(This was actually several weeks ago, but I just now finished writing the story.)
I'm so proud of Spencer!
Last Thursday Spencer and I were reading a story about the missionary J. Hudson Taylor. He was a missionary to China in the 1800's. He was a missionary, but he did not have people support him. He fully relied on God to meet his needs. Taylor lived on whatever he had. Sometimes he only had very little.
After reading the story Spencer starting talking about how little he thought he could live off of.
Soon he said, "I bet I could eat off of $10 for 2 whole weeks! If I had 2 gallons of milk and a big bag of Rice Crispies I could live off that for 2 weeks!"
At first I just agreed and went on with more school work, but Spencer's mind just kept spinning. Every couple of minutes he would interrupt me with another idea or detail. He thought of other foods besides just the milk and cereal that would help him make it through the 2 weeks. He was getting so excited. Finally he said, "I really want to do it!"
The more he talked about it I realized that it would be a great thing for him to try. I agreed and after we got done with school I took him to Wal-Mart to buy his groceries.
Before we went to the store we made an agreement:
*I would give him $10 of my own money for the project.
*For the whole week (we changed it to one week instead of 2 because I thought it would help him be more successful) he would eat NOTHING except the food he bought with the $10. That means that if we went to another place where there was food, even if it was free he couldn't eat it.
*If he made it through the whole week then I would take him out to dinner any place he wanted.
*If he quit then he would have to pay me back the $10 by 1.) Cleaning all the baseboards in the house and 2.) Cleaning out my car.
When we got home we labeled all his food and made sure everyone knew what he was doing. The whole family was excited by the challenge. Spencer made it through the week like a Champ! I'm telling you...this kid blew me away! Not only did he make it all week only eating the food he bought, but he did it with an amazing attitude! Since we are homeschooling this year he's home all day. He ate every meal at home. He didn't complain. He was creative with his food combinations. The rest of the family had Taco Bell one night and he still ate his own food. We went a few places where the other kids got snacks, but he didn't eat anything there or whine and about the situation. The whole time I was so impressed with his determination and attitude. We all cheered him on during the week. There was only one time when he had a mild break down. The rest of the family was with me while I was grocery shopping and the kids asked if they could get a ice cream bar to eat in the car on the way home. I never say yes to this, but that day I actually did say yes. Well, Spencer didn't say anything, but as the kids were picking out their treat I happened to see Spencer crying. You could tell he was trying to hold back the tears, but it wasn't working. I was hugging him and telling him that I wasn't going to get any ice cream either. When the other kids saw him and how upset he was they each decided ON THEIR OWN they wouldn't get any ice cream. I can't tell you how overwhelmed this made me feel. I was such a proud mama! They chose to support Spencer by putting their own treat back. Even typing that right now makes me feel a little teary eyed.
I love that this project wasn't a scheduled or a curriculum based project. Also, I'm glad that I just didn't pass the idea up. It was one of those great "Living in the Moment" days. We had so much fun at the store while he shopped. I let him lead the shopping. I told him that if he wanted advice I would give it to him, but that ultimately it was his decision. Everything he picked out was calculated. He ended up spending $9.94. He even used the self check out line by himself.
So, he made it!!!! Randy and I are so proud of him! He had an idea, made it happen and followed through with his commitment, AND he did it with a great attitude.
I know the Lord has amazing plans for Spencer. I'm so pleased that I get to have a front row seat to see those plans take form.
*Kim brought up a great question in a comment. She asked where did Spencer decide to eat after the challenge.* I will have to write a separate post about that one! I will say though, he decided to eat anywhere! : )