Mark and I live in poverty or at least that is what our government says, we make around or less than $30,000 give or take the year. We are blessed because thank goodness the Lord has helped give us the wisdom to live below our means or at least try. We can pay our bills most of the time, except for the occasional months were for some reason ends aren’t meeting and then we pray like crazy for wisdom to pick which bills to pay and which ones to let slide until we have enough money to pay them. We have money for food, not always extras, sometimes we live off of casseroles and soups, but none the less we have food and delicious food at that. We are able to occasionally go out to eat, but honestly it is so expensive that we rarely eat out, we go to the local state park and play parks, but gas money to anywhere further is a very special treat.
Lately, the Lord has been teaching me to look beyond our finances, to look beyond wanting a cabin by the lake, a house on the lake, two cars, and looking beyond all the things I see others have and knowing deep in my heart, I want them too. The desire for these things are still there and they would be nice to have, but the Lord is showing me, my heart is growing bitter at the same time. God in his mercy and love for me has not stood over me to tell me I am a wretched or horrible child. What he has done is shown me the numerous riches he has lavished me with. For starters, he has given me a husband who is led by the Holy Spirit, listens to the Fathers guidance, and does his best to hang in there when the going gets rough, and loves me to pieces. He has given me kid’s who continue to inspire me to selflessness, daily teaching me self discipline (which I have struggled with my whole life), and who’s smiles and hugs make the hardest days worth it. My mom was raised in a rough home and because of that God gave her a deep desire to give to us girls the love and support she never had. If I am even a 1/4 of a wife and mom she is to us, I will be doing well. Because of this attitude my mom inspires us to want to be a giver and to support each other. We are a close knit family, super close, they are not just family they are my best friends.
Friends have never come easy to me, ever! I have always been too insecure to get too close to many people or let them get close to me. The last two years I began to pray that God would bring Mark and I like minded couples who we could find encouragement and friendship from and in return be an encouragement to them. God has heard my hearts cry and has blessed us with amazing friends and I pray he continues to bring us into other couples and families lives so that we can be even more richly blessed.
What I have realized this last month, is that I have the life that so many people I have met want, desire, and pray for. I have a place to live, food on the table, lavished with family, blessed with friends. We may not have a cabin by the sea, we may not take vacations to Hawaii, but we do have a door on our house that leads to the backyard. In our backyard you will find a fire pit with not so great looking chairs, but you will find a warm fire and loving and encouraging conversation.
As I have been pondering our riches the Lord has brought to mind Matthew 6:19-20. It says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.” The things the Lord has blessed me with our blessings that cannot rust or be destroyed, they truly are treasures that bring peace. Trusting him in today to provide for tomorrow. I remember times past when I wished a time in my life would hurry up and pass, and I remember thinking after we were through it that had I known the blessing that was coming, I wouldn’t have cribbed or complained so much. I am holding onto this hindsight and putting my trust in the Lord and in return he gives peace like a river and joy like a fountain.