Justice Isn’t a Feeling.


Friends, if we don’t agree on things right now, are you ok with it? Because there’s so much division lately, and I don’t want to get lost in conversations that build walls between us. Do you?

Backlash in opposing views is oppressive, and lot of us would rather walk on eggshells not to offend each other, or hurt relationships. But is peacemaking genuine with suppressed conviction and lack of reciprocation? What do you think?

I’ve wrestled with so many posts online since Covid hit. I know, it would be easy to just delete or mute feeds. But I’d like to tell my friends, even when we disagree, I want to understand your heart and why you believe that way. What motivates you? I’d like to talk about it, kindly.

However you feel towards politics, the pandemic, social distancing, and everything going on, I’m sure your opinion is only growing stronger (mine is too). So tell me this. As our world struggles with injustice, what are you doing about it? I’m asking myself the same. 

But it isn’t really an easy conversation. Today’s evolving definition of ‘justice’ has everyone on edge. Feelings have become the modern scale for what’s right and wrong, and it’s a total mess! Because if mine and yours are opposite, and opinions are the premise for order, there’s no resolve. Do you agree – we need a code of ethics, universal morale. (Psalm 19:7-10 gives me hope.)

Look at it through the lens of online culture. Consequences of social media have become obvious (lest you live in a cave). Sure there are a lot of positives, but a lot of risk too. Everything we view online impresses our minds.

Have you ever seen something you regretted, and then wondered how the heck it came across your feed? — How many of us watched the final moments of a man named George Floyd? I’d never seen anyone die before until I saw that video, did you? Someone thought it was ok to post, how is that ok?!

But when this becomes acceptable, we lose grip with empathy. And then, does it really matter what we post? I mean, if you think it’s funny, doesn’t that make it ok? It’s just a picture, just a video. What even is cyberbullying then? Just a feeling?

Unrestricted social media is shaping minds, often robbing innocence, even deafening hearts. But is that just an opinion?

If you’re still reading here, I think you agree that we need something better. We need justice warriors who crusade with love, respect, and esteem for others. Whether we agree or not, love wins. Love is what ultimately saves our world. 

So before putting up a fight, let’s be sure our actions do not thrive on the derailment of someone or something else. Instead, lean into the outcome of what we hope to achieve. Think on what is true. Focus on the solution. Justice isn’t a feeling.

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, pure, and lovely, and admirable.” (Philippians 4:8)

Together We Thrive!

Words | Bullies | Courage

Yesterday my son told me about an incident at school.

There’s this group of kids, ‘the 5th grade “bullies’. The title is well-earned. They name-call, “stupid”, “b—ch”, , “gay”, etc., proclaim worthlessness of classmates, celebrate when words strike tears, and poke fun at authorities who intervene.

Well my guy has had enough of it. He noticed a classmate caught in the middle and stepped in to help. But when the noon aide approached the situation, he got in trouble too. All of them had to stand at a playground pole, in front of their peers for punishment.

I know, super unfair.

Why did they pay the same price!?

There was no evidence or bandage needed, and no proof of innocence or guilt. So the lunch aide was left dishing out consequences for everyone. Bullying doesn’t always leave physical wounds.

Freedom to speak cutting words is a “get out of jail free card” on the playground, and kids catch onto it quickly. Words go unnoticed too easily.

I’d barely made it to the car with my son before feeling the weight of his day on my chest. How did he get through the rest of the school day? These little souls are emotionally charged with relentless dark intention. — What ever caused all of this pain?

We’ve done this before as a family, sorted out tough situations with peers who pick fights. It sucks. It’s not easy. It’s emotional when your kid is facing stress at school.

‘Hurting people hurt people’ I reminded him. (He has brothers. The concept is easy to understand 🙂 We had a long talk. My kids aren’t perfect angels, and I’m not saying my son is a sort of pacifist all the time. But he really did the right thing here. I’m so proud of him!

I know, bullying is an ancient concern – but that doesn’t make a difference to new generations. Today, the added layer of cyber threat draws our attention. When kids get away with verbal force on the playground, they continue it with screens. They practice these habits online, and it is so destructive. Cyber bullying begins with the heart, and so does the solution.

Kids need assurance that their value is not subjective to someone’s words. Adults, we do too. We cannot give so much power to what other’s say.

Well I didn’t come to peace quickly about the day. My husband was away on a business trip, and dad is so good at sorting these things rationally. I was up past midnight, tossing and turning about the situation, praying and premeditating a conversation for the school office about why this is so common at the school…Will my son be the new target? Does the principal have a plan to deal with this next time?

I wrestle often with emotion for this system we’ve engaged, and how digital freedom plays its part. I ache for what kinds of things those boys will say in a year or two online, if not already. I ache for whoever crosses their paths. And I ache for them, for their hearts. Why are these little ones hurting so badly?

Times of weakness test our faith, and it’s a lesson I keep learning.

As we closed the day, I prayed. Lord, let this day impress my son with kindness and care toward others. Help him to value life of each and every person he meets, regardless of circumstances. Let these things be true with each of us, and our kids.

I’m so proud of my son’s courage. His choice to intervene was powerful, thoughtful, and meaningful. I hope he remembers what it felt like to stand up for what it right. I hope he will do it again.

Even when the system isn’t perfect, it is always worthwhile to stand up for what is right. This is the true act of loving a neighbor. This is what we were made for.

I encourage you to take time with your kids and speak truth to their hearts. There is so much peace that grows out of tough conversations. We want to protect them from life’s challenges, but how much greater is it to send them forward with love?

‘Use wisdom, and it will take care of you. Love wisdom, and it will keep you safe.” {Proverbs 4} Navigate conversations with living word. No one can protect our kids like the one who created them.

As always, thank you for joining here~ Together We Thrive!


Social Media | For Parents

What if you had opportunity to re-do something from the past, change or improve one moment in time? What would it be? We all have something. I can instantly name more than a handful. How about you?

Try to think of one in particular, — maybe an embarrassing event, or a phase you went through…or just a dumb choice that led to a heap more. How old were you when it happened? My guess is you were in your late teens or early 20’s.

Now imagine if it had been documented, – photos, video, and all. Imagine if your most regretful act was now available for replay, indefinitely. — I’d rather not. But maybe yours was.

Today, moments in time are captured without hesitation, and instantly made permanent. It’s scary, for all of us, and especially when it comes to kids and teenagers. Science tells us that their brains are still developing the ability to measure consequences. Yet, they are sharing photos and words, often in moments of impulse, in forms that remain accessible long-term. What will they think in 10 years, if these things reappear?

Modern pre-teens and young adults are naturally as immature and prone to poor judgement as we were. It’s why age is the determination for freedoms within our society. Psychological and emotional readiness take time, and rushing the process can lead to permanent damage, both emotionally and physically.

Exposure to mature and complicated media is not something to take lightly.

Suppose your 13-year-old daughter comes to you and says, “I’ve got this. I’ve been watching you drive for years.” Do you hand her the keys? What if your 15-year-old says he’s going with some friends to the drive-in, one next to a strip club, …do you let him go along? You guys, when we leave our kids on their own with internet freedom, the door is open to situations like these.

It’s tricky online because boundaries aren’t always enforced, followed, or even determined. When it comes to social media, we share a platform where every user follows different rules, or none at all.And as parents, we can’t pretend to know about everything out there.

Accessibility is constantly changing. From private messages to texting, Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook, Youtube, Minecraft, etc. we have to be on guard. The conversation requires heart-centered, truthful conversation, a will for strong character.

Here are some thoughts, as we consider the impact and depth of media freedom for our kids.

Boundaries / Expectations with Connection

  • What kind of purpose does your son/daughter have with the media they choose, and what are the exact boundaries to keep this focus? Do you agree with their thoughts?

  • If this is how they are connecting with friends, how will they respond to invitation from acquaintances or people they don’t know?

  • Is social media taking priority over in-person connection? How are you helping managing the time and establish limits?

  • What kind of acceptance are they expecting with social media?

  • Is your son/daughter relying on the approval of others for self-worth? Is a calculation of likes, comments, and followers a predominant concern for them?

  • Do you want your child to connect with others using social media?


  • Does your son/daughter understand what is acceptable behavior? — Can they recognize when something is rude, mean, indecent, embarrassing, or overly critical?

  • Would your son/daughter have the wits not to post or respond to something that is rude, mean, indecent, embarrassing, or overly critical? How would they respond when friends do?

  • Is your son/daughter hanging around people who would post inappropriately?

  • Do your son/daughter’s friends understand what is acceptable behavior? Would they try to post anything to embarrass or hurt your child? (When our kids spend time with other kids who have social media, their actions are most likely documented.)

  • Do you trust your son/daughter’s behavior with social media?

Images / Permanence

  • Social media opens the door for your child to view pornography, violence, and other graphic images. How can they avoid this? Do the apps and websites they use have filtering? — Does it work?

  • Would your son/daughter search for pornography, violence, and other graphic images if they could?

  • What kinds of photos and videos is your son/daughter posting? Do they understand the permanence with it?

  • Would your son/daughter be ok if you saw every thing they were posting?

  • Do you trust your son/daughter’s judgement with posting?


  • Does your son/daughter know what cyberbullying is?

  • Has your son/daughter ever experienced this? — Are you sure?

  • Would your son/daughter bully someone online?

  • How would your son/daughter respond if someone bullied them online?

  • How would your son/daughter respond if someone bullied someone else online?

  • Do you feel comfortable with how your child would respond to cyberbullying?

Feelings / Self-Esteem / Self-Actualization

  • Does your son/daughter have a healthy self-image? Do you talk with them about it?

  • Does your son/daughter have other kind of engagement with people aside from social media?

  • Is your son/daughter feeling pressured to use social media because it is popular, or do they really enjoy it?

  • Do you feel that social media is a resource that builds your child up? Is it supporting their fullest potential?

Here are some extra links that I found helpful for all of this.

Together We Thrive!

~ Ayme






Intentionality with Social Media


“Be intentional.” — What does that mean anyway? Purposeful, deliberate, pre-meditated, — they’re interchangeable. Sounds ideal, but how does it play out with technology?

“Intention” is basically a fancy way of saying, “think about what you’re doing.” Like, ‘stop wasting time’, and ‘don’t do something you’re going to regret’. There are a lot of other cliche’ phrases that come to mind. But I don’t want this one to lose meaning. I don’t want overuse to dilute it.

My previous post highlighted the receiving end of un-friending, a familiar experience that comes with social media. It showed howpowerful virtual acceptance (and rejection) can be, and how it affects our emotions. Sense of connection persuades overall health and is one of our basic needs. So we need to think this through. – How can we do ‘virtuality’ well, you know, and stay on track?

It seems logical to compare digital efforts with physical fitness. Both require focus, effort, strategy, and consistency. We wonder, “is there a universal plan for diet and exercise?” And the obvious answer is, “of course not.” In the same, we can’t expect to have one for technology either. Digital health is unique and individual; it depends on each person’s experiences and needs. Social media has different effects on all of us, and we need to realize our own limitations and indulgences with it.

While a one-size-fits-all plan does not exist, there are definitely common areas for each of us to consider when it comes to this stuff. Take Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a starting point. Thinking about how social media relates to these basics is really helpful.

Social Media | Human Needs

Physiological (basic survival needs, just to stay alive)

Do we “need” social media for survival? No, but the effects that come with it definitely play a role here. Emotional impact can confuse sleep & hunger patterns, mental stability, and stress levels, etc. Social media can have a powerful influence with everyday function.

On another thought, we need survival skills for social media. Yes!

Safety (a sense of security)

This is probably the most popular concern that people talk about with social media. From mal-intended chatting to pornography addiction and identity theft, the list just grows. Safety awareness is on the rise.

You’ve probably heard a range of stories, like ones of people who’ve posted vacation photos, only to come home and find they have been robbed. That’s pretty crazy. And then the more serious examples of car wrecks and such, we hear about them a lot. Geotagging and location services call for some thought too. — I mean, why do we find ourselves posting personal whereabouts to hundreds of people? We need some caution here.

Let’s break it down even more, think about everyday posts. Details aren’t usually at the forefront of our posts, but they matter. Our sense of security is a huge consideration with social media. Privacy settings are there for a reason. ~

One last thought about security. Internally, I wonder how much of our self-worth (self-confidence and self-care) depends upon digital connection. Food for thought.

Love / Belonging (friendship, trust, and relationship)

This right here. It’s the heart of our conversation. We don’t talk about this much with other people. Yet, it all centers here. No matter what reason we use social media (business, personal, etc.) or to what extent, here are a few questions to self about digital relationships.

How am I contributing toward relationship with others, and what am I gaining? What level of vulnerability is acceptable for me? How authentic am I being with others? How much and what kind of sharing is appropriate? Do I have healthy boundaries with how I define relationship status with others?

Self-Esteem (status and attention; sense of accomplishment)

Social media can really build us up here, especially if we have a large following. Public posting of accomplishments and photos with bragging rights are all over this. But what if we don’t desire a huge following? Or what if we want one, but can’t grow it?

Self-Actualization (achieving full potential; meeting personal goals; success with hobbies and interests)

Individuality (identity) is the focus with most things digital. It’s literally a “my world, my way” mode. But we don’t always realize it. It begins small, with a simple device, — first color and design preference, then the apps and the settings, etc. And however deliberate, we ultimately define the boundaries, or lack thereof, by which to live. We literally say “yes I approve” or “no I don’t” with every download, deciding what is acceptable, and what is not, for our own standards. In the process of managing preferences, it’s easy to tune out differences of others around us. We can totally lose touch with reality if we aren’t careful. Even with the best motive, we can grow to idolize the image of digital identity.

The pinnacle thought here is this. Does social media encourage me to grow into full potential? & Is my self-actualization based on reality?

I have 3 kids of my own and a class full on weekdays. This is a huge topic for them. (These ideas are challenging in the middle of adolescence.) Please subscribe to receive the next post {Part 3: Youth and Social Media}.

Thanks for joining me here.I hope you are encouraged by these posts.~

Feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Unfriended. A Personal Experience

It might have happened to you before. This week, I lost a social media friend, and I have no idea who it is. When I noticed, it stung my heart. I questioned my feed, my recent posts, and my authenticity. Did this person know me very well? Did I do something wrong? Friendship is important to me, so honestly, a bit of my self-esteem fell to insecurity too.

How should we respond to this? — When virtual presence meets emotion, we can’t approach it quite the same as we do offline. I won’t be able to figure out who this person is, unless I try reaching out to them. Should I search my feed to see if it was a “close friend” or an “acquaintance?” Doing this is only easy if your friend list is concise. It’s hard to think, if they remain anonymous, I won’t be able to ask why they un-friended me or find out the reasoning. It is such an emotional experience, losing a friend.

But what if this un-friending actually has nothing to do with me at all?

I realize that now is the season of Lent (between Ash Wednesday and Easter), and many people are taking social media breaks and unplugging for 40 days, or completely. Maybe this person just called it quits with technology for a bit. That makes sense, but still leaves me unsettled. What is it, exactly, that people need a break from, you know? (I think most of us do.) Have you noticed too, social media seems to be a really popular thing to “give up” these days. ~

Even yet, if it isn’t personal, and it isn’t a holiday fast, then why else would someone disappear from my friend list? Maybe this person is hurting. Maybe they’re going through something traumatic that doesn’t mesh well with Facebook or small talk. Were they just “over it?” Or, among even more reasons, could it just be as simple as this…Maybe they lost a friend that day too, like me, and couldn’t understand why, so they pulled their account completely. Can you relate to my experience? Have you ever found yourself in this position, too?

It doesn’t take much effort to develop a pro and con list with social media. No other generation has navigated friendships this way, so we are learning in every moment. The whole process, and its affects, are a hot topic. Why do we do it? And how do we do it well? Is there a “right” way to socialize virtually?

Without the use of senses to connect with others, it is extremely easy to develop blurred understanding. We can be misread, and we can also misread others. It can lead to depression, as we know, and it can also make way for pride and vanity.

Social media acceptance becomes an idol for us, if we aren’t careful. It’s scary to think, but true. Approval from others isn’t a solid foundation for self-worth, and it will never fill the void. We can’t let it define our importance or credibility. We weren’t created for this.

Confidence, when it is built on the approval of others,

will always be shaken…no matter who you are.

Even while we know these things, how do we handle ourselves when emotions waiver? What kind of truth can we hold onto instead?

‘Do your best to live at peace with everyone.’ Romans 12:18

Together We Thrive!