In Others’ Words: Riches or Poverty

riches or poverty Doris Day 2014

I can calculate my wealth by pennies, nickles, dimes, quarters, pesos, liras, euros, shekels . . . you get the idea.

And sometimes I’ve done just that: looked at the balance in my checking account or my savings account — perhaps both — and decided whether I had enough to be grateful for.

I can assure you, there were many times when my monetary status equaled No Reason to Give Thanks.

And yet, when I don’t let dollars and cents determine my wealth — when I look up from the financial bottom line, I am overwhelmed by reasons to be thankful.

And once again, it comes down to a choice. Do I want to complain?

About the weather.

Or my writing deadlines.

Or about how my back surgery in March relieved one pain — and left me with another.

All of that is poverty.

Let me instead choose riches.

And be thankful for the rain — and how Colorado has been fire-free this summer.

Thankful for my deadlines — for they are proof-positive that I am living my dream.

Thankful for my surgery that relieved the greater, unrelenting pain. This smaller pain can be a reminder to get up, get outside, and go for a walk.

I am rich indeed.

In Your Words: How do you choose to live in awareness of the richness of your life? Is there a complaint that you could transform from poverty to riches?

[Tweet “Are you choosing poverty or riches? #lifequotes #gratitude”] [Tweet “Gratitude or Complaint: The choice is yours #lifequotes”] [Tweet “#‎SomebodyLikeYou “perfect for a book club” #‎chrisfIc #‎amreading”]



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  1. July 16, 2014, 6:33 am   /  Reply

    It can be tough. In the face of people who say that I should give up and die, and let those around me get on with their lives without having to constantly be a witness to pain and illness – yeah, it’s not easy.

    When I’m told that even the dogs would be better off…man. Maybe so, but that’s cold.

    I have to believe that there is a purpose for all of this, and that even on the worst and loneliest day, at least my devotion to what I perceive as my duty will suffice as gratitude.

    • July 16, 2014, 5:09 pm   /  Reply

      I am thankful for you and your friendship.
      And your sacrifical love for your dogs is always a reminder of God’s commandment that a righteous man takes care of his animals. I read that verse … and I think of you.

  2. July 16, 2014, 6:46 am   /  Reply

    When there is distress or things are unsettling, I’m thankful for God’s whisper to let Him help me define “why” and then confront and speak from it as necessary. It’s not always fun, but it lets Him enter situations to break deadlocks which certainly won’t budge otherwise, so I’m thankful for the necessity and courage to define and face obstacles.

    • July 16, 2014, 5:09 pm   /  Reply

      Love this, Dee: the idea of letting Him enter situations to break deadlines.
      So, so wise.

  3. July 16, 2014, 1:49 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, I always knew I liked spunky Doris Day, but that quote makes her even more endearing. So glad to hear Colorado has been fire-free this summer. That’s a huge blessing.

    Being a recovering pessimist, it’s easy for me to slip into negativity. I have to work extra hard to find the positives in life because it doesn’t come naturally to me. My biggest struggle with that right now is trying to find the positives in still being single at age 27. Totally thought I’d be married by now, and it’s hard that the answer is “Not now.” So when I’m bummed about it, it’s difficult to see it as a glass-half-full moment.

    Some positive things I’ve noticed lately:
    1. More free time to write, read, and watch TV.
    2. Extra time with my parents and sis that I won’t have once I have the responsibilities of marriage and motherhood.
    3. I can survive on hot pockets, canned soups, and buttered tortillas (which is great on a small budget like mine), whereas I’ll have to actually cook good-for-you meals later on.

    Guess this time’s pretty blessed after all.


    • July 16, 2014, 5:11 pm   /  Reply

      I admire you embracing life for what it is, rather than letting it sift through your fingers for what you thought it would be . . . a challenge, I know. And yet you choose riches instead of poverty. I know it is a daily choice. Somtetimes hourly.

      • July 18, 2014, 9:47 am   /  Reply

        Oh, Beth, it really is! Thank you for your encouragement. You don’t know how much of a pick-me-up your words are for me today. (Today’s a great day already, but last weekend was a bummer, so I’m soaking up all the pick-me-ups I can for the next round of bummer-time that’s sure to come up eventually.)

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