Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Today in the mail, we received the gift of a CD of lovely country-tinged music recorded by my brother and his wife, and a high school graduation announcement for the son of long-time dear friends. I also received an email today from close family friends who invited us to join them at their daughter's high school graduation. Last weekend, we traveled to San Diego to watch a beloved nephew graduate from California State University, San Marcos, and we had a ball at a lively family after-party.
These sweet expressions of love remind me that Ron, Andrea and I have untold riches in family and friends, in church and community and in personal gifts and skills.
As most family and friends realize, for the first time in our half-century lives, Ron and I have struggled financially since 9/11. First, we wisely (but oh-so-sadly) closed our business in December 2001, an economic victim of 9/11.
Then, Ron was unexpectedly laid off in Fall 2002 when his engineering job was outsourced to Mexico. He was out of work, and we were without income, for eight months. His new job, with a high-flying high-tech start-up lasted 15 months, until it was outsourced to somewhere in Southeast Asia.
He was out of work another three months, until he started his present job in April 2005. (And it's going well, is a perfect fit for Ron, and is only four miles from home. God had His plan!)
We seem to have stabilized financially. We're still standing, but have few backup resources. We have little in monetary riches.
It occurred to me today.....we're richly blessed with every type of riches except monetary. We love and we are loved. We love God. We see beauty in everyday life. We're satisfied in our pursuits.
And.....here's the odd thing.....we've become more satisfied and happy and appreciative, and our walks with God have strengthened measurably, in these last five years when we were the most financially challenged. Despite these past five years. Because of these past five years.
We've truly learned the difference between need and want. We learned that having stuff doesn't make us happier. And we learned that simplicity of habits and schedules equates to greater inner peace.
So we are rich. God has blessed us with riches far beyond our imaginations or expectations.
We are better for the past five years. And we are grateful.
But trust me....the ride has been rough, and we would have opted out of it many times since 9/11, if God had only offered us that choice. :) And we still face financial challenges resulting from the past five years.....