Hearts in Training

Hasn’t it been said that “money is the root of all evil?”

I see it differently.

“Money is the root of change.”

With enlightened vision,

wise stewardship

and extraordinary love,

Money has Remarkable Power:



revolutionary influence.

Money needs a heartbeat behind it.

My husband and I have long ago identified the need to coach our kids and train their hearts when is comes to dealing with money.

Starting at a young age, when my boys were four and my daughter six, we started to guide, discuss and deal with this lifelong issue of money management.

We partake in an intentional weekly “pay day” ritual: the Sunday Salute.


Payday: It’s Yours. All of it. You earned it. It’s your right.

But what shall become of it?

What shall become of you?

Each Sunday night, after showers and baths and pajamas and teeth brushing,  my husband takes our kids, one by one to our bedroom. It’s there when he discusses with them the work they did during the week in our home and then pays them for it. 

Now, when I say work, I mean, make their bed (or attempt to!), pick up lego pieces (to prevent painful orthopedic arch injuries!!)  and makes a general assessment about attitude and willingness to be a helpful team member of the Patton household.

The compensation is about 25 cents a day. Once the amount of work preformed has been determined, my husband divides out the coins. 

 He then takes three envelopes, each labeled with their name and a fund designation: Save, Spend and Give. 

He guides each child as to how to divide up their funds among the three envelopes and explains the importance of doing this.

It’s part of our grand plan my husband and I have for our family, as we try to raise our little humans.


The way my husband and I see it is “Money is a part of life, a necessary part of life.” And, the more we can teach our kids how to handle it, the better their lives -and hearts! are for it.

We never force our kids to give to a certain cause; we simply suggest or inform them of opportunities.

Often times my husband and I are delighted to see them truly desire to share their money. 


It’s interesting to see the DNA of each of our children though; some want to just dump everything into their give envelope; others grieve the fact that spend is not more full. 

However, in all honesty, my husband are also training ourselves, reestablishing our intentions, striving to become generous people, reminding ourselves that there is power in what we earn.

So, we chisel away at our hearts, at our desires, at our motives.

When we DO what we want to become, we become what we DO. 

One time, the kids had all saved up enough money in their spend envelope and they wanted to go to the mall. After a morning of shopping, the kids were excited by their new toys they had bought with their own money.

However, by the end of the day, the toys were scattered about the home.

After a few days, they were completely forgotten. 

When Sunday rolled around and they realized they had no funds in their “spend envelope” all of our kids expressed remorse at spending their money on the toys and mourned the fact their envelopes were empty. 

A small chip. 


My triplet sons just turned five years old. Their older sister, who is seven, was just as excited to celebrate their birthday as they were. She approached me a week before their celebration  and wanted to buy them each a toy (at the dollar store) with her own money. 

We went to the dollar tree and she ended up walking out with $13.00 worth of gifts for her brothers. She was happy about spending the money, ecstatic to see the look on their faces when they opened their gifts from her. 

What I noticed is that her thrill never faded.  Unlike the events at the mall the previous week, she remained giddy about spending her money and never once regretted purchasing the toys.


It’s so counter cultural to think that giving brings greater joy. In a society of selfies and social media updates, you’d think the whole world is flourishing immersed in their deep self promotion.

That is just not the case.

What it really comes down to is Wise Stewardship, the ability to properly manage money.

Fiscal responsibility.

How we allocate and organize what we earn establishes how we exist.

Do we flourish?


When I think of something flourishing, I think of With Love. Starting from such humble beginnings, I was always amazed by the growth and seemingly upward projection. The community has rallied around this mission.

People donate. 

The Benefit Dinner is has a few seats left after less then a month after tickets went on sale.

5683 volunteer hours were recorded last year.

 A conservative estimate shows that 1100 kids were cared for, perhaps 400 more counting the stocking stuffer drive. 

Managing a non profit with limited and uncertain funding is truly an endeavor of frugality and faith.

But when it’s done right, it shows in its growth and impact. 

And I think people rally because they believe in how things are being run.

Wise Stewardship.

When a request comes though from a new foster family, the average material delivery is $1300.  

There were 575 delivers made last year.. 

And, Gas for the van.. 

And, Maintaince.

 And Bags…. 





There is a lot that goes into all this. 

Wise stewardship.


With Love volunteers provide $113,555 worth of service hours to help process and deliver over $745,000 of product to foster families each year. 

Why are there so many volunteers who give of their recources and time so freely?

There are many reasons, but if I had to narrow it down, I think many of them would have to do with the stuff they bought at the mall last week. 

Our homes are microcosms of what’s going on in the world, in the hearts of people. 

If we want to change the world, it begins with us.

Yes, money can be the root of all evil, but it doesn’t have to be.

When managed properly, money can be the root to change.

Good change. Transformative change.

Change that impacts a community, a family, and

a heartbeat.