Why is it we appreciate the most when we have the least?

Our lives are lot different than they were a year or two ago. Rodney and I left our careers at the local newspaper last fall due to corporate practices counter to our beliefs. We left those jobs based on our ethical standards and faith that God had something bigger in store for us.

We were right.

The past year has been a series of ups and downs, with a whole lot of financial pitfalls. It’s difficult to go from a somewhat decent family income to one less than half of the government’s poverty level. Difficult, yes,  but not impossible.

Still we plug on, knowing that we are doing exactly what we were meant to do. We continue, knowing that God promises all our needs will be met. I said NEEDS, not wants.

In the past year, we have been blessed time and time again:

  • We get to serve our community with This Is Brown County, and people seem to appreciate our efforts. This fulfills our desire (and that of the Owenses, our partners and friends) to offer journalism the way this community deserves, not looking at profits, but people.
  • God has placed me in ministry to a small congregation, and in the process, has blessed me more than I could possibly be a blessing to them.
  • My children are pursuing their dreams and experiencing life in miraculous and amazing ways.
  • We are feeding into the life of a four-year-old and ensuring his well-being and safety.
  • We have wonderful friends and family who pick us up when we fall and give us opportunities to return the favor.
  • My marriage is strong… how could it not be when you’re married to your best friend?

I look back on the past couple years and realize that through the difficult times in 2010, we have become happier, less stressed and closer than before. We have often believe that financial security will make us happy. I don’t believe that anymore.

My life is so full and rich and I am so thankful. Even as we face a Christmas season without physical gifts, we can be appreciative of all the spiritual and emotional gifts that we have.

God has been so good to us and we know he has amazing opportunities and blessings in store for us in the upcoming year and beyond. We know God will use us to positively impact his people, and we are eager to serve. How wonderful life is when you have hope and peace and joy and love.

This week, stop and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.

Like the Grinch thought as he teetered on the mountain top, “Maybe Christmas… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!”