Welcome to my "Month of Encouragement for Mom's" in January. Whether you're a mom or not, I pray that you'll stay a while and that you'll find something here to encourage your heart today.
I thought it would be fun to take what we talked about last week and go a little deeper with our kids. In today's economy and our "I-need-more-to-be-happy" culture, there is one character trait I think we always need to grow in (at least I do) and one we'd love to see developed in our kids - the character trait of CONTENTMENT. I wrote this little family devotion that can be adapted for varying kid's ages. There are a few options so you can do as much or little that fits your family's schedule and style:
means being happy with what you have or who you are.
Bible verse: Hebrews 13:5, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have."
Biblical character and story: Paul learned the secret to contentment. He had lived in wealth and in poverty. Paul had experienced the luxuries of a man with power and the miseries of a man being held prisoner. But he had learned to put his hope in God and not in his circumstances, knowing his circumstances could change at any moment. This decision brought contentment, which lead to a peace that was separate from his stuff. (Philippians 4:11-12)
A Nugget of Truth: In Philippians 4: 6-7, Paul tells us his secret: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)
Paul's prescription for peace is: talking to God about everything, trusting God and a thankful heart that reminds us of all He has already done and can do.
Explain to your children the importance of contentment and share the danger of comparison and the trap of getting more. Maybe share a time when the more you got, the more you wanted.
We will never have every thing. There will always be someone who has more and something we just have to have more of. But we can learn to be content by being thankful for what we have! Talk about a time when you, or your children, were not content and how it led to anxiety. Remind each other that contentment is not getting what you want; it is wanting what you have. If your children are struggling with contentment after a barrage of gifts at Christmas or birthdays (like ours do), take time discuss these questions:
- What did you get for Christmas or your birthday that you really wanted?
- Do you still want it or do you think you’ll be happy if you get something else?
- What are you going to do when you decide you want just one more thing?
- List all of the things you have to be thankful for.
Idea 1 - Start a family gratitude journal.
- Commit for one week to have each person list 3 things they are thankful for each day.
- Continue your journal by listing things daily or weekly as a family. Encourage kids to vary what they list.
- At dinner, have each person tell one thing they are thankful for about the person to their left.
Idea 2 - Commit to not buying anything you do not need for one week.
Idea 3- Start each day by practicing Paul’s prescription for contentment with your kids:
- Tell God what you need.
- Thank him for all he has done.
- Thank him for all that you have.
FamilyPrayer: Lord, thank you for all that I have. Please help me want those things, instead of wanting more. Amen.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about learning and living contentment today. And if you have some things you experience - big or little - as a result this week, be sure to share it with us. Tomorrow I have a guest blogger stopping by to share with us how we can teach our kids a Biblical view of finances, stewardship and goals to grow up being financially free. I also have some Dave Ramsey books to give away.
Copyright 2009, Rene Swope - All rights reserved.
Today's Mom Give-Away
Last week's winners are posted below, under "Girl Talk". Today we are choosing winners from the comments and giving away two D6 mom resources - a copy of my "Mining for Gold in the Heart of Your Child Chart and Angela Thomas' best-seller "My Single Mom Life". (A great book for all moms, single or married. From mommy guilt, loneliness, healthy boundaries to living the amazing life God has for you and your kids, Angela covers it all. I am reading it and loving it!)
To be part of these give-aways, click on "comments" below. Please include your email so we can get in touch if you win and I'd love to know your city/state or country.
PS. Be sure to sign up soon for the D6Conference! Early registration ends February 2nd.