Monday, August 9, 2010

No screens. day 1

Over this past weekend Chad and I decided that this week was going to be a no screen time zone for the kids. They ask multiple times a day to watch a movie, watch tv, play on the Xbox or Wii, or play on the computer. Seriously, it is a tad ridiculous. They are addicted to the screen. We are all addicted in some form or another. I love the background noise of the tv. But what starts out as background noise ends up being me sitting on my butt watching John and Julie find a new home in Autralia via House Hunters International. Or watching one chef vs. the Iron Chef. Or KathieLee and Hoda. (Blech-that show is lame.) This is a good break for all of us. We are almost half way through day 1 and already I am seeing some positive things come out of it.

The kids started the day asking if they could watch a movie. Old habits die hard, I guess. I reminded them about our screen fast and they went off to get themselves some breakfast. They followed breakfast with a game of Life while I took a bath. Then they went upstairs and played together. There were a few disagreements that needed to be ironed out but so far they are doing really well not zoned out in front of a screen. As I sit here they are both sitting on the couch reading books. *bliss*

It is amazing what God brings up to you when your mind isn't cluttered with random noise or images. We were eating lunch together and they were both sharing the dreams they had last night. Madeline's had various people from movies including Marlon Wayans' character RipTide from the movie GI Joe. Eli's had the zombies from this video game called Plants vs. Zombies. I sat and listened to their dreams and everything in me wanted to burst into tears.  For months Chad and I and the kids have been praying before they go to bed for them to not have any nightmares and that they would have dreams and visions of God. That God would speak to them through their dreams. Then it dawned on me. Or the Holy Spirit brought to my in the world can we hear from God if our minds are so full of clutter? Obviously, God can be heard if He wants to be and I believe that He is talking to us all the time. But are we making it harder for us to hear Him if our minds are so full of useless junk? Absolutely!! If we move from one form of entertainment to another. One image to another. One noisy contraption to much more difficult is it to be the quiet....and to hear His voice? I want to hear Him all the time! Not just at church or when I set time apart for Him. All the time!

It was so convicting sitting there listening to my kids' dreams that were filled with movie stars and electronic images. I will be the first to admit that I have been so lazy in keeping them from watching too much tv or playing too many video games. I know there is grace and new mercy every day for me as a parent. I thank God for bringing this to my attention and while it may be a difficult road to change our habits I know that it is going to open us up to what He wants to say to us. How much better is being able to sit and hear from my Creator then to sit and see whether John and Julie pick house #1, 2, or 3? Immeasurable, for sure!!


Amy said...

Manda, that is awesome! I have been contemplating doing the same thing. We don't have Wii or Xbox, but Alex is totally in love with his videos/PBS and could sit like a zombie and watch it all day...which I hate! I also hate getting wrapped up in stupid shows that have no value to them. Um...Teen Mom, anyone? Great idea, keep us all posted! I think I might be following in your footsteps very shortly. :)

haverlee said...

Love this! I've said to Jon a couple times, when our kids are school age, we should have one screen free week each summer. So glad you're doing this for your family! And honestly, I want to hear a lot more on how the week goes!

Julius Family said...

You are so wise.