Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Greed Sideswipe

Petunia last year opening her first present. I can't even remember what it was. :(

Tonight The Hubs and I went Christmas shopping. We were alone without kids! Almost like a date! I was feeling so at peace with our decision to have a much simpler Christmas this year. We have committed to a 4 present rule. (I'll be writing on that later so in a way this is a backwards post. The second part of the story is being told first!)

That being said we are only buying each of the kids 4 presents. There are strict rules involved for my benefit. Simple rules that I need to keep from spending far too much.

You see, I love to give. 
I love to see faces shine up with that smile that says they love what you gave them. 
I enjoy when people get excited over the gift that says I listened to them. I know what they like. 
I love to give.

Now here is the problem. As good intentioned as gifting can be that sneaky greed can sideswipe you. I mean hit you like a brick when you realize you have somehow managed to completely forget your Christmas budget. Here we are, armed with our list and good intentions and with the first pretty, pink, princess toy we see I fall apart and lose all my wherewithal. 

I'll just place it in the cart... it is on clearance! I can decide before we checkout if I really want to get it. I make a nice, cozy section for the gift I don't 'intend' to buy because I'm just thinking about it.

Next it is the cool flashlights for their stockings. They are headlamps! Just like we used when we went camping with Auntie Rosie! But do we need those? We aren't camping in December.... but the are awesome. The kidlets would have so much fun.

Then the book section. I think it draws me like a magnet. I don't feel the pull but I end up browsing the books and I am able to justify JustOneMore because they are books. And I love books. Books are educational. Books are timeless. Books are classic.

And that is when it hit me while standing in the store. I had fallen prey to the greed in me. I wanted to give.. this and this and this.... even to the detriment of our well being. An empty checkbook is no one's friend.

The LORD says:

Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”    Luke 12:15
I know this! That is why I am trying to teach my children the value of simple and well thought out spending! Why do I lose my courage so fast?

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.   Matthew 6:20-21
 This is a fairly clear command. We don't need the stuff and yet I somehow get stuck on this thought that they are missing something.

  Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.    Psalm 37:4
They are missing nothing. He gives what we need, what we will need, AND what we desire. In His Time.
So now, back to the cart full of stuff we didn't intend to buy. Well some of it is going back. We don't need it. They don't need it. I don't want to pick up those little pieces when that such and such toy breaks 5 hours after it is opened. I don't want to find it lying under a pile of dirty laundry under Prince Ray's bed.... in June. 

I will take seriously every item we buy. Is it good quality? Is it something that shows honor to God? Will this toy or book build up my child and help him grow?

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.  Deuteronomy 6:6-9
 Every gift I give. Every good work I act upon. Every penny I spend speaks volumes to my kids. I teach in all I DO as much as in all that I say.

How do plan to spend your hard earned funds this Christmas season?

Always Blessed,

Gretchen :)

New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Linking up with some Of These Fine Blogs:


  1. Great post! This is such a struggle- giving is wonderful, but the enemy likes to take anything good and get us to use it to our harm!

    Blessed Christmas to you and yours!

    1. Indeed he does, doesn't he? Thanks for commenting! :)


  2. My kids get three gifts. One from Santa, one from us and one from a sibling. Its just too expensive to have kid buy for each other.

  3. I hope LOTS of ladies read this post. Yes, this is so true!! Thanks so much for linking up over at WholeHearted Home last month.

    1. Thank you! I enjoy WholeHearted home very much! Thank yoou for hosting!


I would love to hear your feedback, thoughts, ideas, and comments. Let's just keep it respectful, ok?