At the church we have been attending, Sojourn, they have a tradition of devoting a month to cultivating beauty as well as "killing" the tv. . . or at least watching it less, all in a hope to spur a spiritual renewal and a deeper appreciation of the great love our Savior showers upon us each day; a love that is all to easily covered by the noise and "stuff" in our lives. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the mundane tasks of each day, especially as a stay-at-home parent, where routine becomes monotony, which quickly becomes disregard for anything that is awesome and fresh in our lives from our Creator, whether it is the flowers that are popping up as spring truly springs or just the simple words from our small children! I am all too often guilty, especially in those slow, cold, dreary winter months, of using tv as a crutch when I am "too tired" or "too lazy" to be creative.
So Why? Why don't I do better? Why am I not searching for new and fun ways to teach and play with my kids every day? Why is it so easy to turn on the tv for 20 minutes before bed instead of reading extra books or playing another game? Basically, on those days where the TV is on, even if it's background noise, it's a simple answer: I have become stagnant; lazy and not desiring to use what God has gifted me with in order to share and give back to my own children. I am guilty of being a lover of noise, discussed in a previous post, while refusing to be a listener during the quiet times and a person who appreciates the glory that God has to reveal through the extra words and actions of my children that come from simply turning off the distractions that can easily be eliminated.
Now, am I killing my tv for the month? Of course not. . . not literally, or else, my husband may in fact kill me since his parting gift from his ever so fulfilling year as a banker happened to be a 42" plasma television as a reward for doing so well in sales and to do physical harm to it would provoke a month of mourning for him. Am I saying that television is of the devil and will have no place in my daily routine now or ever? Nope! I enjoy many shows on TV and in fact, like to experience some of the intelligent writing of certain shows, such as LOST, or the silly, but quick wit of How I Met Your Mother. Jovey learns great little moral lessons from Clifford and her letter and word recognition has soared since KET introduced Super Why.
I am NOT anti-television, and I am not even a huge television watcher. I encourage Jovey often to leave the TV off and just play without it. We don't have the TV on all day long, but I must say that this month, I am going to certainly be more cognisant of how my time is spent during the day, as well as my girls' time. I want to be a more creative, active mom (again, easier done during these beautiful days where chalk drawing and swinging is the mainstay) whose downtime during naps is always focused on recognizing God's moving in my life, whether I am running, doing laundry, or sitting, soaking in his Word. I want the long days that Joshua is gone from 9 am to 11 pm to be filled with laughter and reading and puzzles and running and when my brain gets tired, as it always does around 4 p.m., I want that time to be spent with more of the same instead of the ease of turning on the television when I have 30 minutes to kill. I want the girls to be able to go in the playroom and play for 20-30 minutes while I fix dinner without the "noise" of the tv, which I encourage regularly, but will truly focus on now. It is funny, since I use the TV very rarely right now with the beauty that is just the simple presence of sunshine, but the little I do use it, I want to be focused on "hey, do I really need this on?" I just want more!
God, as I look for ways to truly cultivate the beauty of this earth and this life that you have so generously given for me to enjoy along with my family, may I look to you during tired and bored times when my heart gets heavy and my brain gets lackadaisical. May I find comfort, peace, strength and creativity from You, the Creator of everything, to and use in more effective and meaningful ways to sustain and push me to be a better child of Yours, all the while, striving to be a better wife, mommy, friend, daughter, sister and witness to your awesome power.