off when you arrive home from work? Only checking email or social media once a day and for a certain time limit? Giving up online shopping or games? I don’t know what it is for you, I am still figuring this out myself. What I do know is that I need to be better at showing love to others by unplugging from media and plugging in to them.

How will you unplug so you can plug in this week?


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