Stewardship

What our Kids Really Need

Postcard   new  year   clock‘Tis the season when kids make their lists and we check them twice, determined to please the ones we love with that perfect gift. But before we gear up for another trip to the shopping mall, let’s take the time to stop. Breathe. Put those lists down. And consider.

What is it our kids truly need?

Written between the lines of holiday wants lies something deeper. Something more costly than anything our imaginations can conjure up. Something that can’t be bought at the mall.

My friend once lamented that she got a second job so she could get her kids all they needed, only to find they needed something more. Her hours of labor provided for material things while robbing her family of precious time together. She was slowly losing her kids to technology, and eventually to gangs, drugs, and more. Looking back, her greatest regret was missing out on her kids’ lives for the sake of getting them more stuff.

As we think of the kids in our lives, most everyone would agree one of our greatest endeavors is to make them happy. It’s at this juncture that we stand to lose the very thing we venture to gain. If in pursuit of making our kids happy we rob them of our presence in their lives, we’ve missed our greatest opportunity. What they need is relationship—not with a screen, a gadget, or a piece of plastic, but with the people most important in their lives.

If stacking up gifts under the tree means racking up credit card debt that will consign us to overtime labor in the coming year, it’s not worth it. Deep down, our kids don’t want to be home alone with things while we slave away at the office just to pay it all off. More than our presents, they need our presence. They want, and need, us. IN their lives. It’s the greatest gift we can give, to them…and to ourselves.

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Temporary

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There is an allure to the temporary: it comes cloaked in light only to steal our lives. God, help us…that we do not fall victim.

 

Source: Buried Alive

Photo Credit: Crumbling Mansion

Fading Away

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“There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (MSG)

 

Source: Buried Alive

Photo Credit: treasure pile with lots of gold coins and jewelry riches | Flickr …

Gathering Dust

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I don’t want to come to the end of my life and regret that my time was spent on things that gather dust. I don’t want to waste my breath on things that rot, or my labor on that which can be burned in the fire.

Source: Buried Alive

Photo Credit: Stroma, Scotland – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Buried Alive

Blog_StuffI don’t want to be buried alive. And I would guess if a survey were taken on the ways people least want to die, being buried alive would top the charts. Yet quietly, imperceptibly, it’s happening. Here. Now. In our own homes. Each day, we are suffocating unaware.

Who is the evil perpetrator seeking to steal our lives?

If a crime scene investigation series were devoted to finding the villain behind the madness, it would take the slyest of sleuths to crack the case—because the antagonist is among the least noticed and most unsuspected, and so much the object of our affections that we would never believe it a silent killer.

Are you in suspense wondering who the evil nemesis could be? Let me ease your curiosity. It’s…our stuff.

That’s right. Our stuff. Stop and think back to the moment you first noticed your lifeblood draining, your strength failing. It may have been in the midst of that endless succession of phone calls to customer service trying to resolve an issue with that “thing” once so needed. It may have been the last time you attempted to organize your basement or garage into some semblance of sanity. Or maybe it was when you walked by your teen’s bedroom and found them them swallowed alive by electronic gadgets as the slow-dawning realization came upon you…that a significant chunk of your labor was spent to pay for those gadgets now stealing your child away.

Yes, we need things for daily life, but when those things start to devour our life, it gets dangerous. Our precious time is spent working for, purchasing, cleaning, maintaining, refurbishing, storing, organizing, and getting rid of…things. We work extra hours, spend time away from family, all so we can have stuff we think we need, only to realize this stuff has robbed us of what we need even more.

I don’t want to come to the end of my life and regret that my time was spent on things that gather dust. I don’t want to waste my breath on things that rot, or my labor on that which can be burned in the fire. There is an allure to the temporary: it comes cloaked in light only to steal our lives. God, help us…that we do not fall victim.

“There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (MSG)

Source: Buried Alive

Photo Credit: All my worldly possessions… | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

Precious Things

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Nothing this side of heaven is permanent. It’s in vain that we cling to that which is destined to fade away. What’s most precious to us gains far greater value when given away.

Source: Hold on Loosely

Photo Credit: Flower and open hands | Flickr – Photo Sharing! by einstraus

Hold on Loosely

Blog_HandsLettingGoI keep thinking about that lost little boy I crossed paths with last week. My heart feels heavy to think he was lost to begin with, but also grateful God orchestrated everything so perfectly for him to be found before anything horrible could happen. And at peace, now, to know he’s safe with his family.

The most powerful memory of that day is of his mother embracing him with all her might, tears running down her cheeks in relief. The other is of my kids, following him to the door, their favorite toys in hand, insisting the little boy take them home. My son held a racecar track about as big as him in his chubby little hands and held it out to the boy, “Here! You need this at your house.”

On witnessing this gesture, my first thought was, “No, that’s your favorite toy! You can’t give it away.” But the beauty of it all quickly erased that idea. In their desire to comfort the boy, my children were offering their very best, and without hesitation. Isn’t that how giving should be?

My son was holding so loosely to his toy that it nearly broke apart in his hands. And that’s how we should hold to everything we own…loosely. Nothing this side of heaven is permanent. It’s in vain that we cling to that which is destined to fade away. What’s most precious to us gains far greater value when given away.

Children somehow grasp these truths more readily than those of us who’ve been around for a while, though we should know better. We’ve been around long enough to see just how temporary things are. So why do we hold on tightly to things that don’t last?

Maybe we’ve come to believe that these things give us significance, instead of knowing these things only become significant when we let go of them.

When my children willingly sacrificed their best toys to comfort their new friend, they created a memory more precious than anything we own. I’ll never forget the purity and innocence of their generosity. It inspires me to hold everything with an open hand, knowing it was never mine to keep.

“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17)

Photo Credit: Hands | Flickr – Photo Sharing! Hands | by Moyan_Brenn