3 things to do instead of watching TV

Are you tired of feeling like TV, Netflix, and video games is your only hobby? Do you want your kids to unplug from technology and get creative?


As a family we don’t own a TV in our home. Meaning we don’t want shows, movies, or play video games. This might sound rather intense and somewhat crazy to people. We have found it to be the most refreshing and enjoyable decision we could have made as a family. What do we do instead?

1. Talk more


As newlyweds people would come over to our house and find that we didn’t have a TV and get confused at what we did together every evening. It’s been simple since the beginning; we just talk. How often do marriages fall apart because there isn't the joy of knowing each other and having fun with one another? When you learn to spend time with the one you love talking you will see a beautiful friendship blossom with your spouse. 


This is relatable as a family too. When the TV is turned off for a few nights of the week (or for good if you want to try it for a season) your family will get to know each other a lot quicker and better. You’ll have time to engage, play, and connect with your children. Your relationship with your kids will be strengthened. There will be a new connection that grows from a place of learning to talk more. It’s all about plugging into the right sources. Relationships are more valuable than entertainment. 


2. Play around 


There is a constant flow of demands coming at us everyday. It can be tiring, overwhelming, and draining. You need time to play! Play isn’t just for children, you need it as an adult too.


Take time each week to get outside, play a board game with the kids, go for a walk as a family, or eat dinner at the park. Get some fresh air and a change of pace to your normal day. What are your hobbies? Do you like reading, biking, walking, shopping, catching up with friends? Make sure these thing are added to your schedule. When TV/technology isn’t the only way you take a break from work and the demands of life you will find more time to do the other things you enjoy


3. Worship and pray


A lot of people will say that they want to pray and worship daily but simply can’t find the time. Do you find yourself in this dilemma? What if TV/technolgy wasn’t a routine but worship was instead


You could come home from work, eat dinner as a family, and turned on some music to engage with Jesus. This is doable. It’s actually what our family does most every evening. It’s different than what culture does, but it’s better. Entertainment isn’t bad, but it isn't the priority and its not to be replaced with time with Jesus

4 Signs of a Healthy Family


What does a healthy family look like and act like? Often times we believe the lie that we have to be perfect and have it all together. Perfection doesn't equal healthy family. Having it all together doesn't mean your family is flourishing. Cultivating a home where both the parents and kids are thriving is a lot more practical. It’s messy, authentic, and vulnerable. 


There are four signs to be looking for when gaging the health of your family life: Does everyone feel known? Do they know that they have a voice? Are they able to express all of their emotions, even the painful ones? Is love abounding in the home?



We want to dive into these four topics a little more. 


1. Everyone feels known and accepted.


In a healthy home everyone feels understood and knows that they are allowed to express who they are without any hindrances. There isn’t personality traits or characteristics that are better or worse. There isn’t competition, striving, and performance to be loved. Everyone has a special place in the home


Everyone is invited to wear their hearts on their sleeve. You can’t feel known if you aren’t allowed to express all of your emotions. Creating a home where every emotion is allowed whether it be a good one or a bad one will allow a space for everyone to feel heard. Everyone will feel understood, and they will know that they have a place where they belong even in their pain


No matter what anyone is thinking or feeling they are always going to be known. Nobody has to hide when they are feeling angry, depressed, frustrated, or anxious. There is no shame or condemnation. Home is the safest place for our families to come into. When every emotion is allowed to be felt, addressed, and handled in a healthy way everyone will begin to feel known and understood. 


2. Everyone knows they have a voice.


This means that it isn't only the parents who have the voice and the say in the home. You don't want to diminish your children's voices but rather teach them that everything that they say and do is so powerful. It isn't about silencing them, it’s about teaching them. Everything that flows from their mouth is powerful and you want them to know how to use their words rightly. You want them to understand that their words can bring forth life


When they know that they can have a voice and that their voice is powerful they will begin to express themselves in authentic and creative ways. They will dream, write, and give to this world from what God has gifted them to offer. 


Your children can hear from God no matter what their age is. Teach them that everything that they say will offer the world either life or death. From early on you want them to understand that they have the opportunity to hear Gods voice and speak out truth and watch beautiful things take form with their words


3. Everyone prioritizes vulnerability.


Create a home centered around vulnerability. This means that every relationship values intimacy, meaning “into-me-you-see”. You can’t have intimacy without vulnerability. To allow someone in to see all of you is extremely vulnerable and it’s through that process that we foster intimate relationships. This is with your spouse and with your children. Allow your family to see you on the good days and the bad days. When our children see you walk through stress, turn to Jesus, and overcome they will have a framework for how to handle their own stress because they watched you first. When they see you walk through a trial season keeping your eyes locked on Jesus they will do the same. Or maybe you make a big mistake, mess up big time, and your kids see it. What do they learn? It’s okay not to be perfect, it’s okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to have questions.  


There is no stuffing and hiding. Everything is out in the open and everyone in the family is able to support, encourage, and lift each other up through thick and thin. Vulnerability is the best thing you can teach your children about. When you choose to express rather than stuff you rid yourselves of the temptation to numb out with substances, addiction, and bad habits. You get to walk in the freedom that Jesus paid a price for


4. Love is abounding.


Love is overflowing in the home. Everyone has their cups full of love from one another. 


Philippians 1:9-10 “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ”


It is only going to be through love that your children grow up knowing who they are and what God has in store for them. They need to be introduced to God’s everlasting and unconditional love and they also need to be invited into your overflowing love for them. 


It is only through love that Christ will be cultivated in your home. Your kids won’t turn out the way you desire through controlling them, raising your voice, and handing out demands. It will be through love! When their is love in your home your kids will be able to take that out into the world and have the capacity to give from what they have received


Your kids long to be loved! Find out which specific ways your children individually receive love the best. Whether that be physical touch, quality time, acts of service, or words of affirmation. Meet these needs in small intentional ways each day. This might look like a snuggle and story before bed, driving them to their sports game and cheering them on, or making them dinner after a long day at work. It’s not about the quantity of time you spend with each child, it’s about the quality of the time you give them. Turn off the television, put your phone down, and let love abound. 

Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable

When we are uncomfortable in life we often force ourselves into the familiar where we feel safe and comfortable once again. 

 

It’s in the stretching, the unknown, and the uncomfortable that we see growth and change. It’s in this place that we learn more about ourselves and we learn more about God. 

 

There is no forward movement in the familiar. We must step outside what we know and adventure with God into the wild pursuits and callings He has on each of our lives. What if you jumped into your dreams that seem so unattainable and out of reach? What if?! 

Your daughter isn't sassy

Your daughter isn’t sassy.

She’s lively, creative, bubbly, and full of life. 


The nickname sassy is often used when referring to our daughters who are full of attitude. We call them sassy almost as a joke. You’re so sassy.  We think it’s a funny name until they start acting sassy. When the attitude comes out we discipline them for it. Didn’t we just affirm over them moments earlier that they were sassy? Aren’t we speaking over their identity that they are full of attitude? 

It’s confusing. In one moment you label your child as sassy and then in the next you discipline and scold them for being the very thing you just called them.


What if that isn’t how God speaks about them? What if He uses words like lively, and bubbly. What if we partnered with their identity rather than their flaws?


If they show attitude (which they will) discipline with love. But don’t affirm behaviors by giving your children nicknames that you don’t like. Sassy, stubborn, snotty, whiny, etc. 


That isn’t who they are, and those things aren’t qualities they were created to have. Pull out the gold and speak life over them. Watch behaviors change as your words do. 

It's okay to apologize.

We need to be willing to apologize as parents. We need to be okay with saying sorry when we mess up.

Often times as parents we believe the lie that if we let our kids know that we made a mistake then they won’t respect us. We think that if we raise our voice at them because we are stressed out and overwhelmed and later regret that decision but choose to apologize then our kids will run all over us. We think they’ll take advantage of us knowing we are weak and we make mistakes too. That’s just a silly belief system to live under.

Your kids will only respect you more when you’re willing to own up to your mistakes and apologize. You might think you don’t owe your kids an apology because you’re the parent. Don’t be surprised if your kids don’t feel like they owe you apologies later on. You will have taught them well.

When you’re vulnerable they will be vulnerable. When you respect them, they will respect you. When you apologize for the ways you wrong them, they will apologize when they wrong you.


You set the standard and the culture of your home. It’s a lifelong game of follow the leader.

Need some encouragement?

Take a listen to our most recent podcast here:https://www.doerksenlife.com/
or on Itunes "Raising our Champions"

Blessings!

I am two. I'm not terrible. I need a hug.

We can’t expect our toddlers to think and behave as adults. They are toddlers. It’s silly to believe that they could and should process life the same ways we do. No they aren’t going to understand everything clearly right away. They need to be taught. They need a loving and gentle teacher to lead them into adulthood. They don’t need outrageous expectations, they need guidance. 

 

I find that adults often act like toddlers while trying to get their toddlers to act like adults. 

 

You can raise your voice and throw an adult fit all you want but your toddler is only going to learn how to throw a bigger and better tantrum like mom and dad next time. They aren’t going to receive help for the future in between shouts and outbursts of anger and frustration. 

 

Have patience with them. They are only children still.

Becoming emotionally aware.

I have found that one of the greatest tools I constantly need to be accessing as a parent is the ability to understand and know my child’s emotional state. 

 

If I don’t understand what’s going on in their heart and what is going on in their body then I won’t be in tune with why they are making certain choices or acting out in a specific way. Maybe they are tired but I’m not aware. Maybe they are sad and I’m not in tune. Maybe they are frustrated but I haven’t been paying attention.

 

When I’m constantly aware as a parent of what they are experiencing then I’m not reacting to their choices but I’m able to respond calmly to their choices.

 

How can you become more aware of what your children are feeling and going through?

Choosing life in everything we speak.

Everyone always told me it would be hard. That I’d get tired. That they’d eventually enter a terrible phase. That in middle school I’d have too much sass and stubbornness to handle. That when they were in high school I’d probably wish I didn’t have them. Everyone prepared me for how miserable having kids would be.

I didn’t hear much about how amazing, exciting, beautiful, and joyful every bit of the process would be.

In our culture it’s become easy and normal to tear apart all the phases of a child with negative declarations. Sometimes they are said sarcastically, and sometimes seriously. But our words either produce life or death wether they are said flippantly or not.

Even on my most difficult days I’ve never found any of those things spoken to me to be true. I know I don’t have middle schoolers or teenagers yet, but I’m believing that simply because I’ve chosen to only speak life that my experience will be one of pure beauty. Not that I think my girls will be perfect. I just believe that by only allowing thoughts God has on His mind for them to be on my mind will change EVERYTHING.

King of shame.

The Bible talks about the parameters of sexuality so much, because in the exchange of sexual relations lies the source of our existence.

The devil often attacks our sexuality because it reaches places of shame and pain the human heart doesn’t experience through other areas of sin.

If the focus of our sexual interactions with another is fueled by personal satisfaction and not a life long commitment, we will not be positioned to love the fruit of that interaction. A conception of a child.

Thus, presenting society with a decision, do we keep the child which was brought forth through little commitment and perversion of Gods gift of sex, or do we abort it?

In Leviticus 18:21 speaking of unlawful sexual relations for the people of Israel says:

“You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.”

“Moloch, also spelled Molech, a Canaanite deity associated in biblical sources with the practice of child sacrifice. The name derives from combining the consonants of the Hebrew melech (“king”) with the vowels of boshet (“shame”), the latter often being used in the Old Testament as a variant name for the popular god Baal (“Lord”). “ (Sourcehttps://www.britannica.com/topic/Moloch-ancient-god)

Could it be that the spirit of Molech, the “king of shame” is what’s driving the 42 million abortions performed in 2018?

If you’re a woman who has had an abortion, oh how Papa God loves you. I declare you no longer have to carry that shame.

If you’re a man in this community who encouraged a woman to get an abortion I also break off the shame and guilt of the past and declare wholeness over you!

What if as a community of people we showed the world the true purpose of our sexuality, our gender, and the reason to carry a child to full term?

God is the one who created us, created pleasure, and marriage as a symbol of His love as the Bridegroom towards His Bride (Us the church).

May His love consume you as you read this.

- Brandon Doerksen

My birth story with Gemma Joy.

Both pregnancies and deliveries I held onto some very key promises that God had given me. I was praying for a supernatural birth. A birth where at the end of it all, I could look back and say “only God.”

That is exactly what God gifted me with.

After Selah’s birth I told God I only wanted three pushes with my next child. One, two, three and then I wanted to hold my baby in my arms. When I found out I was pregnant with Gemma I continued declaring that my birth would be pain free and fast. Full of peace and beauty. My contractions with Selah were so peaceful that I didn’t even know I was in active labor. God is so good! I wanted this with my second birth and even more.

This time around I was a week and two days late with Gemma but those nine days God had a purpose. He was fulfilling His promise that He gave me. For nine days my body continually had contractions. This might sound exhausting but the contractions were completely pain free. It was an emotional rollercoaster of course because no mama wants to wait an extra nine days to hold their prize. In the end God was preparing my body effortlessly to have the delivery I wanted.

When Gemma came she came quick. I was laying in bed having contractions that I thought would pass away like the others had days previously and then before I knew it I was on all fours pushing out my girl. She came out before I had time to even process what I was doing! It was all so quick and perfect! Three pushes and my angel came into the world.

God is a promise maker and a promise keeper. He gave me a vision for my birth and then He came through to make it happen. He is the God of the impossible and a good and faithful Dad!

With Selah He told me she would be born on the fifth. She was born March 5th at 5am. With Gemma He told me I’d push three times and that’s exactly what happened. Both pregnancies and deliveries I look back on with wonder and amazement at my God.

What promises are you clinging to? What has God given you a dream and a vision for? I pray you are encouraged today that He will come through.