Saturday, May 31, 2008

Finding joy in "poverty"

Let me start this blog entry by saying that I'm under no delusions that Jack and I are "poor." We can't buy everything we want, and we must stick to our budget, as do most people. But we have been blessed by a very kind gift of help buying a house we couldn't normally afford and two steady (wonderful!) jobs that keep us from worrying about where our money will come from later. We can buy everything we need, but we cannot buy everything we want.

The other day, my dad and I were discussing something - probably eating out, saving up for the upgrades we'd like to make in our house, or not buying something that's outside of our budget, and he said, "I'm so glad you don't have any money!"

Glad? He was glad we didn't have any money?

Several years ago, for our first date, Jack took me to III Forks (really nice restaurant in Dallas). While we were there, we were astounded by everything - the service, the food, the little touches, like real towels in the bathroom. While we were there, a group of teenagers came in, wearing jeans and sweatshirts, obviously accustomed to such a place (and therefore not really impressed by it). In a weird way, Jack and I were a little sad for them. After all, this wasn't the norm for us, and therefore it was incredibly special. I wouldn't want to lose that.

This stage in our lives, the stage without much money, is also a stage without much responsibility. As much as Jack and I love kids (in theory), I'm so thankful that we don't have any yet to have to take care of. As much as I'd like to be promoted some day and be important in the world (or at least in the company), I'm thankful that I don't have a lot of stress that comes along with being a big-shot. And as much as I'd like to eat out at fancy restaurants more (or even eat out at not-so-fancy restaurants!), I'm thankful that it's always special when we get to go out together for a dinner at Chilis, or to a movie, or even to get a Starbucks drink.

Even more than that, isn't it a blessing to rely on Christ for all our needs? That's probably why James 1:2-4 says "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature, and complete, not lacking anything."

Mature. Complete. Not lacking anything.

And we don't lack anything. We'll be just fine.


Anonymous said...

I feel exactly the same. My parents have said the exact same thing to Craig and I. However, we only have ONE income! Finances are pretty rough for us, but I honestly wouldn't change anything for the world. We have each other, we have our health, we have our friends and family, we have everything we NEED. Of course, neither one of our parents would let us lose our shelter, go hungry, etc., but it's part of being an adult - managing life! I see many of our married friends who still have many of their finances paid for them and/or living with a set of parents, and I think, how is that being an adult? You have to feel the pain of budgeting at some point. Of course, these people also had everything paid for them growing up too!

I'm glad we're (Craig and I as well as you and Jack!)taken care of and in loving relationships! Life can't get much better.