My kids got ‘just because gifts’ in the mail from their Grandma this week. They were so happy! My little guy got this super cool vintage Circus set (the same one I had around his age). I don’t even want to know what my Mom had to pay on Ebay to find this little treasure. She had to have gone to great lengths for this. Then, the other two kids were similarily lavished. All was package and mailed, and organized in a way that they’d all arrive at once so nobody was left out. How fun to watch them play and rediscover all the same little pieces I remember from back then. I was totally having a great time too! We had about 20 minutes of this bliss. Playing all together, wrappings and boxes everywhere, kids sharing kindly… birds chirping… (ok, you get it).
The idea of a ‘just because gift’ was very well received! 🙂 You can imagine I’m sure. But in the excitement, there was near immediate panic….. Do we have to do extra chores for these? … Well, if it’s not our birthday or Christmas NOW does that mean we won’t get a Christmas gift later? OR…. do we STILL get gifts then, too??!! They loved the gifts ~ but were VERY concerned that it would affect their future gift receiving potential. I explained about ‘just because’ meaning exactly that. It’s just because your Grandma loves you and is thinking of you…. You could see the little gears whirring. All 3 came up with it almost at once. ‘Mom, can you show us on the calendar when the NEXT ‘just because day’ is? And, can it be tomorrow!!?
Wait.. what? Wasn’t everyone just in a little Uptopia of playing and sharing and kindness? Yeah. Ummm, note to self: Add a Lesson Plan on Contentment to the lineup. STAT!
The thing is… I think they come by it naturally. I hear so many moments in my own head. Oh yes, I love staying home with my kids! BUT I’d sure love some time alone! OR, SO thankful Chris had a great trip! BUT if he could just do that one more time, we’d have enough for ….. (fill in the blank).
I think I see things sometimes from a weird view. Too close up…fuzzy. When I talked to my kids about being content, it was easy to see. I pulled back my view a bit, and reminded them that:
We have a safe, clean home
We have abundant, healthy food & clean water… clean clothes too
We all are So Very Loved, by each other and by a merciful, good, and gracious God who continuously and undeservedly provides all we need ~ all the time ~ JUST BECAUSE.
And… on top of all of that is all of this other stuff… like toys and gifts and beach trips and ice cream on Saturday nights.
It’s very easy for me to get caught up in worry. Will he catch fish? Are they safe out there? Is it enough for the bills be paid? Will my kids be OK? Will it all be OK?
Teaching my kids makes me pull back, change my view. I’m forced to really see the truth, not the self focused, fuzzy-worry. Not the out of my control anxieties. The truth? It’s all covered. Stop. Be grateful. Be content.