What does it really mean to crucify the flesh? I was pondering this as I stood in the shower after a few long, late hours at work. I know it means to deny certain fleshly, sinful desires, and to actively turn from these things and to God each day; but does it mean more than that? I’d argue that it does, especially given this analogy we’ve been on lately in church of being clothed.

Though the application of this God-given principle of dying to oneself is as simple as it is written, the significance and impacts of its application are much greater than I previously realized. See, I was initially thinking about the different physiological responses to psychological traumas. I was pondering how many different physiological reactions to trauma could potentially develop over time. Some common examples are bloating, indigestion, tremors, headaches or migraines, immune system deficiencies, and hypertension.

I find that when I strip away those traumas from my identity (because somehow it seems to stain my metaphorical clothes all too often), these physiological and psychological symptoms are often aggravated by this sudden naked state of myself. Why? Because I’m afraid of being that vulnerable.

I don’t talk about my feelings a lot; sure, I’ll write many of them here without much of a problem, but when I say talk I actually do mean I have trouble verbalizing my emotions. It terrifies me no matter who I’m talking to. I claim to like having that vulnerability and it is something I value, but I avoid it instinctually. If I don’t I tend to trauma dump, which is not a healthy habit either. So typically, I sit on my own and try to sort out my feelings on my own.

Recently, I took a step out from this mindset. Details aren’t necessary to the point here, but the point is that I was at a point where I knew I’d been holding back and if it wasn’t going to affect my relationship with this person, it was going to keep me in a stagnant relationship with the Lord. What I was refusing to let go of and to state out loud to this friend was keeping me as one of the mid-summer snapdragons I had in the garden this summer. Let me explain:

As I’ve previously mentioned in other blog posts, our marigolds exploded this year to a point where many of the stems looked more like small trees. We hadn’t accounted for this possibility of such large marigolds when planting everything, (in all honesty, my parents and I expected many to fail miserably while we were away on vacation), so things like rosemary and snapdragons had much of their light cut off by their overbearing neighbors. Some snaps even seemed suffocated. That’s where I was before— being held back and feeling unable to fully express what God was putting on my heart, even after . In most friendships I feel like that’s where I am, if I’m totally honest. I hold back because I guard myself so much. I hold back because I don’t want to talk about anything and everything with someone that might not even stay in my life for long (having been the “floater friend” throughout most of my life hasn’t helped with this, but it’s challenged me as of late for sure). I hold back because I’m avoiding confrontation. I hold back because I don’t do as well with vulnerability as I often claim to.

And I still feel somewhat vulnerable well after the fact. I almost feel like I need to fix the situation when there was nothing wrong about anything that was said or resulted from the conversation.

That’s where I want to bring it back to what it means to crucify the flesh:

To crucify the flesh isn’t just to reject our tendencies to blatant, outward rebellion; it’s also to reject our tendency to think we can handle things better than God can. At the end of the day, even though we are in the midst of our situation, we are not outside and around it or within every fiber of it. There’s only One that is. He’s the only one that knows every detail of every situation and knows exactly how it will pan out. It will not always make sense to us in the moment often because we don’t have all the information we think we do, but God knows what He’s doing. He knows it all.

The tendency of the flesh is to focus on lack. I saw this reel the other day and it opened my eyes to the fact that every time I have turned away from the Lord, it’s because of one of two things:

  1. I’m worried I don’t have the necessary skills, resources, or grit to handle what the Lord is calling me to.
  2. I worry about what I will lose by stepping out into this call from the Lord.

But He is Jehovah Jireh. He is El Roi. He is El Shaddai. He is Adonai. He is. There is no lack in Him. And I think it becomes so easy to forget that because we are constantly reminded of the fact that we currently live in a broken, fallen, sinful world. I think we too often fail to remember that everything in the world is ultimately sourced from Him– what makes any of it broken or sinful is man’s disobedience in how it’s all used.

The tree of knowledge of good and evil was not broken or sinful on its own, nor did the tree make Eden a broken place. Eden was the place of the perfect and united presence of God and man and the rest of God’s creation. There was nothing wrong with the tree– it’s what man decided to do with it when they walked past everything they could have with God and still chose what they perceived as lack. It’s natural for the body to want to be fed. It’s natural to crave food. But again, this one tree was right in the center of the garden. To get to it, they had to walk past everything they could have and still be in perfect union with Him in whom there is no lack.

As I was writing this, I paused for a moment as my phone came up with a Bible app notification. I’ve been in this study with some ladies from another church on there, and one of them just commented something so relevant to this point:

I remember there was this person going around asking people “If you could ask God one thing, what would it be?” And a man replied, ” I was going to say ‘why’ but W-H-Y stands for “Who Hurt You?” Which begs the question, “Who Helps You?” And ultimately “Who Heals You?” So I think I would just praise God for being my Helper and Healer in my hurt and confusion.”

I think that at its core, crucifying the flesh is rejecting this distorted focus. It’s taking off the rose-colored glasses; it’s stepping outside the fun-house mirror room; it’s keeping your eyes on the boat (phrase that’s stuck with me since my week at the US Coast Guard Academy for their AIM program in 2017).

I don’t always remember my cadre’s faces all that well until I scroll through instagram and see any of them pop up on my feed because I was often “keeping my eyes on the boat.” The Coast Guard is not a combat-based military branch, so keeping one’s eyes on the boat is just another way of saying “don’t lose sight of the boat in distress” because most functions of this branch are open water search, rescue, and law enforcement.

There are a few perspectives on this real-life metaphor:

  1. We are the cadre. We cry out for Barabbus and try to put out as many possible distractions to take the attention away from the boat– the cross, that is. But at the end of the day, the purpose of the cadre is to discipline someone into keeping his/her eyes on the boat despite the distractions– to stay aware but not consumed by the many other things going on.
  2. We are in the distressed boat. Much like when Jesus calms the storm or when Peter walks on water with Jesus, we are often in a panic. We are in what immediately seems like our imminent demise so much that we don’t look up and see the lights of the boat coming to our rescue, the eyes that have never left us and never not seen us (think of Hagar who gives God the name El Roi, the God who sees me).
  3. We are keeping our eyes on the boat. Our sights are set as we run full-force towards the Lord. This is where we want to be. He is the boat, and when we run toward Him keeping our eyes on Him we will find that the Lord brings people into our lives that need a leg up, or maybe that are our leg up, too. He may ask us to be the ones to leave behind the main ship and trust He will keep you in turbulent waters. With trust– faith– in Him, we find that He will not only keep us, but build and refine us through the storm.

In this analogy, keeping your eyes on the boat is your sole responsibility until you are called to go and someone else has taken your place to keep their eyes on the boat. That person becomes the voice you listen to because they see the boat and they see you trying to get to the boat when you are in this in-between– that moment between taking off the old clothes and putting on the new ones.

It reminds me of a clip I once heard on reels (though I can’t find it for the life of me at the moment) about a student pilot who was on her first solo flight. One of the engines was breaking down, and (if I’m recalling correctly) her landing gear was only partially functional. She had no one in the plane with her. She had gone through the process with an experienced pilot already, and in a sense took off this “old clothing” of studenthood, or crucified that part of who she was to grow into the next stages of becoming a pilot. She was independent, but not alone. She still had the voice of a man in the tower at the nearest airport she was able to make the emergency landing. Amid her panic, he reassured her that he was there to talk her through the process.

And that’s exactly what this guy did, and when this pilot landed she credited this stranger’s voice and her focus on his voice as the reason she was able to make what seemed to be an impossible landing for anyone’s first solo flight.

Now, the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshipped him, but some doubted. And Jesus said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:16-20 (ESV)

So I think crucifying the flesh is much more than just constant denial of what our physical, earthly urges are. It’s stepping out. It’s taking action. It’s intentionally debunking the lies trying to speak into your life with Truth.

Crucifying the flesh is allowing oneself that terrifying, humbling moment between one change of clothes and another– that moment a naked, broken heart is shone before God and then before the world. At the end of the day, what glory is there to go to God if no one knows what He saved you from? So maybe this is where I could list off a whole bunch of things He’s saved me from, but if I’m honest, I’m still working up to being vulnerable about some of these things. So know that this isn’t the full list, but I will share a few things here and maybe at some point dive into the contrast of my old, dead perspective and my new perspective in Christ:

  • alcohol & weed
  • relationship hopping (at least that’s what I call it)
  • codependency
  • anxiety (I still battle with this one a lot but the Lord continues to be faithful through it)
  • flashbacks
  • unforgiveness (mainly with like two people that don’t even currently play a huge role in my life, even if I feel as though they should)
  • people pleasing

And again, the list goes on. I’ve touched on some of these, but it’s rare for me to do deep dives into emotions, let alone revealing them to people on such a seemingly large scale (even though this Jesus blog really isn’t all that big of a thing, honestly). But my prayer here, I suppose, is that this would be the moment between the old and the new clothes– the cold, vulnerable, naked, difficult, and airy moment my heart and its wounds so desperately need. And I pray that you will take that step this week too, if not with another person then at least with the God who sees and knows it all anyway, and still loves you enough to stay and work with you to grow from those hard places.

Attempting To Find Direction.

Thanks to our class discussion in zoom I felt a little clear on where to exactly begin my research in order to truly start understanding my topic. There are so many directions in which I can go with this project and still am not to sure on which avenues to truly focus on, but I know this is normal at this stage.

This week as suggested by Dr. Zamora I decided to begin simple and start with looking at Digital Literacy as it compares to early childhood education. Skimming around I was able to see that I am not the only one persona interested in this topic and not the only one who wants to take a step in that direction. Finding out that I have a lot to study and examine makes me feel more comfortable with my topic, although this is just the very beginning.

I thought to myself that similar to the invention of fire or light, the internet can be put in this category as well . Very monumental and has truly changed the way we carry out life. It has made a huge impact now and with its expansion possibilities for generations to come.

With this thought in mind I want to carry out my entire thesis with this thought and tell why it is important to teach digital literacy starting early. This teaching is leading to further advancements of society around us.

“Early childhood is a pivotal period of child development that begins before birth through age 8. This is a period of rapid brain and body development.” These moments are huge when dealing with growth and development of children and implementing digital literacy strategies into their curriculum can really change the projectory of learning, or this is in some way what I am trying to prove. Either way positive outcomes for generations is the result.

The internet started January 1st 1983 according to to google and since then it has been implemented in every aspect and form of life. My idea is starting to truly understand how to use this tool, instead of children just being able to search cat videos for hours, can really change the way educators educate.

Below is how I started my research and where my thought process began:

How Parents Can Teach Digital Literacy Skills at Home 

  • List down the key topics that will improve your children’s digital literacy. Building a clear plan will help you lead a more meaningful conversation with your children. Some of the key topics that you might want to discuss with them include cyberbullying, online ethics and internet safety.
  • Break down topics into short bursts. Don’t overwhelm your children with too much information in just one sitting. Split it into smaller chunks and concentrate on one topic at a time. This will give them enough time to absorb and process everything that you’re teaching them.
  • Apply games. Young students get distracted quite easily. So if you want to have their attention focused on you, you need to make learning fun for them. One way to do so is by reinforcing game-based activities. You can also leverage gamified tests to assess their digital literacy level. 
  • Let them experiment. Let loose and allow your children to apply what they’ve learned into practice. Allow them to use technology with little to no supervision to help them become more independent and responsible online. 

What is Digital Literacy?  

Digital literacy is a broad term that encompasses all of the skills needed to live, work and thrive in a digital world. People who exhibit digital literacy understand technology, make use of digital tools, find verified information and even share one. They’re also well aware of the risks associated with technology and know the precautions to avoid them.

Digital literacy includes four crucial elements: finding, evaluating, creating and communicating information. Youth need to develop these skills to successfully navigate the digital age.

Digital literacy is an essential skill for preschoolers to learn in today’s increasingly tech-centric world. By engaging in technology activities, preschoolers can develop fine motor skills, understand concepts such as letters and numbers, and learn to use technology safely and responsibly.

Preschool teachers don’t have to be tech experts to utilize technology activities in the classroom. From various apps to using tablets or smartphones, there are plenty of simple activities to help develop children’s essential digital literacy skills.

This post will explore the importance of digital literacy in education and tips and activities to incorporate it into your classroom.  These technology activities are easy to set up and can be tailored to the developmental level of your children. So whether you’re a tech novice or a pro, you’ll find an activity perfect for your class.

A child seated with colors on the table, a white drawing paper and a computer. She is copying what is on the computer screen and coloring the same on the white piece of paper.

What is digital literacy in education?

Digital literacy is using technology to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information. To be digitally literate, one must be able to use a computer and the internet for various purposes, including research, email, and social media.

Digital literacy is an essential skill for children to learn to be successful. With the ever-increasing reliance on technology in both the workplace and everyday life, it’s more important than ever for preschoolers to use technology effectively.

Preschoolers are beginning to develop the skills they’ll need to be digitally literate. By providing them with opportunities to use technology in various ways, you help them develop these essential skills.

Technology activities for preschoolers should be designed to allow them to experiment with a variety of different technologies. Moreover, exposure to various technologies will make them better prepared to use them in the future.

Why is digital literacy important?

We use technology in our everyday lives. From smartphones, computers we use at work, and entertainment systems in our homes, digital devices have become a staple in nearly every aspect of our lives.

While too much screen time can be harmful , digital devices and technology are powerful tools for learning when used in moderation. For preschoolers, learning to use technology in fun and engaging ways will help set them up for success in school and beyond. Here are reasons why digital literacy is essential for preschoolers:

Teaches how to use technology

In a world where technology is becoming increasingly ubiquitous, teaching preschoolers digital literacy skills familiarizes them with the basic functions of popular devices and applications. This familiarity will come in handy as they grow older and are expected to use technology for school, work, and other activities.

Develops fine motor skills

Using a computer or tablet requires fine motor skills that most preschoolers are still developing. Regularly using these devices hones their skills and prepares them for tasks that require precise hand movements, such as writing.

Teaches new concepts and ideas

Technology allows preschoolers to explore and expand their horizons. With the help of apps, websites, and other digital resources, they can learn about anything they’re interested in, from animals and plants to history and outer space.

Helps practice essential skills

From counting and matching to reading and writing, there are many ways for preschoolers to practice essential skills using technology. Finding apps and games that focus on specific skills helps your child master the basics before they move on to more challenging concepts.

Encourages creativityDigital devices and applications can encourage creativity and allow preschoolers to express themselves in new ways. Through digital media and technology, they can experiment with music, art, design, and storytelling.Improves problem-solving skills

Using technology requires problem-solving skills, from learning how to use a new app to troubleshooting technical issues. As preschoolers encounter new challenges while using devices, they’ll develop these essential skills and learn how to apply them to other areas of their live

How to teach digital literacy

Digital media and technology can be incorporated into everyday activities and experiences. Here are tips for teaching your preschooler digital literacy skills in the classroom:

Use in moderation

Help children understand the importance of using technology responsibly. Set boundaries in the classroom and stick to them. For instance, if they are supposed to use their gadgets for 30 minutes, stick to that. Most importantly, lead by example and turn off screens when they’re not in use and mute your phone when you’re not using it. This can help children develop a healthy relationship with technology.

Get involved in their tech time

Spending time with your preschoolers while they use technology is a great way to teach them how to use it safely and effectively. Play an educational game with them or start a discussion about something you watch together.

Introducing digital literacy in early education can help young children develop fine motor skills, critical thinking, and creativity. It can also give them a foundation to become comfortable and competent technology users as they grow older.

By incorporating technology activities into the classroom, teachers help their children develop the skills they need to be successful in the digital world.

Starting simple will help me navigate how I choose to express the information I receive and which ways can make this a successful thesis.