A normal part of living with children is the occasional whining. They whine over who gets the internet first, who gets to watch a particular television show, who has to unload the dishwasher, and over how life is just not fair. I normally take it all in stride, but lately when my kids repeatedly come to me and tell me there’s nothing to eat in our house, I find myself needing to set this record straight. What do they mean by nothing to eat? My pantry is FULL! In fact, I probably have enough in there to feed twice our family size for the entire month. I get accused of planning for a famine when I grocery shop, because I shop for an entire month in one trip.
People look at the two carts piled high with groceries, as I try and nagivate through the store. I cautiously make my rounds without crushing infants and small children that I can’t see in front of me, and people jokingly say, “I want to eat at your house!” Buying it is one thing. Putting it away when I get home is another. Uggh. I have no more room in the pantry closet. I have to think about where to store stuff. I’ve jokingly asked my kids if they had room in their sock drawers to store some small items. Jello in socks? Naaa, not a good idea. We eventually get it worked out.
The first two weeks after shopping my kids are in hog heaven. They have all their favorite foods, snacks, and munchies at their fingertips. And, when they’re gone…they’re gone until next month. When I hear the whining about their being no food in the house, I remind them that there IS food in the house, it’s just not their first choice. We then enter discussions on even having a food choice. It is a blessing for them to have a choice about what they eat, how much they eat, and how often they get meals and snacks. I find it so important to remind my kids that some people in the world have nothing. Some wait days between meals. Some wait weeks. Some people don’t even get a full meal as they rely on finding whatever they can to satisfy their hunger in bits and pieces.
I ask my whiney kids to think about how many times they’ve ever gone to bed hungry. Truth is, they never have and they know it. My kids know there is food in the house. It’s just not what they are in the mood for or prefer. These discussions tend to get them back on track and end the whining. They choose something to eat, and they find satisfaction in knowing that they are truly blessed to even have food. It has been a great opportunity for me to talk to my kiddos about how we can help to feed those who don’t have anything.
Lastnight my son brought his change bucket out and said we could use it as part of our church offering. My daughter is saving her used toys she no longer plays with for a garage sale, and she wants to send the money she makes to help with missions overseas. It’s no longer just me making donations in the name of my family. From the blessing of having food in our house, my children and I have come together to help feed those who truly don’t have any food. And, they view our pantry from a whole different perspective.