Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "I will never leave you or forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
The idea of contentment includes have an unfailing strength, a satisfaction, that what you have is enough.
I spent the past week with my mother in law, an 88 year old treasure whose life has been full to the brim, as is her frequent tea cup. She tells the stories of her family with humor and joy.
She and my father in law moved 4 children and a small truck of possessions from New York to New Mexico, arriving with no money in hopes of securing a small lumber yard for the launch of a new business.
She giggles as the details of sitting on the ends of suitcases at the table because they could not afford chairs and decorating tumbleweeds as there was no money for a tree at Christmas.
She does not however romanticize what it means to be poor, but instead was able to personify contentment, strength that what they had was enough. They had a healthy family, education, affection and confidence that this was temporary.
Mary and Tom started their family while he was serving in WWII, they had perspective as to what sacrifice really looked like. They also had humor, they laughed at the circumstances. They also had humility, waiting appreciatively for the Salvation Army to help them with some furnishings, some clothes.
What they did not do was hunker down and get through adversity, but they lived knowing they had in abundance what was really important and they absence of chairs and Christmas trees was kinda funny.
They did not have to live in such modest means for long, which I am sure contributed to present day amusement, but I was struck as it is not a survival story, but snapshot, one of many but all having to do with family and not circumstances. Mary lives free, and laughs a lot.
Perspective, humility and humor--it's enough.