enRICHing my life

Two of my favorite catalogs came in the mail yesterday;Garnet Hill and Anthropologie. I love to sit down with them, not for the purpose of shopping, but rather gathering ideas. I usually have a piece of paper nearby and sketch out inspired ideas for future projects. Nothing I make or do is 100% original....really what is?

Anyhow, as I was doing that yesterday I had this profound thought--well at least to me it was profound. "Being poor has enRiched my life".

Ok, at this point in life we are not poor. By American standards we are in the middle tax bracket but in the world's economy we are RICH (and in God's economy, but that's a whole other blog post).

When Mike and I first got married we were training to be full time missionaries. After our year long training, we went into full time ministry and lived on donations from churches, family and friends. It was a really hard few years. We didn't have a chance to properly raise our support so it was looooowwwww. Really low. In fact, the year Canaan was born we made a little under $12,000.

Fast forward to today and Mike has a nice job with a relatively nice salary. I am able to stay at home with the boys and we live moderately.
As I thought about it, spending years with low money flow has really enriched my life in so many ways. I started realizing all of the ways that we are better because of it.
For one--my creative mind and abilities have gone to new levels! If I had had money readily available to go buy Canaan and Ezra a birthday cake, I never would have learned to bake well or decorate cakes. If I had money go buy nice gifts for family and friends at Christmas, I never would have taught myself to sew, embroider, knit, quilt, build, or design.

If money was readily available to us I would have purchased alot more pre-made foods at the grocery store or we would have eaten out much more. But instead I have developed a love of making food and learning the art of cooking. I enjoy canning, freezing, make-ahead meals, and creating my own recipes because I had to use the ingredients at hand.

If money was readily available to us I would not have developed a passion and excitement for business and generating an income. I started my little Ebay business almost 8 years ago and I still make a profit from it each month. I have my Peddlers Mall booth which I opened last month and sold $270 in items (not bad in this economy!)

I love the resource fullness that I have developed over these past 10 years and the optimism and hope I have for the future.
Don't get me wrong...our financial situation still causes us to stress at times and its not fun to have a beans and rice diet at certain points, but through it all we know without a shadow of a doubt that God is good and we are completely blessed and RICH in life.

I guess I write this not only as a reminder to myself but to anyone else out there struggling to make ends meet. Take the obstacles and frustrations of your financial situation and use it to better yourself and learn as much as you can from and in the midst of it. Its amazing how resilient we are!
Didn't know one could learn so much from getting the catalogs in the mail, did you?