Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rice and Beans- Blogger challenge

Wanna know what breaks my heart just as much as this?
It's this...
Here in America we do not often see a child dying of starvation… but we have all witnessed a child who has been raised as selfish and spoiled- being taught the world is revolving around them. I cannot tell you how often I have had people say to me “I don't know how you can handle SEVEN kids- I can’t even stand the two I’ve got!" And that is what breaks my heart.

Our children are our greatest treasures- I promise you God didn’t give them to you and I so that ‘we wouldn’t be able to stand being around them”. We, as a spoiled society, does that to them. I think many times, we as parents, don’t even realize what we are doing.

We are tricked into thinking that we are good parents when we give them everything-because by giving them things we are proving their worth. (and we forget that worth is not found in things).

We look at our beautiful little cherubs and want to give them the world- and we believe we can.

We think by lavishing them with gifts, signing them up for every lesson from violin to soccer-we are proving how talented they (so in essence WE) are.

We teach them that they are better than everyone else and that they need to look out for #1.

But really- by doing those things, we are stealing from them.

We are stealing the joy that comes from reaching out to someone else. We are stealing the love that they could experience by truly being able to caring about someone else. And ultimately, we are stealing Christ from them -because they simply cannot understand why they would need Him- when they are conditioned to be 'good enough’ to do it all on their own.

For the month of September our family has committed to eating beans and rice every night for dinner. We are doing this in order to save money on our grocery bill and then to be able to give that money to the Pass It Forward Adoption Fund- for someone elses adoption. Because we know our children are a result of what we teach them- we want our children to know that it is okay to live less extravagantly so that we can give to someone else. We are not rich- but together we can work to accomplish big things through Christ. Each and every dollar counts- each and every dollar does make a difference.

By teaching our children to serve and to put others needs first-we are giving them the tools of success- as parents, as spouses, as citizens and as employees. Yet even more importantly- we are teaching our children to appreciate what they have instead of constantly longing for more. Children who are starving in 3rd world countries would consider themselves blessed to be served a warm diet of beans and rice daily- and these children are just as important to God as we are. There are so many ways we can teach our children to give of themselves- and to make this world a better place because they are in it.

"Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6)

So I'd like to start a blogger challenge. Talk to your children, pray with them, work together, and then commit to give something up so that you can give to someone else. It doesn’t have to be rice and beans for dinner for a month- it can whatever you decide. Let them get creative- you may be surprised as how much they truly want to be a part of something more. Let them pray and let them seek God and see where He leads them. I promise you will be blessed.



He who buys what he does not need steals from himself.
- Author Unknown


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30 comments:

Phyllis said...

I've talked to Kristen some and am giving her time to think of something to give up to help a child come home to their family. She didn't go for the rice & beans idea :) One thing I would like to do...as Kristen starts school my daycare expense will go down...I will commit to donate that difference in the month of September.

Kim said...

I LOVE this idea! You have got me thinking and feeling challenged. Our eyes are certainly being opened in China as to how spoiled we are as Americans.
Thank you for such a powerful post!
Love & Blessings,
Kim

Laurel said...

Amen!

Beautiful!

I, too, am so very saddened by the children (even in our churches) that are spoiled beyond belief, and that have absolutely no idea what it means to serve the Lord, or serve others.

Thanks for the GREAT challenge.

mama of 13

Blessed Mom of 8 said...

AMEN!

My heart breaks when I watch parents make two to three meals for a child - throwing all the food away because they won't eat it!

WHAT?????????????

Oh but they don't like it. I can't make them eat something they don't like.

Then it gets worse they reward the child with JUNK FOOD and DESSERT! No meal - no nutrition - ugh! So what has the child learned - demand what they want until they get it.

WHAT?????????????

See you at the next meal. We NEVER refuse a gift from God and the work Mommy did to feed you.

I will never in my life understand people who try to convince me their child just won't eat vegetables. They don't like them.

I'm sorry I have six children through adoption - who didn't grow up eating healthy or know what a vegetable was - yet every night at every meal they eat what is placed before them.

Sorry I could write an entire post on what this does to my stomach. Just like you knowing a child has gone all day without food and you are going to complain about what is in front of you? I don't think so - not here and most certainly not before God.

One or two meals missed is all it takes and they don't complain again. God forbid they do - same thing and we will see you at the next meal.

Oh Lord - please make the way for Amy and me to spend time together here!

Love you Amy!
Jill

Christie Todd said...

Your heart is so special - I can feel it through your words. Continue this blog and your efforts to serve God by serving others. You are an inspiration. Thank you
Christie Todd

Karin said...

What a great idea!! I'm going to do this with my kids. I hear that same comment, "How can you have 10 kids? I can't stand the two I've got." I honestly don't even know what to say to them. My oldest two have been in the all-about-me culture and sadly, I didn't realize that I was falling into the trap, although I did try to be relatively strict (compared to those around us). Now that we have 8 sweet treasures from China and Guatemala, we have less money to go around--but we are SO MUCH happier!! God's way is always better. :) I had a very infuriating conversation with my Christian social worker not long ago that I have been planning to blog about--I hope you don't mind if I use the photo on your blog of the little one in Africa--and link to your blog post. Many need to read it!!

Kara Grace said...

I LOVE this. We have a neighbor you gets a new toy every single day. And when he doesn't get his way he throws a huge fit. And I truely feel bad for him!! His life revolves around "things" but pretty soon when those "things" go away, he'll have NOTHING. If Christ is your #1 then you can have nothing of what doesn't matter but everything that does.


I'll talk to my mom about this GREAT idea; because its GREAT!

Kathleen said...

I just finished reading "Raising Unselfish Children in a Self-Absorbed World" by Jill Rigby. It was a great read and sums up perfectly how I am feeling about America's spoiled children. I could not agree more with your post and we strive daily in our home to point our children's eyes and hearts towards the needs of others.

I love your Rice and Bean challenge and we are also having a challenge at our home while saving for our adoption. We are giving up our cable. We have cut the TV!!! The kids have been great about it because they are excited about the blessing of a new sister or brother and it has given us more family time together.

Great post today. Words we all need to hear!!

Shannon- said...

Here here. I love your posts! It's just me but I have given up buying food at all for a month in order to make an extra donation.

It's easier for me- its just me. I'm often at friends or family at dinner time. But it bothers me- how I can literally go an entire month without spending a dime on food or drink and still NEVER go hungry. The disconnect between this and the life my child will be coming from is GIANT! Not insurmountable- but big!

Chris said...

Hmmm! and with no meal planning, that would help SIMPLIFY my life.

I think our family needs to give up ice cream, but I do like the beans and rice idea too.

StressedBlessed Mom in GA said...

I love this and have taken up the challenge. I unfortunately see my youngest girl in the photo of the spoiled boy in your post. My girls eyes are going to be opened to what they haven't yet seen! Thank you for your blog. For making me think outside the box so many times. My challenge is starting.
BTW, can you give your beans and rice recipe? Mine is gross! :-)

Tara said...

What a blessing reading your blog is to me! A friend referred me to your blog and I'm hooked. I have a question: Do you know what family's adoption you are "paying it forward" to support? I have a friend who needs financial support for an adoption they want to pursue. I would love to tell you more. Are you open to suggestions? Thanks! BTW, I'd also be interested in the beans and rice recipe. my email: tsprunger@yahoo.com

trustandobey said...

Hi,
My favorite is when a meal is a little late and I hear this in a frustrated voice..."Mom! We're starving!!!" I have had enough! I have banned my children from saying this anymore...explaining to them that they DO NOT KNOW THE MEANING OF THESE WORDS and they do a great disservice to children around the world who really are starving, some to death! Missing a few meals is the best thing that could happen to the All-American child these days! But you are right, it is the fault of the parents...me included:(
Lisa

Amy Cherise said...

We are all about this!! Thank you for sharing powerful truth!!!

Melinda said...

I told you before but I just love this idea and I love what it ultimetely stands for. We are all spoiled Americans and you are setting such a great Godly example to your kids. So far we have committed to do a rice night once a week and I am going to challenge my family to expand on that and add more nights of just rice or rice and beans. During our dinner we talk about how blessed we are to choose to eat only rice instead of doing it because it is the only thing we have. I am praying God continues to strip away all of our ugliness and selfishness and transform us into who He designed us to be. Hopefully when we all work together to change our own lives and our family's lives then we will be that much closer to changing the world! Keep it up friend. You are a blessing!

liz said...

Your posts affect my heart!

Below is a super-simplified East Indian beans recipe that might help offer some diversity - if it is helpful will try to find more for you...
Ingredients of Beans Thoran
•French cut beans – about 10oz bag
•Onion (small) - 3
•Coconut (grated) - One cup
•Mustard seed - One teaspoon
•Garlic - 2 pod
•Oil - One tablespoon
•Turmeric - One pinch
•Salt - To taste
Method
1.Open bag of beans and allow to thaw for a little bit.
2.Add one tablespoon of oil in to a frying pan and add mustard seeds and cover.
3.Soon after the mustard pops add onions, and chopped garlic and sauté for about 2 min till slightly translucent.
4.Add beans, pinch of turmeric and mix well
5.Then add the ground coconut but do not mix. Have the beans mound over the coconut and cook for a bit.
6.Add salt to taste. Keep the pan covered and cook on a low flame for 5 minutes.
7.Stir well and serve hot – goes nicely with rice

Liz
emathew@gmail.com

Christine said...

Great post! Love your heart.

Recovering Noah said...

I'm giving up coffee and cheese sticks next month. Don't laugh!! Now, Amy, stop it! I said no laughing. (heehee)

Those are my vices. Yes, cheese sticks are a vice of mine. And my nasty, sugar-y coffee. I figure I'll save $44 and, possibly lose 5 pounds in the process. ;-)

At the end of September, I'll be donating that $44 to you. Not a lot, I know, but it's a start. :-)

That Fresh Feeling said...

Came across your blog great entry! My husband and I have recently ate the beans and rice for awhile to save some money and to prove to us that we don't need as much as we are used to having. We are spoiled.

I think i need to post some pics that i took of the food we ate. With min. ingredients we had some fantastic meals....

We are hoping to adopt from Uganda and are in the midst of prayer and fundraising.

Thanks so much for shining your light bright.

Blessings, Amy

Christy O said...

Great idea! We have eight children home, as of last Friday and people are amazed - we keep saying - it is only eight! The need is so great (five of the eight are adopted from Ethiopia, three just home as of last Friday, two came home two years ago). We don't realize how spoiled/blessed we are! Makes me crazy! We have dear friends who are beginning an adoption and I am challenged to cut things to help support their adoption! Your post challenged me to look for other ways than the ones I had thought of!
Love your blog!
Christy in WI
http://mommyturtle.blogspot.com

The Friesens said...

Thanks for the challenge, being used to light fires to burn for Jesus! Blessings

sara said...

instead of Christmas presents this last year, my husband and I gave each of our 3 kids (15,17,19) the $ we would have spent on them for Christmas at the end of Nov. We told them they had to give it away by Christmas.....any way they wanted. then on Christmas morning, instead of opening a gift we would share how God led us to spend our money. It was honestly the best Christmas we ever had and I have never seen my kids so overjoyed! My husband and I joined in and it was amazing how god led us all in different directions. But what was the same, was the joy in sharing the experience with each other...priceless.

triplehmoms said...

I'm going to talk to my kids/family about doing something like this, but I think that there are things related to food that people can do too. CUT BACK! We don't need the Super Size combo meal. We don't need the giant plate of food. If we would simply cut back on our portion sizes, our pocketbooks would be grateful as would our waistlines. LEFTOVERS is another way that people can resize their food budget. Perhaps you don't like leftovers. I'm sure that little skinny guy pictured on your blog, Amy, would like them. If you don't like the leftovers, find someone that does. I have a friend that lives alone and has no family other than mine. She loves our leftovers. Being a family of 4, one piece of steak isn't going to provide us all with meat but it will for her. While it doesn't necessarily do anything to my pocketbook or waistline, I know that it helps her and she loves it!

Tracy said...

thanks for your comment Amy!! And thanks SO much for your blog. You are an inspiration to all of us 'newbies' to the adoption world who are just trying to figure out in which direction God would have us to go. God is definitely using you to challenge us all to think more, trust more, and pray more. Thank you.

Speaking of beautiful kids - those girls!! oh my goodness. And the pic of your little boy with the hat on the side makes me smile everytime I come here.

Anonymous said...

My nephew and son were carrying on about how they didn't like what we had to offer for dinner. As well as just being little stinkers!

I opened your blog and showed them the pictue of that poor child. I explained to them how that child never is able to say I don't like those shoes, because he has none. How that little boy never had a shirt he complained about because he may only have one. How he could never complain about dinner because he was probably just happy to eat. How he may not even be able to complain about his parents, because he may not have any.

They are only 5 and 7, but by the look on their faces, they understood what I was saying.

Thank you.

sarah bess said...

That's a wonderful idea! May God bless you!

hadassahrose said...

So much to think about...

BTW, I am from a "big" family - I have 5 brothers and 3 sisters (and now a couple in laws added to the family).

Found your blog while hopping from one to another. :)

Peace.

Jewels of My Heart said...

So very true....
Thank you so much for doing this.... as a mother who has been blessed with two of my little miracles home safe and sound and three more that the Lord has put in my heart only we are waiting on Him for a miracle to even be able to begin our journey I thank you... for the legacy you are giving your children and for helping another family bring their precious child home. What a beautiful, precious gift it is to make a difference in the life of a child.
God's Speed little one...

Laurie said...

Just posted about this on my blog.
We are in the process of adopting our 3rd. Your posts have inspired me. Thank you.

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