Over the last few weeks I have noticed such a huge change in me and my family. We are living with less but have gained so much! Our son Frankie is oblivious to it all since he is only 4, but he is such a sweet and caring boy that he seems to understand when we explain certain things to him and he is so adamant about doing things right to please us. Before all this, anything he wanted, any request, any double look he gave an object he got. For Christmas his budget has been unlimited for the last 4 years of his life. For his birthday he gets whatever he wants from us and we throw this HUGE party that people would think it’s his Bar Mitzvah! We invite close to 150 people and the kids! We have his birthday at a huge hall at our church with 2-3 bounce houses that fit cozy inside incase it rains since his birthday is in June. We have more food than we know what to do with and to top it all off, we ask the guest to bring a check to donate to our charity of choice that year. Not to mention that we hire people to entertain the kids and we give toys to almost every kids who attended the party. Overall, his birthday usually costs between $5000-$8000. Yes! Ridiculous and I see that now. Frankie now knows that he only gets new toys for his birthday (which will be budgeted to $100 in gifts and a birthday party of 8-10 friends at our house) and on Christmas (this year the budget will be $150, plus family gifts). He is also allowed to buy his own gifts with his own money. We call it his commission and he can earn up to $4 per week. When he turns five the commission will increase to $5 and so on! We don’t pay our son an allowance for chores around the house. He has to do them regardless. He is a part of the family and therefore must work and pitch in with the family. He earns the commission for simply doing good in school, behaving and going the extra mile! He will know that with hard work and dedication great fruits will come his way.
So, besides giving up the spending that was out of control towards our son we have gained more time with him. We play with him, do outside activities, we talk, we teach him and he is even taking a sense of pride on the chores we give him. This not only pleases us but he himself has become a much happier kid! Our son holds his head up high every time we praise him! His shoulders roll back as he reminds you how good he did at something. He talks to us about his day as soon as daddy comes home from work and tells us who did what and what he did at school. He is even more thankful. He thanks me for making his breakfast, packing his lunch or snacks, and even thanks me for cleaning the house and having it so pretty! Every Sunday he also tells me how beautiful I look wearing this or that. Whether its my dress, a shirt, my hair bow or a simple bracelet. I have gained a loving boy who will eventually grow up to be a caring man who appreciates women, the work we put in and the meaning of hard work! He has gained a lifetime of happiness knowing that we love people and not things.
Another thing I have gained is better conversations with the hubby! At night we don’t watch TV anymore. If we do it is on a Friday night, but even that has become a lost art in our bedroom. Before it was turn on Netflix, let’s catch the Walking Dead, what is on E!, etc… Now we talk more about our day. He gets to know more about my work and vice versa. We talk about our projects, our plans, our budget. We do things together. At least he tries to help more with things around the house. It is taking him a while because he is very unorganized. He is making more of an effort to wake up earlier. He is writing to do lists, notes and reminders. I have gained so much more from my husband over the last month than in the last ten years of our married life so far! It is amazing!
I have a new found respect for myself. I feel like I have accomplished so much. Not only the things around my house, but in my personal view of myself. As you all know I have a huge self acceptance issue and I turn to food for many if not all of the things that go on and when I think I have a grasp of it, it turns out that I don’t! I have to keep reminding myself that I am worth it. I am worth more than that cake, more than those chips, you get the picture. If Jesus could pass the temptations of his fasting after the 40 days, how could I not pass by a moment of temptation? With living with less, I have been able to create (yet not mastered, but working on it) a plan for food. I have a budget and I must stick to it! It must be healthy and it must be things we all enjoy to eat. Food Proportions will come in handy a lot more when I start to tighten up this budget a bit more and although it is still a work in progress, it is a steering in the right direction!
I dare you my friends to do this with me! You will fee freeing! You will gain more than you would lose. I am seeing now that all those material things that made me so happy in reality didn’t. Only for a small moment they brought happiness which then turned o clutter and a way of clogging up my life. It took something so drastic to open up my eyes! I am thankful to God for allowing me to see beyond our material world. I lived a life of sin by being so materialistic and for portraying something I was not. Something that was taking away from others viewing the real me.