Home is the Opportunity for Pursuing Excellence
                                              “…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; 
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”  ~ Isaiah 40:29-31 

Hang Up and Relate!

By Debe Haller

August - 2008


Zyler Hang Up and Relate 2008.jpgIn the early 1970s I said I would never want the latest kitchen convenience called a microwave.  And then the VCR was a ridiculous invention and I never could imagine ever even wanting such an unnecessary electronic.  In the mid-1980s when I was writing The Challenge of Raising Cain and starting

Hope Christian Academy , purchasing a computer was just a far fetched concept.  I was very content with my rented electric typewriter.  Eventually my husband convinced me of the need to simplify our school by using computerized technology.  Reluctantly I agreed.  Although I told Dannythat I did not want to use a mouse! 


However, when the answering machine came along, boy, did I love that invention!  I purchased one with the sole intention of screening all my calls and stop the interruptions in my school day with my children.  Neither did I worry about bothering anyone else who was schooling because I could leave them a message as well.  When I wasn’t home, friends and family could leave a message and I never again missed knowing who was trying to reach us.  We were finally able to keep in touch.  It was wonderful way back then.


Sometime in the 1990s, before cell phones were popular, I purchased a purse with a handy little side pocket.  My plan was to eventually get a cell phone ‘just in case of an emergency.”   I remember telling Cuqui Younger about my new purse since we had been talking about getting phones.  After a few weeks we both were so excited to be amongst the first in our sphere of influence to get cell phones.  We were styling and prepared in case of that ever-possible emergency!


Being the accelerator in our family, I’m the first to squeeze life into every moment.  The cell phone is truly an amazing invention that makes it easy to snatch up every potential moment of thought-rendering silence, whether or not we want it.  Thankfully, God made my husband to be the brake.  Well, truth is as an accelerator, I am not always thankful for a brake. But that is another article, story, and workshop.  


The ability to talk to anyone, from anywhere, and at anytime is wonderful.  Or is it?  How impatient do we get when we can not immediately get in touch with someone?  Do you like to hear the words I forgot to charge my phone, I didn’t hear it ring, I left it in the car, Sorry, it was on vibrate, the list goes on and makes us at least worried if not frustrated or down right angry.  The cell phone has perpetuated the lifestyle speed in which we are tempted to live with an ever-present need for instant gratification.  As if that is not enough to cause us to think, the ringing of the cell is also an instant interruption and negation of the relationship we are in upon hearing its ring.   


Do you ever find yourself not really being with the people you are with because one or all of you are on the cell phone with someone else?  It happens not only in the car, but in restaurants, places of business, doctor’s offices, hospitals, and even at home.  The availability of this anti-relationship-to-those-you-are-with tendency has no boundary.


Life is full of opportunities to teach our children.  In fact, as homeschoolers, our day-to-day life is the opportunity to teach our children.  Deuteronomy 6:7 states, “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”  It is so easy and convenient to talk on the phone while in the car.  Now in spite of the hands-free law, most everyone has managed to stay on the phone.  Don’t do it when you have one or more children with you!  Use the time to teach your children.  Use the time to listen to your children.  I am amazed at the topics my children, and now my grandchildren, will ask me about if 1) I am not on the phone and 2) have the radio turned off.


Last year eight-year old granddaughter, Breana, rode with me on my annual trip to the ACSI pick-up location in

Whittier for convention materials. During our two-hour jaunt, we discussed a variety of life’s issues.  I still visualize her sweet face smiling at me appreciatively as we visited.  It was as though she had me as her captive audience.  She did.  Little did she know I planned it that way. In-between our other topics of discussion, and to reinforce her math lesson from earlier that day, I had her find every oblique angle she could spot as we traveled up and back down Beach Boulevard.  Whenever I see a ladder in the back of a pick-up truck or a tilted telephone pole, I picture her excitement and remember the lessons she (and I) learned that day.


Why is it that so many people seem obligated to answer the cell phone no matter who is calling or when it rings?  Can we go back to letting people leave us a message and then we will check it after we finish schooling, leave our meeting, complete the conversation at hand, or attend to our child?  Of course, there are those true emergency situations, but we live in a world where lack of planning on someone else’s part causes an emergency on our part if they can catch us on the cell phone. Proverbs 10:19 states, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.”

Silence. Try it sometime; yes even in the car, and see what God has for you and your child(ren).  Don’t lose any teachable moment the next time you are in close quarters, with purposed silence, at least on your part.  Sure, there will be many times when the baby will cry, somebody will need to go potty, and another has the sun in his eyes.  And then if you hear, “He touched me,” one more time, you will begin to sob yourself.  


My mother always says, “Everything is temporary.”  Give it time.  If you need a transition to silence, hum soothing praise songs or listen to inspirational words-free music.  The children will learn to watch for the silent moments and eventually look to the time in the car as an opportunity for relationship.  These are YOUR good old days. Hang up and relate. Wait patiently for the opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with someone who means more to you than life itself. Zyler Hang Up and Relate 2008 2.jpg


"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap,
if we faint not." -Galatians 6:9





                                                                          Zyler Karl Danny Haller
                                                                                        age 17 months


Hope Christian Academy, P.O. Box 299, Midway City, California 92655
Serving the Westminster, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Lakewood, and surrounding areas since 1986
Phone (714) 373-HOPE <4673>   Fax (714) 589-2766
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