Sunday morning greeted me with rain that fell for most of the day. When I woke the skies were cloudy and the ground was very wet, and I knew many thankful gardeners. One by one my children woke up. With the anticipation of church later that morning I was thankful I had showered last night. It’s one less thing to do on this cloudy, rainy morning.
After church, we drove to the north side of town to pick up lunch. With Zack out of town for a whole week already, I knew today was the right day to choose an easy meal. This simple decision was just the beginning of more rest we would seek and find.
For the rest of the afternoon, me and my children celebrated Sabbath. We completed puzzles, listened to the rain, and some covered up with blankets and took naps. For the record, I slept sitting up with a book resting on my lap, as all mothers do at some point in their life. Another child listened to an audiobook and built with LEGOS.
We are on week three of very limited screen time. For us, “limited” means only when mom or dad suggests a family movie, which has happened only twice now. And my gracious has this “limited” decision been so good for our entire family.
It was the precursor for limiting other excessive things in our life, such as toys. Having too many toys within reach has created an unhealthy abundance for the shorter members of my family. Too many mornings we’d wake up with the TV on, or children fighting or whining, all before 9am. Naturally, this led to them not going to bed well. It was beginning to be a yucky pattern.
With a really big smile on my face, I finally said, “I can’t take this any longer. This is not blessing our family. We’re doing things differently now.”
And then I set out to make a few changes. Listed in no particular order:
- All TV remotes have been placed in a secret box in my closet
- Reading books has become the priority again, especially the beloved Highlights magazine
- A reduction of 70% of toys (to the storage room; we will evaluate what to do with them long-term at another time)
- Letting my children know the night before what we’ve having for breakfast in the morning
- More time outside! We are soaking up the glorious month of August and what remains of summer break
(This is not the first time I’ve reduced our TV use and toy collection!)
Sunday morning greeted us with a wonderful gift: rest. With the rain, we were limited in what we could do. With the rain, we could receive rest inside, while the flowers and gardens rejoiced outside. With our Sunday Sabbath, I was giving myself a healthy jumpstart to our week.
What can feel like a limitation is often disguised as an opportunity for growth and joy.
When is the last time you celebrated Sabbath rest? What are your natural tendencies when life feels a bit spazzy? Do you believe in the statement, “If TV is always an option, it will be hard to choose something else”?
PS. I made a decision on our 2022-2023 curriculum, and I’m eager to share with you the details!
Another post to make me smile. Although that smile is laced with missing you Q.
Where would we be without the goodness you bring to our family? We miss you, Zack! I’m eager to hug you on Saturday! xx
I love that you simply said, “We doing things differently now.” What a great way to shift priorities and habits! And I’m so glad that things are working better for you and your family.
I’m excited to see which curriculum you choose. We’ll be starting the third level of Torchlight, which I love. It is the perfect balance of beauty and rigor for my family and it’s time for me to really start wrapping my head around what we need because time is ticking!
So good, as always, to hear from you, Katie! My next big project is to organize our basement. I haven’t done anything to it since we moved in February, and since then it’s definitely grown in chaos. I’m sure I’m alone in this situation ;) We bought some storage shelving while on sale so that will be helpful. I desire to have an area for our unused homeschool materials and supplies. Having more order to our home has been such a blessing! It totally energizes all of us, too. xx
You are so brave to tackle the basement! I keep trying but quickly lose motivation. I am one of those people who are affected by the clutter around them – I get angry and anxious so easily when my surroundings are chaotic. I keep trying to get rid of the clutter and it feels like I can never make any progress!
We have been practicing Screen free Sunday for a few months now and it has been such a blessing to our family! My husband and I turn our phones off and we enjoy a slow pace of naps, reading, games and walks after church. We start the week well-rested and re-set. It was such a great mid-year change for our family!
This is wonderful to hear, Breanne! What helped you move toward a screen-free Sunday? And have you read the book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry? I would recommend it :) xx
Maggie, I read your page when your kids were younger, as I am in that stage now. Do you have any extra tips for that age? I am struggling, hard. Most days I don’t want to parent, because I am so overwhelmed with the state of the house. My husband works part time here at home, so we aren’t alone.
We are in a small duplex, too, with 5 people and 2 heavy shedding dogs. I just can’t seem to make the space work for me, instead of against me. I don’t think we really ever organized/got the house into order when we moved in, because we didn’t think we’d be here this long (3 years now). I’d love to be screen free, as we think that’s why our 4 year old has developmental delays. It’s just so hard to go screen free when the rest of the house is chaos.