This weekend I sold my iPhone.
I’m very sad.
Now, before you go judging me for being all materialistic, which I am, I want to let you know that as a SAHM my iPhone was my life-line to friends and family. I kept up with people on Twitter and Facebook. I shared photos of our life through Instagram. I paid our bills on it, got directions, and even did some Christmas shopping. I had my Bible and some of my favorite books loaded on it, and it entertained me in an idle moment by allowing me to fling an angry bird at a pig or search for a word with my friend.
And it cost a lot of money. And it was a distraction from my kids. And I was kind of obsessed with it.
This summer I followed bloggers as they went on Compassion International trips to visit third-world countries, I heard from missionaries returning from Papua New Guinea and Russia, and I thought a lot about contentment.
I longed for one of those eye-opening, life-changing trips — I wanted to have priorities that aligned with God’s and I wanted my children to appreciate the things they had and not be discontent about the things they didn’t.
Moving to South Africa or PNG seemed like the only way we could learn this lesson. How could that possibly happen in the middle of Orange County?
God challenged me in that thought.
He asked me what was harder, to sacrifice fancy phones, Starbucks cups and trips to Target when they are inaccessible or when they’re surrounding me.
God began pointing out to me the sense of entitlement I walk around with. The “I am a SAHM of four small children and I deserve help and special rules” thoughts that filled my mind. The inconsistencies in my words and actions.
I talked about my desire to help those in need and my desire to make sacrifices for God. I prayed to Him for provision when our finances were tight and waited for Him to miraculously provide for us through the generosity of “Anonymous.”
And yet I justified spending as much on my cell phone bill each month as I do on two weeks worth of groceries for our family of six.
Money was not the only reason for getting rid of it, though.
My attention was pulled away from my children and husband.
With my phone constantly beside me, I was tempted to check my email, lurk on Twitter or play a game. Before I would realize, an hour would pass with me staring at the little glowing screen; an hour that could have included cleaning the kitchen, reading a book to my children or going for a walk. How could I complain about not having enough time for what I needed to do when I was making so much time for what I wanted to do?
I did not make the decision lightly. I do not think that it is sinful to own an iPhone. I fought God over this for over a month. However, you can only pretend that what you’re hearing is NOT God for so long. Josh wasn’t sure that I was supposed to sell it, and he felt bad because he knew how much I utilized it.
There was not a doubt in my mind.
The interesting part is what this weekend has been like for me. Having no phone since Friday night has put me in a sort of forced retreat. Yes, I can still go on the computer and interact with people, but it’s not the same as having it always by your side.
Strangely enough, I feel like a weight has lifted off my shoulders.
Maybe it’s because I haven’t had anything to distract me from the life going on in front of me. Possibly it’s due to the lack of alerts, notifications and alarms that were a source of temptation to check this app or that game. Definitely, it is because I finally did the thing I knew God was asking me to do.
I do miss Words with Friends, though…