Monday, August 7, 2017

Rich and Humble Living

Library of Congress: House and Garage in 1935 Mississippi  by Arthur Rothstein

In 1905, a book of moral and religious stories contained a sketch of a struggling family who were in great need of new clothing, comfortable furniture, and home repairs. *  Mother did her best with what money and resources she had, but it was difficult and discouraging.  When a good sum of money was obtained, she was able to do several things which greatly boosted the happiness and morale of the family.  The lesson here was that times of hardship should be a temporary matter.  It is a blessing and a gift to have pleasant surroundings, pretty clothing, and treats which make one smile, particularly if these can be done with prudence and frugality.  We must not pile up an abundance of money, letting it sit idly in savings, when a portion can bring happiness to those around us.

Providing a bit of comfort and pleasantries for daily living does not have to cost a great deal of money.

Happiness may also be obtained in our activities.  These past few weeks I have been playing tennis with my grown sons.  There is a beautiful court in a lovely park maintained by the town.  The only cost I have incurred is the purchase of a set of rackets and tennis balls, which were a small one-time expense.  These should last me many years, perhaps even a lifetime.  One often feels rich when one takes even an hour a week to enjoy some outdoor recreation in season.

We can slowly add material items to our homes and lives,  over a long period of time. These may be a set of pretty curtains, lovely dishes, cheerful paint for a hallway, elegant pictures for an entryway, games for the parlour, and yes, even a set of tennis rackets. 

Amy Dacyczyn, in her book, "The Tightwad Gazette," teaches that we can add things to our lives on a yearly basis that will help save us money, and also make our lives better (such as gardening tools, a set of quality baking pans, a sewing machine, cloth diapers, a good dress suit, fruit trees for the back yard, etc.).  The method is to take a small amount of money in the first year to frugally purchase what is wanted (or needed) and then each year, purchase the next thing on your list, and on and on.  Over time, with lots of hard work and patience, you will have the desired items to make your life better (and happier).

Some may think that being poor, or of humble means, suggests that being "lower class" should be taken literally. This is rarely the case.  In the history of our American ancestors, many started out in humble cabins yet were people of virtue and good citizenship. 

Evangelist Dr. John R. Rice (1895 - 1980) was a very rich man when it came to family and friends. He is quoted as follows:

"You say, 'Crime is excusable because somebody is poor.' I was poor, too. My family was poor. I wore "hand-me-down" clothes. Eight of us lived in a four-room country house without plumbing, without electric lights, without running water; and we were decent and honest, and went to church, and paid our bills, and did right. Being poor doesn't give any excuse to break the laws of the land."

Abraham Lincoln is well known for coming from a childhood of poverty and humble means.  He went on to become the President of the United States of America.  His son, Robert, became a wealthy businessman who built a beautiful mansion in Vermont.

Poverty is often as temporary and fluctuating as the stock market.  Things get better!  We can live rich lives through the good times and the bad, depending on our attitude and outlook.

Mother Teresa explains this well:

"Spread love everywhere you go: First of all, in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to your next door neighbor. . . Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting."

There is something called, "the joy of the Lord," which will greatly help us in our attitude.  This is a life of strong faith and trust in Almighty God.   He owns the cattle upon a thousand hills!  (Psalm 50:10)  He feeds the birds!  (Matthew 6:26)   And just like the old, sweet hymn says, "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me." 

We are truly rich, indeed!


* "Sabbath Readings for the Home Circle"

From the Archives -

A Peaceful Retreat - "The Privacy of Home Life."

Happiness in - "Making Money Last."

Wisdom from Yesteryear - "Building a Strong Work Ethic in our Children."

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers

"Mother's Book of Home Economics."

312 pages, paperback.


A Woman that Fears the Lord said...

I appreciated this post! So many good points! Thank you!

Amelia said...

I enjoyed this post, such good, encouragement here!


Anonymous said...

Wonderful article!

Unknown said...

Excellent, as usual! The best blog ever.
God bless

Laura Jeanne said...

This post was a blessing to me today. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. :)

Mrs. Laura Lane said...

First of all, Mrs. White, I am so very happy to hear that you feel well enough to play tennis! That will be great recreation for you and your family!

Second, I agree to buying things that will add to your family's comfort in a responsible and thrifty way. I recently used my Walmart gift card to buy some hand towels for the bathroom and a few other small items that we needed since we had out-of-town guests. Instead of buying the cheapest hand towels, I chose to buy the ones that were next up in quality. The price was twice as much (though not as much as the fancy towels). I decided it was worth it for a couple reasons. 1. They were much thicker and would absorb more water than the thin towels, so they wouldn't have to be replaced with another towel as quickly. 2. They felt so much nicer, I knew my family would like them better.

I spent less than $40 on all the items I bought, but they made things so much nicer for our visit and for our family. I am glad I spent the gift card on something we could all enjoy. Happy Christmas and happy birthday to me. ~smile~

Be blessed my friend!
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

RebeccaL. said...

Glad to know you are feeling well enough for tennis! That sport is very physical and exerting... When my daughter played, I got wore out just watching her! Lots of running and swinging and "perspiring". :)

Good thoughts!
Mrs. Langford of Langford Cottage

5webs said...

I just wanted to thank you for introducing me (via your blog) to Dr. Charles Stanley. I clicked on your link on your homepage to listen to the sermon about motherhood. I had never heard of Pastor Stanley before, but after watching that one video I was hooked. I sought out his website InTouch Ministries, and subscribed, and I have watched a couple of his other sermons on YouTube in the past couple of days. What a blessing it is when we share with others people who have inspired us, and then they in turn are inspired, and share with their friends, and the message goes on and on and on.

Mrs. Senti said...

Thank you, Mrs. White, for these uplifting thoughts. I have also been inspired lately by some of the godly, resourceful women portrayed in Grace Livingston Hill's books, making the best out of what they have for the joy and care of those in their homes. I always look forward to reading your thoughts--may God bless you today.

Deborah Montgomery said...

I'm also happy to hear you have been well enough to play tennis. And very special to play with your sons. xo

living from glory to glory said...

Hello, each time you play you will be building strength and fun memories also. And we can enrich our lives a bit more each new season and year if we are wise and take care of what we have!
Blessings, Roxy

becky said...

Trusting all is well and you are feeling better each day!! Miss your posts!