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I have a love/hate relationship with technology. I am fully aware and extremely grateful that only through the magic of the internet am I able to practice my passion for writing and have ANYONE read it. But now that I’ve had professional help to make my blog look beautiful, I am paralyzed to make any changes to it. I just don’t know enough. I can’t even figure out how to use click to tweet in my posts (if you have this skill, I would love a tutorial). I also love watching TV, but the streaming service we use to save money buffers constantly (first world problem I know). I enjoy keeping up with my friends on social media, but hate how much it pulls me away from reading and more noble pursuits. It’s a great relief to me that I can reach my 13 year old daughter on her cell phone when she’s not with me, but because of her phone, I also can’t “reach” her. Let’s just say I’m well acquainted with how the top if her head looks as I constantly fight to keep her off of it and engaged with the people around her.
These are just a few examples of my dichotomous relationship with tech. There are others, but I might descend into a dark hole and never emerge if I try to unearth all of them. Despite all of it’s flaws (or maybe the flaws are mine), there are some tech treasures that add value to my life – and even my walk with Christ. And when others share their favorite anythings, I pick up valuable tips. Maybe you will to. So here are my current top 5 uses for technology. You know – the ones that don’t cause me anxiety.
- You Version and Bible Gateway. We have the ability now to carry the entire bible around with us in our pocket. How cool is that? You Version is an easy to use app for looking up scripture passages in multiple translations. They also have built in Bible reading plans to give you ideas for your personal study time. Bible Gateway is my favorite way to search for a word from the Word when I can’t remember where it’s located. Topical and key word searches make it easy to pull up what you need when you need it.
- Podcasts! I love them. I am that old person now that rarely wants to listen to music. But I subscribe to enough podcasts to keep me informed and entertained until the proverbial cows come home. When I want a giggle, I love The Big Boo Cast with Melanie Shankle (one of my favorite authors) and Sophie Hudson, the Popcast – which is all about pop culture (I love this one so much that I bought tickets to a live event next month), and Poddy Break with comedian Tim Hawkins. When I need spiritual inspiration, I turn up The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey and That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs. When I’m in the mood for both belly laughs AND biblical wisdom, Front Porch with the Fitzes fits the bill. And those proverbial cows are safe with them (only regular listeners will catch that). One of my podcasts is different from all the others, Yogamazing. This video podcast is full of practices of varying lengths and styles and allows you to select your workout based on your needs for the day. Don’t have much time? You can find 10 and 15 minutes sessions. Want to try yoga, but feel self-conscious about jumping into a packed class? Try some of these first in the comfort and seclusion of your home. And a new workout is downloaded to your device for free every week!
- I heart blogs. If you are reading this, you already know about mine and I can’t thank you enough for following along with me. While writing and promoting my blog, I discovered an entire community of like-minded, inspiring and engaging authors out there. Some of my faves: The Big Mama Blog by Melanie Shankle. Her entries are quick and easy reads full of fashion and humor. Jennifer Bleakley is a new friend who is about to have her first novel published. And Kristin Hill Taylor is an avid reader and Jesus lover who writes eloquently about both. The truth is, it’s hard to pick out favorites in this category because I read so many every week!
- Online shopping! You might see this as good or evil, depending on whether you are a fellow female or, well, my husband. But it’s sooooo convenient (which is why my husband is not a fan). We all know that you can order up just about anything in 2 days from Jeff Bezos’ giant, but here are a few other options that I like. Latitudes is a fair trade business that provides work to artisans in isolated areas around the world. They sell jewelry, home decor, coffee and more! And clothes. Who would rather try on clothes in the comfort of your own home than in a crowded department store? This girl. That’s why I love Simply Bliss Boutique and Market 22. They both stock super cute boutique style clothing at affordable prices.
- Last is apps! I know we have all tried a million over the last few years, but I have 2 current faves. goodreads! This is social media for the literary minded. Before you decide you don’t need another social platform (trust me, I don’t either), you don’t really use it that way. It allows you to make lists of books you want to read (I no longer forget as soon as someone tells me) and the phone app will scan book codes to instantly add. Then your list is RIGHT THERE WITH YOU when you go to the library or book store. You can move them to a “currently reading” list and then a “read”. Once you have completed one, you can rate and review the book for others if you want. Once you are “friends” with others, you can see what they are reading for suggestions! I love it and use it constantly. Second is The Echo Prayer Manager. This app allows you to quickly plug in prayers requests when you hear or think of them. When you enter the throne room, you can scroll through all your requests as a reminder, but you can also add reminders on requests if you want to pray at a specific time. I also use this feature to prompt me to check back in with others I have been lifting up. Both of these apps are free! You’re welcome.
You may be light years ahead of my feeble uses for tech, but I love to get good recs and thought maybe you would too. And now I’m dying to hear what you love! Comment below with your personal tech treasures!