Excess: More than or above what is necessary.

My husband and I are very thankful that our kids can be a part of the AWANA program.  The way that the organization engages children in the joy of memorizing Scripture is so wonderful, and the themes that they plan are wonderful.  Except for 2 nights per year.  We have to confess that we are NOT big fans of the AWANA store that our group has.  The motivation to earn tokens throughout the year is a great incentive – the end result is not.

Every year before the store we remind our kids to remember to think of others and not just get stuff for themselves.  They have been able to get some presents with their own “money” for Christmas (wish I knew where the picture was of their aunts in their matching pink visors 🙂  ) My Mother’s Day presents will be mostly from that store as well – I am hoping I will not have to feign too much enthusiasm over their garage sale type purchases.  (It was a little hard to be excited over a plastic Easter bunny door hanger, although maybe it will be priceless to me 20 years from now).  So, the kids definitely do think of others – each other.  They buy each other presents, which is fabulous, other than the fact that it brings more “treasures” (junk) into our already stuffed home.   Our family does not seem to quite have the hang of, if you bring something in, something else must go in.

Honestly, they learned from the best.  If you know of any teachers who are not pack rats, please send them my way full of advice.  When I stopped being in the classroom full-time, I did whittle down my resources.  But, now that I am homeschooling, I know that we probably have more games and manipulatives than we need.  I seem to have not developed a resistance gene to books and games that are available at bargain process.

From my observations, we are not the only family that struggles with excess.  America seems to be full of overabundance.  This is an area that I am feeling compelled to work on   In fact, my plans for this summer are learning how to reduce.   In a few areas.  For my sake and the sake of my children whom I need to teach a little bit about letting go.  After I learn that lesson myself, of course.

I am hoping that being vulnerable about a few areas that I am struggling with that I can be an encouragement to those of you who have the same struggles.  And if you do not have the same issues, maybe you will at least my encouraged to work on the areas where God is speaking to you.

While I will be tackling my plans for eliminating “stuff,” my first area that I plan on writing about tomorrow is one I have seemed to deal with basically all of my life.  Lorri posted a link to an article that summed up my struggles.   So, if you have time read the article (expressed so much more eloquently than I can do).  I will write my own reflections tomorrow.