Why is it so easy to focus on the struggles in my life? Sometimes it seems as if what we have is never enough. I spend hours fussing over our monthly budget, wondering where else we can stretch a dollar. Don’t get me wrong; we aren’t below the national poverty level or anything. We manage our money and do just fine with what we have.
My husband and I completed Financial Peace University almost two years ago, a program put on by Dave Ramsey where you can attend classes over several weeks to learn to manage money and communicate about money better with your spouse. Although much of what we learned is common sense (save money for a rainy day, pay off debts, etc.), it really helped my honey and I to talk about our long-term financial goals and how to make our money do what we wanted it to do.
Even though I am much more comfortable using delayed gratification to reach our financial goals, sometimes I still have a tendency to want more stuff, to keep up with the Joneses, to act (in my own head) like a child in the grocery store, screaming, “I want it, and I want it right now!”
While browsing Pinterest the other day, I came across a graphic called “First World Problems.” Have you seen these?
Even though it’s funny and scary familiar, it really makes you think.
There are people in the world who have to sleep in the dirt and don’t have clean water to drink or enough food to feed their children. Entire nations have epidemics of diseases that pretty much cured in our country, and we have the gall to complain about the speed of our Internet?
I also recently ran across this quote:
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
For Lent this year, I’m giving up my old frame of mind. When I see that a friend has purchased a new vehicle, I’ll no longer think, “My van looks crappy, I deserve a new one.” I’ll choose to be grateful that we have a reliable vehicle with heat and A/C. What I have is enough.
It’s not even just about money. I can have gratitude that I have a man who loves me for who I am and three healthy children. The gift they are to me is enough.
The good things in this life don’t last forever. I could have the attitude that every day is one day closer to death, or I can be grateful that I had another day to spend doing the things you love with the people I love.
What I’m most grateful for that I never want to take for granted is the gift Christ gave when died on the cross for us. His death and resurrection and His presence in the Eucharist are mysteries that none of us can really explain, but I am so grateful because He gives us the gift of grace. And His grace is enough to fulfill me in all ways imaginable.
How can you show your gratitude to God and others this Lenten season?
When Bryn isn’t busy simplifying her life and laughing at the little things, she enjoys spending time with her husband and being a stay-at-home mom to their three children. She blogs about her journey of faith, her family, living simply, and recognizing God’s many blessings at Simply Fulfilled.