Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Two forms of "entertainment"


Whoops. Took an accidental blogging hiatus again. 

I've been experimenting with time management and "relaxation." What are some ways to force yourself to unwind, without being slothful? How would you define "recreation"? Yes, blogging and/or journaling fall in there somewhere for me, but I've been exploring other genres as well...


In the time leading up to celebrating the Resurrection (AKA Lent), I found phrases like "no housework during naptime" floating around my head. Things that are fun like baking tend to only create MORE work. So what to do if I'm not allowed to use that time to get organized? What would be edifying?

I found myself doing some holiday crafts while watching a movie or two on Netflix. This made me keep my hands off my computer and cut down on the excess information flow a bit. It's hard to pick the right movie for the mood, but every once in a while I hit on an interesting documentary. It's definitely a step up from randomly browsing the internet. Just corresponding with people online is fun, but can be draining.

On the night before Easter Sunday (Holy Saturday), I found myself finishing up some preparations, while listening to some favorite hymns. I found it very soothing, and even cleansing. I would love to reclaim part of my day for doing something like that regularly. I think the problem is that I go from busy/hectic (while accompanied by a toddler) to mindless browsing, just to get away from it all. But there are ways to find a middle ground. Sometimes just putting on music while doing housework is enough to lift my mood, but I let little obstacles get in the way.

Late-night sign painting...



The other hobby I've been focusing on is...dun dun dun...genealogy research. It turns out it's quite fascinating and also addictive. I noticed that when I get right onto the ancestry sites in the evening, I'm less tempted to do other computer stuff. However, when I'm scanning lists of names for hours on end, I think it starts to have the numbing effect again, turning into something mindless. I lose track of time and discipline. I go to bed late feeling like I overdid it. Plus, my eyes start twitching. So while it's a fun activity, I wouldn't say that it's the most relaxing or the best thing to do before bed.


Edit: Stephanie pointed me towards another blog post that expresses exactly what I was trying to say, with some good ideas.




Friday, April 3, 2015

Missing members


As I recently watched a PBS series about the Amish (Shunned/American Experience-possibly still available for viewing online), a testimony in the very beginning spoke to the heartache of not being able to sit at the same table as those being cast out.

And that resonated with me.

"Blessed are those that are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." (Revelation 19:9)

Not all will be present at the Banquet, and sometimes we get a glimpse of this here on Earth, with the empty seats at the dinner table just one way to illustrate this.

Are the Amish justified in their "shunning" practice and general separatism?

"Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: 'First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'" Matthew 13:30

I don't know. BUT I do know that the documentary brought up several parallels to spiritual life and the pain of having unsaved family/friends.

As people who had left the community gave testimonies, the single biggest regret by far to having left was not being with their families. Family ties are strong, and that reaches across cultures!

One young man told of the unbearable grief he experienced when an older cousin (or brother?) left the community..."Just imagine being in hell," he wrote to his beloved relative...only to leave himself a year or two later. There are parallels in that, too. We don't want anyone we care about to leave the flock...and yet, we ourselves can fall into temptation in an instant. 

Are our churches holding us on too tight of a "leash"? Do they seem too legalistic or intolerant? Too cultlike or displaying "shepherding" tendencies? Of course we must be cautious. But, the pursuit of freedom can be dangerous, too.

The documentary ends with an Amish man saying the following:

"If a boy or girl leave the home, their place at the table is always set....that's a very powerful thing."