Beginnings

There are certain things that I can perform generally well. Taking trash to a trashcan, signing my name on a dotted line, filling a pan with water, making to do lists, and bringing conversations to awkward stand stills. What I do not do well, is begin. Begin books, routines, resolutions, emails, essays, awkward conversations. They all prove to be extremely difficult for me.

But we all must start somewhere, so, I sit here, grit my teeth, and begin the introductions.

Top Left - Breonna, Top Right - Melodi, Middle - Dominique, Bottom Left - Imani, Bottom Right - Donna
Top Left – Breonna, Top Right – Melodi, Middle – Dominique, Bottom Left – Imani, Bottom Right – Donna

Five out seven of the girls in my family are embarking upon this journey. My mother, Donna, (or Mamma Donna) three sisters, Imani, Breonna, Dominique, and me, Melodi. Imani is the eldest, and a recent college graduate (as of a month, yay!). Bree is currently attending college about two and half hours away from us and is twenty one. I, Melodi, am in my last year of high school and have just turned eighteen years old. Dominique is a high school sophomore who recently turned sixteen. Our amazingly witty mother, Donna, whose age is not worth mentioning (she would edit it out anyway), is a stay at home, home-school mom of seven and a tutor for local homeschool communities.

We created this blog for two specific reasons. The first is to encourage, authentically. The lack of transparency in the online world is a real problem for people who are seeking truly helpful and encouraging advice. Through our own experiences, we hope to encourage others in whatever season of life, and hopefully they can draw hope and wisdom (Not too sure about that last one :)).

The second reason was to create something that would tie us together. Not only would my family and I be forced to keep up with each other, but we would also be given the opportunity to create together.

I suppose beginnings are not our strong points, and I drew the short end of the stick in this case. But, there is also a fascination that comes with beginnings, and I feel privileged to be in this awesome season of my life. Beginnings are difficult but they often lead to blessings abundant!

Feel free to comment about any new beginnings that you may have encountered this year,  and we can encourage one another to try new things – like blogging!

Living and loving transparently,

Melodi

—–

The Lewis Women

Advertisements

Why I Stopped Wishing People Happy Birthday … on Facebook

This month/next few months, my mother, sisters and I are going to be chatting about relationships (spoiler alert: only two out of the five of us are in relationships so be prepared for some angst-y posts).  It’s my turn first and as a person who works on digital/social media, I decided to address our relationships online.

Do you ever wonder what inspires site updates on Facebook? Now don’t get me wrong, I totally understand that I shouldn’t criticize a service that I get to use completely for free. But sometimes, I wonder if the Facebook genies are aware of the huge impact that their updates make on people’s relationships today (I feel I can say “people’s” since the majority are on it now – I mean it’s 2015).

Take birthdays for example. Before Facebook existed (which wasn’t that long ago, folks), a person had to actually put out some effort to show affection to the people that they cared about. There weren’t any reminders when you logged into to something  online or used your phone tell you when someone’s birthday came up. There wasn’t a “wall” page you were able to “post” to in order to share your birthday salutation. Before Facebook, if you wanted to tell someone “Happy Birthday, not only did you have to do it directly but you also had to remember to do it, too!

It’s crazy to think about how much these online cultural norms have changed us. Because of that all-too-convenient “Birthday Box” on Facebook, people feel obligated to extend well-wishes. Be honest, how many times have you wished “Happy Birthday” to someone you don’t ever talk to or barely even know. 

Although this may seem like a helpful to some, it’s been a problem for me.  So much that I decided to stop wishing people “Happy Birthday” on Facebook.

giphy

Yes, yes, I know sounds pretty conceited, but I promise that this isn’t meant to be. I’m stopping because I’ve realized that Facebook relationship management has become a norm for me – it’s made me lazy. Scrolling through my News Feed is so much easier than making plans to go to get coffee with someone. Sharing a link or video is so much easier than actively encouraging someone. For some odd reason, I have come to the point where I equate giving a picture a “like” or wishing someone well on their birthday as an appropriate means of caring for those in my life – and it’s not. At all.

My hope is that through stopping this portion of my activity on Facebook, I will grow in my awareness and ability to care for those that are important in my life. We’ll see how it goes.

– Imani


Thanks for reading! Breonna’s writing next!