Laresa Watkins

Each Day I Learn Some More

Feb 25, 2015
mommyinbonlee

Something BIG happened in the Watkins’ house last night.  I mean it: BIG. Something Jason has been begging me to do for ages.

I deleted Caillou from our DVR.

Caillou was the first cartoon that was ever watched in our house.  Charlie used to love the show, insisting on watching it every morning and before he went to bed at nighttime.  As soon as he outgrew it and I thought I would get a break from it for awhile, Maddie began watching it, perhaps loving it even more than Charlie. She even loved watching the YouTube versions in Spanish!

Jason and I have had a love/hate relationship with the whiny 4-year old star of the cartoon.  I mean, why does he have to be so whiny? His sharp, shrill voice (along with the show’s catchy theme song) echoes through my mind even when the television isn’t on.  As I type this, I am hearing “I’m just a kid who’s four!” in my head.

Another annoying thing about the cartoon is that it comes on TV 5,000,000 times a day. Long after the kids are in bed, the TV will automatically change stations to record Caillou, ruining whatever Jason and I happen to be watching.  Sometimes we will be watching something we have recorded and looked forward to watching, and the recording will abruptly end halfway through the show because Caillou comes on and precedes whatever we were recording!  Why, Caillou, why???

And would someone please tell me why Caillou, at 4 years old, has no hair?  And why is he so WHINY?

So I had mixed feelings when I was going through our DVR playlist last night and decided that it was time to no longer record the cartoon.  The kids have just outgrown it and have moved on to other things like Star Wars and Garfield.  I should be happy to free up the space on the DVR, right?

But I was a little sad.  I felt the weight of passing time on my chest.  I wasn’t just deleting Caillou, but I was saying goodbye to my little babies.  I watched many hours of that cartoon with Charlie while I was nursing Maddie and just needed him to be still for a moment.  I spent lots of early mornings on the couch cuddled up with Maddie, me doing my devotion while she watched Caillou. When Charlie had a terrible stomach bug, we sat up all night watching Caillou, Charlie’s head laying in my lap and a bucket on the floor next to us. Those are now fleeting memories, along with diapers and onesies and Gerber products.  While I am glad about those things and really enjoy my children at the ages they are now, I am sad that time is passing so quickly, time that I can’t get back.

So I stood in front of the TV for a minute, pointing the remote at the DVR but not pressing any buttons, just thinking back on Caillou and what that whiny little boy means to me.

And then Jason and I had a little celebration because we had freed up 50% of our DVR space.

 

31 Days Unplugged – Day 28 – Truly Fasting

Mar 27, 2014
mommyinbonlee

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Well, here we are heading into our last weekend of the 31 Days Unplugged challenge.  I hope that this month has been as meaningful for some of you as it has been for me.

As we head into the weekend, I am presenting you with your last challenge.

 

Challenge #22 – Spend the entire weekend (from sundown Friday to sundown Sunday) truly unplugged.  Don’t use social media, watch TV, or play any online or video games.  If there is any other aspect of unplugging that you would like to include in this weekend fast, I say go for it.

I am pretty nervous about this, honestly.

What if I get bored?  After the last couple of months of thinking of things to do with my time, I have plenty to do!

What if someone needs to get in touch with me and can’t?  Since limiting my use of social media for the past couple of months, not too many people use that to get in touch with me anymore.  And if someone really needs me, they can just call, right?

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Let’s use this weekend to get closer to our real-life friends and family, to get closer to God, and to get closer to ourselves.

I won’t be posting over the weekend, but I will see you all back here Monday for our link-up.  Don’t forget that if you don’t have a blog to link-up, you can e-mail me your testimony at mommyinbonlee@hotmail.com and I may post it during the month of April.

Have a great weekend!

31 Days Unplugged – Day 25 – Working for God’s Glory

Mar 24, 2014
mommyinbonlee

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If you know anything about me at all, you know that I am a stay-at-home-mom.  Since that is my life and it is what I know, that is the viewpoint with which I have approached this month of unplugging.  My sister pointed out to me that maybe I needed to keep people who work outside the home in mind, and then my Sunday school lesson last week directly addressed this problem, so I felt this post was meant to be!

According to Forbes, 64% of people spend time on non-work related websites while they are being paid to work.  That is almost unbelievable, isn’t it?

There are so many Bible verses that tell us that this is wrong:

Colossians 3:23 instructs is to “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

2 Thessalonians 3: 6-9 really lays it out for believers, saying “And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you.  We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you.  We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow.”

It is not right to waste our time at work, guys, for a couple of reasons. First, it is a bad example to unbelievers.  God has placed us in whatever position we are in at the moment for a specific reason, and we need to always be aware of that. We need to always work for God’s glory.

Secondly, when we are at work, we are being paid to work.  Even if you aren’t being held accountable to the person who is paying you, you will be held accountable by God.

Challenge #19 – When you are on the clock at work, do not look at any websites that are not work-related.  Don’t do any online shopping, return a Facebook message, or quickly check your Twitter feed.  

While I won’t be personally completing this challenge (since I obviously don’t work outside of the home) I know that this will be really difficult, especially if you are in the habit of spending a lot of time online at your job.  I know that you will find it beneficial in the end, though.

Let me know how it goes!

 

31 Days Unplugged – Day 18 – Unplugging Your Family

Mar 17, 2014
mommyinbonlee

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As I have spent less and less time plugged in this month, I have become much more aware of other people and how they are spending their time.  I am no longer satisfied sitting next to Jason with both of us glued to our cell phones.  That just doesn’t count as quality time, you know?

Something else I don’t like seeing is this:

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Not that they aren’t the cutest things ever, but there are so many other things I would rather see them doing!

I have never been a fan of phones at the table, or the person riding next to me in the car scrolling through their newsfeed, but now I am aware of those things more than ever.  Honestly, I find it very rude.

Ecclesiastes 2:24 tells us, “So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.”

God gives us many pleasures in this life: our friends and family, our jobs, our churches, nature.  The list goes on and on!  Is your family taking advantage of these gifts from God, or are you allowing technology to rob you of those joys?

In this verse, King Solomon tells us that mealtimes in particular are meant to be a time of joy.  We need to take full advantage of those opportunities to sit around a table with our families, talk, laugh, and enjoy food and drink. Whether it’s a homemade meal or McDonald’s, in this busy, fast-paced world, God means for us to slow down and enjoy our meals together.

Challenge #14 – Today, I want you to pay attention to how your family uses technology.  Stop letting anyone use technology while a meal is taking place.  Use that time instead to talk, laugh, and find joy in each other!

 

31 Days Unplugged – Day 14 – Television

Mar 13, 2014
mommyinbonlee

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At this point, I am more unplugged that I ever thought I would be!  As a SAHM, I sometimes miss the human interaction that the Internet affords me, but I am happy that I am spending more time on things that matter.  My house seems more peaceful and I feel much less stressed out than before.

Today, we are taking it to an extreme.  I want you to think about how much television you and your family watch.  While doing some research for this post, I found some really interesting information.

Did you know that the average American spends up to 34 hours a week watching live TV?  That’s not counting movies and what we watch on the Internet.

One study found that for every hour spent watching TV, our life expectancy decreases by 22 minutes. (To put that into perspective, for every cigarette smoked, life expectancy supposedly decreases by 11 minutes.)* Can you believe that?!

There is tons of research out there that shows that we make unhealthy food choices while watching TV, and of course we get no physical exercise while we’re sitting on the couch.

If that doesn’t convince you, check out this article.  It has tons of really interesting info regarding the pitfalls of watching too much television.

So today’s challenge deals with the amount of time we spend in front of the TV.

Challenge #11-Keep a running tab of how much television you and your family watch today.  Just keep a post-it on the kitchen counter and make a note of times that the TV is on.  At the end of the day, look at how much time you spent in front of the TV, and make a plan to cut that time in half.  

If you’re anything like me, a trip to the library for tons more books is in order!

*from http://greatist.com/happiness/how-much-tv-too-much

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