Living not striving…

Random thoughts and daily adventures in my life

Living it out November 6, 2009

Filed under: Random stuff — erikaivory @ 2:40 pm
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I am going to think out loud here for a minute.  We are really processing the concept of moderation and need vs want in our own lives.  We are trying to make some wise decisions not only financially but in philosophy in how we live and the messages we are teaching out children.  Over the past year plus Mark and I have been challenged with the needs of people around us and how that compares to the excess with which we daily live.

So what does that look like?  Well last month we spent over $30 on coffee, donuts, etc.  Wow!  All our little trips to Krispy Kreme and Starbucks really adds up.  That is almost what it costs to sponsor a Compassion child each month.  So we have started making some cut backs and changes in our monthly spending.  Some of these changes are kind of a bummer because they might affect our “comfort” and our children’s “comfort” a little bit but they haven’t affected our needs.  We have over and above what we need.

It has made me realize just how selfish I am about my own comfort.  This also affects other choices though.  And this is where I am struggling and praying for discernment.  Areas where I normally would just spend money because that is “what you do”  I am now trying to really pray and evaluate what is wise and if that purchase really is helping us achieve our larger goal.  Over and over the Bible commands us to “do good”. Here and here and here are just a few of the places.  God keeps bringing Scriptures across my path that point to His emphasis on doing good.  Apparently it is pretty important to Him, because He mentions it a lot:)

So this week we are facing school pictures and the book fair.  Oh how I love books and pictures of my kids.  But I have LOTS of both of those, and while it kind of bums my kids (and me) out a bit to pass on this time around….the reality is that is a chunk of change that could be used for many other wise things.  We are trying to live out and teach our kids how to be deliberate about where our money goes.  And while some of that saved money might be used for an afterschool sport or some family fun, we also want to be deliberate about using it to “do good” and teach our kids the joy of helping those in our community and around the world.  We are learning though that helping the poor is not something we do just because we are blessed or because it is nice or because it feels good.  It is something we are commanded to do by the Father of all good things.   It needs to be part of my lifestyle.

We are focusing on certain reputable charities as well as looking for ways to reach out to the people that the Lord has cross our path.  Over the next couple of weeks I will highlight some really amazing organizations that help us obey the command to do good.  How about you?  Can you share some of the ways you are fleshing out this lesson personally or with your kids?  I would love suggestions of ways to teach my boys how to “do good” as well as other organizations that have a history of integrity.  Please share:)


2 Responses to “Living it out”

  1. gillian Says:

    wow, that is awesome…and challenging! I never thought about passing up the school pictures, that’s hard to do! but you’re right I have PLENTY of pictures of both my kids! thanks so much for sharing this, I will certainly re~evaluate where my money is going.
    You mentioned Compassion International and we’re sponsering a little boy from India who is about a year older than Owen. It has been such a blessing and a great teaching tool…Owen is learning so much about how we are blessed with so many things, instead of complaining about what he doesn’t have. He even sold his train table, made $85, and gave it all to Ganga and his family….completely on his own without any prompting from me.

  2. Maura Says:

    I am currently reading a great book I checked out from the library by Dan kindlon called Too Much Of A Good Thing: Raising Children in an Indulgent Age. It’s not a Bible based book and doesn’t lean much toward refocusing the money and thoughts towards doing good but I think you would enjoy it and get some great perspective from it. It’s based on a research study he did as a doctor and student counselar in a high priviledged school of adolescents and the connection between their indulgent lifestyles ad toddlers to adolescents and how they are more at risk for becoming probe to exessive self absorption, depression and anxiety and lack of self control. It’s a very intriguing and eye opening look at the way high society children really take to their priviledged lives and would be a good read to learn things to share with your kids how it’s “not always greener on the other side”.

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