...one shopping trip at a time!
Today we went out for breakfast and a little playtime for the kiddos at Chik-Fil-A. We were there later than the breakfast rush so it was super quiet and the kids nearly had the play area to themselves. It was quite an enjoyable time. I then decided to make what a thought would be a quick stop at the nearby big box discount retailer to pick up a few items they had advertised in their flyer as I am trying to plan ahead for birthday gift giving a bit better this year. This is where things went downhill fast. Soon Sportster got into a greedy mood and was asking for everything he saw. When I said "no," he followed up with "WHY can't I have this?" By the time we had repeated this conversation about 20 times I was about ready to have a meltdown myself. He was whining, on the brink of a full-blown tantrum and yelling from time to time. While at the store I was reminding him that we have so many things to be thankful for and encouraging him to be grateful, but he wasn't convinced. Even going down some of the food aisles caused some outbreaks. Why do they have to market cereal with the top preschool characters of the day right at a child's eye level?! Where does this leave a mother who occasionally wants to venture out to a store with her children? [insert exasperated sigh here]
We really want to raise our children to learn to be content and grateful, to understand the value of a dollar and also to understand marketing and how to be wise about purchasing based on your needs and not what the packaging, commercials or other people are communicating about a product. What we experienced today was a matter of the heart, namely, lack of contentment. And I can see this in my own attitudes, too, so it is definitely something our whole family needs to work on, not just the child in the above example. We've recently had discussions around the dinner table about how life is not about stuff, but about people and God. Apparently this message has not sunk in yet to our four-and-a-half year old. So we're back to the drawing board to work on ways to teach the virtue of contentment, and reteach it to ourselves. Here's a good reminder with which to begin this process.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where theives do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21 ESV