Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Family Time and Thank You Commenters

This is my crew on Thanksgiving night. We planned our big meal mid day, then Hubby popped a big bowl of popcorn and we had that and apple pie for dinner! Don't tell your kids we have pie and popcorn for dinner - we live in a small place (as evidenced by how close the couch is to the tv armoire) - there just wouldn't be room for everyone who would love to have pie and popcorn for dinner! LOL

Here's Boogie, Princess and Hubby enthralled by Wall E! It has a good clean story line (no pun intended!) that is interesting to both adults and children and as usual with Pixar, if you were a young person in the 80s you'll find lots to laugh at! And if that movie doesn't convince you that recycling is important, NOTHING will! :o)

Here's Hubby and Sunshine engrossed in the plot. The dress of the evening was PJs!

This fall Hubby has been working one full time job and three part time jobs so we have enjoyed every possible moment we can with him. One of his part time jobs is on break and one will end in December due to budget cuts. That will be hard on the budget, but it will be good for Hubby's health and our family health. I don't know how families with two working parents can manage to have any sane family time during the week. When we don't have it, we feel like we are going through the motions, the proverbial "ships passing in the night". How do marriages survive that on an ongoing basis? I know some people say they survive because they don't see each other, which is laughable on the surface, but sad when you let the truth sink in.

Hubby and I both came from "broken" homes. Our experiences in childhood have made us more protective and cautious of our behaviors as parents. We know exactly what children can absorb from their parents' behavior and how young, much younger than most adults realize. God designed families as a way to bless us, to share His love with us and to pass on His Ways (see Deuteronomy 6, some of which is quoted in my side bar). No wonder families are so attacked today. The enemy knows that it is an effective way to teach the next generation about God and to enjoy deep satisfaction and peace in the midst of a chaotic and sinful world. Families are especially attacked in my state.

Even when we come from our background and love God with all our hearts, this is not an easy task. We are human, we get exhausted, both Hubby and I have autoimmune disorders that effect our energy levels and our children's energy levels never drop until they pass out at some point in their beds at night! No sweet, dainty little home schooled girls in our home. I'm beginning to see God's wisdom in giving us three children and not more - the three we have keep us running!

So, this year we have been convicted to be more proactive in our family. We have begun eating together for dinner as much as possible. This may sound like a given, but until recently we had been having a kid meal and an adult meal. Our girls now eat most of what we do. Boogie is another story, as you can see by the banana he *chose* to have in lieu of Thanksgiving dinner! We didn't make a big production, we just started doing it. Our children are delighted and tell us repeatedly each time we eat together, how much they enjoy it. We are trying to establish a pattern of communication now so that when they are teenagers or go through other difficulties, talking together as a family won't be a foreign idea. Since I am home with the kids all day, it is interesting for me to hear what they tell Daddy about their day. It's a good barometer for the effectiveness of my educating skills and ideas. Usually there is at least one chuckle.

Like this one...

Boogie was whining. I asked him if he thought he would "survive" (sarcastically). Sunshine pops up and says, "We don't want to 'survive', we want to 'live'!" (The captain says this in Wall E) :o)

In several places online lately, I have read about how having a family devotional and/or worship time together in the evening is beneficial, not only in the obvious kinds of ways, but also in establishing the father as the head of the home.

I read cautiously some of these teachings because I feel that sometimes it goes overboard where the father becomes a kind of idol or the mother becomes a total door mat. Neither of these scenarios are God given, but He did establish an hierarchy whether modern women choose to accept that or not. Ephesians clearly states that the father is the head of the home. Because I am a strong, independent and, yes, stubborn woman, this is the one area of my marriage where I am constantly praying to the Father, asking Him to transform in me. It's not that I consciously usurp my Husband's authority, but the experiences of my childhood accompanied by the length of my singleness and facets of my personality, mix together in a "take charge" persona if things need to get done. My Hubby is incredibly wonderful and when I usurp his authority, I cheat myself of the blessings that come when he fulfills his role of loving me as Christ loves the church.

But that's a whole other blog post!

When I read about how family worship time lead by the husband re-establishes a healthy headship of the man it made sense. My children are with me all day, looking to me for direction in all things. Then Daddy comes home - if I continue to lead the family throughout the evening they will naturally assume that I "control" our family. That will not only effect our children now, but in their own families in the future! How will my son know how to be a strong and gentle leader in his own family? How will my girls learn how to lovingly and humbly serve their husbands and families if I don't show them? Family worship is a time of bringing us all back together, "resetting" our rhythm as a family, if you will.

This is a great time, with Advent and Jesse devotions daily, to establish this pattern and we hope to continue after the celebration of Christ's birth with a neat book we found that was written by one of Billy Graham's daughters for family devotions. (Sorry, I can't think of the title right now!) At this point, our children are excited to be together. We rarely, if ever, watch tv, so our evenings are mostly free. We will have to work out a schedule when Hubby has to teach evenings again, but this shouldn't be too hard. I expect that now we will be challenged some way in setting aside this time for family because that's usually what happens when the enemy finds you doing something that strengthens your faith!

I know most of my readers are experienced Moms and I would love to hear from you any advice on establishing family devotions and worship, meal time communication and the things you have found helpful in walking in your God given roles as wives and mothers. And I should add that I love your comments even if you aren't "experienced Moms". :o)

And that leads me to a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who commented on my controversial Christmas post. You were all so gracious, both on the blog and off. I especially appreciated my Mom's comment because she grew up in what I would consider a legalistic home and has celebrated nothing, celebrated full blown with Santa and all and now come full circle to a "hybrid" so to speak. What I may not have fully expressed is that we have chosen not to totally cut off and do NOTHING. We aren't blind to the world and the culture around us. And like my Mom pointed out, Christmas is a time of incredible opportunity to touch others, both personally and in service opportunities. We are choosing to celebrate Christ's birth (since the world already is), we are just not choosing to celebrate Christmas or perpetuate the lie that he was actually born 12/25. Does that make sense? I don't like to post controversial posts and hate conflict. I would like my blog to be a welcome and restful spot on the web, but I'm extremely concerned about being genuine, truthful and faithful to God. What He thinks about me is more important than what anyone else thinks about me! Christmas was exploding all around me and I felt I needed to say how I feel and believe. Please don't feel that I am here to judge you. Some of you, I know in real life, but most of you I don't. Each and every one of you is a blessing, regardless. So, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for your kindness. I am supposed to be doing a "white tornado" clean up right now, so I can't answer all the great comments probably until Thursday or Friday, but I will! I appreciate you!

No comments: