Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Buy Some"

    My oldest son loves money.  He is very good with his money, saving it up, investing it when he can, spending it with very careful thought and consideration.  He is always looking for ways to make more money and planning for what he will do if he is ever blessed with an unexpected windfall.  I am not sure where he got this fascination with money, money, more money.  Certainly not from Tim and I. We are usually perfectly content with our simple, low-cost, little life. 
    When our son was little there were already signs of his interest in money and material things.  He would ask me for things- fruit snacks (which were his favorite food at the ripe old age of 2, and which he called fruit ‘nacks), cookies, new toys occasionally.  If ever the answer was ‘no, we are all out’ or ‘no, we don’t have any” his immediate answer was always, “buy some”.  He said it so frequently it started coming out as one word, “bysom”.  He would tell me several times a day, about anything and everything he wanted, “bysom mommy.”  It was so cute and obviously he was not able to understand the concepts of income, economics, and not enough money in the bank for anything and everything he ever wanted.
    I remember when I was little my younger brother going through a similar stage.  When he wanted something and my mom told him there was not enough money for it, his answer was always, “Go to Jeannie.”  Now, this was back when ATM machines were new and starting to pop up all over town.  The bank my parents went to called their ATM “Jeannie” and on the machine was a picture that resembled the lead character on that old television show, “I Dream of Jeannie”.   My brother, in his youth, saw my mom stick her little card in the slot and watched the money slide out in response.  It seemed like an unlimited source of revenue to him and discounted her claim that there was not enough money for anything.
    I am at an age where I can very clearly understand the concepts of income vs. expenses, basic economics, and, especially, not enough money in the bank for anything and everything we ever want.   Tim and I try very hard to live within our means, however meager they may be.  We don’t covet big fancy houses, or expensive cars.  We don’t spend money on new electronics for our house.  We don’t own a GPS, or a Wii or a flat screen digital t.v.  We spend our weekends hanging out with each other and our children, not doing much of anything, because our entertainment budget is pretty much nonexistent.  That is okay with us.  We have fun just being together and have laughed harder over games of “Old Maid” and “twenty questions” than we have on any expensive vacation or over any pricey restaurant dinner.  Yet, I struggle at times with the same thought my young son used to express so often.  When I see something I want my first thought is, “buy some”.   I admit there are times, I want things I cannot really afford.  I want to remodel my house, which seems to always be in disrepair lately.  I want to buy myself a few new pairs of jeans, because those too are in disrepair, with big holes in both knees.  I want to go out after dinner and buy milkshakes for everyone and sit on the porch sipping them down, talking about our day and watching the stars over head. 
    We can’t always afford to just “bysom” and in this world of instant gratification, where we are told we are entitled to all we want, it can be very easy to feel disappointed, or even angry about it.  There are times Tim and I have to sit back and take stock of life.  We have to look at the big picture of our lives.  Sometimes we just have to take the time to sit on the porch together, watching the stars over head and counting the blessings we do have.  And thankfully, whenever we do that, we remember how good God is to us and how wonderful our life is… even without milkshakes to sip.


  1. As our budget grows I still stress. I never know if what we buy is something that we should buy or not. We have made huge mistakes with money in the past but try to live the best we can.
    I would much rather have a money issue than a faith issue. It seams you fall into that same boat. We have some of the things that you mention not having because of gifts and because of the kids earning money and buying things for themselves. When I look at my life I feel blessed. I get that from reading your post.
    God is good!

  2. My wife and I are in very similar shoes at the moment; on one income and lots of bills, we find ourselves finding entertainment in the simplest of ways. A few years back, we spent money or had the "bysome" attitude for everything and were so less fulfilled. This was before our son was born and now as a family we find so much more joy in the simple things of life like sitting outside showing the chickens to our baby. Great post!



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