Thursday, November 21, 2013

For The Love Of Toys!


I have a love/hate relationship with them, as I am sure lots of parents do. There are just too many toys! I have found that my kids actually play less when there is an over abundance of toys. Not to mention that they don't seem to appreciate their toys, or other things for that matter. Armed with this information, I began searching and praying for what to do.

Then I read this article titled "Why I took all my kids toys away {and why they won't get them back}" It was EXACTLY what I needed! Everything she said made me say, "oh my goodness, EXACTLY!". It was a breath of fresh air and I knew it was what I wanted to do something like this as well.

As soon as I knew I wanted to work up a plan of attack, I started preparing the kids. We have been talking about how we are very blessed and how we are called to help those around us through the blessings God gives us. And so my first step was to ask the kids which toys they wanted to donate. Luckily that step went very smoothy. We donate toys often, but the attitude my children have about it is less than willing and shows just how selfish they can be. When I saw this progress I knew it meant we had to keep up the momentum and go deeper.

Now we are preparing them for the next step, the bigger step. The step that a tiny piece of me is like "Am I crazy? Are the kids going to drive me nuts when I do this? Will it be worth it at all?".

The day after Thanksgiving we are going to bring ALL THE TOYS IN THE HOUSE into the living room. Together we are going to sort every single toy into piles. A donate pile, a pile of "always" toys, and then bin toys.

Always toys are going to be the toys they can have in their toy boxes in their rooms. Lula Mae will get to have her baby doll and accessories. Jayce will get his cars and trucks. They will each get to keep a few more "always" toys, but I will be sure that they are toys that spark imagination and creative play. These piles will be very MINIMAL and will be monitored frequently.

The bin toys will be sorted into 3 plastic bins. We will no longer say "this is his toy" or "this is her toy". The bins are OUR toys, They belong to everyone. I am going to try my hardest to make the bins make since. For example on bin will have the cash register, the play food, the chefs costume, the tea set, etc. so that when a bin is picked they can really play together. 

Each week the kids will pick out a bin TOGETHER that will stay in the playroom. For that week they can play with that bin, along with their "always" toys. They toys from the bins will not be allowed to come to their bedrooms, they must stay in the neutral area of the playroom. I am hopeful that that will help them to realize it isn't "his" or "hers", and instead theirs

This is just my overall vision. I realize there are still many details that need to be sorted out. I am confident, however, that this new system will really help my kids. We live in a "stuff" driven world and I am desperate to help them see that "stuff" is not important. I want them to appreciate things and really thank God for everything He has blessed them with.

I won't lie, this will be very hard for me. One of my love languages for my kids is "giving gifts". Part of the reason I want to do this is to help me realize that my kids don't need  all these things I am buying. I think this is really going to challenge me in a big way, and I am very excited about that. 

My kids will have some adjusting to do as well, I am sure of that. I can't wait to see what this does for our family!

Monday, November 4, 2013

My Brain Has Left The Building

My brain has officially checked out. Yep. It isn't even mid-November yet and I feel like I am ready for the new year.

Life has been so full and busy these days. That is great I guess, except I feel like it has been so busy that I haven't been able to keep up with what's really important.

Jesus is what is really important. End of story.

With how crazy things are these days I am skipping my quiet time, rushing through prayers, squeezing in my devotional. What is that showing my kids??? It is showing them the exact opposite of what I am called to show them!

I need this holiday season to be different than any other. I need it to be low key, and calm, and 100% focused on Jesus. Not just Christmas, but Thanksgiving too! I desperately need things to slow down so I can gain some perspective.

Raising my kids is one of the most important things God has called me to do. I am seeing how difficult this job really is these days. I am also seeing how fleeting my chance to raise my children is as well. I will be my kids Mom until the day I die, but I only really have a small window of opportunity to raise them. The way things are going right now, I am ashamed to say, society is really raising my kids... not me. That is just not acceptable! I am aware that when my kids are adults I can still impact their lives and influence them, but not like when they are young. Not like I can today. Today is where I need to be.

Today is where I need to always be focused. Showing my kids how to live for Jesus today.

When the new year rolls around I want to have a better handle on understanding time. I want to move into 2014 with a feeling of "I can do this".

If I'm lucky, perhaps my brain will join me...