the 10 to 10 challenge: why I'm going to keep doing it

terrible cell phone pic of our library trip, but Ava was so cute I couldn't resist. :)

Two weeks ago, I started the 10 to 10 challenge as a way to refocus my brain and my priorities at home. I was becoming very ADD with all the things going on around me all the time. :) The challenge was to turn off the computer from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day so that I can focus on my children and husband and not be distracted by what was happening on the internet.

The first day was hard! I found myself wanting to check something and having to stop before I did it! And for a few days I felt like I was missing something important, that I needed to be doing more online.

But by the end of the week I started feeling a calm in my spirit that I hadn't felt in a while- like I could breathe again. I realized I didn't miss anything that I couldn't find out between 10 p.m.- 10 a.m. :) and that I had so enjoyed being present in mind at home. {so cool- mary from finding healthy hope told she experienced the same thing when she did the challenge!}.

With my mind being free from the pull of the urgent internet {ha!}, we all walked to the library and checked out books. I had so much more free time to read since I wasn't "allowed" to do work or anything online. :)

My husband noticed the most, I think. He told me he was happy that he had his wife back {sheesh, again!}. Honestly, I felt the same way. My brain wasn't being split in two {or more} all the time.

Elijah got his first library card {sniff, sniff}.  He's so big.

I didn't do the challenge last week, but I'm planning on going back to it again. I think I learned something about my heart last week that stepping away from the computer really brought to light.

This sounds really strange, and it's hard to write because it sounds so harsh and awful to me, but I realized that I am an information glutton.

Agghhhhh. That's hard to take. I don't like it. It sounds altogether too serious for a little too much involvement on the internet, but it's such an ugly thing. It's sinful for me.

I have been constantly feeding my need for information and relation through the internet. And so much like food, in moderation, information and social media is a good thing, but in excess it hurts me.

If I ate a piece of carrot cake every time I was hungry or wanted it, I would be a very unhealthy person- in fact, it would probably make me very sick over time.

But that's exactly what I've allowed myself to do when I am constantly on the computer whenever I want to be throughout the day. If I indulge in my fleshly desires constantly, my desires will eventually take root and become an idol in my life.

My soul is at battle in this place, and if I am distracting it with what brings me pleasure all the time, I'm losing the battle without even realizing it.

I am losing hours of my life to things that don't matter, and in doing that, I'm losing hours of the things that do matter.

I think that I need to discipline myself- and with His help, take control of the time He has given me and use it for His kingdom instead of for my own pleasure.

I don't have that many hours here in this place- I don't want to waste them on things that don't matter. I'm in a race to endure to the end, and I can't afford to lose because of something so seemingly benign, but so deadly to my soul.

Now I'm really good at justifying it. :) I tend to sugarcoat it and give excuses for it- like I'm learning important things, or I'm in community, or I'm trying to be a better home keeper. Again, in moderation, these things are good for me, but in excess, destructive to my heart.

In the week of my challenge, I was pushed to become more disciplined in my time, and to seek to understand where I was really needed both at home and on the internet. I was able to blog before my deadlines, and just turn it off after that, with a lunch break of checking in. It was very, very good for my soul.

I think I'm sticking with the 10-10 challenge long-term. It's really hard for me, because I love being connected. But I definitely want to make the most of this time I've been given, and make my family first priority over everything else that can wait until later. :)

I've changed the rules just a bit, because I've found it difficult to answer emails and things after 10 because I'm really tired, so I'm adding another 15 minute check-in during the evening so that I can answer emails as much as I can.

The husband has approved and recommended an earlier deadline, so the break is approved. :) It's a work in progress, and of course it might look different for someone else, but the heart of it is that I am present in mind with my family throughout the day, right? :)

If you want to join me in the challenge, I would love to have some accountability! For those who need it too, we can even start a Facebook group where you check in with the group and give report if you want! :D

Let me know if you want to join in! The more, the merrier!

I'm praying for you guys! :D Please pray for me to be diligent with my time, if you think of it too. Let's run this race together! :)


Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

1 Corinthians 9:24


edited to add: I created a Facebook page for us as a tool to stay accountable. :D Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/The12HourChallenge

40 comments

Alana of Domestic Bliss Diaries said...

Information glutton... Ouch! This is so me. I love to learn how to do things and read all about being a godly homemaker. Plus, I am trying to build my blog to, hopefully, one day financially bless my family. It isn't easy to juggle it all. I'm going to have to look into a routine that allows me to be diligent in building my blog yet be present with my family when I'm not working on it.

Hannah Herman said...

This sounds intriguing. Maybe the solution to the frustration I've been struggling with. How do you keep up with your blogging this way?

WWW.groundedparenting.com

Rachel Sims said...

Love this! I'm starting today.

petejessnewland said...

This is so great! Thank you for your reminder of what truly needs to come first!

SaraAnn said...

I want/need to do this!! It will be so hard, but maybe having an accountability partner/team would be the push to stay disciplined.

Cassandra said...

I too need/want to do this! I agree, it will be very hard! But my family needs it, I need it, and God deserves it. I will be trying to figure out the best schedule for me today and will be starting it tomorrow! Here's to a simpler, more fulfilling life!!!

mandyBH said...

yay!!! I created a fb page we can share to stay accountable: https://www.facebook.com/The12HourChallenge if you would like to use it as a motivation tool. so exciting to see what God will do with His time! :D

mandyBH said...

yay!! feel free to email me if you aren't on fb to stay accountable! :D here's the fb page if you do get on there: https://www.facebook.com/The12HourChallenge

mandyBH said...

awesome! I've heard that voice too... :) I'm so excited you're in! Here's the support group :D heehee: https://www.facebook.com/The12HourChallenge

Denise said...

Count me in, too, Mandy. Everything you said resonates with me. I feel this stress that I don't know where all the time goes and that I am constantly feeling distracted, like I have ADD or something! I know a big part of the way I feel is because I am always popping on and off the computer, checking email , Facebook and Pinterest for the next great idea or recipe. I'm an information glutton, too. It's hard to admit its sin, but you are right! Joined the Facebook group, too. I'll be doing 9-9.

Stacey said...

This is perfect. It's what's been on my heart for a long time... you know, that still small voice telling me that it's gone too far. I will be joining you. Though it may be a 9-9 challenge for me. My other issue is staying up too late :) And I would definitely be interested in a "support group" lol!

Courtney S. said...

I love what you said about losing hours of your life to things that don't matter-- and that is losing things that DO matter! That really puts it in perspective for me. I homeschool our kids and when I'm distracted by the computer-- so are they. I need to set a better example for them and focus my time on them and their education. So, I'm in with ya!! I'd also like to try to give the computer a rest on Sunday and just enjoy worship and family times.

Becca said...

I love this! Thank you so much!!! You've completely inspired me while stepping on my toes at the very same time! I can honestly say that this hit home for me. I am a working mom and I spend 8 hours a day working online and then spend additional time online before and after work! That's insane to actually say out loud! It even makes me question when am I actually spending time with my family...my wonderful husband and children. sigh. Okay. I'm in.

Danica Davis said...

That is so convicting!!!!! That is exactly what I do. I use the computer/tv WAY too much. I tell myself I need the mental break, to get my information. My husband jokes, but in reality he doesn't like that I am on the internet constantly. I will do the challenge on his days off, but differ the hours when he works- he works 3-11 and I am asleep by 10. But, I would love to check back in with my kids, spend more time around the house doing work, and other things that the media distracts me from. Maybe the electric bill will go down too!!

Duchek04 said...

I have the same problem! I am going to start this challege on Monday. I will have to tweek the times a little because I babysit in my home and go to bed early. Thank you so much for this wonderful idea! Looking forward to giving God and my family the time and energy they deserve. (and this laptop less) Praying for you, please pray for me too! God bless!

Allie Fread Bernier said...

Agh! Oh, I really don't want information gluttony to be sinful . . . but it is. Turning off the computer until hubby gets home!!

Kathleen said...

I'm in too. I've been trying to put my finger on what I'm feeling and I think you've defined it for me. When I'm on the computer off and on all day, I end up feeling emotionally and spiritually bloated. I think because I'm looking to fill the empty spaces in my heart rather than focusing on God to fill those empty spaces. So instead of going to God, I look on FB, clothing store sites, travel destinies, etc. They temporarily make me happy, but then I end up feeling envious or emptier than before. I don't think those things are bad in themselves. I just need to discipline myself to look at FB, blogs, etc 1x a day for a set period and then walk away.

Becca said...

P.S. I'm all about starting the facebook group to hold each other accountable! How can I join????

Kim Dillon said...

I already was thinking this.....matter of fact, I have been posting htis on my blog checklist for the last few weeks: Stay OFF the computer when kids are awake/inside. So, while my challenge is looking a bit different than yours, I need to be disconnected from EVERYTHING that detracts from my family.

Kim Dillon said...

Oh, & yes, a support group would be great!

mandyBH said...

I'm so glad you're in! :D yay!! I know exactly how you feel! I started a fb page for accountability if you think you might want to join it: https://www.facebook.com/The12HourChallenge

mandyBH said...

yay!! I'm so glad you're in! :D here's the page I just created: https://www.facebook.com/The12HourChallenge

mandyBH said...

I know, it's so hard! I'm online all the time these days, and I'm loving this challenge so far! :D Here's the fb page if you want to use it: https://www.facebook.com/The12HourChallenge

mandyBH said...

Wohoo!! Yay!! I'll meet you after dark online! hehehe! Here's the fb page if you want to join it as a tool: https://www.facebook.com/The12HourChallenge

So exciting!

mandyBH said...

I know. Me either! It's such a hard one because it's so good sometimes! :D I'm so glad you're in! here's the fb page if you want to use it as a tool: https://www.facebook.com/The12HourChallenge

mandyBH said...

I'm so blessed to have you guys as partners with me! :D here's the Facebook page if you want to use it as a tool: https://www.facebook.com/The12HourChallenge so glad you're in! :D

Sheila Payne said...

What are your rules for yourself concerning television? That is another area that I struggle with. I love to watch Hallmark movies and cooking shows. I need accountability for both screens--computer and television. Any suggestions?

crystalwoolever said...

I'm in, I feel like I spend way too much time either on the Internet or watching tv. I would much rather get up and get outside with my family. I have also started reading the Bible, but here lately the Internet has come in first place. I believe this will be good for me, my family and my soal. Thank you for caring enough to help others.

fbc said...

Wow - so inspiring! You have a great blog and seem to truly be seeking after God. Unfortunately I sell on ebay full-time and so I have to be on the computer. I don't have any kids and my husband is a care taker for his 86 year old father. We spend evenings together since I'm on the computer all day. We walk or watch a favorite show together. I wish you the best! -Mellissa Rose from http://mellissa-rose.blogspot.com/

Pauline said...

Count me in too, Mandy! I just "liked" the FB page, it will be great for accountability I agree! It's also nice to be able to support others as we all do this together! I have to agree with commenter Kathleen below - I also tend to turn to FB, Pinterest, online jigsaw puzzles, or e-mails when I'm feeling lonely or bored - instead of to the Lord who is much better company than these other things are - so this will help I'm pretty sure! Thanks for getting it going!

Amy said...

This is just wonderful news Mandy! May God POUR BLESSINGS over you and onto your family as you enter into the challenge again! Thank YOU for your encouragement! I am currently also losing that addictive grip that the internet and the attention it brings to me.... it is loosening. Glory be to God for showing up on our behalf. We are loved. I also want to be fully present with my 3 little ones and pour His love out to them. ~ Blessings, Amy from full her life

Jessica said...

I love this post! I am a homeschooling momma to 4 precious love, but space out a lot during the day to check this or that, or peruse beauties on etsy...when I know that is not where my attention should lie. I am thrilled to join in the challenge!

Abigail Godinez said...

I really liked your post. Once again, how interesting that I was actually pondering this topic earlier today, and then I ended up here =) Keep up the good work with the challenge, and I'm looking forward to Thursday morning.

Mfarmer said...

I love this & will be joining in. I love reading all these posts and seeing other Women of Christ take this challenge. It is so important that we make time for the things that are TRULY important. I find myself telling myself that one more email or one more post won't hurt anything and then before I know it 2 hours have gone by and I have missed out on doing something that is much more important....like playing cards with my son or taking that bike ride with him......that saying "Just one more minute and I'll be done" Well that one more minute is over for me....God gave me an amazing husband and son and I need to start honoring him by making them my first priority!!! Thank you for being a blessing to us all!

Jen@mamaZEN said...

This is something that I have been thinking about a lot. I do a lot of my blogging/social media during the day on breaks and whatnot when I am at work and I have just decided that once I get home? No more for the day. I need to be with the kids and my husband and be present with them. I mostly ignore the internet over the weekend also. I check in a little bit, but only at off times from my phone.

Bethany Hoover said...

Well, I most certainly know what you mean about being an "information glutton". I could never have explained that one better! I am on and off my computer or smartphone (ahem!) all day! It is such a "time-zapper"! I think I better mosey my way on over to that FB page and sign up for some accountability! Thanks for such a timely, real, and encouraging post Mandy!

Jeana said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! I am grateful that I came across this post. This is an area in my life that I have really begun to struggle with. Knowing it's a problem but not wanting to admit it. I'm going to print out this post and pray about it because I know in my heart I need to do this. I am glad to know I am not alone and it it so helpful to see others who are making a choice to put it aside and focus on their families. I love how the Lord directs our steps and shows us and encourages us in the way He desires us to go. He has already been putting it on my heart to spend less time on the internet and computer and then I read this today...
Thanks again for sharing. I joined the facebook group!

Jennifer Moeller said...

Mandy,

Thank you for this post! Since I became a stay-at-home mom to my now 15 month old (WOW!), self-discipline has become an obvious weakness. Whether it be food, lounging, internet, you name it, if I want it, I do it/eat it/let it slide. It is great to have some accountability. I have sent your post on to a friend of mine in hopes I will have a local lady to keep me accountable and to help enrich her life.

Thanks!

pharmgal22 said...

I'm in too! I sooo need this as I feel the same way that you do. I'm not on Facebook (resisted the urge for it to take more of my time).....but accountability will help so much! Thanks for the inspiration & I will pray for you too :)

Anonymous said...

This page is an answer to prayer. Granted I'm reading it 10 months after it was created, but still, God has shown me that I'm not the only one that satan is distracting with the internet. I've liked the facebook page and look forward to being part of a group of women who are seeking Jesus to keep bettering their lives. THank you. :)