Living With Less, or More
It’s generally agreed upon that children are full of potential. I think kids have a million possibilities within them, like seeds; and the ones that get nurtured grow. They have talents and abilities and interests and their lives could go in a hundred different directions.
Maybe this is why I’ve been so interested in getting Sophia signed up for something at a young age, to see what happens. I don’t want to pass up an opportunity. I want to give her options and I want her to explore her self and her interests.
She is not nearly as concerned about this kind of thing.
We did some gymnastics and last year she played T-Ball. This year she was insistent that she would not play T-Ball, arguing that it was hot and boring and she hurt her ankle. (Nothing serious; I can’t even believe she recalls that “injury.”) We can’t really afford the gymnastics right now, and the place closest closed anyway. I think she’d like dance, but like I said, I don’t really have money for it right now.
So I feel bad about this money issue, but as I said, she is not real worried about it these days. And these days I’ve been thinking a lot about the future. We are going to be moving into a big house that we will have to pay for, we will have a new baby, and I will not be able to work for at least a few months. Preferably, I would keep the schedule I have, staying home most of the time, but getting some sub time in when I can. This will be a financial challenge, and that is becoming more obvious. But the other thing that is becoming more obvious is the understanding that this is where I’m supposed to be. I feel pretty sure that God wants me to stay home and take care of my family for at least a year after the baby is born. And I feel even more sure that He is going to provide for us. This may come in better financial planning, or maybe opportunities for me to earn money while I’m taking care of my kids. Either way, we have to keep learning more about Living with Less So My Family Has More.
This just happens to be the name of Jill and Mark Savage’s book that was debuted at Hearts at Home this year. Although we made this decision a few years ago when Clare was born, our hearts and attitudes still have a long way to go in understanding what we’ve actually signed on for. I think part of us thought it would be more… temporary. We’ll have more again when we finally get into a house or when… what? Not sure. But I’m seeing that it’s actually not very temporary, and sacrifice is the name of the game.
God has been good to us and provided for us immeasurably since we moved and I quit my job. And although it was dramatic when it happened, our circumstances have allowed us to sortof ease into this new plan. Now I look around and realize a future that I had not envisioned.
This future is one that is not cluttered with new things. It cannot afford something like a long-term commitment to dance or even gym. It is me not shopping as often as I’d like, not buying impulsively, and holding off when we get a bug about some new gadget that would make our lives easier.
It’s my kids spending time at home, finding entertainment in each other and books and the toys that we can afford. But not having the latest video game, movie, or fad.
It’s me trying really hard to feed our family with what is already in our kitchen. It’s planning and not eating out much. It’s growing a garden we can eat and paying attention to every penny.
I’m not trying to be dramatic. Of course we’ll still have stuff. Of course my kids will still be ‘bored’ in the middle of a room full of toys. Of course I’ll still spend more at Target than I meant to.
But I really want to commit to this thing. I
think believe it is possible to make this work. I know our family can function this way and we will all be better in the long run for it. I know my kids will be annoyed and not understand. I believe the benefits of less outweigh the stresses of more.
I guess I have to get use to the idea of Sophia not being tutored by a professional. I’m not really sure where that came from anyway. Maybe it’s because I didn’t have that kind of opportunity when I was her age. Instead she’ll have the same kind of childhood I had. Maybe that’s exactly what I want for her.