Neither poverty nor riches

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About Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

This contest has now ended. Check here for the results!

So… You might remember that I went to the Philippines in May with Compassion International. They have this brilliant idea to take bloggers to countries where they serve, where they play with the kids and listen to the hearts of Compassion volunteers, and then ask the bloggers to write each evening during their trip.

All these trips are the fault of a guy named Shaun (who also happens to be a SM contributor), and in my life, he’s gone from a faraway musician with crazy hair who moonlights as a mommyblogger—to a friend.

Right now, I want you to click on the button below to play Enough, my favorite song from his new album, Third World Symphony. And then I want you to keep reading as you listen.

Enough by shaungroves

And at the end, you’ll have a chance to win a copy of Third World Symphony.

Shaun and I talked via email recently, and I thought it’d be fun to share some of that conversation…

Tsh:

“I go through these bouts of missing our life overseas (I’m in one now), and I think the root appeal is not having much stuff. …I’m not talking about intentionally living in poverty because of guilt—it’s that contentment of just having enough. Not always wanting the next, the better, the newer.

“I’m daily learning to reconcile who I am as an American—it’s not my fault I was born here—yet not buying into our culture that what we have isn’t quite enough for our family. I still struggle with it. I love our tiny home and our one bathroom and our one little living room, until we go to a friend’s house for dinner and they’ve got twice as much space and newer everything. And then I feel lame for a few days. I shake it off, rinse, and repeat.

“That’s one of the reasons I’m thankful for the Philippines trip—I’m in Target, admiring the new dishes, and then Analyn [Denise's mom] with the filthy sink she shares with nine other adults pops into my head. And I can move on without buying.”

Shaun:

But there’s a danger in that comparison too don’t you think? Comparing my house to a friend’s can eat away at my contentment and send me shopping for new appliances, sure. But comparing my life to the life of the average Kenyan or Haitian can do the same thing. Comparison leads to discontent for me.

“I used to compare constantly! It turned into a religion for me—just a bunch of rules really. How many square feet I can live in? What I can eat? How much can I save? Lots of rules.

Where I found greater contentment was not in rules telling me how to live but by discovering why I live. The why of my life now guides the how of my life—instead of anyone else’s how dictating my how. This kind of why-driven life is much less oppressive for me personally. …”

Tsh:

“That is very true. I told this on our trip, but after my first overseas trip, when I was 15, I slept on my floor for a week because I didn’t know how to properly process the poverty I saw. I felt guilty for having a comfortable bed and a room to myself.

“Finding your ‘why’ is absolutely essential. How have you and Becky found your ‘why’ together? And was this something she was in agreement with, or did you sorta have to coerce her? And what about your kids?

“I ask because so many SM readers mention that they agree with ‘living simply so that others may simply live,’ but getting their spouse or kids to think similarly is another story.”

Shaun:

Becky and I found our why by making lots of mistakes together. About a year after I signed a record deal—when royalties started arriving in 2002—we were suddenly rich by anyone’s standards.

We didn’t know exactly how much “enough” was and we built a house that was way too big for us. Together we filled our closets. Together we filled our calendars with too many activities and too much work—to pay for too much stuff. Together, one small choice at a time, we over-complicated and over-consumed.

“We both became unsatisfied but were each scared to speak up. I thought she wanted that big house and she thought I wanted it. …One night Becky told me she wanted to keep less so we could be prepared to give more—wow, I felt free! So free for the first time in years.

“Soon after that I went to El Salvador with Compassion. On that trip I met a little girl we sponsored and saw the dramatic change our measly $38 each month had made not only in her life but her family’s. When I got home we decided together to simplify things a bit—a little at a time, the same way we’d complicated things.

“My kids were very small then so life in a smaller house without cable, etc is what they’ve always known. And because they each sponsor a child through Compassion and read the letters their sponsored kids write, well, they have a focus and perspective I didn’t have until my thirties! They even correct me when I say I need something. “You don’t need it,” my oldest has said. “You just want it.” …”

Tsh:

“Was working on this new album different for you? Just thinking in terms of having this focused ‘why’ in your life. I know when I was working on my latest e-book, I was all the more motivated to make it quality yet affordable so that, quite honestly, lots of people would buy it and then know more about Compassion.”

Shaun:

“Absolutely, it’s changed everything. And it’s not that I didn’t have a why when I started making music. I wasn’t completely aimless. I wanted to do some good with my platform, sure, but it was very unfocussed good. I was like a pageant contestant – “I want to make the world a better place,” etc.

“Now, my why is more informed and precise—I want to partner with Compassion International to release children from cognitive, economic, physical, emotional, social, environmental and spiritual poverty in Jesus’ name. Very specific.

“And there’s an enjoyable pressure …that comes with a more exact focus for me. I carry around in my head the faces and names of children I’ve met around the world in my travels with Compassion. They aren’t statistics. They’re people I know personally.

Kiran in Kolkata. Yanci in El Salvador. Yoseph in Ethiopia. So I know what’s at stake when I write a song or stand on a stage. Every day I have the opportunity to make friends and fans who could one day be child sponsors. And every child sponsor is giving a child the opportunity to grow up and be a mature thriving adult.”

Tsh:

“…I’ve told you before, my favorite song on this new album is Enough. Obviously it comes from Proverbs, about finding that sweet spot between poverty and riches. I’m pretty sure one of the reasons I love this song so much is because this particular verse… drives a lot of my decisions as I run SLM to be a blessing to both my family and the other editors’ families. I don’t write and write and write for gold-plated toilet paper and an out-of-control mortgage.

I write and work alongside Kyle so that we can have enough. To live in that sweet spot where our work doesn’t rule us, but where we can eat our daily bread and thank God for warm beds while still remembering Who it is that daily provides.”

Shaun:

“Gold-plated toilet paper? No, we write because we’re insomniacs and writing is cheaper than meds. No? Just me? Well, okay then. Moving on.

Seriously, the song Enough is based on Proverbs 30:7-9. Those verses changed my life by changing the questions I ask myself. I stopped asking ‘How much is enough?‘ and started asking ‘Is God enough?’

If God and food for today are enough to make me happy, then I can give up anything God wants to make someone else happy. To give them food, medicine, education, a vocation, freedom, an opportunity to hear about God’s love for them.

“I didn’t build a ginormous house because 1400 square feet wasn’t enough for me. I didn’t own a dozen pair of $300 jeans made by slaves because the three pair of secondhand ones weren’t enough for me. I did it because daily bread and God weren’t enough for me. I’m ashamed to admit it, but some days that’s still true. Especially the days Steve Jobs holds a press conference.

“But I want to be able to say the prayer of Proverbs 30: Give me neither wealth nor poverty. But give me only my daily bread.

Head here to buy Third World Symphony on iTunes.

Giveaway!

Shaun-Groves-Third-World-Symphony-iTunes-banner-200x200Want to win one of five copies of Third World Symphony? I would, if I were you.
Here’s how to enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post, answering this question: What’s something (or who’s someone) in your life that reminds you what’s really important?

(If you’re reading this via email, you must click over to the post to comment.)

2. For an additional entry, tweet this giveaway, including @simplemom, @shaungroves, and the URL of this post: http://lvsm.pl/otPOLW. Then come back to this post and leave an additional comment, letting me know you tweeted.

This giveaway will end tomorrow, Saturday, September 17 at 11:59 pm. I hope you win!

This post is part of a blog tour for Third World Symphony.

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Comments

  1. My mom and grandma both help me to remember. Also my cousins and family that are still in Romania from where I came 27 years ago. They have so much less. I think about them and pray for them and how I can help them, often.

  2. My great-grandmother, who is no longer with us, has inspired me and my family in so many ways. She had 12 pregnancies of which only 8 babies were born alive, of which only 3 lived long enough to meet their children. She lived in a tiny village in the mountains and endured the years of the Spanish Civil war with two children and a husband fighting in separate sides (not by choice) and three kids at home. She had to work over 14 hours a day to provide for them and could only afford to buy meat once or twice a month. Now, I know this is not an uncommon situation and many people in those days were living like that here in Spain. But it’s the way she lived what inspires all of us. She breastfed and adopted two girls whose mother died. She would systematically feed anyone who happened to be around her place any given day, she was compassionate even with the criminals who were raiding the villages during the war and 50 years later she still remembered the beauty of those years.
    She lived in the same house her whole life, she said she didn’t need anything else (but her sons convinced her to build a proper bathroom, though) and when we took her to “El Corte Inglés” (something like Macy’s) to buy her clothes for her granddaughter’s wedding she exclaimed “now I understand why there are so many thieves! If I was really poor and came to a place like this filled with beautiful things, I’d steal something too!” :)

  3. The kids at The Charis Project. Ever since we started caring for them I been framing things I think it want or need in terms of “How will this help me to love the kids no one else wants?” “How does it make me a blessing to others, to them?”

    That’s not to say I don’t sometime just get something because I like it, and I don’t feel like I shouldn’t, but it does keep me from feeling even a bit covetous when I see someone’s giant flat screen tv. iPhone on the other hand… well, there a lot I could do with one of those, even if I don’t technically need it. :)

  4. The question “will it matter in eternity?” reminds me of what is truly important.

  5. My daughter reminds me what is truly important. I want to give her only the best and most valuable of everything.

  6. Amazing song. And way to inspire all of us reading this on our expensive technological equipment that when we compare our worlds, that we do it to gain inspiration on what we can do, not for the purpose of beating ourselves up.

    Seeing how fast my kids are growing up reminds me of what’s truly important. My oldest is 8, and it’s flown by (even though some of those days–and nights–have seemed pretty long!) Makes me realize that this life I’m living, today, is IT. And I need to live well not “one day”, but NOW.

  7. My kids remind me constantly what is important. Also, my parents were frugal as I grew up and still gave generously to others, setting a great example for me and my sister.

  8. Poverty can be mitigated by education, providing jobs to people. Government should take certain concrete steps to help people and provide a basic need i.e. is food, clothing and shelter.

  9. Beautiful post.

  10. I’m reading this from the hospital room of our 2-week-old baby girl. She is definitely a reminder of what & who is truly important.

  11. avatar
    beth lehman says:

    Reading the Bible – reading James right now along with Marla Taviano – has reminded me what’s important – but it’s a daily struggle – to keep the overall picture in mind as we deal with minute details…. Shaun’s music is so incredible – I’ve listened to the album several times from soundcloud.

  12. I would have to say that for me, that when I see those around me who are less fortunate or in difficult circumstances, but yet keep such a strong faith and continue to smile, I am reminder of what truly is important and what is “enough”.

  13. My children are constant reminders of how fleeting our time here on earth is and remind me of the “big picture” daily. Wonderful post.

  14. Honestly my 16-month-old daughter reminds me of what’s important. She teaches me to not be selfish, and helps me see the world through the eyes of a child.

    P.S. My husband and I love Shaun’s music, and we currently sponsor a girl in Bolivia through Compassion :)

  15. My two kids when they laugh. When they hug me with their chubby little arms. What’s more important than that?

  16. We have friends living in China who regularly remind me what is important through their sacrificial giving and daily choice of living in an effort to see people’s lives changed by Truth.

  17. My husband and my two little boys! It’s all about glorifying HIM!

  18. My sweet son reminds me of what’s really important. How his heart aches for kids in poverty at the age of 10. I showed him how children live in Korah Ethiopia and he emptied his wallet saying we have to do something.

    My other reminders are Tesfaye the amazing boy we sponsor in Korah. Daniel and David, twin babies I met in a Haitian orphanage earlier this year, and many others I can name. And all the boys and girls I will meet when I go back next week.

  19. avatar
    Robin Vestal says:

    What’s something or someone in my life that reminds me of what’s really important? That’s actually a hard question because it changes all the time. Sometimes it’s a person acting in amazingly compassionate and giving ways…right now that person is Carey Fuller who is reaching out to homeless youth in Kent. Sometimes it’s someone who is suffering and yearn to help and that changes me. The obvious answer and true is the Holy Spirit working in me constantly is changing ME and helping me recognize what is really important in this world.

  20. My Lord & my family. I have laid my life down for them. We always have enough! In perspective though, we have MORE than we need.

  21. Tweet=check!

  22. I remember times I’ve spent in 3rd world countries, most recently 3 months volunteering at an orphanage in Bangladesh. Thank-you for sharing this, it’s been a year since I got back from that trip and I still have days where I’m overwhelmed with all the ‘stuff’ I have.

  23. Love this! Once more reminds me to write to my sponsored kids! I’m going to buy my copy of Shaun’s album. Keep writing! And I think my Bible reminds me of what’s really important more than anything else.

  24. I first became aware of Shaun on Ann Voscamp’s blog. I want that CD. I need that CD. We just started sponsering a little boy from Indonesia through Compassion International and I’d love to sponser another soon. More even…I’d love to go on a Compassion trip myself.

    Thank you SO much for sharing these words with us today. They change me.

    Figuring all this simple living stuff out one day at a time,
    Kate :)

  25. What a beautiful, meaningful song. Thanks for the inspiring post.

  26. God reminds me what is really important. Often my arrogance blocks what He is trying to tell me, but He tries nonetheless. I have a long way to go to live simply, but being unemployed for the better part of 3 years now has forced me to be humble and really challenge what is important in life.

  27. I am currently reading the book, “Faith Like Potatoes” about Angus Buchan and his family and their life. Here is a man who hears God and has his focus on sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ; blazing light into the darkness. That’s what’s important!

  28. Good question. Hard question. Right now in my life I would have to say my kids. Ages 2 and 3. They are so content. They don’t really “need” anything. Except their mom and dad. Especially their daddy. What an amazing example to me.

  29. My kids remind me of what’s important. They know we have enough and are pretty content with that, it’s really refreshing to know we have raised thoughtful kids!

  30. What is reminding me right now is my father’s death one month ago today. It tells me that our time, and our chance to make a difference, is finite. We havc to truly LIVE. I was there when he passed and thought about how in those moments the house he had, the work he did, the things he owned … none of it mattered. What mattered was our family and our God.

  31. Beautiful song. Beautiful post.

    My 20 month old daughter has completely changed who I am from this inside out. She brought my awareness back to everything that is truly important from the day she was born and continues to remind me every single day.

  32. Thank you for the insight. I wonder “when is it enough”.
    Great ideas to sit with and contemplate.

    We certainly can be swept up with our daily grind to miss knowing when you’ve got out of control.

    Contentment. What a great word

  33. We each need to seek God about what “enough” is for us. I know a doctor and his wife who have four children in a three bedroom house 1950′s house. They did pay their children’s way through college but they also give huge portions of their income to support missionaries. Now as they approach an empty nest they are building a big house in the country. I know it has been a struggle for them not to feel ostentatious. But even that house with it’s extra bedrooms provides them with an opportunity for ministry (hosting families in need, traveling missionaries etc) and they are looking ahead to having room for grandchildren. I think it can be tempting as Christians to look at someone else’s life and say “well that’s just too much.” We aren’t immune to the temptations of class warfare. We can’t control what others do with their wealth, nor are we often privy to it. (I know “millionaires” who live in middle class neighborhoods and give in secret without seeking adulation for their efforts). All I can do is ask God what I can do with what I have been given, even when it seems like we are barely getting by. If I can’t give even in my times of financial difficulty, I may not have the discipline to do it in times of plenty.

  34. So many things remind me of what’s important – from a friend’s death, to my child being sad, to hymns in church to writings by bloggers. Living it out is harder. I am on the same road to finding what is “enough.” It’s harder than some might think. Thanks for offering the album for giveaway!

  35. I love this post, Tsh. I told Sophie that Kingdom Coming was my favorite but then I found myself getting in the van and pushing 7 right away. Over and over and over again. I can sing it for you if you’d like.

    We’ve been paring down our belongings for quite some time now as we prepare for a month-long trip to Cambodia. My trip last year changed my life (and I’ve read Organized Simplicity probably 4 times now). There’s so much I could say about it, but one thing I’ve thought lately is this: “If God would ask me to give up everything I own, I think it would hurt less if I didn’t have so much to begin with.”

    We have found “enough” to be one of the most gratifying places to be. I’m far happier with just enough than I ever was when I had more than enough.

  36. My kids ;-) they remind me daily of how weak I am, how strong God is and how all we do must be pointing them to him – I love your new CD, we listen to it often and the song “enough” is my 6 yr olds favorite, he often turns it up really loud and they dance around the living room!

  37. I tweeted as well!

  38. What a wonderful thing you do. Living simple is my ultimate goal in life. it is something I strive for daily. When I get upset or feel jealousy because someone has something I cannot have, I am ashamed. I have so much more than others have.

  39. We also sponsor a child (from Thailand) through Compassion. When I see how little she has (and how she is thriving through the little we provide each month), it definitely reminds me of what’s really important in life!

  40. My dear husband reminds me. He grew up in El Salvador under conditions we would consider hard, but he doesn’t see it that way at all. He was actually privileged to receive an college education, although it took him years because his university kept closing during their 15 year civil war.

    Whenever I want to throw something away, I see my husband’s reaction, and it makes me think.

    Thank you, thank you for your important words.

  41. My sister Marla is always telling others’ stories (reminding me of how rich I am) and showing us how we can help. She’s been having Facebook “garage sales” and selling everything she has or can make in order to take her family to Cambodia for a month. It gives me a real life picture of the man who found the treasure in a field and sold everything he had and then went back and bought that field. I want to be so single-focused that everything is a means to get that one thing. That one thing for me is for everyone to hear about salvation through Christ, to come to repentance and live for Him!

  42. Tsh, this is a beautiful and touching interview and it takes my thoughts to a new place. I’ve shared some similar experiences to what the two of you talk about. My husband and I lived in Germany for 3 years and I often use that time in our life as a yardstick and a goal when our life in the States gets frenzied or over-full. We also chose to downsize our house and our stuff a few years ago when we moved to a new town. Both of these experiences are reminders that simplicity is a happier, clearer, more content way of living. And yet…I find some inspiring ideas in the the thoughts of ‘why’ and ‘what is really enough’. I will be taking those into my quiet space and using them as a point for prayer and meditation. Thank you for sharing.

  43. the slow quiet breathing of my boys as they sleep….

  44. Tsh, great post. I think it’s too bad – however – that as Americans we end up getting wracked by guilt. Turn that into feeling great about what you have, and the power you have to do things that are meaningful to you – like helping. In so many situations I’ve found people wondering why we don’t enjoy the luxuries we have – hot water, clean water, food, nice clothes etc. – rather than try to hide them or feel bad about them.

    Frugality is not only something we should be doing out of guilt -but because it makes our lives so much richer. We have more choices, more control, more power over our lives. The book “Your Money Or Your Life” is a great resource on this. I’ve put some of my thoughts here:
    http://www.yourhealthyhomebiz.com/frugality-secret-to-a-richer-life

    We give regularly to Heifer International because they give people opportunities to help themselves through farming and animal husbandry – similar to what we do on our little farm. Nothing like that feeling of self-sufficiency. And they also require that if a family gets a cow, for example, through the program, they then give the firstborn heifer (female offspring) to another family so that they can continue to spread the wealth and power over their lives. As well as enjoy the experience of helping someone else in turn.

    Thank you for starting this conversation, Tsh

  45. avatar
    Esther Soffer Roberts says:

    My someone is my friend Bebe. Bebe passed away last year giving birth to her first child at the age of 38. She was an amazing, strong, compassionate woman who did a lot of good work in her life trying to help others. Bebe had the best prenatal care, great support, wonderful health. That is, until she went into labor and died from cardiac arrest due to a freak exchange of amniotic fluid and her blood. Bebe didn’t make it, fortunately, her beautiful baby girl did. In the past year I have become heavily involved with my town’s Children’s advocacy group, local nutrition and our community connectedness and well-being. I think of Bebe everyday. I want to make a difference, I want to instill a sense of compassion, and civic mindedness in my three school aged children. I want them to make a difference alongside the work my husband and I are trying to do.

  46. When my daughter was 16 months old (and her brother was 5 weeks) she had what we now know was a severe asthma attack. She was sent by Ambulance a bigger hospital in a different city, where she spent the night fighting for her life. When I think about the hours I spent that night sitting with her, listening to the doctor and nurses talk about what they could try next, while my son cried for me in the waiting room, I remember what’s important. We spent 5 days in the ICU, and now when I see my very defiant 3 year old running around, or when she sleepily crawls into my lap I thank God that she has the breath to move.

  47. Honestly, Tsh, YOU remind me of what is important. That’s why I love reading this blog. Great song, too. I was not familiar with that passage of scripture.

  48. What keeps us grounded is our charity CHEER FOR CHILDREN, which focuses on children in our hometown of Rock Hill, SC. We serve the “Back the Pack” children of York County, who receive backpacks of food to take home from school on the weekends because otherwise they would not have “enough” to eat. There is need for food and shelter and encouragement all around us. Thank GOD for the privilege of helping, each of us in our small way for the Kingdom.

  49. avatar
    Amber Howard says:

    One person who will forever change me is my sweet girl. After giving birth to her early and knowing there was a chance I might lose her. And then that chance disappeared and my girl arrived home, healthy, strong, and full of life. With her being home with me all those worldly things did not matter. It has been five years since her arrival home and I am still often reminded of what really matters in this world as I look at my sweet girl Lucia.

  50. As I am a student of Theology, I am constantly reminded of what’s important–to love God and my neighbour, and to trust that God will provide.

  51. My friend Kelly lives a life that continually reminds me of what’s important. She lives her life sacrificially to serve women who have left prostitution or who have been rescued from trafficking. She’s an inspiration to me.

  52. I’m a Quaker so my weekly Meeting for Worship and my faith community often remind me of the importance of letting your life speak your values. It sounds strange but I get inspiration from reading Quaker obituaries, and seeing what amazing lives people have led and the powerful work they’ve done. It helps me think about how I would like to be remembered.

  53. I am now a part of Compassion because of those posts.

  54. The title of the song caught me because I am focusing on”one little word” through Ali Edwards @ Big Pictures and mine was “Enough”. I am trying to be satisfied in my life. Knowing God is enough for me. I travelled to Africa
    8 years ago and when I came back from seeing the poverty I was sure I’d never go back to living the same, but I have. May God help me to find a balance. Thanks for the opportunity to win this album.

  55. I first became acquainted with Shaun’s music when I was an editor at SHINE magazine. We received a pre-release version of one of his first albums, and I’ve loved his music ever since. It’s so fun to read him on here, and I love his heart for Compassion!

    There are often several things that remind me that I have enough. My husband and I do sponsor a child, so his letters are reminders. Also, conversation with a dear friend who brought her family to the US to escape oppression in Zimbabwe is a constant reminder that I certainly have more than I need. But so often I (sadly) fall prey to consumerism way too easily, even though my motto for this year has been to simplify. I do find though that I’m beginning to have a distaste for excess stuff. And I pray that distaste continues to grow in the way the Lord wills it.

  56. I have been blessed with a family who traveled overseas often doing mission work and who hosted many people from overseas in our home. I then spent 5 years after high school doing mission work as well. Those places and people are who remind me what is important and what I want my children to believe is important.

  57. Many things/people, but Rachel, my daughter, has taught me so much of God’s heart by who He made her to be. She is simple/profoundly simple–often I try to change her to eventually realize that I should be changing to be more like her. God’s gifts really are good.

  58. My kids help me to remember what’s really important. As they are getting older, and activities could fill their days, they still want to be able to eat meals together as a family, they love the simple camping holidays we take, and they love when we spend time with them. I’m still working on simplifying my life – I think it’s something you have to constantly work on, but it’s worth it. I try to remember the important things: spending time with God, family and friends.

  59. I’m a young married woman without children, but my unborn child is who keeps me focused on what is important. I don’t want to waste one second or one penny on anything that isn’t working for her/his good.

  60. avatar
    Angela MacPherson says:

    “I am the vine and you are the branches.”-Jesus
    The memory of my grandma helps ground me with what is important. She had little and trusted the Lord for what she needed. He supplied her daily bread as she abided in the vine. Love this blog today!

  61. My mom reminds me of what’s really important. Her generosity astounds me, and she’s completely content with her life.

  62. avatar
    Angela MacPherson says:

    I tweeted this blog article! SO good! Thanks!

  63. avatar
    elizabeth chenault says:

    i love your blog.. i too believe we can have too much stuff and still want for more. when all we need is God……keep up the good work ……………………

  64. my daughter

  65. Some of the Asian believers I work with remind me what really matters—eternity.

  66. avatar
    Christina Y says:

    My children and my husband are two sources that constantly remind me what’s important. However, even with them reminding me on a constant basis, life can still become crazy and we can all become wrapped up in wanting way more than we need. It’s nice to read this post to really put my mind back into perspective of wants vs. needs.

  67. I bought the album this week and love Enough also. I’ve been singing it and all the songs over and over. Just love this album.

  68. I imagine that life in this country a hundred years ago was closer to “enough,” with the exception of slums in the cities. Poverty is always wrong since the poor have little to pull them out of it. Wealth does enslave too. This post is a great reminder to intentionally live with enough, to be content instead of drooling over second and third bathrooms.

    As for your question, its my oldest son’s birthday today and I’m reminded that my children are my riches and material items are easily forgotten.

  69. My husband of 14 years (next week) and my almost 12 year old daughter reminds me of what is really important. We had 3 miscarriages and 3 failed adoptions. What we have is so important to us, that is, the journey the 3 of us have together.

  70. Your discussion with Shaun is one I have in my head all the time. Thank you for laying it all out there for us.

    I am inspired by a group of refugees to whom I teach English. They have been uprooted and transported and are trying to make their way in a strange culture so that their family can have a better life. Any temptation I have to feel sorry for myself, to think my life is hard evaporates in that classroom on Monday mornings.

  71. Thanks so much for this post. I needed this remind that enough is enough! My daughter (who is currently sitting on my lap “helping” me type) reminds me of what’s truly important. Making her laugh is way better than buying some new gadget!

  72. And I tweeted about the giveaway! Thanks!

  73. My daughter – she is only 19 months old and “enough” to her is anywhere her dad and I are, which puts a lot in perspective for me.

  74. first of all proverbs 30 v7-9 is one of my favorite portions of God’s word. a daily reminder.
    My children are the constant reminder…to be able to raise them to have compassion and kindness and love so that God’s light and love will shine through them.

  75. My little girl who is 5 1/2 would be the obvious choice but there is also my husband who, six years ago was given five years to live. He is still hanging in there, going strong and everyday I think about how close I came to having to tell my baby why she didn’t have a Daddy anymore and that reminds me of what is really important. It changed the way I live and really made me see life in a whole new way.

  76. In the past year, I have become a single mother. This is a new world for me and the concept of enough has been such a gift! I am enough for my children (God will fill the gap), we have enough, I trust there will be enough. It’s wonderful!

    Realistically, I know that I need to increase my income for our family’s future needs, but for this season and right now – it is enough.

    Thank you, Lord!
    Missy

  77. There’s a short story titled “The Son from America” by tje Nobel Prize winning writer Isaac Bashevis Singer, and it always reminds me what “enough” really is. The story closes with a hymn: “Provide for all their needs. Shoes, clothes, bread, and the Messiah’s tread.” That’s REALLY enough. Amen! Thanks for posting this reflection today.

  78. I have 7 people in my life who teach me about enough. Maria, Tania & Allan from Ecuador, Camilo from Guatemala, Katherine from Nicaragua, Loury from Haiti and Denisse from the Dominican Republic. Each of these sponsor children, as I look at their pictures hung in our kitchen remind me. But it’s so easy to get caught up in the “more, more, more”. They help me and God’s word helps me. Comparison is such a nasty thing, and my worst times are when I start to compare my “stuff” to others. Thanks for this great post!

  79. My children especially my son who can be content with very little. I am also reminded of what’s important when I look around at the immigrants in my community. They have left all that they knew for a chance to escape abject poverty.

  80. My family…because everything else is just ‘stuff’ which we can do without if the winds or waters or fires take it away.

  81. avatar
    Jennifer Owen says:

    I have a 5 year old son with Autism (and a 3 year old daughter as well). I commute to work 2 states away – 5-6 hours a day. I am learning that I have enough (and how to live with less) so one day, I can leave my job and be there for them. Thank you for this lovely song as a reminder of what’s important.

  82. avatar
    Julie Collins says:

    My husband helps me remember. 10 months ago he was almost killed in a horrific traffic accident. He survived and every day I wake up next to him, hear him laughing with our children, see him walk through the door after a day of work reminds me that relationships matter…people matter…giving matters.

  83. Everyday my kids remind me of what’s really important. I left a career teaching music when I gave birth to my daugter. If I were to return to work it would triple our family income, but I would lose the precious moments I have with my preschooler and toddler. When I am tempted to return to work because of things that I want like a bigger house (we rent a tiny cottage), for my kids of course, I look at them and see there is no contest. I choose them and choose to live simply.

  84. I am challenged to remember what is really important by my in-laws. They gave up so, so much in their home country to give their children (one of whom is my husband) freedom and opportunity. Now after many years of struggle they are happy as larks to see their children doing well as adults.

  85. Reading the Bible. Hearing a good sermon every Sunday morning.

  86. My children.

  87. Something in my life right now that reminds me of what’s important is the center of the little town near us. It is full of mud. Houses have either exploded (well, that was only one house), been gutted by flood waters, or at least been filled with river water, leaving filth in it’s path. Our house was not touched simply because we live on a hill. It helps keep me grounded at the moment.

  88. I tweeted! Love this song!

  89. The richest people I have known were also some of the most unkind I have met while the most generous were among the poorest. Perhaps it is those who realize the measure of true need who are most capable of the impetus of compassion. Perhaps it is because it is only those who have relied on God to provide no other earthly means were available are those who have reached the very true conclusion that He is the only one who can provide what we need. Whether we recognize it or not. Simplifying is so much more than not having stuff. It’s reducing our mental and spiritual clutter to make space for us to hear the echo of the Holy Spirit’s whisper.

  90. My grandfather, who grew up among 10 siblings and raised 6 of his own children, has never had very much. But if he thought that someone needed them more than he did, he would give them the clothes off his back.

  91. My Bible is the only thing! No one is perfect and things are just things!

  92. Great post and great giveaway! My daily reminder is my son! He reminds me everyday with his smile and laughs what it’s all about.

  93. My grandparents because their health has been so fragile in recent years.

  94. Like others, my kids definitely help put things in perspective. There’s also a lot of little things, like realizing that the best part of my day was when we all went outside after dinner to play, or packing for a trip and realizing that we could probably live out of those suitcases for quite a while, or learning through books about how people at other times and in other places have lived. Some of your posts are even good reminders :)

  95. My children remind me of what is truly important as well as blogs like yours and reading books of pioneer days an d reading family history. All remind me that it is the sumple joys of life and not the stuff.

    Oh and I love Madame Blueberry inVeggie Tales and “stuffmart”!

  96. Working towards being debt free helps me focus on what is important. Not only do we do it to create financial peace in our lives, but so that we have surplus to bless others! Being a good steward of what we have been given is our goal!

  97. I remember what’s really important when I look at my sweet baby girl’s face. I may wish for more things and for newer clothes, but then I look at her and remember that what I really wish is for her to know the Lord and to live a life that values Him above things.

    I loved reading the exchange between you and Shaun. Such food for thought!

  98. My daughter’s birth family. And the amazing strength and faith of people who I am honored to know who, though struggling with physical life, but yet so alive in their souls.

  99. Stewardship. The stewardship I have over raising my boys and being a good steward of the money and life that God has blessed me with.