It's the first day of school, and I find myself drawn back to the early morning darkness where I can settle in and write a bit.
There's something about the past couple of summers that has pulled me away from faithful blogging.
Maybe the fact that I've slept in a bit later or maybe the fact that I've done more "real talking" with friends and family.
I'm not sure.
But whatever the case, I've discovered lately that social media can never replace authentic friendships.
There's nothing like a cup of coffee with a friend, a hug when you're hurting, or a real smile on the face of someone you meet when you need to be encouraged.
There's nothing like a 45-minute phone conversation with someone whose opinion you value.
There's nothing like being behind the camera that catches the photograph of teens laughing rather than simply seeing the photograph taken by someone else.
And maybe that's one of the reasons I've pulled a way from the computer screen a bit this summer.
I've needed real cups of coffee and long conversations,
because Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and blogging can never replace friendship and eye-to-eye contact.
Social media isn't the place where I turn for answers to hard questions.
And social media can't be the outlet for all of my struggles.
We live in a complicated, extremely connected world where the idea of having thousands of friends can sometimes seem comforting and yet often feel lonely if we don't stay balanced by investing time in our close group of friends who walk the same road as us on a daily basis.
I hope today that you will find time to have a deep conversation with at least one friend.
Social media provides a way for many of us to stay loosely connected mostly to the good things going on in our lives.
It's the long talks and long walks that give us a chance to go deeper into the hurts, the questions, the doubts we carry in our hearts.
I wish I could walk with each of you and share all the things on my heart.
I wish I could listen as you share all the things on yours.
Even more than deep talks with friends, though, nothing compares with a deep talk with God.
Even if life doesn't make sense, tell Him.
I promise He longs to be there for you.
I love you all so much.
Remember this today:
Where social media or even friends and family fall short, God never will.
He cares about every little detail of your life.
Every status you'll never post.
Every comment you'll never tweet.
Every picture you'll never share.
I don't understand everything about how He works, but I do believe He is working and intimately involved in every detail of our lives.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.