I love LISTS and I love things being organized in box-type containers. A TEN THINGS list is like that! I enjoy writing things in a structured, contained way. You will find links to all the TEN THINGS posts at the end of each. ENJOY!
I am humbled daily by God’s grace and mercy in my life. I am never good enough – and He is more than enough to cover my imperfections. His righteousness replaces my unrighteousness. For this I am so thankful. I am thankful that He has shown us what is truly important in life – what is frivolous, what is a vain pursuit – and what is of eternal value.
Here are some things that Hubby and I used to value rather too much – and what has replaced them in our lives. Please don’t take this as a judgement on you – the point is that we used to value these things and these things can waste your time and steal your life – from the blessing that God wants you to be to others.
1. MOVIES – we used to have a major collection of DVD’s (although we didn’t have a TV), we had about 50 DVD’s. We were convicted by God about only watching movies that glorify Him. We got rid of lots – the obvious ones containing immorality, violence (although we never owned movies with a rating higher than PG13). Then after that each time we watched a movie we realised we could no longer watch it with a clear conscience even though it seemed “good” at first. We thought about what movies we would be okay if our children were watching with us and then we got rid of even more. We thought about the values we wanted to have foremost in our lives and what we wanted to teach our children. (Can you teach your children one thing and then show them the opposite in a movie without it affecting them – I don’t think you can – they will notice the inconsistency and be confused by it.) Some examples of what we got rid of West Wing Series, 7th Heaven Series, Hollywood “love” stories (supposedly harmless) e.g. You’ve Got Mail, Notting Hill. We realised that perhaps it was okay to watch a particular movie with our children to show them something, but if we owned it – we were endorsing it – and that was the problem. Most of them we have no desire to watch with or without our children. We now have about 5 DVDs left e.g. Homestead Blessings and Vision Forum Ministries Documentaries. We even gave away our “Christian” children’s DVDs as they were actually more entertainment than truth and many of them give the wrong picture of God and misrepresent the Bible.
Now hubby and I would much rather spend time talking, listening to Bible teaching and discussing stuff, being with our children and reading to them than watching movies. We have wonderful family times – meals, family fun nights, Bible time, lots of learning and adventuring together, and having guests over to be a blessing to them.
2. Travel (for the sake of travel) . In the past we have been blessed to be able to travel lots, but as I look back on the travelling much of it was empty. Now we will only travel if it has a greater purpose… family holidays, exploring creation with our children – getting away together to bond as a family or learning more about God’s providence in history and places that teach us about the History of Christianity and God’s work in the world
3. Toys galore – we gave lots of our toys away and we have finally realised how true it is that the best toys are a stick, some string, a ball and a cardboard box – or a big pile of mud!
4. Entertainment – Disney, theme parks, going to the movies, concerts, etc…. We used to do these lots – we have replaced these with family fun, trampolining, walks, exploring, working, reading and learning together. Our children love playing with each other and making up games. They picnic behind couches, inside boxes and on the trampoline, they play horsey or husky dog on sleds or many other wonderful inventions… – usulaly related to what we’re learning about in school!
5. Children’s bible story books – compared to the real thing – the BIBLE! No more watered down misleading pictures with inaccurate, incomplete stories. Our children love to hear Daddy read the Bible to them and explain as we go.
6. Technology – the latest in computer, camera and multimedia equipment! We used to have our own video projector (officially part of our business..) – but simple is better. These things all complicate your life. We no longer own a TV or video machine and we use our computer mainly for maths / science DVDs.
7. Big fancy house – we used to own one! Now we are so enjoying a smaller, easy to clean & maintain / just right for us house 🙂
8. Fashionable children’s activities, toddler classes, fun parks, etc – especially when they are an excuse for mother’s to sit and drink coffee while their children run wild! Now we’d much rather enjoy being with and teaching our children as we work and play alongside them. Outings for Mom and Dad with a babysitter is something we used to call a necessity. Now we love our at home date nights with candlelight dinners and our children sleeping down the passage nearby!
9. Shopping malls – we often used to go “hang out” after church on Sunday’s. They are convenient in that many shops are together but we avoid them as much as possible. Now we would much rather go for a walk outdoors or explore a new place together.
10. Stuff! We have always had way too much of it! We gave lots away and lots more; but we still have too much stuff. Its a work in progress.
We are learning to value the things that God’s Word says are of eternal value. Its a long road – we were very far in the wrong direction – but the Lord is calling us back and its a very exciting journey!
“Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him.” Proverbs 30 v 5
TEN THINGS POSTS
TEN THINGS We Love About ‘Read-Aloud’ Lounge Time
TEN THINGS We No Longer Value and What Has Replaced Them
TEN THINGS about Family Fun Night
TEN THINGS “I Do Notice, Mommy”
TEN THINGS about Geography with Little Ones
TEN THINGS To Do with Edible Seeds
TEN THINGS to Help You in the Kitchen
TEN THINGS About My Days