A few weeks ago my oldest went away with my husband (his Dad) for a purity weekend. It was a weekend we had been planning for the two to get together, work through Passport 2 Purity and enjoy some ‘man’ time.
When they returned from their weekend, we went out to dinner at a real restaurant for the first time in forever. It was a time to celebrate. He and Dad made it through the weekend, some deep and a few uncomfortable discussions and yet they were still alive!
While we were at the restaurant, we laughed, chatted and had really good conversations with the sweet woman who served us. It was great having a chance to talk with a young Mom and I made a mental note that we needed to return there when we are able so that we can get into deeper discussions with her and perhaps grow a relationship.
As I looked around the restaurant though, I have to say, I was very sad. Almost every table had couples and families with their heads bowed and their eyes glued to devices. I watched one table go through the entire meal without uttering a single word to one another. It was interesting to watch children try to get their parent’s attention only to be chastised for interrupting and parents who were distraught because they could not get the attention of their children.
This is not how we were meant to communicate.
This world that is driven by devices that provide instant gratification is raising up a generation of people who can not communicate with other people using their eyes, bodies and voices.
As I watched this occur all around me, I was aware of the fact that there had been times when I had done the same thing. I have ignored my children or told them to ‘hold on’ for the 300th time in less than an hour because someone was texting me or I just had to see something.
It was a habit – a bad habit
My mind went back to my job in the corporate world. I worked in the wireless world and helped implement many of the great ways we communicate with one another today. While I was in that world, I asked myself if I was helping grow a world that truly was being connected in a healthy way or one in which a Mom not only couldn’t go to the bathroom without a child, but also with a phone.
It hit me hard.
I was very intentional that night about leaving my phone in my purse. I didn’t even take a picture. My kids are tired of me taking pictures of them (especially if they are only for a blog post – they want me taking pictures of memories to place in scrap books).
When we got home that night, I prayed. I really sought God’s desire for my heart, my phone and my family.
The fact that we are in debt and a $100 phone bill makes no sense – piled on top of the fact that in all honesty, I don’t need a cell phone -left me with one decision.
To turn the phone off.
I spoke with my husband and then we told the children about our decision. They are aware of our current financial situation and it’s important that they see how we are handling things so they can understand the impact debt has on a family impacts each and every person.
At first, they were a little concerned. But, one day my oldest walked up on me as I was ‘flipping through my phone’ and asked me when it would be turned off. I responded with “one week.” His response still hits my heart.
That was all I needed.
Today, we went to the park. My phone was in the car. While it doesn’t have service, it will still dial 911 if we need help. (Did you know that all phones without service can/are required to do that?)
I didn’t take it around to take pictures or anything. I spent the entire time talking and walking with my children. I had no book, no crochet needles – nothing. Just me and my children.
It was wonderful….
Some people say it’s all about moderation. For me, it’s become a choice based on how I want my children to see me living my life. I desire to have them remember me smiling, laughing and living life with them. I desire to have them remembering me sitting with my Bible.
That will be a legacy worth leaving.
How is your face time with your children these days?
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