For a long time I've been feeling anxious and overwhelmed by the things my boys (especially the two older ones--10 and 8) gravitate towards. Take Braden, for instance: he has been obsessed with books by Rick Riordan, particularly the Percy Jackson series (he's read some of them--300-400+ pages--5 times!) Now, this is not a statement about Rick Riordan or those types of books. They're well-written, exciting, and keep you in their grasp until the end. I totally understand why the boys love them.
But I've also been concerned.
Between these, and the first three Harry Potter books we've finally let them read/watch, and the plethora of other book and movie influences they are drawn to, I have felt overwhelmed with the one-sided influence in the print and media department. It doesn't matter that we're considered the "strict parents" in our spheres of influence; I have still felt like we were at the bottom of this uphill battle that has absolutely NO END IN SIGHT. And I didn't know what to do about it. So, I prayed. To be honest, I'm not even sure how much concentrated prayer I gave it. It was more my heart's cry as I found myself worried or anxious. This went on for some time.
And then, today, as Braden sat on the couch listening to one of their new favorite things, I realized something.
God totally answered my prayer.
Without even realizing it, the boys have been listening, often more than once a day, to an episode of Adventures in Odyssey. This program has been around since I was young and continues to be relevant and thoughtful-provoking. It teaches important life lessons, as well as encouraging a deep faith and relationship with Jesus. It even reminds me of important lessons regularly! We've listened to it sporadically for years, but recently, the boys do it of their own volition A LOT. And this realization made my heart well up with thanksgiving. God is good. He cares about my kids more than me. He knows that the negative cultural influences are so prevalent and overwhelming at times.....and He answered my prayer in a very real way. Thank you, Lord, for the ways you show your love for the people of the world, including my family. I am incredibly grateful.