technological pollution

We recently went to the local homeschooling convention to shop and listen to as many speakers as we could fit into our already busy schedule.  We got to two of them (we’ll be buying more!) and the oddest thing was happening.  Both speakers, for both talks , neither one related, said virtually the same thing.  One talk was on raising “dangerous” boys in a safe society and the other was on the concept of “Nature Deficit Disorder”.  I loved both talks, loved both speakers.  One was a protestant minister, but his message was clear, his prayers honest, and his approach followable!  The other was an author of a very popular curriculum that we were considering.

The odd thing was that they were both saying the same thing.  Both of them.  They said that 1. academics are NOT the most vital part of our homeschool day, learning is. 2. there should NOT be a television or gaming system within 100 feet of our house (more or less).   It was such an eye opening thing for my husband and I (and our older children, as they were also there.) and something that we could see applying to our own household.   You see, the first speaker was speaking about what kind of trash and filth the TV brought into our homes, filling it with false ideologies of masculinity and manhood and taking the attention away from the true masculinity that they should be learning from their father (and even mother).  The second speaker spoke about how the TV was training our children’s brains to react in ways that were not healthy for our child, changing the way they processed information nearly permanently.  Raising our children in a digital age has made this generation of children the sickest ever.  Ever.  They are no longer exposed to God’s glory in it’s truest form,what they’re seeing is pixellated and processed for them.  The only sounds they are hearing are digitized, not whole and complete, but pixellated.  We are creating short circuits and sensory problems.  Creating them!  With our lifestyle!!

This hits home in a particularly profound way as we deal with a child with SPD and work to make every day more livable for him, and for us.  We can see, looking back and evaluating our lives through the years, that our oldest children were the happiest, enjoyed being outside more and were more easily teachable.  The difference?  Oh, about 180 channels.  We’ve not canceled the extended TV package yet, but we’ve had the TV off a LOT more than usual.  It’s already making a difference.  We’ve realized that if there’s something on TV that would be good to watch for school we can watch it online, or even possibly get it from Netflix!  There is just no reason at this point to keep this thing and allowing it to poison our family anymore. 

We’re taking baby steps, we are hoping to cancel the extended channels within the next couple of months.  We can’t get rid of the box altogether, it’s really too dangerous, in our opinion, to go without access to news if needed in this part of the country.  Tornado season is a very real threat and we don’t want to go into it unarmed.  However, that only requires having local channels.  Something we can easily do.  So we’re on a quest to make the most of our life TV free.  There are other things to do, outside, or even in, that will keep us busy and do a better job of helping us in our mission to lead each other to Christ.  We are working to hold more under the tough scrutiny of “does this build the Body of Christ or destroy it?” .  The crystal clear answer about the television is one of destruction and vice, not worth polluting our home with.

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well, it’s begun.

I was, for a moment, missing the normal severe weather that we are plagued with every spring.  It is usually so refreshing and invigorating to just sit and listen to a good thunderstorm rattle the windows while the accompanying light show lights the corners of the room.  Usually.

We haven’t had any this year at all, or at least it seemed and I think we were all getting antsy for when it would start and what it would do.  Well, it started and with an explosion no less.  We had what seems, at first count, to be nearly 25 tornados tonight.  Very destructive and violent tornados.  Our home and neighborhood were spared, thank goodness, but others weren’t so lucky.  Until morning’s light it will be very difficult to accurately assess the damage but the preliminary findings seem to be that a total of five people have lost their lives to this storm. 

Please pray for their souls and for all of the wounded here in Oklahoma.  There are many people who have to work very hard to piece their lives back together.

dream house schream house.

I have nothing overly profound to say today. 

We have put our house on the market.  We’ve made an offer on another house and really really hope to sell ours soon so we can go further on the “new” house!  It’s about 1400 sq ft larger than where we’re at now with a bigger yard (no acreage, a bit of a bummer, but I can’t keep it up right now, I think.) and five bedrooms and two living and two dining!  It’s a dream for us, we think.  I know everything in His time, I know that there is just the perfect family for this house out there.  I know God will bring them to our home and all will be well.  I just wish he felt as urgent about the situation as we do!

Prayers going out to all of you struggling to sell a house. 

Let me know what’s going on in your life that I can offer up this stress to help ease.  Praying for your intentions!

Inlaws

My mil and myself have never had a good relationship.  My dh was raised an only child with his mother as his parents divorced when he was two.  He was the man of the house most of his childhood.  When he married me he not only married a “heathen straight from hell” ( I was (AM) a practicing Catholic after all) but I became “the other woman” of sorts, in her eyes.  I’ve been treated as such our entire marriage, not by dh, but by his mother.  It’s come very close a time or two to ending our marriage, not a pleasant situation.

I’ve never, ever, made it a secret that we’re not exactly friends.  She doesn’t like or respect me, and the feeling is mutual.  She was not the kind of mother that I would have hoped my husband, the father of my children, would have and I get angry sometimes on his behalf, about his childhood.  I am not the kind of mother she would ever consider “good” either.  Most issues we have with each other are like that, completely and totally mutual.  I believe the only thing we have in common is our love for my husband. 

And THAT’S what I’m realizing now, nearly 16 years later.  She loves him and I love him and we have at least that in common.  That doesn’t mean we can be friends (or even should) but it does mean that there is a common ground.  It means that we can come together on one issue, if we tried. 

I haven’t been trying.

at all.

not one single teensy tiny bit.

Until this year.  Mother’s Day is coming up and as much as I want to thank my mother for giving me life I can’t forget the woman who gave me the man that I want to spend the rest of my life with.  I have to love her, if only for the fact that she loved my husband and she gave him life.  I have to pray for her because she is the grandmother of my children and she gave their father life.   Because of her I am married to the man of my dreams (most of the time) and am, myself, a mother.

So, this Mother’s Day I will not only be honoring my mother, thanking her for giving me my life, but also my mil.  Because no matter how angry she makes me, or how easily we butt heads, she’s given me the greatest gift I’ve ever received from anyone outside of my parents. 

She’s given me my soul mate.

motherhood

Struggling again with motherhood.  There are times when it really feels like the ultimate “epic fail”.  Can I ever get it right?  Will there ever be a time when inadequate will be the worst I feel I could say about the job I’m doing?  It never feels or seems, to me, that I’m on the right track.  I try, and fail.  And try, then oops, another fail.  So many stumbling, bumbling, tumbling steps that never seem to lead to anywhere. 

 This job, this vocation that I share with so many, is the most difficult thing I think I will ever take on.  I have never been to college, but I would venture to guess that cramming for finals would be a cake walk compared to the daily life of a mom.  I keep forgetting to pray for that courage that I so long ago was advised to ask for, and I can tell.  It’s time to hit my knees and reach out to the only one that can sooth a mother’s fears and worries and angst over her children.  The one parent who is perfect and whose perfection is calling me to love my children, even when it’s difficult.  Especially when it’s difficult.  The parent who is always forgiving, even when I don’t emulate His love as clearly and beautifully as I ought.  The one parent whose love surpasses every other thing. 

Why, as a mother, are we so hard on ourselves?  Why is everything a pass or a fail?  Why do we then project that pass/fail onto other mothers?  Why must she be failing or passing based on what success (or lack thereof) we’ve experienced ourselves?  It’s a hard thing, this vocation.  So much more gray area than any leftbrained person like myself is comfortable with!

Praying this most beautiful month of May for all mother’s here, and gone.  Praying for all of us.  That we can see Christ’s beauty reflected in our children’s eyes.  That we can be close enough to Christ to recognize His reflection.  That we can see that He has created our children in His perfection, that they are what He wants them to be.  Praying to our dear Mama Mary, that she guide us and protect us and that we are willing to see her example and emulate it.