One or None

When my son was a toddler we had this little routine we would go thru almost every time he wanted a snack:

Him: Can I have some cookies?
Me: You can have one.
Him: I want two.
Me: You can have one.
Him: I want two.
Me: You can have one.
Him: I want two.
Me (slightly exasperated):  You can have one.  Or none.

And, get this, most of the time he would walk away with zero cookies, thinking HE had taught ME a lesson.*

I'm not really sure what got me thinking about this today while I walked. Maybe it's because I ordered two breakfast sandwiches at Chick-fil-A yesterday (hey, one was spicy, one wasn't - it's perfectly logical!).  Maybe I was just hungry so I thought about cookies.  I'm not sure why I thought of it but the story made me realize how often I do this with other things in life. 

How often have I wanted MORE so much that I did not appreciate NOW

I think this lack of satisfaction & contentment is ultra-common.  Why do/did we have the home-loan fiasco, cheating spouses, wars?  People not being satisfied with what they have and going to great lengths to get bigger, newer, more.

But I'm not here to solve housing crises or wars, large or small.  I'm here to tell you some things I've learned.  The hard way.  After multiple lessons.  And this is a biggie:

Be satisfied.

In her song Soak Up the Sun, Sheryl Crow put it this way:
It's not having what you want
It's wanting what you've got
I mean, seriously, how great would I look in there????
In Hebrews 12:5 the writer says:
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.

When we're not satisfied, when we don't live in gratitude for what we have, when we're not content:
  • Our spouses & our children infer that they're not enough - not that we're ungrateful.
  • Our children learn that greed is good.
  • We complain and people don't want to be around us.
  • We infect our entire lives with bitterness.

Yes, there are times when some of us do not have enough money for both food & medicine, gas & the rent.  Times when wanting more means needing enough.  When you're afraid that your kids could end up living in a cardboard box or somewhere you are not.  (Of course there are lots of times we think we're desperate but we're really not.) 

If we've practiced contentment before this then we can be at peace while we're doing what we have to do to provide. But if we've been ungrateful when times are good, what is left for us during the hard times?
Depression.  Despair.

* sooooooooooooo in the long run, Nate did teach me a lesson - by walking away with no cookies all those times, he never developed a love of sweets.  The little skinny toot.


Meli said...

You make some very thought-provoking points. Love what you said about the impact on self and others of not living in gratitude. I had to keep reminding myself I wasn't reading an article in O Magazine!

Sherry said...

well Meli, I guess they're pretty smart too - LOL
thanks for the kind comments

DebCroft said...

I love what you said about loving what you've got, no matter if it seems like a lot or a little. I've learned these past few years that as long as I can make the bills, the rest is gravy. I don't need a lot, really, and God has provided for all of my needs. It makes the "wants" seem less important when the "needs" are being met... They've not all been met yet, but I have seen His work, and I'm trusting him for the rest in His time (patience is something He's developing in me with each passing year, not a "natural" inclination for me at all... LOL)

Sherry said...

thanks Debbie - did you realize you made a little rhyme? hehe

yes, patience, definitely NOT a virtue I was born with. perhaps you could help me write a post on that someday?

Linda R said...

Hi, love the new blog (thanks for stopping by mine and telling me my link doesn't work - not sure what went wrong but fixed it now ;-)
I see you are also on Blogspot - how did you get other fonts to work other than what's in the drop down box when posting?? hugs and more hugs.

Brittany said...

I love this post! I really try to work on loving what I have NOW, and not thinking I need need need. Very great thoughts you have here, which really made me think! I need to work on appreciating my current blessings.

Thank you!