A Grateful Heart and a Stack of Coats

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Most of the time now, I feel poor.

If I sit back, it feels silly. We have enough money to pay a mortgage and a rent, drive back and forth to Chattanooga, pay a baby-sitter, all of our utilities, for groceries, and for a little fun. We eat out every Sunday after church–that’s built into our budget.

I’ve seen true poverty. In 1999, I took my very first plane trip ever at the age of 17 to the Dominic Republic for a mission trip. There, as a part of World Changers, my group helped construct the second story of a small green church with cinderblocks and cement. We walked through the neighborhood, feeling the desperation. We saw the slums, houses made of tin caked together with mud. I saw a Haitian family of 10 living in a hut with pigs and chickens.

Since then, I’ve been to Thailand, where I saw the aftermath of a terrible tsunami. I saw where five people slept on one bed and had to pee in a hole in the ground. I’ve been to rural China, where there are no lights after dark and I slept on the guest bed–made of logs and bags of rice. I’ve seen hungry children in Nashville who just want to find the safe place their home isn’t.

Considering all these things, feeling poor is almost indulgent.

One of my friends gave me a coat for Libbie yesterday. I sat there, staring at it, thinking about how she would have five coats by Christmas (I know my parents have purchased one for her)–including a boutique one, one from Mini Boden, and two from Gymboree. There are little girls out there Libbie’s age who don’t have one coat.

I am so thankful for the abundance we have been given. I am learning more and more to embrace simplicity and let God plan our lives. And I want to share what we have been given. That’s why we sponsor a child with Compassion. And that’s why I hope you’ll give me some ideas as to where I could donate a few precious little girl’s coats.

Mary is hosting a carnival each Thursday through Thanksgiving on giving thanks. I hope you’ll consider going and reading her post on Compassion today.

6 thoughts on “A Grateful Heart and a Stack of Coats

  1. Thanks for linking up, Jessie. I tell you what – I'm also thankful for perspective. We've spent many years being broke and struggling financially (often thanks to our own lousy choices), and it's only been in the past two years that I've understood how ridiculous it is for me to even complain. Not that we haven't had hard times. But really? Nothing like the true impoverished face every single day. And that perspective is SUCH a blessing!!

  2. My first thought for little girl coat donations was here:

    or one of the local domestic violence shelters. They're sometimes a little difficult to work with because of all the protective precautions they have to take, but i think it's worth it. (i donated the dishware i used in college to a shelter.)

  3. What a great post…and thank you for reminding me what I have. I too sometimes sit and wish I had more…I want a bigger house..more clothes..etc…but in reality I am soooo very lucky and it's important to remember that.

  4. Love your post! We struggle financially a lot. We are below the poverty level for our family size. However, we can pay our rent. We have enough for groceries, etc. I don't even know what true poverty is. I try to remind myself of that when I have my little pity party because I can do or buy certain things I'd like to have or do. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂
    God bless,

  5. I know what you mean exactly! Whenever I start to feel poor or down, I try to think about those things. It really puts it in perspective, doesn't it?
    We should be so thankful for the closet full of coats and clothes we have for our kiddos. Love it, Jess. Thanks!

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