Today is Blog Action Day and the theme is Poverty. I read a great post by Travis already. You should check it out.
I recently had a conversation with a friend/relative. She said that Hubby and I inspired her with our kingdom living. She said that she sees that we live for eternity and not for today. She and her hubby want to be that way, but it is hard. I was honored that she sees us that way. We struggle everyday to live with what we have and not constantly desire more. We give away at least 20% of our income, but we try to give even more when we can. However, we don’t always succeed. I told her that, too. Right now we are in a bad spot because we wasted some extra money we had. If we hadn’t wasted it, we could have gotten ourselves out of that bad spot. It’s so easy to go on a spending spree when you’ve gone so long scrimping and then have some extra cash. But God forgives our mistakes. I asked Him to forgive me for my wastefulness and even causing Chris to be wasteful, too. I know He has forgiven me, but He also gently reminded me that while we wasted our opportunity to easily get out of a mess, He is still there for us. We have to pay the consequences of our wastefulness, but He will provide. He will make it possible to get out even though it may be harder than it could have been. Does that make sense?
I’ve actually been thinking a lot about poverty. Maybe we all have. Finances are bad for everyone right now. I think even the rich feel it in their pocketbooks. A few years ago I went to the Philippines. Lately I’ve been wishing that we lived more like they do. They have small houses that are cement if they are fortunate enough. Most have thatch roofs. They do their laundry by hand and walk to most places. They also have many people living in one house together. Our country has become one of so many independent people that when we face a crisis like this financial one, we don’t know what to do. We have become so independent that we have no one to turn to when we do need help.
So many of us live so far from our families that we don’t have the crucial family support we need. I, for one, live in a rural area and I have few ways to save gas money. I work 25 miles away from my house. Even to go to the grocery store is far. If I want to go to Target or Wal-Mart, I have to drive 45 minutes. As a nation, we are far too lazy. I say that it’s far to the grocery store, but really, I could walk there if I had to. And I should. I should save some money and get exercise.
I read an article recently titled,”I Live With Another Man’s Wife“. It is about four couples who live together. It was in issue 35 of Relevant Magazine. If you click the link, there is a summary of the article in the left column about half way down. I wish they had the entire article online, it was very good. These four couples save money by eating together and taking turns cooking. Their bills are less because they are split between the four families. They even have kids. They each have their private space, but otherwise all is shared, including work. I’ve been thinking that that is pretty smart. It is way more economically responsible. It’s also more financially and environmentally responsible. What would it take to get there, I wonder?
With the all the financial pressure that we are all feeling lately, with higher gas, food and other bills, we really need to take steps toward a better solution. Sure it is hard to live with other people and sure it is hard not to spend money you don’t really have. But in the end, we are way better off doing these fairly simple things to save ourselves from more serious problems.
Take a look at this very funny video from Saturday Night Live, Don’t Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford. I received a link to it via Twitter today, but I can’t figure out who from. Thank you to whoever you were!
Finally, here is another great post for Blog Action Day, by iChilly, talking about the action responsibility we have. So, take these thoughts and act on them! Let’s start the necessary change we need to live more responsibly. This will benefit ourselves and others because there will be more of everything to go around. Like iChilly wrote, let’s not be selfish “Because selfishness is poverty of the soul.” I would rather be poor in “stuff” than poor in “soul”.