Leading by example

 

Christmas has come and gone. My house is filled to the brim with new toys (for child and adult alike!). I definitely went overboard for Jude this year. Every time I went to the store I would see some other small gadget that I KNEW would make his eyes shine and I bought it. When I finally hauled out the stash to wrap, I was more than a little embarrassed by how much I had bought for my three-year old. EEK.

Jude has been hard-core about the Rescue Bots transformers. And so I found these adorable rescue bot toys and bought him as many as there were. Unfortunately, they had all but one of the Rescue Bots. I believed he wouldn’t notice and at the ridiculous price I was getting them for, I couldn’t pass up such a deal simply because the group of Rescue Bots would be incomplete.

Keep in mind he’s three. He REALLY doesn’t need all these toys..

 

So now Christmas is over. He has been spoiled to the moon and back. And what does my blessed, beautiful child do?  He comes to me whining and complaining because he wants, he NEEDS Boulder (the missing Bot). He doesn’t want to play with the other FIVE Rescue Bots that he does have. NO he NEEDS Boulder. The whining and complaining was incessant. Real, actual tears sliding down his cheeks as he wills me to understand the depths of his sorrow.

Does my heart break?

Yes, yes it does. But not for reasons you might think. 

My heart broke because in that moment I realized that I have not been doing my child any favours. Instead I am helping, aiding and abetting, this inner selfishness and feeling of discontent that seems to pervade our society today.

What have I done?

To be completely honest and paint the whole ugly picture – let me tell you this. I had already purchased over and above what any three-year old child – what any person should receive for Christmas – when he told me all he wanted for Christmas was a skateboard. And I shamefully admit to you, that I went out and bought him a skateboard. My head is hung, my heart is filled with regret. I am creating a monster.

In that moment, as he whined and cajoled for Boulder – I looked at my son and realized that I still had time. Time to teach contentment, thankfulness and selflessness. I had time! My heart soared.IMG_1653

I looked at my son, and gently explained to him that he had toys. Wonderful new toys. And I told him he could choose thankfulness and play with those toys, or he could choose that Mommy would put his toys away and he would not have them anymore.

Realizing I would not budge, he sniffed his last and changed his tune. He chose thankfulness and played with his new toys.

Then I was left to ponder my own choices in life. Right now my son patterns every move I make. Repeats every word. Absorbs every feeling. What am I teaching my son?

  • I want an Ipad.
  • I want  a new van.
  • I want new clothes.
  • I want, I want, I want.

I am living my life in that same selfish attitude that I see displayed before me. Do I instead look at my wonderful computer that my husband has spent hours repairing (because I keep dropping it, and liquid substances on it?) and allow a heart of thankfulness to flow? Do I see our vehicle that was graciously given to us and see past its flaws and repairs needed and allow a heart of thankfulness to flow? Do I look at my closet brimming with beautiful clothing and allow a heart of thankfulness to flow?

It is so easy to see all I have and wish for more. To see what others have and envy them. Allowing those feelings of envy and discontent to take root in my heart is the same as allowing a disease to take root and destroy my life.

I have been blessed to overflowing. I have a family, a beautiful home, an amazing job to go back to in a few months… I need to change my hearts attitude and choose thankfulness.so so blessed

The New Year is in just a couple of days. My hearts prayer for this new year, 2014 is that I would be a better Mother, a better wife, a better friend. That I would model for those around me a person who is content, thankful and very much aware of all her blessings.

What do you have to be thankful for? Look around you and choose this day to be content.

We have so many wonderful new ‘toys’ – let’s rejoice and not wish for more.

 


Your turn! Please share your own stories/words of wisdom :)