One of my sons has a tendency to over react to things. He has a strong sense of "fairness" and usually feels he is the one being treated unfairly. It's not fair that his lego structure got broken, or that he only got one candy instead of three (even though his brothers got none), or that he shouldn't have to go to bed (even if his brothers are all already in bed). We love him and as parents we want to give him good gifts, but he always desires more. He is not content with what little enjoyment he gets so much so that half the time I feel almost regretful that we gave him anything at all. If we took him to rides at a carnival he thinks he deserves to go again the very next day. Or if we bought ice cream to eat, he will complain that we didn't get the flavour he wanted.
We are trying to teach him to be content with all that he does have. He actually has so much to be thankful for. We do so much more for our kids than I ever got to do when I was growing up. So when I see him being greedy, it really makes me sad.
In a talk with him that we had recently, my husband said something that stuck with me. "A person who says I want is never happy, but a person who says thank you is always happy." Isn't that true? If we are thankful for all that we do have, it is easy to be happy and content, but if we are always looking for something more or looking at the good things that the people around us have, then we will be discontent because we're always pining after something.
I was thinking about this in my own life. I sometimes feel grumpy. I complain to myself that I spend every waking moment serving my husband and children and have no time for myself. I grumble that my child spilled his water, peed his pants or made some other mess that they just make more work for me all the time. I stomp around the kitchen during meal time dishing out seconds, getting water, getting condiments, wiping up spills, etc., whining to myself, Well, when do I get to sit down and eat? But I have so much to be thankful for! Children will be children and make messes and need lots of attention. In time they will learn to be more independent and more careful, but for right now, this is my lot in life. But such a happy lot I have! Six children in as many years! What a blessing! Yes, I am terribly busy now and will be for some time to come yet. But God has given me so much and it is my pleasure to serve them!
If I am thinking about how much God has given me, it is easy to be happy and thankful, to be content with all that I have.
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