Psalm23“Mom, how do I say “no” to Jennifer when she wants something, and I know we can afford it? How do you handle the balance between giving her everything and saying “no” to everything?”

After a minute of thought, she said, “My daddy always used to say to us, “That may be something you want, but it is not something you need.

My mother and I had this conversation when my daughter was very young. During Jennifer’s childhood our financial situation went up and down with job changes and from one income to two when I returned to teaching. At some point this seemed like an important issue to me.

Joining the Five Minute Friday community with a one word prompt. We write for five minutes (I confess, I’m not so good at the time limit), post it, and then link up over at Kate’s blog.

Three generations of parenting and “want” changed. My grandparents farmed the land until they could not make a living at it. Mama always said she had two dresses – one for everyday and one for Sunday.

My parents generation grew up during the depression; they learned how to make a living doing whatever needed to be done – along with having a garden in the summer to can and freeze for the winter. They parented four kids on a preacher’s salary; we all graduated from college, all with Masters Degrees and two with doctorates.

The third generation (mine)? We parented trying to find a balance between needs and wants.

And today? We have a generation who believe they are entitled. I taught those children, the ones who believed it was my duty to furnish them with a pencil or paper. How did this happen? Five minutes of writing can’t answer the question, but I this is what I believe is the most important principle to live by: a verse that comes to my mind, not in the translation I learned as a child, is Psalm 23:1.

The Lord is my shepherd. I have everything I need.   (New Century Version)

I thank God for parents who sacrificed to give us what we needed –

  • a strong foundation for faith,
  • always do your best,
  • don’t look down on anyone, and
  • take care of each other.

I thank God that He always gives me just what I need.




3 thoughts on “WANT

  1. suntreeriver

    such truth in your words—what’s not to trust about “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want?!” ! I’m your FMF neighbor, parked this week in #69.


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