Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things.
Or: How This Mom Started Playing Minecraft
They say that a good way to show love is to take an interset in what the other person is interested in, even if you wouldn't care about it on your own.
I'm a busy mom and wife of an entrepreneur, right? I don't have time for video games. I have a house to clean, school to teach, dinners to make, diapers to change, invoices to prepare, bills to pay, laundry to wash ... blah, blah, blah.
But one day, my little Joy asked me to try Minecraft. All my kids love it. They play nearly every day, they collaborate, they watch each other, they coach and help each other. I have already put in the effort to be interested in their creations. But there is only so far you can go with intelligent questions without jumping in yourself.
I started in creative and peaceful. Joy and Faith taught me some things, and my generated world was interesting to explore.
Then Jonathan asked me to try survival and coached me through the steps. (Though I still insisted on peaceful at first.)
It has been fun to play around and discover things, build a house to my own liking, raise a rainbow flock of sheep, etc.
My questions now come from experience. Jonathan remarked, "It's so fun that you are actually interested in Minecraft now!" How to connect to your pre-teen? Maybe try Minecraft.
On vacation, I let them and myself do extra. We discovered the collaboration of multiplayer over wifi. We can be a team. I also see the different personalities of my children coming out. Each one approaches the game differently. Jonathan works for speed and efficiency, mining carefully in the right places. Noah thinks mining is mind-numbingly boring and avoids it when he can, preferring to get his treasure by killing monsters. Faith is matter-of-fact, cautious and deliberate. Joy makes beautiful, patterned structures. Jeremiah likes digging and building, digging and building, digging and building (and he is getting more deliberate, too.)
I also discovered the phenomenon that some other part of my brain works on real-life problems while I play. In a conversation with my sister, she remarked that I had been doing a lot of thinking. I replied that I thought I was just doing a lot of Minecraft. But she's convinced they're related. And that gives me a deeper appreciation for Jon's game playing as well.
In Minecraft, my kids are the teachers (even my five-year-old: "Mom... your inventory is full, that's why you can't pick that up.") I am the one learning, making novice mistakes, disregarding wise advice to my peril, and taking advice to my advantage. This is fun for them and it's fun for me. I'm glad I decided to take the plunge.
And now excuse me. I have to go shear a yellow sheep.