Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Notebook

The time of year is quickly approaching where there is a lot of focus on materialism.  The ads begin flooding the mail.  The commercials inundate us with the latest gadget we need.  And every year I get frustrated because a great deal of conversation amongst our children gets focused on what I want.

Two years ago we came up with "The Notebook" to help ease my stress and frustration.  We use "The Notebook" in two different ways.  The first way is for each child to have a place where they can list things they would like for their birthdays or Christmas.  These are running lists that they add to all year.  They mostly contain sports items, electronic games, legos, art supplies, and books.  When a special occasion rolls around, we look at the list and figure out what things we would like to buy.  In addition, it is also helpful to refer to when Grandma calls and wants to know what she should buy.

The Notebook.  As you can tell it's had a lot of use.
 The second way we use "The Notebook" is as a place for the children to write down items they are considering buying themselves.  When they have an item they would like to buy with their own money, they are to write it down in "The Notebook" with the date by it.  If in a month, they still would like to buy that item and they have the spending money to do so, then they are usually allowed to buy it.  The purpose of this is to help the children make wise choices when purchasing.  It is not uncommon to see ten things written down on someone's page and then crossed off because they changed their mind.  This has greatly reduced impulse buying.
Cory's want page in "The Notebook."
 Yes, our children still have their want lists, but I am not as stressed because not as many conversations are focused around it.  It was the impulse buying that stressed me the most.  I'm put on the spot, "Mom, can I buy this?  Please.  I have the money."    Now I ask, "Have you written it down in The Notebook?"  That often is the end of the conversation.  We have explained to them that we are interested in the things they would like, but we don't want our lives and conversations to be focused on it.  Life isn't about receiving.  It is about giving and sharing the love of Christ.  We have already received the greatest gift--God's precious Son.  Now our lives are an outpouring of gratitude to Him.

So write it in "The Notebook."

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