Money. The word, all by itself, evokes automatic emotions for nearly every adult human I know. Only the very lucky ones have a benign response to money, and by lucky I mean those who have the luxury of having enough, and those who don’t require much to be happy.
I will not attempt to address the complexity of the topic. It is a given fact that many good, hard working people do not have enough. My thoughts today are based on an assumption that there is bread on our tables and our lights turn on when we flip the switch. If this is actually your situation, pause this very moment and give thanks!
My mom had a relatively healthy relationship with money, once she became empowered to earn her own and had enough to cover her bills. The problem, when you’re in commission-based sales, it that you anticipate excessively. You’re exhausted because you have too many clients and more work than you have time, or you’re in a panic because there is a brief lull in business and you worry that you will never have another client.
Mom absolutely loved being able to buy simple comforts for others. “I’ll sell another house,” she’d say; and usually she would. She liked nice things, and if she had the money, she bought nice things. She didn’t mind paying full price for quality.
I, on the other hand, am a natural born bargain shopper. Much of the beauty and pleasure is the bargain I can find in it.
I used to think I was being a good steward over my funds. But I’m rethinking.
Mom used to say , when I would question her purchases, “What’s money for?” And, come to think of it, she was right. Money is simply a facilitator for our earthly experience. It should not be an end in itself.
My friend Deb gave me this little nugget of thought a couple years ago, and it often pops into my head. She said:
“If you have a problem, and money can solve it, and you have the money, then you don’t have a problem.”
My HOPE…for myself as much as those I love, is that we respect our stewardship to ourselves and our families…work hard, with diligence and dignity regardless of the value society may put on our work. (Note – society does not pay musicians/writers fairly, as evidenced in the 11 cent royalty check that came in the mail today.) But let money remain in its proper place. If you don’t have it, don’t spend it. If you have enough, use it to facilitate the things you value most. And if by chance you have an abundance, be wise, be generous, and be grateful.
During the season of Lent I make the personal commitment to write every day. I’ve done this for the past eight years, as a token of devotion and thanks to the Lord for giving me a brain that works (usually). I publish these writings here on my blog, unedited and splattered like wet paint, as a way to share them and to keep them for myself and for my posterity. This year I have decided to ruminate on thoughts, ideas, habits and miscellaneous personal practices I would like to put in a figurative HOPE CHEST to take with me into the rest of my life and the life beyond. Besides that, there are bits of advice I would like to tuck into the HOPE CHESTS of my kids and grandkids.