So, last night we took the kids to a ministry that recently opened up in Kotzebue for dinner, a sermon, and children's church. The dinner rocked! An array of wild game soups, duck, caribou, etc. Dinner rolls, doughnuts, crackers, and more.
The kids (Maddie, Victoria, Clara, Kaisa, Jessalyn, Coltrane, and eventually Uyaana and Ben) came with us to the services. They are held at the boys & girls club here in town, so they get to play pool, ping pong, etc and generally have fun!
But, that's not what this post was supposed to be about. Shame on me. The sermon preached by a cousin of mine (don't forget, I have LOTS of cousins) really got me thinking. I seriously need some help. Not in the "You need Jesus" kind of way. Just in the way that I need to stop coveting my neighbor's things!
Until recently, I would be giddy with delight in buying my kids the newest and latest and greatest toy/gadget/clothes/iPod. At one point, we had eleven iPods in this house with six people. What is that about?! We all had to have the newest and most updated.
The kids had to have the newest game console. At one point, we had an XBOX 360, a Wii, AND a play station 2 in our house. With the three flat screen televisions we have in throughout.
I wanted a fire place...I got one. Shame on me.
Anyway, the sermon really focused on being happy with what you have, and not wanting other "things" in life... Be happy in your job. Whatever it is, be happy.
You're a janitor?! Whistle while you work! You're a youth counselor? Witness to the youth about how great your life is! You're a Media/Publications manager for a regoinal native corporation? Don't complain about it being Monday and instead, get up extra early and bake muffins to share with everyone at work. (oh, thats just me...but I didn't get up early...tomorrow I will though)
I don't usually have a problem being happy with my work/life/circumstance, but instead have a big problem coveting my neighbor's "THINGS!"
"Man, he has a NICE boat... Look at that playground for the kids... oohhh, they got a new fourwheeler?... Oh yeah, you bought your kids an entire summer wardrobe?"
Its hard for me to stop buying crap. I lived in a one room house, we didn't have a TV, we didn't have a bathroom for goodness sake, so I wanted what EVERYONE had... dresses, new clothes, new shoes...the new nintendo! Now, I think I seriously live through my kids, what I didn't have, they GET.
The only problem with that is this. What is too much? Now that I am an adult, I savor the summers I spent at camp, living in a tent. I am happy that my only toys were board games and books and my sisters. I love the fact that I did NOT have a doll house, so I MADE MY OWN, with a cardboard box, and weaved my own rugs out of yarn, and sewed my own clothes for them with a sewing machine, or a needle and thread. My daughter is six and has yet to sew on the sewing machine. I had made dolls and clothes and mittens by that age. She's content sitting at home playing Nintendo DS. Ugh. What have I created?
In the midst of the internet, and the cell phones, and the electronic games, and the 200 channels, what have we created? A generation without an imagination. A generation content on sitting on their ass staring at the computer screen checking out video's on youtube. A generation that doesn't know how to sew, or hunt, or tan skins, or bake from scratch.
What have I created? Recently, my daughter said to me, "MOM! I really want that thing/toy/gadget," from the television screen. I said, "No, honey we don't that much money..."
She replied, "That's OK, just put it on your credit card, its not like you have to PAY it right now."
I'm not going to let MY kids down, I have an obligation, nay, a DUTY to make them feel like I do right now about MY childhood. No more TV, no more DS, no more PSP, No more cell phone, no more instant dinners, no more plastic princess houses.
Next Christmas/birthday, they're getting a cardboard box, a spool of yarn, a book, and plenty of TIME from momma. Tonight, we're making cookies, and a full on lasagna dinner...from scratch. And the girls are going to make their own dresses. Seriously.