Monday, May 4, 2009

a 2 dollar bill

was held up in my sunday school class yesterday. as the lesson was on fasting and tithing, the teacher got a discussion started about what that bill represented to us.

for me, some of the answers given were lost on me. the only one i could think of that applied to me were the following:

decisions

learning

whilst in school, money was tight. tight as could be. we still found ways to enjoy our favorite thai food, go to the kids museum and be seen by a doctor. (although the kids might have to finish paying the loan off for student health insurance after we are dead and gone ;)) we were blissfully happy with nothing. 6 years of marriage was spent living below the poverty level and dreams were made of paychecks and our own house. i feel we did a good job while thru school. we avoided 6 figures of debt which seemed to be the norm for the red head's graduating class. there were scholarships and grants involved that covered a large portion of our yale schooling.

there were days on the playground day dreaming of the prawns and halibut i would buy once we had a paycheck. oh, the grocery budget i would give myself! i would dream about it often. but, somewhere provident living comes into play. it is probably that i am related to helen c., my lovely grandmother, but practicality has slapped my dreams of more "things" out of my life with no regrets. the kids wardrobe still consists of hand me downs, thrift stores, and gap sales. the grocery budget does occasionally allow prawns and 3 types of organic fruit but that hasn't increased our happiness. somehow i thought the burden we often felt thru those lean years came from the lack of funding. i think burdens are made light because we are given experiences to learn from. and, when we grab ahold of them and let them soak a while, our burdens become seem easier to bear. we learn to share them with an older brother. our nights don't seem to be happier when we eat steak or chicken. they do seem better when we all shake our groove thing to a little music before bed and giggle as our kids make fun of our dance moves.

so, as i sat thru this lesson yesterday, i concluded that the dollar bill to me has become another way to learn for myself that happiness is a state of mind, not a destination. our new house feels modest to me and something we made a goal of being able to pay off before the kids grow too big. of course, we are in love with dave ramsey and all of his wisdom. {he's coming to slc in 2 weeks, click here to go}

as i have been reading hella her carefully selected book choices every night, before we turn a page that she has decided is her favorite, she will squeal with delight and her chubby little hands will grab my face and say, "oh mom. dat's da good pawt." or "oh boy mom, here comes da good pawt." everyday i have been reminding myself to look for the good parts. you know, it's funny. it hasn't come from a $2 dollar bill......

4 comments:

emily ballard said...

Your meaningful words from the last two posts were so thoughtful (thanks) that I hesitate to add what a $2 bill represents to me. Did anyone in class say anything about donating plasma?? I really expected you to be going in that direction when you started talking about money being tight. . .

Plasma donation centers usually pay in $2 bills as a form of marketing (so when the bills are spent, people ask where they are from.) I've never donated plasma myself, but in my college days as a restaurant server, I occasionally received payment in $2 bills from other students who had creatively figured out how to go out to eat on their budgets.

Todd said...

I have to say I am happier when I eat steak... :)

BillienRobert said...

Glad to have you back, Heidi. Your posts are always great.

I too am a devout Ramsey fan. If all goes well, my debt-free scream will be from Tower Bridge over the Thames.

Coty* said...

You are absolutely right. Money can't buy happiness. Well, not OUR kinda happiness, eh!
Our Savior's Love.
a child's smile.
temple worship.
scripture.
sacred knowledge of where we came from, why we are here, and where we are headed.
white.
and much much more...

Thanks for this, tis good to be reminded!