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I had planned to write about how I am tired of hate. And I am. I am so overwhelmed by the hate that is pounded all the time. Between Christians, between sexes, between countries, between people. I know there are so many things that I don't understand, that I won't understand. And I don't understand the hate. It just makes me sad. Thinking you'll write about hate and then hearing about a bombing is pretty depressing. It's not a reinforcement you want.

I'm writing this Monday night while the girls sleep. I was blue today. It was gray and snowy*, there was a horrible bombing, and tomorrow, (today!), is my middle daughter's birthday. Seemed like there just isn't much to be happy about.

So, I called my mom. She reminded me we live in a fallen world. Because of what we as mankind did through Adam and Eve, death, hate, anger, pain have become the norm. I'm so grateful it doesn't end there.

But, we are surrounded by it. Sunday night Dave and I watched Argo on our computer. That too was depressing. I tend to think of "the olden days" (everything pretty much before I was born) as being better. But, when I did the entire world history course two summers ago, and now, just watching that movie, it reminds me: history is fraught with pain. We can't escape it. There has been no golden era for the world. Different places may have had peace at different times, but, just as the cry of my heart is to live a quiet life, I and millions (billions?) are not even given that. That too is sad.

So tonight, as I checked my phone for updates, looked on Facebook to see what people were saying, I felt a small check in my spirit. It's time to unplug. It's time to step back from the fear and the chaos.

It's not time to stop praying. It's not time to stop grieving. It's not time to stop reaching out to those in need. But it is time to stop living in fear. It is time to stop compulsively checking updates. It is time to stop the zoning out of the life in front of me because of dubious facts being passed my way.

I didn't grow up watching T.V. While we owned one starting when I was, I don't know, 7 (my sister would know, she's a date person) we watched 1 movie a week on Sunday nights. And the Olympics. Maybe the Super Bowl. Maybe. Anyway, we didn't watch T.V. So, even though we went to school 20 minutes from Columbine and knew many people from our youth group who went there, we didn't have the sustained coverage in our faces after the shooting. Similarly, during 9/11, I saw a few videos of what happened later, some stills. But we didn't sit in front of the T.V. and listen to all of the breaking news. I'm glad we didn't. It wouldn't have been good for me. I still remember those days. Remember where I was, who I saw. I don't need the actual images seared in my brain.

So too tonight, I am opting to unplug. We still don't own a T.V. But, I'm sure between my computer and my phone I could be all caught up on every last detail. But, I'll wait until tomorrow. Until more is known. I want to know. I believe it is important to know what is going on. But, I'm glad the girls aren't hearing something, seeing something, that would hurt them. I'm glad I'm not hearing something or seeing something that would hurt me. We played tonight instead.

I'm going to read a little. Finish this post. Maybe eat some cookies. I'm going to say my thankfuls. Offer more prayers. And catch up with the world tomorrow.

Praying for peace,

*I'm more of a sunshine and warmth kind of girl; gray days suck the life out of me.

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  1. Jaime G.

    Jonelle, you will really be encouraged by Pastor Tom Holladay's sermon from 4/7. You can check it our here (around minute 28 was particularly inspiring for me but listen before that to get the whole picture).


    It really spoke to me on this very theme you're blogging about. I've been wondering lately "why more pain than pleasure?" and really meditating on this earthly Christian life. But I look around me and I see mostly "happy" people. Or at least the masks they wear are happy. Pastor Tom's words encouraged me, not because I now expect abundant happiness and pleasure (that would be a lie) but because I know I'm "real" and my feelings aren't off track and that I have hope from my Creator to keep claiming! He's loving me constantly and testing me and shaping me for an eternal life that will be wonderful. I'm beginning to understand the book of James and Christian concepts like suffering for/like Christ better and actually be kind of ok with it. This life truly is a race - a lot of hard work but when I choose God that energy is well placed!

  2. I can relate to so much from this post. No TV - we're there with you. We choose to filter the news and media that our children digest, especially on days as it relates to major events like Columbine and now this most recent bombing. Unplug, in order to retain a better focus. Unplug, in order to keep our minds on heavenly things. We're with you, Jonelle!

  3. Belinda

    Dear Jonelle,
    Thanks for this post - i know what you mean.....
    we live in a very rural village in the North of Mozambique - sometimes just going out my back door is too much. But, yes, we carry on, we pray, we trust our Loving Father and we seek salvation for those who do not know Him and act accordingly. May He bless you today. Belinda