It has been such a busy week here. It seems like June is the month for cousins and birthday parties. It has me reflecting here about kids and expectations, gifts & thankfulness. I love celebrating and even though my last post is about hating birthday parties I actually love a good party that celebrates the individual. It seems to me however in this culture that I am surrounded by that the individual being celebrated and cherished gets lost and instead is celebrated by elaborate toys, junk, overindulgence, gluttony, and self-centerdness. And I think it might just be our fault. We say we desire qualities for our children such as sharing, compassion, thankfulness and a kind spirit yet sometimes in our efforts to show love to our children we often times give them too much, put them in circumstances which produce an attitude of "mine" "more" and "boredom" which is produced by them always being entertained by bigger, better and more extravagant. It is a vicious cycle and I think our children are as exhausted as the parents.
This week we had two of Israel's best friends over. I am so thankful for these precious boys. They are wild, adventuresome, funny & just everything a five and seven year old should be. They are also thankful, caring & content. We wanted to celebrate the start of summer so we did a few simple things. We had the boys sleep over. Put up a tent. Bought one packet of .99 cent glow sticks to share and for an extra treat bought each child their own pack of gum. The boys swam, played, ate outside, and loved camping out in their room. It went so well and the boys were all so thankful. I began to think about their thankfulness levels in comparison to the past few weeks of birthdays that we have been at (including my children when put in those situations). It seems to me that the less given and the simpler the gift, the more thankful the recipient. I was so surprised at how thankful the kids were at ONE pack of gum. One glow stick each. I truly believe that less is more especially when trying to cultivate the heart of our children and it is encouraging as parents can do this in simple ways.