“Simple Abundance,” I’m trying to tell my daughter. “That’s all I want for you.”

We had an argument this morning about her making her own breakfast. She’s 10 years old and just started the 5th grade. But she wants to be lazy in the morning and play games on the computer while everyone else in the house waits on her every whim.

“I can’t cut my waffles,” is her gripe today.

I respond, “You’ve just won 3rd place in a national rocketry competition, and you had to cut your own rocket fins from balsa wood using a hobby knife. Do you really expect me to believe you can’t manage a butter knife on some waffles?”

Tears start to roll down her face. Obviously, she’s going to try to use pouting as her persuasion tactic. It worked on us before, but today I’ve determined that she will start to make her own breakfast.

Why is this so important. After all, it is only a few seconds of my time to reach over and cut her waffles for her. The whole argument can be over instantly. But I persist, and it breaks down to the point where many of her expensive dolls and other toys are laying on the front lawn, and I’m getting ready to pull out the lawn mower. Why do I persist?

What she doesn’t see is the future. She can’t grasp yet, nor understand, is that I’m not going to be around forever for her. Eventually she’ll be on her own in the world. I’ve only got about 8 years left to get her ready for that day. And there is so much to teach her.

My goal as a parent is not to give her the skill set to merely survive. She’s already got those. She knows how to pout, to scream, and to manipulate the system to get other people to do the work for her. I’m sure you’ve seen many adults like that. They take what they want, and then scream at people for not giving it to them in the first place.

No. Mere survival is not what I want for her. Mere survival sucks. Do you really think that people that are given everything they want and do just enough to scrape by are truly happy? I’ve been there, I’ve done that. It stinks to just survive from day to day. Maybe your in a situation at work where you hate your job and you’re doing the bare minimum to stay employed so you can get by for just another day. Doesn’t that drag you down at all?

I want for her a better life than that. I want her to have simple abundance. I want her to be able to do the things she wants to do, to go where she wants to go, to be really free from the daily grind of hard labor just to make ends meet.

I think this is what God wants for us when he says in the book of John:

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10.

Too many Christians think that having a “full” life means “joy.” They say things like, “as long as I’m at peace with my situation, then I’m good.” In other words, as long as I have something to eat and a place to sleep, then I can say that God has fulfilled his obligation. And anyone that thinks the verse means more than that is just being greedy.

I have a problem with this. And I’m thinking of my situation as a parent. If tranquility and “just getting by” is all my daughter wants out of her life, then why the heck am I knocking myself out and having these arguments every morning with her?

Don’t you think that maybe God feels the same way as a parent?

Ask yourself this question. “Why would he go through all the trouble of giving us his wisdom and knowledge of how to grasp the abundant life, if all we want is just to be at peace with our situation?”

In my opinion, you’re not being greedy for wanting more for your life. I believe that “abundance,” in all its forms is what God wants for you. Just getting by and being at peace with mere survival is probably bringing disappointment to him, just like it would to you as a parent if all your children want when they grow up is a place to sleep, and some food to eat to prevent starvation. Meditate on that for today.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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  • http://quiltingcolorsandfun.com Peggy Larson

    Wow, that’s really something to think about! It does seem that parents want more for their kids than the kids want for themselves. As a parent I know I think that way but I never took the time to think about it as me being the child! True food for thought here.

    Peggy Larson
    Quilting – Colors and Fun!

  • http://TheSuccessSecrets.net Michael D Walker

    Thought provoking post!
    I have some of the same challenges with my 3 year old son
    because I am teaching him how to think & decide things for himself versus being dependent on anyone.

    He may be a little too young for many concepts but he does
    already understand the distinction between what you feel inside as an emotion and what you decide to do when you make a decision
    inside your head.

    Thanks for posting this!

    Michael
    The Success Secrets

  • http://www.AprilBraswell.com Dating After 40 Expert

    Hi Tim,

    I particularly admire the metaphor of Simple Abundance for our lives. It is very motivating and inspiring.

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell
    Dating After 40 Expert

  • Austin

    This is one of those “OH.” moments for me, thanks for sending it. In my case, my Dad was catering to me quite a bit even when I was 16 years old; He would be making lunch for me and allowing me to do whatever I chose which wasn’t always a good thing. (Unsurprisingly to God I’ve done all sorts of nasty things.) I’m six days from my twenty-third birthday now at the time of posting this and when I was nine years old I went to a Bible school for some time, I said a prayer of some sort and God heard me. I can say that without the wisdom that God gives I would definitely be in ruin, but am I blind to where I am now? Am I in ruin now? I ask to be opposite of ruin.