Thursday, June 12, 2014

Richness in Poverty

I'm trying hard to find the richness in poverty; I can't say I've found it yet.

 I know it's there somewhere; Jesus was born in poverty, the saints were attracted to poverty, Mother Theresa gave up her wealthy life (after becoming a nun) to live in poverty. I know that somehow, we have a treasure in this house but my humanness prevents me from seeing it.

There are days, like today, when I find it hard to be grateful for what I have. It's hard to see what I have in order to be grateful. But there's a little saying that really helps me through these hard times of "doing without" that, "You can't be thankful without being humble and you can't be humble without being thankful." I don't know if I picked that up somewhere or just made it up but it does help me out.

That being said, today I'm having a hard time being thankful.

There's still much to be done with the house. It's one of those things where you have to live in it to understand how much work this house needs. Days like today, it's overwhelming.

On our lengthy list of things to do/replace/fix, is the boys room. I feel bad for the boys because their room is the worst of all the bedrooms. And because it's in the basement, it's easy to forget about it. Today I went I had to put some laundry away and again I was hit with their sad condition of their room:

(For those who get the blog by email, sorry, I hit the publish button too soon by mistake!)

Max's bed is a mattress on the floor and Luke still sleeps on a futon. Normally I try to make them at least make their beds but it's hard to take pride in a room like this.

The walls are dirty with peeling paint, smashed bugs and a smell of dampness. There's a border of flowers around the room that has been ripped off. The boys have tried to decorate the room and "make it their own" by decorating it with their own artwork.

On the ceiling, there's vents going through their rooms that will have to be covered. Dennis says this has to be done before the room can be painted.

The door knob is also missing on the door and there's also a hole in the door.

A small fix, I know, but there are so many "small fixes" around this house that it all adds up. Or totally forgotten about.

It's just one of many projects that we have on our list but all of it is so important that it's hard to know what to do first. We have already spent so much money to replace things that we need for our day-to-day living that we're running out fast.


The first thing I want to do is buy the boys a bunk bed. Again, an expensive fix! But their room is so small that they need a bunk bed, plus, they are so excited with the thought of a bunk bed in their room. It would be their first piece of furniture to make it feel like a real bedroom.

Second, hopefully Dennis can get to work on covering the vents so that I can paint their room. Max wants an "Angry Bird" room.

Maybe after that, Max will like sleeping in his room. Right now he doesn't. I can't say I blame him.

One thing at a time though.

I think that's where I will eventually find the richness in this situation; I'll find it at the bottom of the barrel of patience. The answer to every problem right now is to "wait". Waiting is so hard though. Thus the virtue of patience, and thus the treasure of poverty.

I will try hard to believe this, and I will try hard to teach my children the value of being patient. They will be more grateful for every little thing restored and painted. For every hole covered and doorknob replaced.

We will hopefully be better people because of it.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe you can paint the vents fun colors. Or maybe not. I know you want everything done today, and so would I. So it seems they have a porthole in their door? That's what it looks like to me.

    Poverty is difficult. Poverty is stressful. Poverty just plain stinks.

    Step by step, step by step - a year from now you'll have some really nice "after" pictures to show.

    One thing about houses and buildings in general, there is always something that needs to be improved or maintained.

    At least the boys can hang up their artwork and posters without worrying about damaging the paint.

    Remember to find little joys every day even if just gazing at a pretty flower.

    Waiting is difficult, I know.