A House Divided

I live in a house divided and I pray it does not fall. 

My husband is from Arizona and I am from Colorado.  Not a problem — we live in Colorado.  🙂 (Aaaah, come on!  I ADORE my AZ family and I cherish any time we get to spend with them in the desert, which incidentally, is not nearly enough.  Truly.)

My husband likes Sports Center and I cringe at the first decibel of that theme song.  Not a problem — we watch HGTV.  It’s no secret my guy likes him some “Designed to Sell” and I like Sunday afternoon football games.  Of course, I may not be able to hold up my end of the bargain this year.

My husband is an introvert and I am an extrovert.  Not a problem — we stay in some,  we go out some. It’s a relatively easy fix as long as we talk about our social schedule on the eve of the weekend as opposed to hashing out unmet expectations on Sunday nights.  Usually my unmet expectations. 🙂

No, the division of which I speak is much bigger than any of the discrepancies listed above.  I’m talking about Facebook status… and not just the status that lets you know one of us is baking cookies on a snowy afternoon or eating bon bons in a warm bath.  I mean literal Facebook status.  One of us has a FB account and the other does not.  It probably doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to sleuth this mystery…

What does this state of affairs say about our marriage?  We’re not even “friends”.  He has no idea whether or not I’ve changed my profile pic or unlocked a secret about someone.  He doesn’t realize if anyone “likes” my status or even cares.  What causes do I tout?  What soundbites do I display?  He doesn’t even know how many people wished me a happy birthday.  Although, I probably received a few more well wishes than he did.  I’m just sayin’…

Can a marriage survive this kind of social media imbalance? Even as I write this, the glow of my laptop illumines his dreamy face in full REM state.  He doesn’t know I’ve “checked in” next to him.  He is essentially “un-taggable” in my photo albums.

It’s a good thing a marriage does not live by FB alone.  Nor does any deep relationship for that matter.  A “poke” cannot compare to a real live hug.  Getting “tagged” on FB doesn’t elicit the incessant giggles the kids send my way as we run around in the grass enjoying the game of the same name or the knowing glance my husband gives me when I “tag” him as I grab my car keys, ready to pass the baton as he walks in the door after a long day of work. 

For me, Facebook is a spark.  A spark that may prompt a much-needed conversation or catch me up with an old friend.  Facebook connects me with others in ways I wouldn’t otherwise experience.  How else would I receive news about the arrival of that precious newborn baby or wish I was a stowaway on my “friend’s” Hawaiian vacation? I am able to connect with folks who share similar passions and “like” similar websites.

However, Facebook’s frantic pace often overwhelms even extroverted old me.  So many “friends”, so little time.  I cannot keep up and honestly, I don’t intend to.  Not this way.  It is a tool.  A way to connect.  A snapshot into a moment.  I catch a glimpse and go from there.

Facebook can be a blank slate — a way to carefully craft a public persona or post a quick plea for help.   Users and abusers alike can find freedom of expression.  However, while there is plenty of cyberspace to be had and much more to be conquered, let us not “neglect our meeting together as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).

Taking Facebook at face value can be a slippery slope.  Imagining a life in two dimensions is only one side of the coin.  For me, nothing penetrates my senses or gets to the authentic heart of the matter like a mug of hot coffee in my hands and the listening ear of a trusted friend.  A true friend.

Lest you accuse me of negligence, however,  I will leave you with a team nilsen status update…. Our dossier (that’s a Fancy Nancy word for international paperwork) should be flying over the Atlantic en route to Ethiopia as we speak!  It will take a while to find its way to the top of the judge’s desk so I am still not sure when we will travel, but at least this is a step in the right direction. And if you’re familiar with my wall, you will know we are well vaccinated and ready to go whenever we get “the call.”

For now, we continue to pray for God’s timing and I am happy to report that our house still stands.  Our roof, however, is another story….

By the way, are we friends?


  1. Sarah Ratliff says:

    Go Team Nilsen! I love it. Thanks for sharing. I love FB but only at face value. I don’t see my friends that live so far from me and I love knowing that your house will, God Willing, be a home for a new little one NOW, instead of a Christmas letter. Give that sweet husband of yours a hug from WAY OVER HERE. Miss you!


  2. Holly says:

    Too funny! That is exactly Dave and me with facebook (and everything else). Congratulations on your paper work flying over there! It’s fun to think that your signatures are at least in the same country as your kiddos, now!


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