What's your definition of having "enough" money?

If we conducted a poll it's a safe bet that a lot of people, all ages, believe the more money a person has, the happier they will be.  

Hmm. If that were true, wouldn't all the "rich and famous" folks have perfect marriages and happy, well-adjusted children?  

Every day the news reports give examples of how that is far from the truth.

Some counselors say it helps us keep on track to to ask ourselves every so often, "What do I value most? And how about my children?"

As always, it comes down to perspective

Blog. Dad. young daughter. 6.14

I couldn't help hearing parts of the conversation of two men in a waiting area. I still remember the main points of what they said. It went something like this.

They seemed comfortable with each other, one older man and one much younger. The younger man said, "Silvie and I met when we were full-time college students and working part-time jobs. She got her diploma a year ago and found a job that pays well, which was a godsend.

"When our daughter was born it seemed best for me to be a stay-at-home dad for awhile--and I'm loving it.

"Now I'm taking the rest of my college classes at night and online, so it will take me longer to get my degree. If you said we're broke you'd be right, but we're happy."

The older man laughed and said, "Hey, that's the way it's supposed to be when you're starting out, Kyle. How did you get so wise?"

Father knows best

Kyle took time to think, then said, "Well, a long time ago my dad gave me advice he guaranteed would help make for a happy marriage.

"He said my wife and I should always make sure we could get by on one income. That way if one of us couldn't work, we'd still have enough. Ellie and I talked about that and she said 'Okay, let's try it.'

"So that's what we're doing. We don't have a huge flat-screen TV, just the one my folks passed on when they upgraded to a bigger set. Our furniture is from Goodwill and hand-me-downs. We drive an old clunker and our cell phones are dinosaurs.

"But you know what? Neither of us would trade places with anybody. We're paying our bills and putting a few dollars into savings every month. We're working our plan and we're doing what matters to us. Our love is strong and we have each other and now, our healthy daughter too. Life is good."

As they got up to leave I heard the older man say, "You probably already know that your dad was a very wise man, my friend. And good for you, you know you are blessed. Not everyone does. "

Some of us can identify with that young dad 

My husband and I married when we were very young and crazy in love. We were so happy to be together that nothing else mattered. For years we lived pretty much a no-frills lifestyle. I wouldn't say we "lived on love," but money was tight.  

Who cared? We were together and life was good.  

In those years we discovered what's been proven true over and over: Riches have nothing to do with money. 

Earlier generations understood that

When I was a kid money was always tight, so my parents became experts in stretching it. I don't remember them complaining much. Nor do I recall them ever quoting wise words on being content, other than in family devotions. Then we might talk about Bible verses like 1 Timothy 6:8: 

And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.   NKJV 

I didn't realize it then but Mom and Dad lived that verse most of the time. Their attitude seemed to be: "This the life God has given us, so let's make the most of it."

And they did, in simple ways. For example, one constant in my childhood was that no matter how often we moved, my dad planted seeds of blue morning glories in each yard. They twined gloriously up the clothesline poles. We always had all kinds of flowers along the yard fence, too.  

My parents trusted God to provide and He did.  

I wish I could say that I never complained, but I did, especially as a teenage girl. I wanted what "everyone else" had, knowing all the while that would never happen.  

When I look back I know we were rich in what matters most

We kids knew for sure was that our mom and dad loved each other and they loved us--even though they seldom said the words. (Neither did any other parents of that era.)

We might not like what they said but we never doubted they were speaking truth, either to us or to others.

We never wondered whether one parent or the other would walk out on us.

As always, how we think makes all the difference  

By now I've learned that life gets even better when we know we're blessed and remember to thank the Giver.  

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.  Psalm 118:1

With that firmly fixed in our minds, life will be good, no matter what our circumstances.

Always, true wealth is a matter of the heart. We just need to remind ourselves often of that truth--and be at peace.

Thanks be that God, the Giver of all things, has patience with his often-forgetful children. Like me.



November 14, 2022

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