"We don't have T.V." I hear my husband state as he smiles to the cable salesman at the door, "and we don't want it." He is kind but firm. It was the 2nd cable salesman we saw this week... and it was only Monday!! He turns and closes the door, still smiling. We both are shocked by the persistence of cable sales in the area.
Me, I glance at our television set, a 38" gift from God... literally... it sits in a corner, in easy view to anyone who ventures to our door stoop. I smile back at my husband, there must be a spark in my eye, as I quip, "But we DO have T.V." and I wink. He shakes his head, knowing I am being particular and teasing, I add, "You need to articulate, 'We don't have broadcast T.V.'"
We once did. All the channels and then some. We sold satellite t.v. service for about 5 years. Dish installs, home entertainment hook-up.... the whole 9 yards. I was an HDTV, DIY, Hallmark, AMC watching mama when I was nursing our relaxing... or even making excuses to relax!! My kids, at that time, were up on all the latest Disney shows, PBS, Nick Jr... what would Blue want to do today?!
We received FREE service as satellite dealers so there was no limit to what we could watch. We had it all. When the recession hit, our business went under and we began the slow, steady climb back up. We also lost our FREE service. I went through withdrawals. I had my husband hook up a high-power antenna (we were remote) so I could still get PBS and Antique Road Show. We got a few network stations as well and the kids could still see Elmo each morning.
But that went down too. So we dried out. I began to recall our CPA one time, when I tried to sell him on our services, he said, "How do you have time to watch T.V." This small-business owning, father of 4 was serious! I thought... how do you NOT have time for T.V.?!?
And then it happened. Life really began to move. Sure, we had a DVD player and would enjoy movies from time to time... but the time did fill up and before we knew it, we were asking... How DID we have time for T.V.?
When we began homeschooling we thought we would invest in a small monthly subscription of all the better educational channels. But a few strange things happened as a result of all that time without:
- At first I nearly reverted to my old T.V. habits! So excited to have it again.
- then I noticed the commercials.... the sickening commercials.... even on the children's channels. How did we ever watch those before and NOT be affected?!
- Finally, I noticed the content... there were no sitcoms we could watch as a family without embarrassment or explanation. There were few children's programs which truly built my children's character in Christ. And worst of all... much of the educational program we subscribed for, required correction from me. Whether it was evolution vs. creation or the liberal view of history and defaming accusations against many of the men and women from our history. Even the historical programs on the Bible were not represented in a Biblically accurate manor. Our T.V. stations had been hi-jacked!
We haven't looked back. We haven't desired to. We have t.v. for family movies and educational films we occasionally discover at the library, on RedBox or in our collection. We do NOT have broadcast t.v. and we honestly don't have time for it! How could we... without sacrifice, that is?
Last night, as I made my way to the living room after dinner clean-up, I found Brenden at one end of the couch reading Lord of the Rings (yes, my 8th grade dyslexic child is reading LOTR!! It is amazing what all that non-t.v. watching time can be used to practice). Every so often he would laugh and his younger sister, poised at the other end of the couch with a crochet hook in her hand working away at a tiny basket for the yarn dolls they made yesterday, would engage with; "What, what is it now?" and he would share a quip from the story and they would laugh together.
As I took my seat between them to work on grocery lists and to-do lists and party lists, Ashley worked away on my computer which sits in its own little cubby right off the living room doorway. She is intent on writing her memoir after inspiration from our writing curriculum. She pipes up periodically to clarify details from our trip this past year. I look up from within this scene of domestic, non-T.V. bliss to answer her and then smile to myself... Why would we want broadcast t.v.? Moments like these would be frittered away?
Everyone has their own opinions and uses for T.V.s I share our mini testimony on the subject here because it touches my heart each time it happens... and I thought it might touch yours! I pray, whatever your t.v. choices are, that you enjoy the beautiful moments of a child's self-discovery as well... and your own discovery; taking time to be with the Lord, family, and peacefulness.