Sunday, February 22, 2009

New beginnings

Our family has had a lot of new beginnings in the last year. We set off from Eastern Wasington at the end of June, with the eventual destination of our new home in Northern Mississippi. Once we arrived here, we had to get settled in to a new home, a new church, a new culture, new friends, grocery stores (I had never even SEEN a Piggly Wiggly, except in the movie "Driving Miss Daisy," before moving here), foods, routines, and so on. Just about everything in our lives is new in the last year. I have even taken on a new responsiblity - I am homeschooling a 7th grader because a family in my church has that need, and I have the time and the ability to be of service in that area!

Also new to us is having Rob work outside of the home on a full-time basis. I have been a VERY spoiled wife for the first four years of my marriage. My husband has been in graduate school from the time we met, and so his time was somewhat flexible. Sure, he had to teach or attend class a couple of times a week, and he had to put in a certain amount of time on his research for his dissertation, but now he is a professor, and he is aiming to be in the office 40+ hours per week. I do not begrudge him that, but I do miss him when he is away from home so much, and so does Grace. Some days it seems that he has just come home and it is already time for her to go to bed. We are already becoming accustomed to the routine, though, and we are VERY thankful that he has a tenure-track job at a research university in THIS economic climate!

We have another new event that has been pending for a while. We are buying a house. Because we are moving (in just 2 days!), we have been discussing our options for one of the biggest things in our lives - the television. It is with a lot of embarrassment and a little shame (maybe that should be the other way around, but it's not) that I confess that the television takes up WAY too much of our time. We have explored all of our options, which include Dish Network, DirecTV, and plain old Cable. We had pretty much decided to switch from DirecTV to Dish, thereby saving ourselves about $70 per month. Can you believe we've been paying over $100 per month for TV?!

Then something my pastor said in his sermon this morning hit me. He was talking about how God's Word (the Bible) is eternal. It is the only thing that will last. I have known this truth since accepting Jesus as my Lord & Savior almost 18 years ago, but it hit me in a new way this morning. Yes, God's Word is eternal... so why do I spend so much time paying attention to the things of this world? As I told Rob on the way home, when we flip on the television, we are letting all of the filth and sin and influence of the world right into our homes! Why do we pay money to do this? So I said "What if we got rid of pay TV, and only watched DVD's and the networks that we can pick up with our antenna?" We discussed it for a few minutes and decided to give it a try.

The biggest sacrifice for me will be the Food Network. I LOVE watching that channel! Alton Brown of "Good Eats" has become my favorite TV personality, but as I told Rob, "you bought me all of his books for my birthday and Christmas, I can READ his recipes! He even has some episodes online!" As far as the series that we have been watching, most of those episodes are available online as well, and the ones that are not can be rented on DVD when they are released. So, we are not giving up TV entirely, but we will no longer be paying to receive it, and we will no longer "channel-surf" when there are other things we can be doing. We have a child to raise, a yard to attend to, I would like to plant a garden, Rob wants to get another dog, we have friends to minister to, and so many other more important things that we can be doing with our time besides staring at a screen, being mindlessly entertained.

Psalm 101:2-4
I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart.
I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not fasten its grip on me.
A perverse heart shall depart from me;
I will know no evil.

I am hopeful that, without the temptation of hundreds of channels, I will spend more time in God's Word, soaking in His eternal truths, and doing work for His kingdom. We will try it and see.

Philippians 4:8-9
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.