friendship,  inner world,  jesus

I’m so thankful I’m poor

I’m so thankful I’m poor because when I go to the library to check out dvd’s instead of renting or buying them, I see kids from my neighborhood on the computer terminals and I’m reminded that most of the world doesn’t have a computer in their home, let a lone two laptops, iphones, dvds, a tv, and any number of other technology that I rely upon and enjoy on a daily basis.

"I love technology, but not as much as you, you see!"

I’m so thankful that I’m poor because in choosing to eat less meat  to save money, reduce my carbon footprint, and be less of a consumer or resources, I’m more grateful for the times when I do enjoy a juicy medium-rare steak, a chicken breast sauteed with onions or stir-fried with broccoli. I think about villages that throw celebrations when a wild animal is caught because it means they get to eat meat, or weddings when meat is served as a luxury rather than something that easily comes served in nuggets or fingers.

I’m so thankful that I’m poor because I get to invite people into my life and ask for help. I’m reminded that I’m not self-sufficient, and that none of us were designed to be. From my neighbor who feeds our cats while we’re away, to my friend Gracee who lent me clothes that fit me this summer when I couldn’t afford to buy new ones after I had lost weight. Thank God for friends with great taste in fashion who are also generous!

totally gorgeous gracee- even when she's seven months preggers.

I’m so thankful that I’m rich in creativity when I use what God has provided for me rather than being sour about what I can’t afford. Rather than pouting about the prints that are too costly for me to buy on etsy, I end up being inspired and making cool artwork to decorate my home, pies to give to friends and be thankful that there are so many resources at my disposal to create things that are beautiful to enjoy.

I’m so thankful that I’m abundant in health that my body functions well and I can use it to work. To do dishes, to clean laundry, to write talks, to walk to the post office. That I’m hydrated by water that isn’t full of parasites that cause me to suffer in illness, that my feet are well covered by shoes that protect me from snow, ice, dirt and debris. That despite the heath care drama in the U.S., I can walk into a hospital if I am feeling ill, seek and receive treatment for what ails me.

I’m so thankful that I am wealthy with family and friends who love me and seek to care for me. As they say in Jamaica “a good friend is worth more than money in your pocket.” I have family that didn’t sell me into slavery like many young women around this world, that didn’t force me to roll cigarettes or bake bricks for 16 hours a day, or to be raped multiple times by men who pay to be with young sexually exploited girls in the brothels of South Asia, South America and Southern Ohio.

I’m so thankful that I experience the lavish love of Jesus as he teaches me what it means to be content in every situation. To be thankful whether I’m wearing scuffed gym shoes and dining on ramen noodles on my couch one day or clad in manolo blahniks feasting on sushi at an asian fusion bistro the next. All of it, in plenty and in want is a gift from God. Want to know how I’ve been learning to be so thankful? This helped. Take a look.

What are you thankful for as we begin 2010?


  • beccacaldwell

    I really appreciate this post! So many times in a day we don’t realize how much we are blessed! God’s grace is so amazing and instead of us complaining we should always be grateful because God is always providing for us and it may not be in the way that we would like but it’s the way we need it.. as He sees we need! In the US we may think that we are poor but in all honesty we have no idea what poor is!
    I’m glad that I came across this! It was a blessing

  • Lisa

    jessica, i like this post. i am thankful for colleagues in IV who choose to live simply and sacrifice wealth for ministry. now that jeff works at a big wig church, we see the staff he works with and the fact that they don’t know how good they have it. they don’t know what it’s like to do ministry and live without. (of course relative to the population they do, but they have a lot more than staff or other pastors from smaller churches). the perspective we gain on staff from living with little, i would not trade. jeff’s colleagues want tailored suits and iphones and think of them as ministry necessities. it’s not that it’s noble to live with less, it’s just that you learn so much from it about what you do need and about how to share.

  • joyce

    thanks for this post, jess. there have been so many times this past year when i haven’t been thankful that i’m poor, and that has lead me to question whether or not God will provide…. but he has! and and so much more than just the stuff too.

    thinking about the fact that we can drink water straight from the tap makes me feel thankful already.

  • grace

    this is an AWESOME post sidewalk, walker. 🙂

    I too feel really blessed at learning to live on less and allow myself to be dependent on others. Especially this year with so many going out of their way to help with our house, our roof, our baby, etc. We would have missed out on all that if we didn’t seek God and others for help. It’s been great to share life, time & clothes with you! 🙂 By the way, I want my dresses back! ahhahahaha 🙂

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