Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Difference Change Could Make

Having a baby makes you do a lot of things you never thought you would do and you never thought you would enjoy. In seeing Bryton grow up, however, there's this long list of changes I'd love to see happen in our family in order to raise him well. Here are just a few:
-For the family as a whole to watch less tv, because he's already catching on. It may just be the lights or the colors, and I'm not nixing the idea of tv for good forever, but I want him to know there is more to life then sitting and staring at a big empty box. Rather than watch the world be bad on the news constantly, to actually BE some good in the world, rather than watch other people on reality tv, to embrace our own reality and savor the moments that pass us by every second of every minute of every hour of every day.
-For us to spend more time outside, because the world is outside. God's creation is outside. There's this positive energy that comes with being outside, this energy that makes you feel good. I want him to know our neighbors, and to know how to hit a golf ball, and throw a football, and ride his bike. I want him to play in the dirt and realize it's where he started. I want us all to play horse in the driveway in the midst of summer when the lightning bugs are dancing around us and you can here other neighbor kids out running and yelling.
-For us to spend more time with our friends, because we all need to realize how important our friends really are to us. Because we take them for granted, and, unfortunately, you don't realize it until they aren't accecessible anymore. Because I want my kids to see that friendships are important, no, that they are vital. I want them to cherish those people in their lives they call friends. I want them to learn to share and to play well with others, to not always get their way, and to learn to care about people.
-For us to have more meals at the table, not lined up in front of the empty black box, because there is importance in sitting together, face to face, and sharing about your day. Sharing about your day opens up opportunities to share about your life, to share about your struggles, to share about your pain and disappointments, to share about your mistakes, not just at the dinner table, but always. To show my kids that I deem important what is going on in their lives, and that I care enough to sit and eat with them. And to show my husband that as well.
Side note: Before tv, what did people do? Oh, probably spend quality time together, really know one another, not get divorced or have kids that were in total rebellion. They probably played board games together, laughed together, talked together.
-For us to have more real conversations. Conversations that go past, "how was your day," ... "fine." Conversations that reveal to one another who we really are, the good and the bad. Conversations that help build us and grow us as a family unit and as individuals. Conversations that REQUIRE us to really invest in each other's lives.
-For there to be less gossip and less slander, so that my kids understand that mommy and daddy really do care about people. They care about the pain that may be caused by harsh words. So they understand that just because you've been wronged doesn't mean you have to be bitter. So they know that life goes on and we aren't defined by and should not be entertained by the lives of other people.
-For there to be more Jesus talk, more devotional times, more praying together, not just at meals or in response to other life events, but in response to life. In response to the human need for response. That Jesus would be prevelant in our day to day musings, not just at church, before bed and before we eat food.
-For church and church people to be positive things. For us to dote upon and love unconditionally those in fellowship with us. To never make light of the importance our church family is to our faith and to our relationship with Christ, because when our kids graduate, the statistics say that church will be the first thing to leave, and I want them to know how much they need that support system.
-For us to spend less time we have available to be together on the computer, text messaging, talking on the phone. I'm not saying it'll never happen, life does move on outside of a family's time together, but it seems that after a hard day at work, or school, or the babysitter, or wherever, families, rather than coming together, withdraw from one another. One is on the couch in front of the big black box texting a co-worker who they've seen all day and will see again tomorrow. Another is on the computer, staring at the lives and profiles of 200 different friends, when she doesn't really know the lives of the people in the same room with her. Another has an ipod attached permanetly to the ears, rocking away without any regard to what is happening in their own lives.
When did it become okay, in our list of priorities, for television, the internet, music, reading, ANYTHING to come before God, and time with our families? When did it become okay to allow a television to raise our kids. Not to mention a television with poor ideologies, poor morals and integrity, with graphic images, with harsh language. When did it become okay to "relax" after a long day of work in front of this big black box. Please don't misunderstand me, I have my favorite shows, and I'm not giving up television forever, but I want it to be okay if we did. I don't want the majority of what happens on our evenings together to be tv. I want to go on walks, and play outside, and cook dinner together, and play boardgames, or even video games for that matter, as long as it's spending time together, communicating, talking, loving.
I'm sure it is easier to just watch tv, but I refuse to waste away the little precious time I have with my family for every episode of my favorite show on the big black empty box. What I have been given (by God mind you) is much more beautiful, much more entertaining, and much more important than anything any writer or reality tv star can offer.

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