Neither poverty nor riches

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…


“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.”


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. …”


“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.”


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.” …”


“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.”


“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.”


“…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.”


“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.


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: 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.

Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world 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.

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  1. Lea Stormhammer says:

    Oh, my, what a question to answer!

    My parents always modeled this and in a very real way still do. They spent their years living very frugally on a teacher’s salary and were able to sock enough money away to write a $10,000+ check to start an endowment for a girl’s school in Africa when they saw the need. Amazing.

    I also spent a month teaching in Thailand and saw how well people could live with less stuff and more relationship. It left a very lasting impression on me.

    Thinking about my students and fellow teachers in Thailand and the lovely young girls that my parent’s endowment supports helps me remember that it’s not about “stuff” it’s about what we do and who we are and who we have relationships with.

    Thanks Tsh.

  2. I have worked retail for six months and am constantly seeing new items come into the store. It was exciting at first, but after seeing literally thousands of items day by day I began to realize that it was just “stuff” and I didn’t need most of it. My mom also helps me to realize that we have all that we need through her own personal experiences. Yesterday we were at a resale shop and she related to me that she had read someplace that for every item you buy, you should get rid of one out of the closet. Or think of Paul’s words, “I am not saying this beccause I am in need, for I have learned to be contact whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” -Philippians 4:11-13.

  3. My husband keeps me grounded and reminds me often of the difference between my wants and needs. Loved the post…lots to think about!

  4. My little girl keeps things in perspective for me. We could lose everything we own, but as long as we have each other (and daddy), we’ll be ok.

  5. having also traveled to the philippines and meeting our sponsored child, all i have to do is look at the pictures and remember that trip to know how very blessed i am . . . and my own 6 kiddos remind me all the time of what is really important.
    thanks much!

  6. Remembering what life was like growing up is a good reminder for me that life isn’t about stuff and sometimes includes some suffering, which for me, was a blessing. Thanks for the post Tsh 🙂

  7. My maternal grandfather, my mom and her sisters. I was raised in the Word and watched my family serve. I have been told my whole life that neither guilt nor comparison are lasting agents of change. Love alone transforms. The love of God for me and my love for Him and all HE loves.
    Thank-you for sharing . These posts are truly a word spoken in a timely season.

  8. Having our son has given me new motivation to live simply so I can continue being home to raise him full-time. The blogs and updates of friends living around the world also help me keep life in perspective.

  9. My daughter constantly reminds me what is important. At four years old, I feel that she has a much better realization about what things are truly important in life than most adults, including me. Her joy comes from people taking the time to acknowledge and listen to her, from giving and sharing with others, and spending time with the people she loves and cares for most. She wakes EVERY morning with a smile and cheery disposition, and looks forward to what that day will bring. She prays for other kids, especially that Jesus would heal those who are sick. She is amazing and when I loose touch with what matters most in life, as I often do, I just have to look at her and the joy and love she possesses and it reminds me of what truly matters-Love.

  10. This wonderful quote of CS Lewis:

    ” If our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do but cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.”

  11. my husband was born and raised in a third world country- he really keeps me grounded and reminds me of what is most important.

  12. Nicole Dufendach says:

    My time in the word. Every morning it refocuses me and reminds me of what is truly important: God and his glory.

  13. We moved to “The Third World” with my husband’s job….
    Living here has certainly opened my eyes and has made me realise what is important in life, and what’s not. Not the designer labels nor the essential luxuries.
    It is enough for me to step out of my apartment building and cross the street to make me appreciate everything God has given us.
    Poverty is “in your face” in this country. There’s just no escaping it.
    “It is better to give than to receive” is what is constantly running through my mind, along with “Be grateful for small mercies.”

  14. After growing up overseas I hated coming to America because of the blatant consumerism. When I moved to the states for college I was pleasantly surprised to find a lady in my church who promotes living simply. She quickly became my mentor and I have learned (what I thought I would never learn from an american) how to honor God with what you have, to not accumulate too much, and regularly give to others.

    *Gasp* I don’t have twitter- so I can’t tweet- (i live in South America were the internet is not always reliable) but I posted about this article and give a way on my facebook page.

  15. wow. i can so relate to what you are saying. And I am in and out as well for the longing of overseas. My husband and I have been to India a few times and backpacked through Europe…living out of…well..a backpack. I have stories to tell for sure! We now have 3 children living in a 2 bedroom house that is falling apart that we thought we would be able to fix up, but not so….and then, yes, I walk into my friends’ homes and think…wow. I go from frustration when staring at my kitchen floor that is literally peeling apart to guilty b/c I remember the children in India and how could I complain of such things…to back to frustration…then there’s the odd day of….it’s going to be okay. Thanks for that reminder.

  16. My kids remind me. Specifically, two of my kids were adopted from developing countries. I saw a lot of things in those countries that made me thankful for what we have and wanting to purge what we don’t need.

  17. My children, simply by existing, remind me of what is really important. But especially my four-year-old daughter, by making me cringe every time she says “I want this for my birthday…. I want that for my birthday…. I want lots of things for my birthday” when her birthday was only last month, reminds me of how we need to focus our family life on what is most important.

  18. Nancy Mosley says:

    All my family…. my husband for working so hard for me to stay home and teach our children, for his love and dedication to our family. My children for their laughs, hugs, being so willing to forgive and their love. My parents for their help during hard times, for their example of hard work. Two years ago I almost lost my mom to a brain aneurysm and the Lord spared her life because He wasn’t finished with her yet. That experienced made us all appreciate each day more because the aneurysm of course happened in a split moment and life was changed, but she made 100% recovery. Thanks for the opportunity to win this album. I enjoyed listening to “Enough.”

  19. Janelle Banta says:

    Thankfully, there are many reminders for me of what’s important – even if I still forget every day. (“Were there but some deep, holy spell whereby always I should remember Thee.” – G. MacDonald) This website and Tsh’s book Organized Simplicity have been great in helping me start the road toward less. The current famine in Somalia. One friend – and one-time housemate in a group house with three families (!) – always uses what she has or what has already been used. Thankful for these influences and Lord, have mercy in the horn of Africa.

  20. My friend Amy helps keep me on track when it comes to the important priorities in life. I thank God for her daily.

  21. So many people inspire and remind me of what’s REALLY important. Friends, family, my children, and church. Articles like this. Reading the Bible. There are reminders everywhere if we take the time to stop and think. Just like there are reminders everywhere to consume, there is an abundance provoking us to stop and remember what’s truly important. The passing of loved ones reminds us that material things are fleeing. The smiles of our children, remind us that simple things make them happy and should do the same for us.

    I love what Shaun wrote. That God and food are enough to make me happy. And if it’s not, then we will never be happy.

  22. My family helps me keep things in the right order.

  23. Julia Lamson says:

    My daugther reminds me of what’s really important.

    I see how she watches the choices I make and the words I use. My life is a model for hers. My example may be the one she chooses as she grows and develops her identity and that reminds me to live consciously and with intention. I want her to grow into a beautiful woman of God whose life exudes grace, compassion, generosity, peace and an awareness that her choices matter not just to her life and but also to the life of others.

  24. Hey Tsh,

    This was a really touching read. I agree that finding your “why” in life is essential to understanding who you are. This is a lot to think about.

  25. my son — he truly teaches me so much!

  26. Our close friends who live in Haiti…

  27. My sister in law spent years trying to teach me about the joys of having little. I thought she was just telling me what she did bcs she had so little. Now I realize how much of that was choice, and I’m striving to simplify everything.

  28. I tweeted as @pinkdaisyjane

  29. I recently read a story of John Wesley in David Platt’s book, Radical, that God continually uses to keep me in check.

    “[Wesley] had just finished buying some pictures for his room when one of the chambermaids came to his door. It was a Winter day and he noticed that she had only a thin linen gown to wear for protection against the cold. He reached into his pocket to give her some money for a coat, and found he had little left. It struck him that the Lord was not pleased with how he had spent his money. He asked himself: ‘Will Thy Master say, “Well done, good and faithful steward?” Thou hast adorned thy walls with the money that might have screened this poor creature from the cold! O justice! O mercy! Are not these pictures the blood of this poor maid?'”

    Thank you, Tsh for this post and for your blog. It has been an enormous blessing to me since I discovered it a couple of weeks ago.

  30. Speaking of the Philippines, I was born there and witnessed the extreme poverty you talk about. One time we were driving along the street and I noticed a family of poor people having a good time and laughing. That hit something inside me, because it showed what’s really important in the world. You can be poor and living under shacks, barefoot, with 16 people in your house but you have them, and you’re laughing with them, and you have joy. I will always remember that moment.

  31. My son keeps me honest. I see how much joy he finds in sticks and rocks and leaves, and how rarely he plays with his pile of toys. When I find myself wanting more, I remind myself that I really can have those things if I want them. If I’m willing to take with them the consequences (debt, more stuff to keep track of, etc.). And then, strangely, I don’t want them so much anymore.

  32. That is a tough question to answer. My kids often do remind me, but not always. We have reached the stage where they have desires, often fueled by the consumerism they see in the world we live in. Yet when I sit down after they are tucked in bed and the house is quiet, right from deep inside there is a feeling that wells up and I know that all I have is all I need. In fact, it is probably more than I need. I just have to slow down to notice it sometimes.

  33. There are several people I know who are believers in Muslim families. The persecution they face, the oppression they walk through, and the trials they consider joy are all an inspiration to me and bring me back to a right perspective. Christ really is worth it.

  34. My family helps remind me every day of what is most important. Thank you so much for this post. It has really spoken to me. We are struggling financially right now, but we have God and food and that is enough.

    My parents and two younger sisters live in Kenya. They are directors of a children’s home. The stories they tell of where there Kenyan children have come from also reminds me of what is most important. We have some much here in the US to be thankful of. Thank you for reminding me today.

  35. I tweeted too! (ColleeninSuly)

  36. Your words often touch my heart and make me cry. Today was no exception.
    During the recent compassion blogger tour, our family gave up cable to sponsor a Compassion child. Not because we couldn’t afford to sponsor otherwise, but it was something we could sacrifice.

    Just this week, we got our first letter from Andrea (the 4 yr old from El Salvador we sponsor). My daughter was so excited to see that Andrea’s favorite things were coloring and playing with dolls – just like her!

    God has greatly blessed me in so many ways…from being a young single mom (and being very poor from “American” standards) to now being married w/3 kids. Too many incredible things have happened throughout my life, too great to be a coincidence, as if God himself is saying, “Yep, that was me again.”

  37. Olivia Scully says:

    Wow, that song gives me chills! So beautiful.

    Something that helps remind me of what’s important is to read blogs like yours and hearing stories about other people’s lives. It is both comforting and grounding to know that I’m not the only “crazy” one who believes less is more. We are already so fortunate. Let us be grateful for what we have.

  38. Sandi in MN says:

    A couple of things remind me of what’s really important. First, we went through two years of unemployment, having to put our worldly belongings in storage and live in friend’s and families’ basements (we’re a family of five). This really gives perspective on what we “need” and what we “want”. Thankfully now we have employment, rent a house of our own, have our things out of storage But many of those boxes from storage are still unpacked and I’m disgusted by the amount of stuff we “carried” around. If it’s still in a box after six months of moving in we probably don’t need it.

    The other is my 11yr. old son Zach. He was diagnosed almost a year ago with SMA, a motor -neuron disease, where the nerves that speak to your muscles die, then the muscle no longer functions and they atrophy. He may totally lose his ability to walk, he may not, the progression is slow so we don’t know. But this disease reminds me everyday to not give up and “this is not all there is”. The best IS yet to come but our “light and momentary troubles” often feel heavy and permanent. With my eyes on Jesus, I’m good but when I start looking around and asking why, I get depressed

    I love the song “Enough” and will listen to it again and again, so it can sink in as a try to find contentment with what we have now, not what we will have in the future.

  39. hi, we had an attempted burglary yesterday, while i was home, and while my daughter was napping in her room. everything is fine. but it reminded me that they could take anything, really. but that what is important is that she and i are safe, noBODY was harmed.

  40. My sweet Jamaican foreign exchange students who are living in our community. They come from poverty and every day when I see them, I’m reminded of how important is the love of a family

  41. My daughter (age 4) reminds me of what’s really important. She’s the one that comments about homelessness and talks about the importance of beauty…if only I can listen.

  42. The vegetable and fruit vendors at our local market keep me focused on what’s important. They’re the ones we want to reach and they work crazy long hours. I almost feel guilty sometimes for the nice apartment we live in although we have to plug our hot water heater in an hour before we take a shower and there is no Taco Bell in this country. And the heat won’t be turned on until the middle of November. But they’re lives are so much worse than ours and I know that I have enough. Even too much despite our inconveniences.

  43. Great interview.

    Answer: my son, at 2.5yo.

  44. What reminds me of whats really important is my 2 year old daughter…she reminds me that the simple things like spending time with her is what is most important.

  45. I’ve just started a non profit business selling Fair Trade goods by party plan, with the profits going back to the communities most in need. The knowledge that entire families live off the proceeds of homewares and gift items handmade by the things I deem rubbish at the end of the day, completely grounds me. What I consider useless garbage is actually important and useful enough to earn a living for an entire family somewhere else in the world.

  46. Thanks so much for sharing your conversation. Enough is so elusive at times, isn’t it? My husband and I have friends in the Dominican Republic and we worth with them in the D.R. and in Haiti. I am reminded of what enough is when my daughters include them in their prayers, asking God to give them food to eat and homes to live in. God reminds me in all sorts of ways, and I love what Shaun said about the real question being, “Is GOD enough?” Praying that my life will answer, “Yes.”

  47. Jennifer G. says:

    I think about my twin daughters from Haiti. I had the privilege of staying at the orphanage for almost two weeks and got to know the nannies as well as their mom. Amazing people. I will never forget the time spent there. It changed my life forever.

    Thank you for sharing these posts with all of us.

  48. Just getting on the floor and playing a simple game or dolls with my daughter…just taking that time to laugh and be silly helps me see it’s not the amount of STUFF or the toys , or money that are important. Little things every day.

  49. Mama Martin says:

    My family laughs because when I look at something (even something ‘new to us’), I always ask “Where is it going to go?” and “How hard is it to clean?”. ‘One in, one out’ also helps a great deal. The biggest thing is contentment – being satisfied and seeing God’s goodness – no matter what.

  50. The generosity pastor at my church reminds me of what is important.

  51. Family!

  52. My daughter reminds me of what is important and what is a need and what is a want. She has been married 4 years and they have a 1 year old son. My daughter works so hard to be able to have a simple home and make a good life for her family. She budgets, clips coupons, and watches every penny they spend. They don’t have a lot but they have a nice, clean home, a wonderful child and a great marriage.

  53. My kids! I think sometimes we can get so wrapped up in the busyness of life, that we forget what is really important in the end. And for our kids to know those things, we must invest in them, and thereby invest in yourself as well!

  54. Enough is my favorite song, too. About a year ago (just before traveling to Peru with Compassion) I started a blog called Daily Bread and used this verse as my theme. I like to think Shaun has finally written me a theme song for my blog : )

  55. Honest engine, I literally clapped when I read this line: 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.

    I needed this post. I’ve been asking myself this question…how much is enough. Thank you for the lens through which to view the answer.

  56. My husband.

  57. My parents. I am so grateful they taught me at a young age the difference between a “want” and a “need”, and am even more grateful that they still remind me of the lesson when I need it.

    BTW – my family is now sponsoring two children thru Compassion, in large part because of your trip/posts. Thank you for sharing the experience with us.

  58. Michelle Dorrence says:

    My daughter~My family

  59. As a teenager, participating in a summer pageant for my church introduced me to a humbled, aged-man by circumstance. Bearded, bare-foot, barely walking, the gentleman traveled by foot 2 miles every day to practice for this event. He never missed a day and always had a smile. His part was meager, but his commitment was moral. God granted me the courage to approach this lonely man and offer my sincere friendship. He taught me that compassion is key.

  60. I TWEETED this link!

  61. My children.

  62. One thing that always reminds me what is important–what is the “why” of my life– is when I think, or when I hear someone say, “All we can do is pray.” YES! When I get there, I know I’ve got it. I’ve finally got it…and I can change a life, yes, change the world through prayer. I can move mountains…more than anything I could do in the physical…even with Bill Gates’s fortune or Madonna’s fame or Romney’s political clout or Einstein’s brilliance. God told me that He has given me all I need to do all He needs me to do today. That’s enough. That’s what’s important.

  63. My husband. And he’s so gentle about it. Because I need to be reminded so often. I think I’m going to write down that question, “Is God enough?” so I can answer more often, “yes.”

  64. the term “Live Simply” has a whole new meaning for me now, so thanks!! that was an eye opening read!!

  65. My grandma Trudie always gently reminded her grandchildren what was most important in life. She passed away this August and she spent the last few days of her life having “private conversations” with each grandchild to remind them of the overall purpose and goal of being on this earth. She was an amazing woman!

  66. My husband and baby, due in Jan, are who remind me what’s important. We are moving slowly but surely to a simpler life… going to be a one income family soon, but hopefully debt free by 2013.

  67. Oh – what great reminders. And what a great song!! Thanks for sharing!

  68. connie tacazon says:

    I remind myself of what’s really important. As a vietnamese immigrant from the war, I came with nothing and remember when I was poor so now can realize all the stuff I want is just stuff. I’ve lived without it before I can do it now. Give me just my daily bread.

  69. My best friend Sarah is a great reminder. She will shoot things straight to me but pray like crazy when I am hurting! Friends like her are few and far between 🙂

  70. My experiences in other countries reminds me what is important. Thank you for sharing your conversation with Shaun. You are right-comparisons will tear us down, whether we compare ourselves with richer or poorer. I have to search my heart for what is enough in our family. We are trying, but it is a hard and daily process. Thank you for the reminder today!

  71. My children and my husband remind me what is really important. We have had a very difficult past two years, but when it comes down to it. They are all that really matter.

  72. Oh, my son. My son reminds me what’s really important. Constantly. Just having him, knowing how I don’t deserve him (or my husband) a bit, and his bright, beautiful smile. He reminds me what a grace-given gift all of this life is.

    Thank you and Shaun for this amazing interview.

  73. I tweeted about this post and giveaway here:!/Keep_Tha_Faith/status/115077651789656064

  74. My two girls and my husband. They are the most wonderful things that have happened to me. We have lost alot in the last two years and life has not gone according to our plans but it doesn’t matter when I have them.

  75. tweeted

  76. Sure, I’d love to win a copy!
    I love what you both said here. I too have long pondered these verses. Not as eloquently though!
    Last summer I read Lies Women Believe (Nancy DeMoss) and one of the first ones was God isn’t enough. Boy, did that hit home!
    I guess I’d say the blogs I read (in)courage, Ann, you, etc. remind me what is important, and I started blogging at wordpress in July so I could join the conversation with pictures and link up.
    By the way, it was the Guatemala trip that helped me overcome a bad experience with Compassion (my girl died and since I was on the bank withdrawal system I didn’t know for three months) from maybe 10 years ago. We found a girl my daughter’s age, and Ravinia prays for her daily.
    So Shaun, Tsh, thank you.

  77. My children remind me. I had dreams for my family that involved a big house, lots of activities, private school…anything they could ever want. But I look at their precious lives and see how much joy they have even though we don’t have any of the things I dreamed of. We have enough…more than enough, really. And they are content with that. As their parents, my husband and I have the opportunity to instill beliefs and values and passions in them from this young age that we are just now learning in our late twenties (what Shaun said really resonated with me!).

  78. Tweeted (@melissatomko)

  79. would love one

  80. Kristi Johnson says:

    Our compassion child Hassan from Tanzania and one of my 83 yr old clients named Miss Annie (I am a social worker) continually remind my family of what is important. Hassan recently sent a picture of what he bought with the birthday money we sent him. In the picture was a backpack, maize for his family and petroleum jelly. He was so grateful in his letter and we all weeped at how much we take for granted. My client Miss Annie is a heavy set African American woman who loves the Lord and spends most of her day praying, reading the bible and knitting scarfs and blankets for others. She lives in a run down small house in an area known for drugs and crime. Yet she never complains and often gives away her last dollar to anyone that needs it. She has taught me about faith, generousity and that is truly is better to give than to receive.

  81. Our pastors’ and families are good examples of storing up treasures in heaven and living with “enough” here on earth.

  82. My husband and son, for sure. And a picture in our living room of a sweet child with the phrase, “Live simply so others may simply live.” The visual, daily reminder is helpful for me.

  83. The responsibility of raising my kids in Cape Town with one foot in the first world and the other in the third world means that our decisions to have or donate are rather at the top of every decision… My kids are so much more aware of poverty and wealth than I ever was as a child and our culture is a much wider mixture: with soft 4×4’s and hungry street kids at every stop light, which means we are all more aware that we fit somewhere in between.

  84. My 2 year old constantly reminds me of what us truly important in my life

  85. Sitting here in tears listening to Enough. (Thank you for this gift, Shaun.)

    My mother always says, “To whom much is given, much is asked.” And I have been given so much – I’d like to do more for groups like Compassion.

    Also, my paternal grandmother, who lost all three of her children very young (one at birth, her son John at 21 and my father at 36), always said, “They were never mine to begin with – they were on loan to me from God.” She was the most faith-filled person I’ve ever known, someone who truly lived a God-centered life. Whenever she or her husband wanted or needed to make a large purchase (say, a car or a piece of jewelry), she would donate the equivalent to their church, St. John’s in Wellesley, MA. She was an amazing woman whose example stays with me today even after her death in 1991.

    Thank you, Tsh and Shaun for sharing such a powerful conversation – you are both amazing and I feel so fortunate to witness your lives and work.


  86. Just tweeted it at!/heathALL/status/115156542394867712.

    Thanks for this chance!


  87. Like Shaun, my kids help keep me focused. I wanted to buy a new shirt for a cousin’s wedding and my 8 year old daughter asked “Mom, is that a need or a want?” We are trying to raise them to live a much simpler and fuller life than we did. Loved the song and this post. It really gets deep below the surface of things. Thanks.

  88. My daughter helps remind me what’s important. I look at her and think of all the kids out there who live with so much less than we have, and I’m reminded to humble myself and keep an eyes on what’s important: helping others, giving when we can, not buying unnecessarily, using things out before they are replaced, and honoring God with everything we spend on. Another huge reminder is going to a store or even browsing online – everything is an overload of advertisements and things for sale. Everything is in your face telling you that you need this item or have to have it to be successful or happy. I’m reminded how false it all is and how the reality is that those things do not bring happiness at all. They are shallow and empty and won’t fill your heart. I believe in having experiences over things and I try to use my money to do so. Thanks for having this giveaway! I love the song! 🙂

  89. Poignantly for today, which may be his last, my honest answer is … My dad.

  90. My children remind me daily…… I look at them and realize how truly blessed I am 🙂

  91. seeing my children sleep helps me remember. such a great way to end every day. reflecting on what truly matters….

  92. Hebrews 12:1 has become a life-verse for me. It says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (NIV) I don’t want to be hindered by stuff, so I try to keep it simple.

  93. I remember what’s really important when I remember just how richly God has blessed me and my family, from our sweet little girl to the many ways He provides for us every day. It’s so humbling to rely on Him for everything, and I’m grateful every day for His great grace.

  94. wow, tsh, it’s fun to come see you. i’m close friends with emily freeman, and have heard her mention you several times. i’ve not been here a lot, but i loved this post. and the fact that it’s a giveaway…all the better! 😉 seriously, though, this perspective of “enough” has been haunting us for years, and we’re still trying to figure it out. i love the conversation you and shaun had, and so appreciate you letting us in on it. hope to meet you some day soon.

  95. just read that you’re speaking at relevant…which means i will meet you soon!! yay! i’ll be there helping em some, so we’ll have a little time to chat. very fun.

  96. My mom… always. She reminds me of grace, of faithfulness, of what is real and what is eternal.

  97. My daughters! My daughters! My daughters! 🙂