However, then I find that I spend a lot of time at home organizing all of the stuff. You know what I mean...all of THE STUFF.
Simple, I long for simple.
But it doesn't just happen. I have to intentionally work towards simple. I have to make choices for our family based on simple. I have to choose to not buy another thing that we really don't need and instead...
Well, here is the story of what happened recently.
Two of our family's values are gratitude & generosity. (Sam and I sat down a few years ago and narrowed down our family's core values to seven things that we wanted our kids' childhoods to be marked by. Things that they would leave our house after they have grown knowing were REALLY important to our family.)
Does that mean that I have the most grateful kids on the planet? No!
Does that mean we have a perfect family that holds to these core values all of the time? No!
It simply means that while we are doing life together as a family, Sam and I are going to do our best to teach our kids (and remind ourselves!) that being joyful, thankful, patient, respectful, generous, compassionate & responsible are all really important to our family.
How does that play out in real life you ask, well...I'll give you one recent example.
You see, I feed five kids three meals a day on a regular basis. I often hear...
"I don't like that."
"What's for dinner?"
My kids make statements every day based on their needs and their wants.
I get it...
However, I often tell them,
"There are kids all over the world who don't have enough food to eat."
Or, "Do you know what the word "starving" actually means?"
and then I think...
How do I connect the dots for my kids?
How do I create a culture in our house where my kids are thankful for their food?
How can we help feed the hungry?
Her idea was genius!
So we gathered, we wore hair nets, we learned how the packing process worked, we all picked a duty (I helped seal bags and managed to somehow not seal my fingers in the process), they played party music (because I'm happy...), we sang, we cheered, we tallied each box and by the end all of Melissa's friends worked together to pack 22 boxes!
That was enough food to provide four thousand, seven hundred and fifty two meals!
We are totally planning a family trip to go back there...soon!
While I was at FMSC I also saw a t-shirt with a Mother Teresa quote on it that I had never heard before. It summed up everything I had been feeling but couldn't put the words together to say.
FMSC is based out of Minnesota but they have MobilePack events that go all over the United States. They also have this t-shirt available online with a donation of $50. That donation covers the cost of one box of food...enough food to provide 216 meals!
Maybe you can gather your tribe to celebrate a birthday, take your book club on an outing or grab your neighbors and go pack meals. If you can't get to a packing event, maybe your family could save some money in a jar to donate towards buying the food that is packed. All of the food is provided by donations.
We also have some dear friends, Justin & Sarah who work with a ministry, Master's Heart, to provide food security to the many orphaned children of Mozambique who are struggling to survive. Their ministry is the real deal and so are they! To get your family involved with helping to provide food for one orphaned child you can go here.
Suddenly the question is no longer...how can I help?
How many kids can our family provide a meal for today?
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Living Well Spending Less