When I was young, I didn’t have bought lunches for school except on my birthday – that means I had lunches prepared by my Mum and a huge excited expectation around my birthday, (unfortunately I didn’t thank Mum every day for making my lunch).
When I was young, I didn’t have label clothes, and often didn’t have new clothes of my own – that means I had to develop personality to have friends rather than be in the right clique.
When I was young, we didn’t have takeaways or meals out (we had takeaways when Dad got a payrise (yearly) and on very very special occasions. I remember going out to dinner as a family once (on my sister’s 21st birthday)). That means I had healthy dinners prepared by my Mum (or me) and learned to eat in a balanced way, and fish&chips were a huge treat.
When I was young, we didn't have canned fruit or packet veges. We helped make a garden and then cook the produce for bottling/freezing. That meant we had skills in food preparation and knew the value of such.
I remember yoghurt in individual pottles being a treat.
Easter eggs (when I was old enough to buy them myself) were a treat as we weren’t given these.
Christmas/birthdays weren’t overdone in terms of gifts so I didn’t get an unhealthy addiction to need/want more.
We didn’t have real orange juice, but raro.
We had porridge or weetbix and never cocopops.
Holidays were always to visit family. Mum had never been overseas when she died.
I made dolls from pegs and paper/wool. There were no Barbies in my house (Thank the Lord), and few toys that were hand me downs from my sisters.
My first movie outing was when I was old enough to drive myself there and pay for it myself.
As a young girl I had so much when I thought that I didn’t. I had my Mum after school with afternoon tea and help with homework or a debrief of my day (sometimes after being teased about my clothes or lunch!). I had parents who were involved in my education, sport, and cared for people in the community (sometimes I felt neglected but I hope I picked up their desire to help people whatever the cost).
My Mum and Dad were born just after the War and so carried the Gen X mentality of saving, but my parents were also very generous with their time, love and money because of their giving hearts led by the example of Jesus.
Society has changed. There are many people who want to give their children ‘what they never had’ but I hope that my daughter learns what she has when she doesn’t have. I could easily be sucked in to buying ‘cute’ things for Selah, to get her things that she likes/wants as that’s a Mum’s heart. I don’t want her to have an unrealistic idea of what treats are, but I will find it a challenge to not have takeaways and treats too often as we often think “Mmm, I feel like…” and go and buy it. I’m thinking this year for Christmas, she won’t have a clue about what she is given so I might buy her a ‘gift for life’ through Tear Fund.
As a young woman, I have so much, and I know that I do. The challenge is not to look too far ahead and think – I don’t have a house, I don’t have much in savings, I don’t have the option not to work in a few months time, yet I’m so blessed to live in NZ, to not have to work carrying water for my family now, to have a roof over my head, family & friends who love me, to have the ability to save anything.
Selah – pause and reflect.