I think I won in two ways. First, I followed through on my word as far as what it would take to get satellite. Second, we've gone without TV for nearly two years. Sometimes I am tempted to reinstall our dish, but when I visit my mother and see how quickly the children become addicted to the TV, and I am reminded of all the filth that is pumped into homes, I feel a renewed sense that this is the right decision for our family.
As most of you know, our family life is hectic, stressful, noisy, and there never seems to be the time to accomplish what we need to. Even so, I have decided to do something I've always wanted to do, but could never figure out how I would implement it.
Recently I started reading an amazing book series by Chris Stewart called "The Great and The Terrible". This series chronicles a family's story from before they were born when they lived with God, through their lives on earth, and I can only guess, since I haven't gotten there yet, into the next life.
(As I'm writing, I'm wondering something. So Mormons believe that we lived in a pre-mortal existence before coming to earth, that we were spirit children of our Heavenly Father and that we lived with Him, and even knew our family and some close friends during this time, that we may have even chosen to be together as families here. So what I'm wondering is, do other religions believe this? That we lived with God, our Father, before coming to this world? I would assume so, because I hear many people refer to dying as "going home". Surely "home" wouldn't be somewhere you've never been. Any comments on this matter from those of other faiths would be appreciated. Thanks!)
As I've read this series, I've been so impressed at the change in my way of thinking as I imagine that we are truly sons and daughters of a King, and that our time on this earth is like a drop of dew that quickly evaporates as the sun rises. It's such a short period, a test, and if we succeed, we can meet The Lord at his throne and can speak of how we "fought the good fight".
Not only is this series inspirational, but it's immensely entertaining, and I would highly recommend it, to Mormons and non-Mormons alike.
About three years ago, just on a whim, I purchased an audio copy of "War of the Worlds". As we traveled to and from our small town in Mexico, I would play it for the kids in the van's CD player, and to my surprise, that absolutely devoured it. They begged to listen to it, they drew pictures of what they were hearing, and they talked about it for weeks, even years.
After thinking on how this series has inspired greater thinking in me, I found myself wishing that these books were on audio CD. Then the thought occurred to me, "Why couldn't I just read it to them? It's probably too advanced for the 10- and 8-year-olds to read by themselves, but if they understood Orson Wells, surely they could understand a mainstream LDS writer."
So tonight we did it. After carefully planning our evening, putting the baby, the twins and the 4-year-old boy to bed on time, we sat together and I read to my children for twenty minutes. I told that 14- and 15-year-olds that they didn't have to listen if they didn't want to, but they never did leave the room, and listened closely as they remained still.
When I was finished reading, I asked each of them if they enjoyed it, and without hesitation, they all said yes. And my kids aren't ones to lie about something like that. If they don't like something, I know about it.
So I totally felt like Laura Ingall's mother or someone wholesome and old-fashioned like that. I can definitely see us continuing this on a nightly basis, and I'm definitely looking forward to doing it in front of a crackling fire place in a few weeks.
We think we don't have time for things like this, but if we plan, ration, and commit ourselves, we can do things we feel are right for our families. As moms, we carry much guilt for what we don't do right, but if we know something will benefit our family, we can find a way to make it work and feel good about that one thing. Then do it again with something else, and feel good about that, until you just have one major feel-good party.
Thanks for listening. :)
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