Fortnite…Thoughts From Another Parent

Confession…I LOVE Fortnite! I love playing it (landed in a tree my first jump). Love watching our boys play it (“Mom…chill out.”).

And I’ve learned a couple things lately. Had my eyes opened.

1-Our kids feel a real connection with the real people they play with.
2-Our kids are experiencing moments each time they sign in.

Let me explain why this has to matter to us a parents.

1-Connection

It’s a huge thing for me as an adult. And it’s a “huger” thing for our kids. On Fortnite, they are playing with real people in real time. That’s a gift and a curse.

In response, we’ve got to guard them. Set up boundaries. Our family rule is you can’t play duos or squads with someone unless you know them. It’s been tricky. They’ve played “a man down” at times. But they’ve survived (not in Fortnite terms, however).

I’ve also seen our boys minister through this online connection. Not like preaching or praying for people. But I’ve seen them love on someone who’s hurting through a game. Through a partnership. And for a brief moment in time, I’ve seen the hurt forgotten in the laughter spilling out of their headsets.

It makes me want to cry.

2-Moments

I just finished the book The Power of Moments. It’s amazing how moments change us and how we can change moments.

When our kids play Fornite, they are having mini-moments in every game that ultimately accumulate in a big moment of gaming. And when these moments are shared with others, they solidify even more.

It only makes sense then that our kids want to play more and more because they are connecting with people in moments that we can’t naturally produce in our homes.

So then…what do we do?

I guess we could ban Fornite. Maybe we should ban all video games. (I’m not opposed to it.) But I also want to “weigh my ‘yeses’ so my ‘no’s count’.” And Jeremy and I have decided to give Fornite the yes for now so we’ve had to think outside the box.

Here’s where we’ve landed…

-We spend time playing Fortnite with our boys every day (or at least watching them). It’s not “the boys play Fornite.” It’s “we play Fornite.”
-We engage with them when “game time is over.” For now the boys want to be with us and we don’t want that to change.
-We talk about battles and dances and guns even when it’s the last thing we want to talk about.

I know. I know. We may be overthinking this. I also know that some of you think it is heinous that we even let them play a “killing game.” And it’s all fine. Really. I’ve learned that I’m responsible for raising my kids not yours. So we can all simmer down a little and be faithful to who God has given us.

I’m writing today mainly as someone who’s had a wake up call to the world of gaming. I’ve realized I can’t compete and I need God’s wisdom and help way more than I thought. And honestly, I’ve learned that our kids are still kids and they still love God even when AR’s and “new skins” are their main topics of conversation.

Breathe. Sit and watch. Maybe play a little yourself.

God has given us these kids and these moments. Let’s not miss them!

“…But that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for.” (II Corinthians 13:7b,9)

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(Love these boys and their silly Fortnite ways…Side note-Stephen and I finally won duo’s last night…and I burnt the chocolate chip cookies because of it!)

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Summer Favorites

Well, this post isn’t the norm. I’m just gonna list some of our favorite “stuff” this summer as promised. Here goes…

Books:
This summer we’ve gotten into books…like big time. Part of this is due to me finding the Podcast Read Aloud Revival. We’ve maxed out library cards. Gotten addicted to audiobooks. And the free app “Libby” from the library was a game changer!

Our favorites have been (there are links but most are at the library):
Mercy Watson series (Jonathan)
39 Clues series (Caleb)
Big Nate (Stephen)
Squish & Amulet (comic books…all the boys)
Madeline series (Esther & Kenan)
Iggie’s House (read aloud)
The Green Ember (read loud)
The Color of Water (Me)
The ONE Thing (Me)
Essentialism (Me)
The Power of Moments (Me)
12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You (Me)

Music:
The boys have a varied taste in music that I’m a little embarrassed to share (you would judge us). So I’ll share 3 of my “cling to” songs this summer:

Great is Thy Faithfulness by One Sonic Society
Scandal of Grace by Hillsong United
Build My Life by Housefires III

Study:
Jen Wilkin’s Genesis study was great!

It’s been a fine summer. Really. We’ve made simple memories together. Taken only 1 trip. But it’s been sweet.

I’m thankful for what was. What is. And what’s to come.

And super thankful that He knows about all of it!

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” (Proverbs 27:1)

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(That time we rode with Jeremy to a wedding rehearsal thinking it was near one of our favorite stores. Only to find ourselves in the middle of nowhere with an hour and a half to spare. Sigh. Thankful for GPS and random parks and trails!)

 

 

 

Grace-filled Margins

She reached her little, brown arm over and pulled me close. “One more minute.” We were on bonus minute 3 of pre-naptime snuggles.

I closed my eyes and pressed my face against her cheek. Breathed deeply hoping to catch one more whiff of the long past newborn scent. I felt her tight curls against my forehead. “Yes, Esther, one more minute.”

Every moment with her is grace. Every moment is grace. I forget.

Food doesn’t feel like grace when I have to cook it. Clothes don’t feel like grace when I have to fold them. Children don’t feel like grace when I’m changing diapers.

But situations don’t change truth. Every piece of each day I call life is grace. Straight from Him.

I haven’t blogged in awhile. There are seasons when He’s speaking to me, but I don’t have the energy to formulate it into words.

Jeremy and I have talked about margins lately. Where are mine?

When life gets too busy grace seems too small. When I take the cross for granted I make grace too small.

Slow. Margins. Gospel. Grace.

He’s freed me not to miss it!

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)

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The long hike down Jockey’s Ridge last week (Notice Esther)!

 

 

 

 

God, please don’t let me miss this!

We rock. I hold him close. Kiss his face til I fear he may wake up. And whisper these words, “God, please don’t let me miss this.”

She’s across the room. Sucking her thumb. Holding her blanket. She asks me to dance, so we twirl and giggle to some timeless 90’s hits. And I beg Him again, “Please don’t let me miss this.”

He wields sticks like lightsabers in near death battles. He tells me made up jokes like, “What do you kill a pig with? A pig axe.” He’s got soccer tryouts this week. And I find myself begging once more, “God, please don’t let me miss this.”

This. All this fun. All this innocence. All these moments that will soon be memories. All this grace.

I can slip into fear easily. We almost lost it all. Maybe it’s kind of a curse.

But it’s also been a blessing. It’s caused a reverence of little moments. An acceptance that the holy can be now. That the most important thing could be today.

“Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.” (Psalm 144:4)

Today may seem long. Heaven knows I will be done before the clocks says I’m done.

“O LORD, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him?” (Psalm 144:3)

Why does He keep on blessing? Doesn’t He know I’m just a “passing shadow.”

The picture on the wall reads, There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

He gives enough time for what He really wants me to do. He’s not a taskmaster hoping I end today dreading tomorrow.

Am I expecting more of myself, more of this day, than He is expecting of me?

Have I forgotten that the way He held yesterday is the way He’ll hold today and the way He plans on holding tomorrow?

One moment. One breath. At-a-time. This is grace.

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Yep…they went to the movies like this a few months back!