My Part-Time Job

I’ve been feeling like I should give up watching TV for a while now. I didn’t want to because, well, I like TV. Plus, we are currently in the middle of all our favorite shows: Survivor, Biggest Loser and Amazing Race. I figured I shouldn’t talk to Kris about it because it would be really unfair to me Kris for me to declare a TV fast in the middle of the season. So I kept my mouth shut and happily (and a little bit guiltily) enjoyed my shows.

Now I’m not saying there is anything bad about TV. I’m not saying any of you should give it up. This is in no way a post trying to guilt you into anything. I promise. For me, I realized that if I watch TV for two hours every week day and four hours on the weekend days then I am watching 18 hours of TV a week and that means watching TV has become my new part-time job. Congratulations, Randi. You are officially wasting copious amounts of time.

OH MY GOSH I SERIOUSLY, AS I AM TYPING THIS, JUST REALIZED THAT MASTER CHEF JUNIOR EDITION JUST STARTED AND I HAVE BEEN DYING TO WATCH IT!

Anyway, like I said, I wasn’t going to bring it up to Kris because I kinda liked my part-time job, but then we went to this leadership conference. (The one with the tambourines!) The very first session was on time management. Drat. I’m sure you can all see where this is going. The guy is yammering on and on about values and where we place our time and this and that and all I can think is, “TV TV TV TV TV TV TV. (Deep breath) TV TV TV TV TV TV TV.” Then the speaker said, “The difference between the values you embrace and the life you live equals the frustration you experience.” Basically, if I have certain values but ignore those values I will experience frustration. This really got me. I value my family, learning, writing, time with God, doing ministry, friends, exercise and yet, TV has become my part-time job which is not of any value to me personally. Thus, enter frustration because I have little time for what I truly value.

Over the last couple weeks I have more or less put myself in time out. I am using the rest of my maternity leave and doing some soul searching. I am doing this because I have been finding myself more frustrated by little things (thus getting angry more easily), wondering about bigger life things and over-all feeling discontent. This one quote shed quite a bit of light on my situation and helped me to begin pin pointing some of my frustration. Am I making time for what I truly value? If not, of course I am finding myself frustrated.

On our drive home I brought this up to Kris and he said he’s been feeling (for a while) like we should cut out TV AND… PHONE USE. Drat. Drat. He too was convicted by the speaker and what really got him moving on this topic was when the speaker said, “The average person spends 86% of their time on their phone.” Surely not us. Right?

We talked, we agreed- no TV, no apps on the phone, no social media on the phone, no internet on the phone for two weeks. The only exception are apps for spiritual growth. Thus I am allowed to keep “Bible Gateway” and “ODB” (Our Daily Bread) which are two apps I use to spend time with God.

Bible Gateway is the entire Bible. You can pick the version you like to read, search the Bible or pick an option to listen audibly. ODB is a devotional I have been doing for a while. They have a little reading each day that goes along with a Bible passage. Plus, if you are interested in reading through the Bible in a year, they give you daily readings to accomplish that. I have found this to be a super easy way to connect with God. Since I’m apparently on my phone 86% of the time, why not pull it up and download some good into my brain?

Oh, I’m also allowed to keep my Fantasy Football app because it is not a time suck for me. In fact, I very much have a love/hate relationship with it, which you can read about here, and therefore, I generally only use it to update my team once a week.

Back to our conversation: I asked Kris the big question, “When do we start?” Literally, I was hopping back and forth between FB, Instagram and Twitter as we are having this conversation- I was so motivated. Of course Kris declared we had to start immediately so all my apps went into the garbage bin and I only had a mini breakdown when I realized I was going to have to get rid of “Dots.” Dots. I love Dots. I started playing right before Anastasia was born and I would like everybody to know that I worked extremely hard to get my high score. I challenge any of you out there to beat it. I didn’t want to delete the app because I would lose the score and also a little bit of my pride. Kris finally convinced me by encouraging me to take a picture of it, which I will forever hold in my heart and here on my blog. PS. Please take note how many dots I had saved up in my bank. I was very proud of this, too.

Screenshot_2014-11-12-07-58-56So here we are. No TV. No phone. (Which is weird to say because we do actually still have our phones. Just no phone extras, I guess.) Our house is very quiet, Kris and I have had decent conversations, I have prayed more and I plan on diving into a book tonight. (My current book list for anybody who is interested: The Sabbath – Abraham Heschel; The Power of a Woman’s Words – Sharon Jaynes; Irresistible Revolution – Shane Claiborne) To be honest, I feel peace. I feel like I am taking a step back from things that don’t matter much to focus on what matters the most. It feels really good.

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