A worthless activity that absorbed my day-turned around in a precious teaching for my kids.
Those who regularly read my articles know that it is really important for me to invest my heart and life into my children and my husband.
I want to be close to them and share my life and heart with them.
However, I keep reminding myself that this is a daily decision. We live in a world where there is a multitude of ways to distract oneself, to fill our time with worthless things like time in front of a screen, reading novels or whatever we do – too much.
I am not saying that we should not have our time, where we can relax and be absorbed by what we do instead of being present in our lives.
For a few weeks, however, I spent all my “free time” on my cell phone. I downloaded a game … a really good one. In this game, I had to prepare meals in a restaurant and serve people as quickly as possible with their desired food in order to not lose my customers and not burn my food. I’m really good at these games. In real life, I love being a waitress, and I get a lot of energy from serving people in a restaurant.
Being a stay-home mom, I sometimes miss that sense of “effectiveness” in what I do.
Playing this game became my addiction. I still did everything I’m supposed to do, cooking, cleaning, this blog … but whenever I had a moment, I turned back to the game. It’s amazing how many of these “free moments” can suddenly be available throughout the day !!
Many times, the children came, wanted to talk to me or just be in my presence. I was present … but at the same time I was absent.
I really loved my game. I always felt like I’m successful and effective when I finished a new level. When I did, it said “you’re a winner!”.
After maybe 2 weeks I could not suppress this feeling of not wanting this kind of occupation of my leisure time anymore. I did not want to be present and absent on the same time. I did not want to be so absorbed – In a cell phone game!
But I still loved this freaking game so much..!
At that moment, I knew that I had to do two things:
a. Teach my children how to solve these kind of problems in life.
b. Take a new pattern of my day to be more effective in life.
I did not want my kids to see that I’m so absorbed with a phone game and do nothing about it.
What’s more, I wanted to show them how to have an effective day, an effective life that upholds priorities and does not miss the precious things in life.
To do that, there had to be some changes in our family life.
I decided that instead of getting up at the last minute and be in a hurry to send my kids off to school, I wanted to get up earlier – and start the day on the couch with my children, reading a devotional, talking about it and praying, starting the day with what really counts. These times would not have to be long – maybe about 10 minutes every morning.
We have done this for a while, now. It has been amazing!
On the first day, I showed them my game on the phone. I showed them the many levels I had already achieved. Then I told them: “But I do not want to spend so much time with this game. I want to spend my time with you! I want to be present in your life! That’s why we have to do something: who wants to delete the game?
They were not as enthusiastic as I expected. They thought the game was actually neat..;).
I further explained how such things in life can take so much valuable time, robbing us of precious, good times with our loved ones and holding us back of things that are ready for us – because we just cannot see them, being so absorbed.
They deleted it – my entire game and all the levels I had already achieved.
You know what? It felt good.
Looking back, I cannot imagine where I found all this time to play that game!
And about our mornings: they are amazingly precious.
The kids are all on our couch, in pajamas, covered by a warm blanket. I read the devotional to them, then we talk about it, I (sometimes we) pray, we talk about their day – then we put on worship music, get dressed, have breakfast, there is even a little time to play … and off they go into their day.
It makes a huge difference on the whole morning atmosphere.
I am much more effective during the day.
I am much more present during the day.
We have our quality time, even before we are really awake.