We gave up television about 5 years ago. And I will never go back. After a few months without it, I wondered how we ever had time to watch anything on TV in the first place. There were walks to be had, books to be read, better, more healthy meals to be made, and, perhaps most importantly, quiet time to be savored. I have come to really appreciate and revel in quiet. And when I say quiet, I don't mean that my home is silent. Let's be real here. I have four kids, ages 8, 5, 4, and 2. Silence is a rarity in my home. And it's not always necessary. My children will tell you that some of our favorite times are our "dance parties" in the kitchen, where we turn up the radio and all go crazy busting out our best dance moves! But some of my most treasured moments as a mother are when all of the games, movies, fans, radios, and cell phones are silenced, and nothing is to be heard but the sounds of my children, laughing, playing, and yes, sometimes screaming and whining. I take a deep breath and with that breath, I try and take in all of the beauty that surrounds me. I know this may sound odd, but it really has helped me stay calm in the midst of the craziness of having four little children. Many of you who know me are well aware of my personal motto that I adopted after little Jonah was born: "Embrace the chaos." When things get crazy, and chaos abounds, it helps me immensely to just close my eyes and find gratitude in the noise...find gratitude for these precious little monsters. :) Because my life would be empty without those noises. It would be empty without the yelling, laughing, crying, stomping, begging, hugging, hitting, giggling chaos.
PS One of my very favorite quotes is from the book Mitten Strings for God, which I highly recommend. It says, "When I come to a stop myself, when I draw a circle of stillness around me, my children are drawn into that peaceful place. They visibly relax, as if my very calmness nourishes them. The impact of just a few minutes of quiet attention can be profound, changing the mood of an entire day, restoring equilibrium to a distressed child, and to a frazzled mother as well."