It's been about a month since I ditched my internet at home. Here are a few snapshots of life since then. The events that follow are blurry and probably out of order.
July 18 - Last blog post.
July 25- A week passes after my call to my cable provider. The internet has yet to be shut off. After a follow up call, I learn that I need to physically drop off my cable modem at a local store before the switch is thrown.
The next day I drop off my modem. Hibernation begins.
Late July - Bills are due. I stay after work to pay them online.
I complete several projects around the house, projects which have been on my list for months. I feel awesome.
Jacqui and I book tickets to St. Louis for Thanksgiving at a local Panera.
I read the entire issues of every magazine to which I subscribe: Golf Digest, Paste & Wired.
I no longer care about regularly checking Facebook and email. Meh.
For the first time in 10 years (before college), I'm in bed by 11 and up by 7am. It's glorious.
More mornings per week include breakfast and time in the Scripture. Even more glorious.
I discover an open wireless connection in my neighborhood, available to me only if I sit outside by the pool at night, type by the light of tiki torches, and slap at the mosquitoes biting my feet. Not worth it. After a few minutes, I go inside.
I return to the gym. Regularly.
Yesterday - I receive my cable bill. It's $30 cheaper. Sweet.
It may be the best decision I've made in a long time. Until next time. Be well.
As you read this, I'm already disconnected. Thursday afternoon I called my cable provider and canceled my internet service at home. It could vanish at any time.
It feels like I'm losing my connection to the outside world - it's a bit horrifying. For a guy who listens to podcasts, has a blog, facebook, email, plays fantasy baseball, and owns a mac with regular software updates - this is quite a step. Truth be told, it's a decision I've been considering with for quite some time. After more than a few fruitless hours flushed away while flopped lazily on my sofa, I'm leaving the grid.
I'll keep you updated on my attempt to de-tangle myself from the web. While I continue to post from other locations, you can track my progress. It might last for 30 days. It might be 60. It might be permanent. But I'm guessing that before too long I won't miss it anymore.
Instead, I'll save $40/month. I'll read a book. Or swim in my pool. Or go to the gym. Or watch a sunset at the beach.
Jacqui and I are back from Colorado. We got back early last week and I've been trying to catch up ever since. I don't think the rest of my body realized vacation was over until Saturday. People keep telling me that it's a sign of a great vacation.
More good things await me in the next few weeks - visits from friends and family plus the debut of our new website, a project which has consumed hours and hours of my time in the last month. Perhaps the biggest blip my radar is a trip to New Orleans next week to talk with some talented people about the mass events for next summer's National Youth Gathering. It should be cool.
Tonight is Major League Baseball's 80th All-Star Game. In an hour I'm heading out to a local refreshment establishment to take in the event with some friends. I'm proud that St. Louis, home of my most recent mailing address, is the host city. I'm also proud to have Albert Pujols, my favorite player on my favorite team on my fantasy baseball team.
Though it's July 14, it feels like my summer has just begun. Life at church has slowed down to the point where I can get most of my list accomplished each day. I leave without returning for evening meetings. Best of all is that as I depart at the end of the day, I don't "feel" like I have a lot of work to take home with me.
And it's glorious.
Ahhh... it must be summer. I'm not sure which should have been my first clue; my stress-free spirit or the steamy 95-degree sauna outside. In either case, it sounds like a swim in the pool is in order.
I returned last night from an 8 day mission trip near Immokalee, Florida. It's hard to sum up an entire week in a single blog post, so I'll use a list to share with you some of the best snapshots from an amazing experience. Here are a few of my favorite memories...
Lots of hard work and sweat to help the I-Hope organization which has been aiding hurricane recovery in Collier County since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
Playing "Light the Fire" and singing songs that reminded me of my days in Root 66.
Leading nightly Bible studies with my teammate Leslie, then discussing the study with the 8 young adults who joined us, followed by prayer and conversation with my friend Matt.
Going door to door to invite people to a Lutheran Haitian revival service.
Shooting a video for the Amigos Center in Immokalee.
Serving at the food bank at the Guadalupe Center with Juanita. There I met a young woman named Jennifer and her baby daughter. Jennifer shared with me that she was on drugs during her entire pregnancy and gave birth to a perfectly healthy child. So she named her Miracle.
Learning a ton of new card games.
Speaking at the Haitian revival service to a room of over a hundred people who spoke very little English.
A heart to heart conversation with one of my best friends.
After celebrating the Lord's Supper on Friday night, Leslie and I were approached by one of our students, who told us that she was rededicating her life to Christ. We prayed together in tears.
Talking to one of our students about her special opportunity to help another student who was struggling and telling her at the end of the week how proud I was of her.
Watching my first minor league all-star game and home run derby.
Seeing God grow the seeds of faith in our students and young adults.
There are lots more memories and countless stories. I can't wait for our next trip.
I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon on a mission trip with our young adults and high school students. It's been quite a busy week with staff members traveling, important voters' meetings, vacation Bible school, a couple of sermons, oh, and preparations for the trip.
I think I'm packed. I suppose I don't need much more than some old clothes and a blue and yellow Nerf football. But then again, I'm one of the people in charge so that means packing extra things when people forget stuff or those "just in case" situations. It's a new experience for me to help lead a trip like this. I'm looking forward to learning so that we can start other trips here. My teammate has been a great mentor already.
It should be a great trip. I haven't been on a mission trip since Juarez in 2001(?). [Shoutout!] I think the some of things I'm looking forward to include laughing with our students and young adults, working hard and sweating a lot, and watching God work in our lives to bring us together and shape us (and me) as his servants, and serving the people that God puts in our path.
We could use your prayers. Be back next Sun.
Random things I'm wondering about at 11:47 pm... - Do I need to change parts of my sermon for tomorrow morning? - When did TV all commercials with computers start featuring Mac laptops instead of PC's? - Why did so many people think Gran Turino was a great movie? Jacqui and I just watched it and I felt totally depressed the whole way through. - Do I have enough space on my DVR to record the opening rounds of US Open?