Lately, Payton has been extra expressive about her wants. She notices what others have and does not shy away from saying, "Ugh, I want what they have...why don't we have that?" These comments cause me to cringe quite a bit because I know we have more than we deserve and our kids are extremely blessed. I feel like I have margin to learn how to better communicate what it means to appreciate what others have, while not forgetting the extravagance of all we already have. It could just be me, but I feel as a society we have margin to learn this concept. I do not feel like it is just a 7 year old topic of discussion, rather a societal conversation. What I am learning is that society grooms our minds to believe we need to have a consumer mindset. One that encourages discontentment and discourages thankfulness and patience. The first step, I believe to not engaging with this mindset, is to notice when we are discontent or laking thankfulness. Step two is naming the discontentment or comparison and then, lastly checking our hearts and the source of the discontentment.
Discontentment is an active voice in our everyday lives because of the constant data exposure we have fueling our minds both consciously and subconsciously. I have decided to make it an objective of my everyday to counteract these voices with a voice of thankfulness. This has been challenging because it means I have to notice when to speak it, believe what I am speaking and then speak it out in humility. This is no easy task, however I am motivated to do it, because I am really unmotivated by the repetition of Payton's inquires.
In addition to noticing and naming the spaces of discontentment we have in our lives. It has also been healthy for our family to discuss our financial goals and how we are going to accomplish them. Another comment Payton defaults to when she is trying to gain our attention and we have stepped away for a quick phone call is, "You are ALWAYS working!" Although, she feels in that moment that we are ALWAYS working this is an exaggeration. Spencer and I have the privilege to flex our schedules and often work from home. Although he puts in more than 40 hrs a week, the hours are very flexible and unconventional. We are both home, present and actively engaging together, with the kids. With that being said, we have had to be clear on when it is work time, and when it is play time. This has been an adjustment, but having the kids around us while we work and setting healthy boundaries has helped our kids understand hard work=money which=security, adventure and opportunities. It also allows us to teach them to be thankful for the flexibility we have.
One of our 2019 goals for our family was to find a family activity that we all could enjoy together that was outside the home and one that could grow with us. I was blessed with a family growing up that taught me a lot through experiences and I desire the same for our family. After several months of brainstorming ideas, we landed on purchasing a family JetSki. We live within 3-10 miles of 4 great fishing, tubing and cruising lakes and the size of a JetSki seemed very practical for our wants. After intensive research we found the ideal JetSki to fit our families goals. Although, we started discussing this purchase in March we were patient until we found the best option for us. Before we purchased we; saved up the cash for the purchase, found an incredible deal on the purchase, had reviewed the pros and cons of the purchase, and had an exit strategy incase the purchase was not the best for our family.
This purchase was a teaching opportunity for our children and for us. We all needed to be patient and content. We all had several conversations about the JetSki. They knew we were actively pursuing it, they came with us to look at it in person, they sat on it, pretended they were riding it. They reviewed For Sale classifieds for options. They knew that hard work and constant savings was going to result in accomplishing our goal. Teaching that it is best to be content with what we have and that our approach is the best approach for our family is a VERY hard discipline to teach, but I am thankful this is the approach we use because the gratitude of Payton and Elliot after their first ride was priceless.
"Creating a budget has been the greatest tool in our marriage!"-Amber