Most of us tend to struggle with contentment.
I constantly purge and organize, reduce and donate. We still have too much stuff.
I’ve noticed when my children quarrel and show irritability more than usual, too much stuff is usually the problem.
The real problem with contentment is too many choices.
When our children are offered too many choices, they just learn discontentment. They learn to want more, more, more.
We live in a wealthy society with more than seven varieties of apples in the grocery store. The self care aisle of the big box store offers numerous brands and styles of toothpaste and shampoo and hair care products.
We live in a world of discontent with too many choices.
Online shopping sites remember our credit card information, making one click shopping a temptation few of us can resist.
Big box stores compete in every town in America. I remember what a huge event it was when Target opened in Honolulu, Hawaii. People camped all weekend long, awaiting the grand opening.
Most cities offer three or more grocery stores so consumers can compare prices, coupons, and discount cards. Weekly sale ads flood our mailboxes and inboxes. Coupon sites and apps are popular with the promise of saving us some money by jumping through certain hoops.
It’s good for me to just stay home and not shop online. For some reason, I spent a couple years feeling I had to buy everything a couple bloggers recommended on their sites. My kids liked some of the items, but others collected dust. It was a comparison trap.
Window shopping is not entertainment for me. I don’t care to go to stores unless I specifically need or want something.
We limit our purchases and we’re much more content.
I keep a running list of items we would like and if I find an amazing deal, I grab it. I have snagged half-price American Girl dolls, brand new! But we do try to limit stuff. We’re rather minimalist.
My son will complain that he is hungry and the next meal may be a couple hours away. I offer him a carrot, banana, or apple. Sometimes, he refuses and sulks. Don’t we all prefer cake or cookies? Usually, he will choose a healthy option.
I plan for sweets sometimes in the afternoons. We bake them together and it’s more special.
I seldom keep junk food items in our pantry. We eat real food, healthy food. We occasionally have treats. I teach my kids to make healthy choices.
At most American family restaurants, menus offer upwards of ten appetizer options, fifteen to twenty choices of meals, and five different desserts. The drink menu is enormous, especially if you count all the colorful cocktails in that sticky booklet between the condiments. The portions are humongous, more calories than two adults should consume during a single day, much less for one meal.
We can retrain ourselves to eat healthier. We can retrain our tastes not to crave sugar. We can choose real food and eat less. We can choose to eat quality – for nutrition and not boredom.
For too many years, I had too much homeschool curriculum.
I just couldn’t say no to reviewing a homeschool item. Something for free? Yes, please! I forced my kids to try so much material and they often really hated the stuff we reviewed.
We went through two years reviewing for a popular homeschool site until I realized I should no longer put my kids through that anymore. Sure, we found a few products we love that we heard about sooner rather than later, but it was unnecessary stress on my family. We struggled and relationships suffered.
We now have what we need and it’s all working well. I continue to purge as the kids get older and no longer use some items.
We have a peaceful homeschool. We flow with the seasons, year-round.
Some people are into sports.
Some love movies.
Some prefer listening to music.
Video games are popular.
Entertainment is good. It’s a great stress reliever. It’s a focus of an active social life. Fun is just not my goal.
There’s nothing wrong with entertainment as long as it’s balanced.
I see entertaiment too often become consuming passions.
Celebrities are idolized. I am not impressed by celebrity, and don’t even get me started about this oxymoron of Christian celebrity.
Western society lives a life for leisure. Many forgo responsibility and become lazy, pursuing worthless pastimes.
Work before play.
So many voices, proclaiming…well, something that sure sounds welcoming to thousands of Christians.
Conferences with Christian celebrity speakers are super popular, but most of those women on the stage just preach a feel-good message that is watered down and falls so short of anything biblical. They’re great as motivational speakers, but they cross the line when they mention God or quote a Bible verse out of context or proclaim some extra-biblical vision or equate biblical teachings to erotic ecstasy.
Then, there are so many Christian denominations. How does anyone know which to choose? We wasted ten years of our lives just trying to find the right fit for our family. And we have to start over with a new church every 2-4 years when we move.
Should we just not attend church at all?
Choices are all around us. It’s my job to help my family be discerning and ignore all the noise and focus on what is valuable.
Linking up: A Life in Balance, Burlap and Babies, Happy and Blessed Home, The Modest Mom Blog, Raising Homemakers, Gluesticks and Gumdrops, Graced Simplicity, Frog’s Lilypad, Adventures of Mel, Imparting Grace,