Jetlag has me up at 4:20am, as I write this catch-up post on the last three days of our family Media Detox. Although we had to finish off this Detox in separate continents, it was still a fulfilling sense of accomplishment to start something and finish off well.
The last three days were easy for us because we had so much going on that we had no time to think about the Detox. I was in Africa and my husband was holding the fort as a single parent with a hectic life. I remember calling slightly frantic days after the Detox when I realized that in the busy time we had not yet discussed our ‘After Detox Media Plan’. I had pictures of the kids vegging out in front of the screen to catch up on 21 days of no screen time. To my surprise calling after several days of the Detox revealed that there was simply no time for that. I am hopeful that we are gliding into something new.
This weekend we will be discussing as a family what we each learned and gained from the Media Detox. I am keen to hear everyone’s insights. The kids will also be getting a dollar for every journal entry they made during the journey and we will go out and celebrate together.
I believe that everyone is born creative. To create is the ability to bring something into existence. Something that expresses authenticity and uniqueness. Since we are all so unique and one of a kind, my expression of creativity may differ from another. It’s is love, freedom and rest that will unlock that creativity.
We took a trip to the Smithsonian American Art Museum today and we loved the variety of art forms and expressions on display, each telling a story and preserving times gone by, celebrating life and attempting to capture in a powerful way treasures in American culture.
I loved the simplicity of Gene Davis art for example, lines and interesting interval of colors. I used his work to encourage our one child who claims he is not creative, that creativity is not being perfect but making anything that is your idea and loving the process. Gene Davis work is simple and uncomplicated but refreshing for these reasons.
When we returned home I carved out sometime with our ” I am not creative” child, and while talking to him about being made in the image of God, encouraged him to do anything creative on paper. So we set the atmosphere with some beautiful scents of lavender and peppermint in the background and we had fun creating.
This is what he came up with and he loved every bit of it.
The other two kids joined us after their storytime with dad and created more unique expressions of creativity. The only rule I gave them during this process was a) have fun doing it and b) every mistake is a new idea
When was the last time you did anything creative?
It’s the weekend and it’s the toughest time doing without our family movie times and kids unwinding by playing games.
I am reminded of the point in any exercise routine when your muscles appear to be pleading for mercy and it burns so much that you don’t know whether to laugh or cry (I usually laugh). In those moments I usually tell myself that since I made it all the way, leaving without that burning sensation would be a missed opportunity.
That’s what it feels right now on this Detox, rather unpleasant but we shall persevere and complete what we have started.
I am reading a book by Dr. Neufeld called “Hold on to your kids”, in which he encourages parents to show up and be present in the lives of their children. Dr Neufeld highlights how attachment with our kids and staying close provides the context and foundation for parenting.
I agree with this entirely, however for me healthy parenting begins from a deeper place. It’s the unseen realm of intimacy with God, a closeness to Him that sets one securely on an immovable foundation and orientation. I am able to live out and express the love of God and unshakable truth about who I am and who we are as a family, from this relationship.
I am one of those people who can rarely keep life in control. I have tried and failed dismally. It does not work. Adding kids to the mix of an imperfect people,us parents, who have no control over the future as well, requires some serious orientation and grounding. Thus building on Christ as our firm foundation is my daily prayer and pursuit.
We all have things in our lives that we sometimes attach to. It may be our work, what people think of us, even the fear of failure. These attachments and our relationship to them can easily steal life from our key relationships. And they can try to shape who we are. The things that preoccupy our hearts and compete for our affections may not be bad in themselves but taking stock every now and then is an awesome way to recalibrate and set them in their right place.
This Media Detox is helping me see ways in which our relationship to Media and all that screen stuff can be be put in their proper place. It’s also helping us give attention to our true orientation, first to God as parents and then flowing out to our family.
Rest that inspires creativity! That’s what unfolded after our rest time this afternoon.
The kids decided to take out popsicles and play. We have had these popsicles for almost a year now but this is the first time they have been willingly chosen for play.
A house made of popsicles
The popsicle kid without a Tablet.
Popsicles used as an art canvas.
I love Sundays. I love a good rest. And After today, I am adding popsicles to my list of things I love because, they are simple unassuming little sticks with abundant possibilities.