The weather was absolutely amazing. Even though it was the first week of April, we had a few days of bright sunshine and actual warmth here in the northwest.
There is a thin veneer that separates a family from the world outside. A coating of values and morales. It is maintained thru family dinners, conversations, time spent together, and knowing where and who we are as a family. The veneer wears down after awhile and suddenly you find your family becoming more a part of the culture and society and less resembling like the family that you purpose for. So in addition to partially painting our home over spring break, I also wanted to reclaim my family and thicken the veneer!
As a mom I've long realized that I cannot avoid exposing my children to the negative aspects of the world. For the small boys, I limit their tv watching to only recorded programs that don't have commercials and select what movies they watch. I'm involved with their school schedule and know the curriculum so that I have a sense of what "I want them to learn and see" is there each day. For my young adults I purpose daily to talk to them and really focus on the conversation. Where are their hearts. What are their eyes pointing toward. Is in negative?
In a more positive direction, I can teach them the "truer" forms of satisfaction that our culture and society cannot deliver to them. The sense of accomplishment, the giving up of 'self' in service to others and the joy of relationships.
The joy of engaging relationally. The little boys and I got some quick take out food after soccer practice and escaped to the beach for dinner. With driftwood for a table, the sound of waves pulling rocks and rolling them back to sea, a beautiful sunny break and the heavy smell of wonderful salt water we dined just the three of us. I love parenting my littles and showing them how to simply live. Going on date nights with my hubby happened on spring break! A picinic with Hannah and just me where we talked and talked in the sunshine. Family sit down dinners. Reading chapter books aloud. Reading from the bible. All wonderful ways we increased joy of getting to know each other even more!
A sense of accomplishment from hard work, the reward of serving others, and the joy of engaging relationally. All these are better pointers to the satisfaction of knowing God. Not the easy negative stuff that exists in society and culture that looks like you "want" and would "make you happy". In the bible, Paul taught what he prayed for. And although I'm looking at my next career to be as a teacher, I would fall far short from Paul's teachings. I look intentionally to share with my family how to pray and teach them how to mold their attitudes, relationships, sense of self, what they worry about and where they find contentment. I demonstrate and teach to them exactly what I believe their value systems should contain and I pray for their discernment as they go from me and face the world daily.