Our First World Problems

September 10, 2012

August 1st my husband and I drastically changed our grocery shopping habits. We went from shopping at health food stores to shopping at Aldi’s. Now, not to dog Aldi’s, but it’s not known as a ‘clean’ store. Maybe it was the area I grew up in, but it just wasn’t a place where you’d want to buy food. However, desperate times called for desperate measures and we needed to cut back in every area we could. So our first trip to Aldi’s was a HUGE success! The food may not have been what we were used to but the prices were unbeatable. Where I was spending $4.99 on a loaf of bread I was now spending $.85. For a family our size that’s an incredible savings.

A few days went by and I was standing at the kitchen counter cooking. Nervous about what my husband thought about this new food I asked his thoughts.

“I think the bread is too yeasty,” he said.

And thus was born The First World Jar.

It was then that we realized just how spoiled we are. Instead of being thankful for what God has provided for us we were constantly thinking of things to complain about. Don’t think my husband is the only one who’s complained, I’ve been called out multiple times! So what exactly is a First World Jar?

For every time we complain about a first world problem we have to put a dollar into the First World Jar. We keep this set out for all to see and to remind us to be grateful. Otherwise we’re going to fall back into being Israelites and demanding our manna and quail and water {Exodus 14-32}.

My nine year old heard my one year old tantruming and told him to be a dollar in! Guess it’s best to learn young, huh?

I bet you’re wondering what happens to all the money. Do we save it up and go to Disney? Do we use it for car repairs? Absolutely not. This money will be going to the true third world countries that are being served by Food for the Hungry.

Over the past year I have been blessed to learn so much about this wonderful organization that works amazingly hard to end world hunger. And I have never met people who are so filled with joy to be able to serve in these countries.

And isn’t that the joy that we all seek? Even if we don’t realize it? Here, I’ll put a dollar in the jar to illustrate my point. I was sitting outside watching my children play and writing up this blog post. Wanna know what I wanted to complain about? That my keyboard was too hot and I needed to go inside. Yeah, must be nice to have the choice to sit inside a large air conditioned house while communicating with the entire world at my finger tips. Listen, I know some people are going to say they’re not motivated by guilt. But if it’s the truth…

Is this an area of your life that you need to work on as well? Won’t you join us? Leave ignorance behind and as you work on your own heart and your own thoughts you’ll be able to serve these families that are desperate for ‘yeasty’ bread.

Please, take a moment and check out Food for the Hungry. Sponsor a child! You know you will be putting at least $32/month into the jar anyhow. Or you can choose a cause to serve. Use this as an opportunity to teach your children about gratefulness and serving others. No matter how much we fail God can use us in His story. To serve “the least of these”. Especially if you have young children, this is a great learning opportunity. They need to know that none of us are perfect, but that God can make something beautiful out of our filth. He gives us abundant grace and gently teaches us. We should model the same to our children. Help them have the hearts to serve. The hearts to be thankful for all that we have. The roses and the thorns.



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