need vs want

Very few things drive me as crazy as hearing people complain about money.

In my life- I attribute this to a few things:

1) My parents taught me from a very young age to work.  To work hard and do my best.  When I didn’t give it my best, I remember my dad referring to it as a “popcorn operation”  (I believe thats a phrase only my dad uses).

2) Money wasn’t talked about in our home..we didn’t talk about how much people made or how much things cost.

3) I value things.

I married a pastor who currently works for a non-profit.  To say I married for money.. well.. I didn’t.  I had no idea what a pastor made.  And if you knew what our budget is today.. you might think I’m joking.

Currently we’re trying to sell our house and thinking of possibilities of what’s next.  As we walk through decisions, I want to be content.  When I look around me I’m not.  It’s excessive… the cultural push to get things bigger & better.  A larger home has been on my mind.. but then it makes me feel a little sick when I see others who have far less.  Since when is 1200 square feet “not enough” for a family of five?  Do our kids each need their own rooms?

I recently went through the kids dressers (and bins of clothes in the basement) to see what they needed for the fall/winter.  Then I think about the children all over the world who don’t have shoes..much less a dresser to put outfits (being plural) in.  I ache.

I want my children to know (already at their ages) the difference between a need and a want.  To be thankful for what we have and not begging/plotting for more.  The focus on this one falls to me.  To Ryan and I.  How we live and what messages we tell them.

The last month or so we’ve been making changes (read here and here) and we’re still working on others.  Honestly.. our changes have made things harder.. but its also brought awareness.  How many things did we say we couldn’t go without?  Too many.

I’m processing.  Its uncomfortable and good.  Who knows what we could do as a family if we gave more and bought less.

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2 thoughts on “need vs want

  1. Thanks for posting! This is something that I’m struggling with too. Ohhh how my heart aches as I look at and deal with the “stuff” in our daily lives that was not purchased to fill a need but a want, and to think of the people that we could have impacted with that money instead. Yesterday I missed an opportunity to bless someones life, because of just mere seconds of questioning if I should really do it. My heart hurt and still does as I realized the blessing that I lost out on giving.

  2. Living in our society that is so focused on “things” and materialism makes it very difficult. We are surrounded by the idea of having more and better things. This attitude is prevalent in the church and among Christians, not just the “world”. It is so subtle, too, before you realize it you get sucked into the “want” mentality. It takes constant awareness to not let yourself be pulled into it. Balancing need vs want is an everyday challenge. Most of us have far more than we need and can use. I want to be more content with what I have and be more giving to others in need. It doesn’t come naturally or easily; it takes the work of the Holy Spirit in me. I am thankful that you are raising your children with that mentality to be content with less. I see the extreme in the kids where I work. We have elementary age children with I-phones, for goodness sake!!! As a grandparent, I will try not to enforce the idea that the children need more “stuff”. 🙂 It’s not easy, because you want to and enjoy giving to them 🙂

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