familypic
 
JessPlusMess

Limited Edition

Autographed Copy

Sunlight Burning at Midnight a memoir by Jessica Ronne

 

Subscribe to Blog

Your Name:
Your Email:

Search

Just some random, irrelevant, humorous, and hopefully inspiring musings on life, love, faith, widowhood, remarriage, adoption, blended families, caring for a handicapped child, mothering seven children, chickens, cooking, grief, over-coming grief, and everything else in between. Just Keep Livin!!

What Do We Stand For?

  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

Lately I’ve been forced to ask myself this very question, What DO we stand for as a family? What lines up with our Ronne moral compass and what does not? With the move and all and the fact that the kids get eaten alive by mosquitos if they step outdoors, we have, as their parents, admittedly resorted to quite a bit of electronic/Netflix/TV/movie usage to keep them entertained while we deal with everything else: unpacking, flooring, trimming, painting, sewer problems, lack of water, laundry, cooking, cleaning, and I think that about covers it all. I was under the impression that most of what was on the kids version of Netflix was safe enough and lined up with our values until recently as I discovered 6 of my children completely mesmerized by four, sweet little puppies on the television screen, all innocently chatting together while sitting in a circle around a Ouija board, conjuring up spirits in the presence of a witch, and then I had a mild freak out session, “What are you watching?!?! “ I asked and then continued, “You are not allowed to watch that! Find a different movie and let me know what you find!”

The kids were ticked, “But mom, they whined, Dad said we could watch ANY G rated movie.”

“Well, not this one,” I replied and walked away to contemplate and pray about my next move.

I realized in my meditation moments that they probably have not been exposed to something like a Ouija board or evil spirits so it wasn’t exactly fair that I freaked out on them without explaining why I was so disturbed by this movie. I decided to explain my actions over lunch, which turned into a very interesting conversation about the evil in the world, which in turn opened their eyes to understanding mom’s point of view and a desire to not engage in these sorts of movies or activities as well.

The possessed puppy episode peeked my curiosity as to what else we were ignorantly allowing to occur in our house due to a lack of time or energy to adequately monitor every activity.  I decided to take a bit of an extreme approach and investigated in depth each of our entertainment options to determine what exactly my kids were being exposed to through the computer, IPad, IPods, DS games, T.V., and Netflix, and I haven’t been entirely happy with what I’ve discovered but what it ultimately comes down to is that I’m mostly disappointed in my lack of parenting recently.  Honestly, I’ve gotten lazy. I’m tired, there’s a lot to do with the house, the kids are bored, and I’ve slacked big time. Over the past few days I’ve watched some of the Netflix shows with the kids, and I’ve mainly noticed a theme of ridiculousness running through most of them. 

whatdowestandfor

No moral, no story line, just ridiculous creatures, doing ridiculous things to one another at ridiculously fast paces (because the kids of this generation have extremely short attention spans). Another element I’ve noticed in most of these ridiculous shows that seem to have the ability to mesmerize my children immediately, is that the language these characters use is not language we allow in our home, words like, stupid, idiot, and the phrase” I hate you” are commonly heard in these G rated shows and movies. I’ve also noticed a complete lack of respect for authority and for parents, generally treating parents as idiots who don’t know any better or the wives treating their husbands like idiots, a theme I don’t like exposing my children to either.  I then moved on to the IPad and computer games. Most of these turned out harmless enough but there is one game in particular, a seemingly innocent wizard game that has the ability to hold my two oldest boys attention for an entire day if I allow it. Come to find out, this game allows children to chat with other people and once again we are talking about wizards and spells something I don’t stand for in any other aspect of our life. Ryan and I are digging deeper into this particular game and until we have some answers, it’s been put on hold at our house.

Finally, I’ve discovered through some stealthy research, that there are new (or maybe just new to me) porn apps that teenagers (but I’m pretty sure it’s not limited to just teenagers) are hiding on their phones under the guise of a regular game app. Now I know I have good kids, I know my kids seek to serve the Lord and please their parents, but I also know that we are all born with a sinful nature and every single one of us has had our curiosity get the best of us when it comes to sin. They say that the average age a child is exposed to porn is age 8 and also that 3 out of 4 Christian men has or is struggling with a porn addiction. These are scary statistics to me. I am not a parent who wants to put all 7 kids in a crystal ball, never exposing them to anything because I don’t’ believe that works at all. They will be exposed to things in life, and I want to be around to chat them through it. I also believe that my 10 year old boys NEED to be exposed to some aspects of manhood (just not the lust aspect of manhood). They can handle the violence of a war movie or watching Bear Grylls tear apart a wild animal for dinner, God made them with an innate desire to be protective and fight for what they believe in, and if I know one thing as a mother, you don’t do your boys any favors by babying them, rocking them in your lap as they grow, and not allowing them any exposure to the wildness of the world. Generally, boys thrive on expressing their masculinity. The girls are different, and they can’t handle X –Men or War Zone fighting in video games. I realize this is not a popular viewpoint of many mothers, wanting to keep their little boys innocent and mama boys, but I firmly believe that they need to step away from their moms, and they need to be allowed to become men and they only do that by engaging in masculine activities and learning from other men about how to protect and fight for what is theirs.

For the here and now however, I need to step it up as a parent, draw a line in the sand, have a family meeting about what we stand for and what we don’t stand for as a family, and start following through with it. Will it make me popular? Probably not.   Will it make me liked for the moment? Not likely. But – will it help in shaping my kids into Godly individuals? I sure hope so. At the end of the day, the choice is theirs, but I have to be obedient to what the Lord has called of me, “To train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

I have faith that the blessing of that promise will follow my obedience.

Just keep livin!!

  • Guest
    Ell Monday, August 5, 2013

    I dislike some of the New Stuff also and have been letting my grandson watch Old School cartoons on DVD or iPad. Occasionally, I will hear Stupid from Bugs Bunny or Yosemite Sam, but I am ok with that. He actually laughs out loud to some of those characters and I enjoy them as well.
    Pink Panther is silent so that's an extra plus!! :) Keep doing what you are doing. They will be fine.

  • Guest
    cmcmurry Friday, August 2, 2013

    So proud of you & Ryan. If you are too popular (or friends) with your kids you probably are not doing your job. They need guidance because they haven't even developed all their thinking process yet-thats what we are there for, example & lovingly shepherd them, which sometimes has to include tough love. Keep doing what you are doing-it already shows in the kids. This Gramma is very proud of them & their character.

  • Guest
    Jessica R. Thursday, August 1, 2013

    It must be tough to be a parent these days, as kids are exposed to much more, and at a much earlier age, than when I was growing up in the 1980s. You and Ryan may not win the Coolest Parents of the Year award, but that's not your job. Your job is knowing what's going on in their lives and raising them to make right choices and be the best people they can be. As my mom always told my brother and I "What is right is not always popular. What is popular is not always right."

    Keep doing what you're doing and one day, your kids may thank you for it.

  • Please login first in order for you to submit comments

Latest Blogs

Mother's Day Sale and Interview
Just a few items for consideration as you go about your week.   First - In honor of all of the wonderful mothers, grandmothers, and motherly figures in the world, I'm offering a Buy One / Get One 1/2 off sale on all autographed copies of Sunlight Burning at Midnight ordered here on the blog and also at Facebook/jessplusthemess.  It's the perfect time to buy one for yourself and then gift another to that special someone in your life. This sale will be honored all the way through to Mother's Day - May 14.  If you'd like the books sent to different ad...
Continue Reading...
Easter Memories 2017
One way we’ve been able to accomplish this desire is by peeling back many of the layers of what’s expected for a particular holiday and ask ourselves: A. Do we have the energy levels required to enjoy this activity (whatever it may be – elaborate meal, presentation, etc) or will this addition stress us out and if so, the activity needs to be eliminated or reconfigured to meet our current energy levels so that it doesn’t potentially hinder the true meaning of the holiday, and B. What simple traditions can we incorporate to ensure that our children are honoring whatever this holiday is truly a...
Continue Reading...
Two Beautiful Books, My Kid's Reactions, and a GIVEAWAY!
A few weeks ago I was offered the opportunity to review two recently released children's books, I’m Going to Give you a Bear Hug by Caroline Cooney / Illustrated by Tim Warnes and Bible Basics, A Baby Believer Counting Primer by Danielle Hitchen / Illustrated by Jessica Blanchard. 
Continue Reading...
Big Changes Are 'A Comin
Blessed but stressed has been our life motto for over three years now – ever since we made the decision to add an 8th child to our family. Some have raised questioning eyebrows with this decision, but we forged through, and we stand by the decision today as one of the best things we’ve done for our family, BUT we are tired and stretched about as thin as they come. Something about raising teenagers, and not sleeping because of a newborn, and then raising teenagers with a toddler who does finally sleep (PRAISE JESUS!) but never, ever, ever stops moving when she’s awake, and then there are the ...
Continue Reading...
Banana Chocolate Muffins
These are really, really good and really, really addicting so it's a good thing they have some health benefits or I'd feel really, really guilty after eating a few.  I usually make these for the kids breakfast because most days they're up at 6:00 am so they need something easy, filling, and tasty in their bellies. These always do the trick.  Banana Chocolate Muffins 3 ripe bananas. 2 cups flour½ cup maple syrup2 eggs1 tea baking soda1 tea baking powder½ tea salt2 TB coconut oil1 tea vanilla½ cup orange juice. 1 cup dark chocolate chips Mix the first 10 ingredients together. Stir i...
Continue Reading...
Pure Goodness Spaghetti Sauce
3-4 TB olive oil (depends on how much garlic and onions you add). 1 large onion chopped 4-5 TB finely chopped fresh garlic (You can add chopped celery as well if you want) Saute these three ingredients for a few minutes. Add 4 14 ounce cans of quality tomatoes (crushed or whole is fine - I like Carmelina brand) Add as much fresh spinach as the pot will hold. 4 TB Italian seasoning 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup red wine 2 cups of tomato juice (we make our own) Salt and pepper to taste Simmer all of this on low for an hour or two.  Turn heat off and blend all together with a han...
Continue Reading...
Marriage Pep Talk and a GIVEAWAY!
In my second marriage to Ryan I have valiantly attempted to right the wrongs that I naively produced in the first marital relationship. They say “ignorance is bliss,” and I suppose that I was ignorant the first time around; however, having my eyes wide open through a second opportunity has changed my perspective on life and love. A few of my initial struggles were cemented in my identity as a strong willed, first born, young wife, and often included a lack of respect towards my husband (I knew best, of course!), and one that goes hand in hand with the respect issue, a lack of grace. I usually...
Continue Reading...
Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Delights
This week’s recipe is a spin off of my go to, extremely easy, “I only have 5 minutes to whip something together” dessert. The original recipe called for peanut butter, egg, and sugar. I’ve amped up the health factor by substituting some of the ingredients and adding a few more. My kids love em. Hope you do too. Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Delights. 1 cup almond butter 1 egg ½ cup maple syrup ½ cup pecans ½ cup dark chocolate chips. Mix everything together in a big bowl. Spoon droplets onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Just keep livin!
Continue Reading...
Numero Uno Sanity System - THE BIN
At the Ronne homestead we employ many systems in order to maintain some level of functionality for the family and for the parent’s sanity. The bin system is by far the most useful and consistent tool we use as it has been in place from almost day one of our blended family. This is a system that I grew up with (as the oldest of 10 children) and loathed with every cell of my being as a child. Funny how it made its way into my grownup family as well. The bin (or the brown box that I grew up with) is just a plastic container that holds the children’s misdemeanors for the week. The system starts ...
Continue Reading...
Healthier Chicken N` Dumplings
Simmering away and filling the house with deliciousness, my healthier take on a classic - chicken n' dumplings. This version includes bone broth, organic chicken, a plethora of herbs, and lots and lots of fresh veggies. Chicken N' Dumplings5 organic chicken breasts cut into bite sized piecesVariety of fresh veggies (carrots, mushrooms, celery, leeks, even spinach, whatever you have on hand) roughly chopped.Olive oilItalian spiceVege Sal1 tea thymeSalt if you must but the Vege Sal does a great job of seasoning if you let it.Pepper to taste2 cups water6 cups bone broth (or vegetable or chicken b...
Continue Reading...