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My Freshly Brewed Life: What Matters Most

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What Matters Most

Over the last couple of years (notice I said years and not days, weeks or months), conversations like these have been all too familiar in our home:
Mommy, can we go to a movie today?  No, sweetie, I don't have the extra money.
Hey mom, can you buy me that neat flannel?  It's on sale.  No hun, I have bills to pay.
Mom, can we buy some ice cream bars?  No sweetie, I can only buy what's on my list.
These conversations continue on almost a daily basis.  As a mother, it's not just my desire to provide what my children need, but I long to be able to give them the things they want from time to time.  Over the last couple of years, we've struggled financially to keep our heads above water.  God has been so good to provide my husband with work, after being laid off for a year, and we never lack in having the things that matter most -- love, food, clothing, shelter.  I have grown so much in my faith during this season of my life.  But although I am learning and grasping the importance of the things that truly matter, I am not sure my children, at least the younger ones, have caught on just yet.

My heart aches when I have to hear myself say "no" over and over again to the smallest and even most inexpensive things.  Today was an especially hard day. I took my youngest daughter shopping with me and had to hear myself deny her wants a few times.  And then I started to look around and see that the stores were beginning to put out their Christmas merchandise and I could feel near panic setting in.  I caught myself beginning to feel a little hopeless and depressed.  I had to pull it together though.  I refused to have a melt down in the middle of the mall in front of my ten year old daughter!

When I got home, I had to begin to reflect again on the goodness of God.  I had to purpose in my heart to fix my gaze on Him, focusing once again on what matters most.  Today was an opportunity to teach my daughter that although she has wants, they are not necessarily needs at this time.  And for those things she is in need of, God will take of those things.  We do not have to worry about what we will eat, drink or wear, for the same God who feeds the sparrow will feed and clothe us.
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matt. 25:26-33 NLT)
Even though today was a hard day I know what matters most.

I may not be able to afford the movie theater.
But we can enjoy a movie we own, snuggling together on the couch,
sharing popcorn and making memories.

I may not be able to afford the latest fashion.
But I am very resourceful.  eBay and Craigs List are two
of my best friends.  We don't mind hammy downs.

I may not be able to buy a lot of the "extras" at the grocery store.
But our stomachs are always full.

Our God is rich beyond measure and desires to lavish good gifts on His children.  That includes me and my family.  And even though I've been labeled as the "mom who always says no", we serve a God who loves to say "YES"!  I pray that my children would understand how rich they are.  I may not be able to take them to the Magic Kingdom for vacation.  But I can show them how to secure their place in the Kingdom of God and teach them to set their affections on things above and not so much on material possessions.

I am so thankful that God is using this season of my life to help me to understand the importance of the things that matter most.  All of the other things I leave in His very capable hands. 

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