Monday, July 11, 2011

Unplugged

We got rid of our cable this weekend.

I can't tell you how ecstatic that makes me. No television. Zero.

Don't come to our house if you want to watch the big game. We'll be a big disappointment, because all we'll do is offer you a glass of wine and try to talk to you.

I'm a lover of silence.
I'm a lover a good conversation. 
I'm a lover of just being with people.

I think, sometimes, television, Internet, iPads, iPods, cell phones, and whatever else I might have forgotten--take away our ability to sit in silence; we never fully engage, we're never fully present to those around us.

I'm guilty of this too. So guilty.

My daughters see this. They see me on the computer type, type, typing away. The other day I saw Hadley pretending to type on our closed laptop. Little sponge, she is.

I love silence, conversation, engaging; yet my girls don't always see me seeking it.

Can I find God on my laptop? Sure. I've found him lots of times. Many of you help me see him through your writing. Can I find friends on my laptop--sure can. Maybe, though, I can really celebrate this unplugged experience by doing the whole email/facebook/blog thing only during naptimes. Read the girls more stories or run around the garden a few more times instead. Be present to them the entire time they're awake.

We've embraced a no television policy, where the girls are concerned. It's part of the reason the television is officially unplugged. That, and we seldom watch anything in the evenings.

Most evenings you'll find us enjoying wine on our back deck, talking about life, or God, or how we'd fix the world. If those pesky mosquitoes get too fierce, we come inside and watch a movie, or Arrested Development on DVD, or Modern Family on Hulu.

But--in sitting in silence, I think we can find God, see God, even hear him speaking. Being fully present to other people--I think we find God that way too; there is God in all of us, afterall.

Too often God gets drown out, or at least watered down when technology gets in my way; I miss the simple beauty, the gifts, the fellowship, the intimacy he's just layed out there in all it's splendor for me to notice.
In this modern age very little that remains is real. Night has been banished; so have the cold, the wind, and the stars. They have all been neutralized; the rhythm of life itself has been obscured. Everything goes by so fast and makes so much noise, and people hurry by without heeding the grass by the roadside, its color, its smell and the way that it shimmers when the wind caresses it.... ~Gaston Rebuffat
A small addendum to my words here. Thank you for your grace.
______________________________________________

Counting my gifts with Ann today:

756. Girls walking in their mama's shoes.

757. Hibiscus in full bloom.



758. Girls pretending to talk on the phone to their papa when he's away.


759. Zinnias.



760. Smelling zinnias.


761. Tassels on our sweet corn.

762. Sunflowers.


763. Playdate with Whitney.

764. Authentic conversation.

765. Celebrating Max's two years.

766. Party fun.












16 comments:

Abs - chyo sister said...

Jules! I love the idea of no television! You have some pretty swell chillens.

Also, I love the hair! You should start making them sit in a chair and yanking at their hair everyday, like we had to, so they can get used to it! I'll teach you to frenchbraid also. This will come in handy when they are famous volleyball players with hair down to their booties!

Miss you all!

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Your post reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

"The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware." ~ Henry Miller

No doubt it's easier to be aware in silence, the only music being that of our children's laughter and games and supper simmering on the stove. :)

Congrats on your unplugging! [I can't foresee us ever going all the way...Daddy loves his soccer, and Mama loves her football (recorded on the DVR, to be watched in near-silence when the girlies are in bed...HA!).]

I try to remain conscious of just "being" in the moment...of hanging out with the girls for the sake of hanging out...of Ring Around the Rosy...of picnic set-up and play...of reading tons of books and building monstrous towers.

At the same time, though, I think it's important that the girls see Mommy doing things not completely related to them. I have my coffee / computer time in the morning after they eat breakfast, and the girls are generally pretty respectful of that. They see me cutting coupons and making grocery lists; dicing veggies and writing the occasional letter. In turn (particularly since they've gotten a little older), they play really well (most of the time!) by themselves / together.

It's all a balance...for them and for me.

Connie@raise your eyes said...

This will be blessing for your family! I lived many years without t.v. and only missed it on occasion.

Hooked up again to watch the news...imagine that...but thinking about unplugging again now...

All for GOD,
Connie

Laura said...

Oh, wow, and good for you! We live in a divided home in regards to that issue...partly because of the "big games". :) But I try to model for my boys in other ways. Wonderful. You and me, both thinking of silence today, right? Oh, how it speaks.

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

We are without cable and it is a glorious thing. I'm currently severing my relationship with Facebook too. I find a direct correlation between my level of stress and how much time I spend online doing things of little value.

Unlike posting here... of course!

Leslie said...

we are without cable too! it is great and saves money!

Connie@raise your eyes said...

Woohoo! Cancelled satellite today! I'd been thinking about it and you and your post settled it :)

All for GOD,
Connie

Janis@Open My Ears Lord said...

Sounds like you have taken a wise step for your family. TV fills in the empty spaces that could be full of life--God, people, His creation, good books.
Looks like you've inspired a few others as well.
Blessings to you,
Janis

Like this theme of listening in the silence!

championm2000 said...

I would totally give up TV if I could convince my husband. At least we are on the same page about no tv for the kids until after age 2.

marlece said...

This is so good, we have tv but it isn't an issue in this house. We rarely watch it. Too busy with other 'stuff'. I also think this is brave because when I do want to watch something I do want to be able to do it. Kind of like my computer, like you were saying, I have had to soooooo limit this little habit too. All in balance, all in balance....

Deidra said...

Silence is indeed golden and I find it so difficult to sit quietly sometimes. I also have twins - identical girls who are now 10. I once wondered if I would live to see this age and now I want to go back!

Maria said...

Technology gets in the way a great deal. Ask Him and He will let you know if blogging and the like should be done or not at all. And be ready to accept.

Maria

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I grew up without television and always liked it and when we got married (ages ago) we went some time without one . . . but I am very bad at the game Trivial Pursuit.

Fondly,
Glenda

Pamela said...

"But--in sitting in silence, I think we can find God, see God, even hear him speaking." I love this silence. Mother Teresa said, "Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen,
for God speaks in the silence of the heart."

Blessings,
Pamela

Amy Sullivan said...

Can you hear me? I'm clapping for you! To get rid of TV...sigh.

I'd like to point the finger at my TV watching fam, but the truth is, I am a little addicted to that new show Shameless.

You will have to keep us posted! I want to know all the ways your life improves or the things you start to notice.

Tiffini said...

we did that several months this year and I too..am a lover of silence and just being with my family.
I often would love to get rid of all technology..it does drown out God. We are so busy with it. You will love it..way to go:)
xo