The Darkness has not overcome.

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I tend to pray in metaphors.  Subconsciously it makes it easier when I feel like prayers go unanswered.  Especially when life is gritty and things that happen in this city make no sense.  I know God doesn’t need me to protect him like this.  But never the less, I tend to pray in metaphors.

My lips have often uttered the words “Shine your light on our street.”  I think what I mean when I pray this is: may I bear witness to acts of kindness, may it become easier to reach for forgiveness instead of bitterness, may walls of suspicion be broken down by moments of trust.  May goodness overcome evil.

At the end of our street, where it curves to the ally, there seems to be lots of shenanigans.  The dance between taggers and city workers that paint over their scrawled attempts to monumentalize their existence never ends.  There is a certain boldness that the cover of darkness affords.  Driving down a dark street seems to just make everything feel a little bit more sinister and suspicious.

So imagine my surprise when one day God literally answered our prayers.  We were walking some friends out after a luminous evening of lively conversation when we noticed- the streetlights had gotten a facelift.  New LED bulbs that significantly increased their  power.

More light on our street.  

My excitement over this little upgrade probably seemed a strange to our friends (“Look at the lights!?  Have you seen the streetlights!” “Uhhhh……yeah….”)  but in a way I was really rejoicing over about a little piece of the Kingdom breaking through.

In the Kingdom there is no fear.  

What is hidden is made known.  

And a Light shines in the darkness.

Why I don’t miss my DVR, or:

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When we made the decision that the best thing for our family would be for my husband to quit his corporate job and start his own business while I continued working as a teacher full time, we knew that we would have to make some lifestyle changes to accommodate the change in income.  This is not the first time we have made things work on one(ish) income during our marriage.  Along with a few other things, we said goodbye to cable.  

Here is why I don’t miss it:

1.  We still watch TV.  Whether it be on Hulu, Netflix, or on a network in real time (yes, people still do that!)  I haven’t really felt deprived.  And my husband has McGyver’ed a way to still watch sports somehow from some website.  I don’t ask too many questions. 

2.  We watch TV with intention.  There was a bunch of shows that I used to watch just because they were programmed on our DVR.  And I used to think that they were really important (just ask my husband if he will ever cancel a recording of Grey’s Anatomy to watch a Laker Game again- he only made that mistake once).  But now that I am not up-to-date, and realize, I don’t really care if I am up to date!  I have broken the cycle of “Cliffhanger.AHHH!!!!.Cliffhanger.AHHH!What happens next!!!” and it feels good.  Because seriously, I was taking it too seriously.

3. I go to bed earlier.  The element of inconvenience has greatly cut down on the time we sit in the dark, mesmerized by television’s flashing glow.  There is no more “Just one more…”

4.  I have found other ways to “decompress.”  Instead of just zoning out in front of the television, maybe I’ll spend some time browsing blogs.  Or baking.  Or reading an actual book.  Maybe sometime I’ll actually feel inspired to work out.  The bottom line is, there are ways that I can de-stress from my day that are way more effective in reviving my spirit than television.  

5.  $Money$.  It may not be saving us a million dollars, between the income of a teacher and an eutxrepreuer, we don’t need to be paying for TV.

Reflecting back on my relationship with television, I see that it had an improper priority in my life.  Though cutting our cable was a financial decision, it also has ended up being an excellent life choice.

How are you are strategic about your “screen time”?  Do you have any Netflix recomendations?