The morning was just like every other. I was bustling around in the early morning hours making lunches and breakfast for the whole house when the unthinkable happened… Our TV stopped working.
Our TV always served its purpose so beautifully. It’s been the perfect transition from waking after a long slumber into the inevitable dive of a full-blown school day. TV has been… well for lack of a better description, somewhat of a clutch for my morning parenting routine. In my defense, it’s the only antidote for completing an hour worth of duties in 45 minutes. Necessary in order to beat the tardy bell at the elementary school.
On this particular morning my youngest clicked the red button that usually granted me (mom) my sanity in the morning hours and nothing happened. We quickly realized the television was broken after 15 minutes of troubleshooting. Now in some ways this didn’t come as a shock seeing as my husband and I bought this TV second hand off Craigslist close to 9 years ago. For all extensive purposes, this TV had done its job and more but we were faced with a critical question…
Would we buy another one?
When we bought this TV we were at a completely different stage in our life, a stage where we binge-watched the Lost series or whatever popular TV show was out at the time until all hours of the night. We watched Super Bowls and award shows, but now in the past couple years our priorities have shifted and my husband and I have realized what little need we have for a TV.
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It wasn’t until we became parents (to a 4 and 6 year old) that we were able to realize the magical superpowers of television and we were again mesmerized. What relief the TV brought to both us and the children when we needed some time to zone out and reboot, to soothe the latest flu bug, or keep the kids occupied while making breakfast or dinner. I promised I would never be “that” parent, but I, unfortunately, had become one of those moms who probably allowed my kids “too much” screen time.
Something happened in my house the day the TV died.
My kids started playing with each other more, making forts, and using their imagination like I have never seen before. We began cooking dinner together and enjoying things I may have seen as tasks before. We started talking more. Not about anything too interesting but conversations that would have seemed irrelevant, sparked sweet moments. They have left us chatting at our kitchen table for hours. We started playing worship music at all hours of the day. We sing and dance. At any given moment my husband is twirling my daughter across the living room. My son sits back and giggles.
We have moments of stillness that I haven’t allowed myself to have in far too long. I feel like the first time, in a long time I hear God speaking even when I’m not intentionally seeking him. And I can’t help but be sad that we ended up so far away from here. Who would have thought the television would have the power to scramble and busy our minds for so long? Sure our mornings are a thousand times more hectic, but I like it. I like hearing my kids singing praise to God and making a mess with their toys. Normally that would have made me pull my hair out first thing in the morning. I’ve been finally feeling a sense of true calm amidst the chaos.
Most mornings now, I’m shuffling around in my disheveled robe trying to pack lunches and sign daily progress reports. I do all this while attempting to make myself look halfway presentable to walk my kids to school. But it’s kind of perfect and mostly because I actually feel Jesus. I can feel Him there in the messiness and although He has always been there, my organized TV fueled morning routine drowned him out.
And although I find it perfect, let’s be honest, we are still a work in progress. Since TV, we haven’t mastered being on time… but I imagine we will get there. Because this is real life. Life that is slightly inconvenient but so much more significant and organic. It creates a space for all of us to be accountable to “not checking out.” It is a new norm that begs for all of our attention in the best way possible.
So for now, we aren’t buying a new TV. I’m not promising there won’t be a time where we are ready to introduce it back into our lives. But for now, it’s really great. It has lead me to ask myself, “What other blocks have we created in our lives for convenience or relief? What else has become a spiritual stumbling blockade in our life?”
What if we didn’t turn to something that “should” bring us relief? If we make room for the Father to be that peace imagine the possibilities? I’m not speaking out of somebody with wisdom who came to this revelation on my own accord. I am speaking out of somebody who has a loving Father. One who loves me so much to remove parts of my life that have grown cold and unresponsive to Him. Because He loves us just that much. He cares for the state of my family, my marriage, and my life and He desires to speak to me. He just had to remove a couple things first in order to do it… and I’m okay with that. Messy, Chaotic, unplugged, Jesus filled perfection!