Every day, the sun comes up at almost exactly 6:30 AM and goes down at almost exactly 6:30 PM. And when you don’t have electricity, that’s pretty early for lights out. We have some limited solar capability, so we can run an indoor light on occasion, and of course we have lanterns–but of course, there’ s a limit to what can be done by lantern light.
Earlier this school year, the children and I were studying about the Amish, and I found it interesting that one of the reasons they felt it was a benefit to be without electricity was because it was conducive to family unity; when the sun went down and the only lantern in the house was hung up in the common room, by default everyone gravitated there. And you know what? It’s true! When we light the lantern at about 6:20, the sitting room is the only place to be. We have our Bible and prayer time together as a family, and then we just…talk. Marc and I have reminisced about our childhoods some, and it’s amazing how much the children enjoy the stories of our memories. We share about our day, our hopes, our God, and whatever is on our minds. It has been a real blessing to enjoy long evenings together without the distractions of continued work, computers, and the individual pursuits that we typically engaged in when there were lights in every room in the house at the flip of a switch.
I challenge you to be more consistent about “powering down” and see how it can benefit your family relationships!