Artist Living

A Woman's Power During Uncertain Finaincal Times

Me Ra Koh

I’ve had something on my heart these last few days. This is a Personal Reflection post, and I would love to hear your thoughts. It’s a long one, as most Personal Reflection posts are. 🙂


Fear is in the air these days. It seems to loom over us like a socked in fog. The financial world is in turmoil, everywhere you go you hear of another nightmare that may unfold…gas prices rising, cost of food rising, election craziness…home values continuing to drop…friends facing foreclosure, bankruptcy. The list goes on and on.

Where do we get our peace during these times? We can pray, but what else can we do? How can a woman still have power when she feels so powerless? As one friend said this week, “I’m pregnant and can’t help bring in anymore money then what I’m already doing. I feel powerless!”

I was making scrambled eggs on Saturday morning. At the last minute, after I dished up the kids their eggs, I decided to add spinach leaves and crumbled feta. As I stood in the kitchen, cooking up the eggs, I remembered another morning I had made the same breakfast. But it was at least eight years ago. Before babies, before photography. And the breakfast wasn’t for me and Brian, it was for eight other women coming over.

At the time, I had been a part of a small women’s group that was connected to the church we were attending. This church was located in a wealthy area and thus, it had a lot of wealthy people attending. Brian and I…hmmm…let’s just say we were the other extreme of wealthy. We had nothing to our names. ZIPPO!

We were new to the church, so I decided to join a small group. These eight women would come together every third Saturday and take turns having breakfast at each other’s homes. I remember going to some of their homes, and I couldn’t help but notice the fact that

A) they owned a home and we were renting a dive for $350 a month and

B) how nice their homes were!

You would have thought I would stress about my upcoming turn to make breakfast at my home (the place my dad refereed to as the Crack House, since that’s what it looked like on the outside).

You would have thought I was dreading my Saturday morning.

But here’s the thing. I wasn’t. I knew where Brian and I were at in life because I knew where we had come from.

Brian and I had come through five years of incredible pain and trauma in our marriage. We had nothing financially. People often wondered how so much bad could happen to one couple, especially since we’d only been married four years. When we hit the fourth year of marriage, all our other friends were buying their first homes. But it wasn’t time for us. We were managing an apartment complex and praying for a place with cheap rent so we could stop managing. We just wanted a place that was quiet and affordable. A place to call our own. This little $350 Crack House was the place we found, and I loved it. No rent to collect, toilets to unplug. Just us.

I remember standing at the stove that morning eight years ago. Any minute now the eight women would be showing up for breakfast. I put out my best tablecloth. A bought a bunch of tulips at the grocery store. I set out my special teacups and saucers with silver spoons. I was enjoyed every detail; a basket full of teas, baking homemade blueberry muffins, a fresh fruit salad and then my scrambled eggs with feta and spinach. With candles lit, I welcomed the women into my home–my dwelling place. And because I knew this place was a gift to us, in the time of life we were surviving, I couldn’t help but smile wide as I hosted these women.

When I remembered this breakfast, I was reminded of a truth that has helped me through many uncertain times. The truth being that I have the power to create something from nothing. I can take an ugly house and make it my own beautiful space. How? because beauty comes from within me. I know…so simple, yet for me, so profound….and so easy to lose sight of. Beauty doesn’t come from what I own, what I look like or don’t look like. None of the above. It simply comes from within–from my own deep wells of passion and imagination.

I want Pascaline to hear this story when she is older. I’m sure she will feel the pressure at some point to buy a home or buy a better this or better that as her peers have. But beautiful houses don’t equal an inviting home. And I believe wholeheartedly, that no matter how dire the circumstances, how little money there is for groceries or gas money, that there is something a woman cannot lose. She cannot lose her ability to create beauty from nothing. She cannot lose her imagination that makes the powerless powerful.

A woman can take a run down shack and make it the most inviting home anyone has ever been to. She can enrich people with her laughter, with her fragrant smells that creep out of the kitchen and tickle your nose. She can light a few candles, offer you coffee or tea and you feel like your being waited on as if you were a king or queen. A woman’s home is her magical refuge. She can open her door and invite you to take a break from the storm, and no matter how much money she has or doesn’t have, she can make her home a healing place.

In times like this, when everything is uncertain, remind yourself of the power you have to create, to make magic, to comfort and feed the soul of someone who has forgotten their own abilities. In times like this, if we have the strength, we must open our door and entertain a desperate soul who has forgotten her own power, her own beauty. Forget about picking the toys up. Forget about having an empty sink.

Even today, I had a woman over who is struggling. Her struggle is very deep. Her fears are incredibly valid. The financial market could change their lifestyle dramatically. I had toys everywhere, homeschool papers all over the table, and dishes from Saturday still in the sink. But I didn’t care because I knew her desperation felt far more dirty and uncomfortable than how she’d feel with my dirty dishes.

I lit some candles and made some tea. We let the kids play. I listened, asked questions and listened some more. My prayer was that she’d remember how power-full she is, despite how powerless the current times have us feeling.

My heart’s cry is that she would reconnect with that part of her that can create beauty, magic and laughter from nothing. This is something the financial state can never take from a woman. This is a power we will always possess.

Have you lost site of this power lately? Do you know others who have? What can you do to regain it?

Do you know where you are at in life? Where have you come from? Sometimes I answer these two questions to help me remember that where I am is exactly where I’m supposed to be.


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  1. Amanda mays says:

    Beautiful reminder! Thank you!

  2. Kelli says:

    Great way to start my morning! Thanks!

  3. Carrie V. says:

    Beautiful post, Me Rah! My husband lost his job in February and I spent the summer feeling powerless. I spent the summer in fear. These past 7 months my husband and I experienced our darkest hours and weakest moments. But we learned to lean on each other and help each other up. When I was feeling down and scared and angry, I remembered that by doing for others, I would begin to feel better. In the past few months, I found my power again, and realize that while we have lost our home and other things, our family is together and stronger than ever. We’re starting a new chapter in our life and that gives me hope.

  4. Bev says:

    Thanks for the Post!! I think you are right….it never ceases to amaze me that my husband and I have come through some very, very scary times but have always managed to get through it some way….I think a sense of humor helps tremendously…

  5. Brooke says:

    So funny that you write this now, as a couple days ago I blogged something similar. Just validates what I need to do. During these times with 4 kids and staying at home, I certainly feel the pressure! But we are holding on , making do with what we have, and counting our blessing for how far we have come!

  6. jen s. says:

    yea i think this is beyootiful…i know this has been on my mind…like what was i thinking getting into photography …and WHO would wanna give me money to take pictures…especially when everyone starts getting gripped with fear over finances. But all in all – i know that i can’t stop creating…ever! yea!

  7. Jill says:

    This post could not have come at a better time. My husband and I are at our lowest financial point ever. When we first married we lived in CA in a very nice apt by the beach, we both had high paying jobs, traveled all the time, $ wasn’t an issue….then we had our 1st daughter 3 1/2 years ago. She was born with a very rare syndrome, accompanied by many health problems. I knew right at that moment that I couldn’t go back to work as planned. I HAD to be home with her.

    So we left CA and moved to much cheaper AZ and bought a very simple 3 bedroom home. Hubby took a paycut, but we didn’t care. It was a way for me to be home raising and helping our daughter. Her medical bills were and still are insane. We’ve wiped out our ENTIRE savings and borrowed $$ from my parents. Six months later we found out we were expecting daughter #2 – that was a shock, a true blessing now though.

    Now over 3 years later we are in deep. My daughter has so many dr’s appts (9 specialists that come with high copays), so many unpaid dr’s bills. I have let them all go and just pay what HAS to be paid. I’m OK with this, at first the idea of an unpaid bill bothered me. Now I’m just pissed at our poor healthcare system – crazy how our opinions change with the circumstances we face. That’s another story….It’s killing us though! We have $21 in our account and no gas in my car. We contemplate letting our house go, which would kill us. We have made this our home. How did it all change so quickly?

    I feel like I can’t talk to my hubby about this because he just gets so negative. I keep trying to think what I could do to make money from home, but it’s hard to find anything legit these days. He travels so I can’t get a job at night (no one to watch the kids). I feel helpless for the first time in my life. I’m not one to feel like this – I’m all about empowerment, personal responsibility, etc, etc, etc. Most of Master’s degree was spent in defense of feminist theory. Look at me now. =)

    Anyway, here I’ve poored out all this personal info to strangers….people in my life don’t even know this much! For the first time in my life I do feel like I’ve lost this power. Your post has me thinking…Thank you.

  8. Marsha Alexander says:

    I love #4, the picture of Maxine. It is so funny and cute that it makes you want to dive right in and dog paddle.

  9. Sandy says:

    What an encouraging word! It blessed my heart this morning. thank you

  10. Elise says:

    this post hits home. thank you.

  11. jeramy says:

    you know what i love about this post? it’s about finding your inner strength and power….but the core purpose for finding it….is so you can serve others. how cool is that? i think in most cases…if you’re feeling down, desperate, lost….find someone to serve…and your perspective changes a bit. such a great message.

    have a great day!

  12. Megan says:

    thanks, this post is a lovely, timely reminder as we receive our last paycheck this week and start a new business.

  13. Michelle says:

    I love reading posts like this first thing in the morning and then sitting with the thoughts while I do the daily routine. Of course my daily routine included my $7 trip to Starbucks that has nothing to do with the coffee, but the ritual that surrounds it and with the state of the economy it is a ritual I need to change.
    Last week, Oprah had on a financial guy who painted such a clear picture of how and why we have reached this point. He explained that it was a cycle that started with Annie who bought an overpriced house she could not afford and it all went downhill form there when interest rates went up. For anyone who does not totally get how we got in this mess, watch the oprah video:
    It basically all came down to us living beyond our means to keep up with the joneses. Suze Orman puts it “we’ve all probably spent money we don’t have to impress people we don’t even know or like.”
    Which finally brings me back to your beautiful post and the great wisdom you had at such a young age. While most of us may have skipped hosting the breakfast because our house was not big enough or nice enough, you knew that the beauty was within and it was not about what you had but what you were able to create. It’s hard though, we are bombarded daily with messages telling us what we “need” to be the person that we aspire to. As aspiring photographers, we think we need the best camera, lens and editing program but forget what Ansel Adams was able to create without these things. What we can create with our cameras has nothing to do with the camera, it has to do with the beauty we see and can share.
    Sorry if I went off on a weird tangent, but it is what I thought about after reading your post.

  14. Gail says:

    I totally agree that it’s what you make of the inside of your house – no matter the size – that makes it a home.

    As a kid, my favorite friend to visit was my pal Ellen. Her parents were school teachers and I just remember books everywhere, tons of crazy stuff (including this cut-out of Ronald Reagan in their kitchen) and fun, unique objects in every nook and cranny of their home.

    I still think about that house (which was super small) and how it inspires me to have the kind of place that is full of conversation starters – not fancy furniture – and books everywhere, and unique finds from travels my husband and I have been on.

    Great post Me Ra!

  15. Just recently John and I were justpraying what are we going to do and what are you trying to teach us! We were shown at times like these, people really are desperate to make a buck whether it be the right way or the wrong way. But God still shows us to trust him because he has seriously taken care of us and provided for us from day one. It’s an amazing feeling being humbled and empowered at the same time…

  16. Monica says:

    I sincerely and whole heartedly love and adore you and Brian. Your children are both incredibly lucky to have such loving and humble parents watching out for them. Your home is not just where you live – Me Ra, you create a sense of home and belonging for everyone you meet. You are that feeling of belonging. 🙂

  17. Michele says:

    I am left speechless and contemplative after reading your words. All I can say is wow and thank you. Reading this is just what I needed at exactly the right time. Thank you Me Ra!

  18. Allison G. says:

    Me Ra….how is it possible that once again I feel as though you are speaking directly to me!! I am sure everyone else feels the same.

    Your words are always such a blessing, but especially today. I have REALLY been working on this lately, and trying to keep focused on the fact that even with this scary financial crisis looming, and dealing with tight budgets, in general, we all have SO much compared to most of the world.

    What is the line from that Sheryl Crow song? “It’s not having what you want, but wanting what you’ve got” or something like that? I am trying to just find contentment in where I am right now and stop always looking at what others have or are doing. I have found that there is some power in making that conscious decision to be happy in spite of our struggles.

    You know the other thing I have found to be true…my mom told me this for years, but it took such a long time for me to understand it. That everyone is struggling with something no matter how put-together they seem, you just never know what heaviness is on their hearts. Just another reason to find contentment in own situations.

    Thanks again for the inspiration today!

  19. Rhonda says:

    Thanks for this post. I have learned to love the hard times, because those are the times that remind me of what is important and that nothing I have came to me because of something I could do. God gave it to me and He always takes care of my needs and even my wants sometimes. And I am reminded that “things” have NOTHING to do with my hapiness or joy. I have learned the importance of simplicity and giving – that simplicity allows for me to have more to give. And that giving is sooooo much more fulfilling than hording. Thanks again!

  20. jeramy says:

    allison g.

    i love that song!

  21. Me Ra,

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom, which is drawn from deep wells of life experience. I recall being welcomed into the home of a Dominican woman, years ago while I was on a documentary project. Her arms opened to hug me and hold me firmly within the walls of true hospitality. Even though the walls of her tiny home were thin wooden planks and the “stove” was a dusty fire pit, the beauty of her pride and hospitality made her home the warmest, welcoming sanctuary. I will never forget my week as a guest in her home. I forever changed my vantage point.

    Love you guys!


  22. Dorian says:

    This morning as I hit the link to your blog, I said come on Me Ra inspire me. Thanks. You did and do.
    It’s funny when I take my time, this is one of the places I go. Thank you for being such an inspiration without trying. You speak and work from your heart.

  23. Sarah says:

    This post couldn’t come at a better time. As I’m about to go home and find out how back my car’s broken down and how many thousands it will cost to fix it. How now without that money, we won’t have a downpayment for the house we wanted to put an offer on to get out of our “Crack House.”

    Your post, along with the song, “You can’t always get what you want,” I just heard on the radio reminds me that it’s not all about WANTS and material stuff. Our “Crack House” keeps us warm and safe, and we’re all healthy now. And at the end of it all, God gives us what we NEED. 🙂

  24. Katie Torres says:

    Ahhhh, what a breath of fresh air from this looming pressure we are all feeling. This uncertainty that we feel yet a heart to provide and create a home. We are all in this place together and feeling it at the same time. Thank you for showing what we are capable of and instilling hope and inspiration in each of us. What a joy your words have brought me on what was a very difficult day.

  25. Melanie says:

    Me Ra, you are so incredibly wise. Thank you for writing these words, and sharing that memory, and encouraging us to realize that we are power-full. This blessed my day.

  26. FIMBY says:

    Fear’s antidote…

  27. Natalie says:

    This is a refreshing point of view and a kind reminder of where my head and heart can be on my best days… I need this reminder. Thank you. I know where we’ve come from, and I need to find my power again.

  28. Sharon says:

    Just the encouragement I needed.

    I’m really going to have to re-read this and really work this all out. Reading this post has really tugged at my heart.
    In times like this I do feel the urge to create and I never let myself. I’m not sure why… I just don’t. I’m not sure what thats all about… Hummm

    Sorry, I was thinking out loud. 🙂
    Thanks for the post!

  29. Milena says:

    Hi. New to your blog and I just wanted to say that I loved this post. Your words resonate with wisdom and truth. I couldn’t agree more that as women, we always have the power to make things better no matter the circumstances.

  30. Great post. We have been living on the verge of a layoff for a while now. Your words gave me some strength. Thank you.

  31. Harmony says:

    We just had our church’s general conference this weekend and there was a wonderful talk in it that I found so encouraging for being creative (at home, at work, and with my family)

    “You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us. The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.

    “What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.”

    -President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

    Thank you for always being so encouraging! I love your posts!

  32. shawna says:

    Me Ra, I cannot thank you enough for this post. It resonates completely, as we chose to have kids while most of our friends chose to establish a career and a house first. With a new baby, my husband and I see each other just long enough to pass her back and forth as we head out the door for another shift. I’m doing the best I can, and it never feels like I’ll get on top. It means I can’t visit my parents for the holidays, means we can’t go on day trips or sit at the coffee shop all day, and sometimes I feel like we’re barely getting to enjoy being a family.

    But we do enjoy, and I forget to share it with others because I am too nervous they will come from their beautiful houses and wonder where to sit in our grimy little apartment. It’s a very slow process to become confident in oneself and I appreciate you taking the time to guide us into enjoying today and not being afraid to step back and look at who we are and be proud of our existence and the paths we have traveled.

  33. Julie says:

    Totally awesome, MeRa! Tough financial times usually mean taking a good, hard, look at what’s REALLY important, and how could that be all bad? As a country we are learning lessons that our relatives learned well in the early 1930s…. one of my favorite lessons I learned from my husband; “You can tell what a person’s like not by the stuff they have, but by HOW they take care of what they have.”

    Lastly, I’ve been a little dissolusioned with the popular modern day role models, so I’ve been reading an old dusty book called “Great lives, Great Deeds”. Everyday I read a 4-6 page bio on people like Thomas Edison (my fav) or Madame Curie (you would not BELIEVE how driven and prudent that woman/mother was!) The individuals in the book, no matter who or when or what, all did SO MUCH with SO LITTLE. We would freak out if somebody did today what Charles Lindberg did. The challenges he faced were so ridiculous you couldn’t even make them up. When I read about what people have conquered in history, it makes my struggles seem small in comparison, and that’s way inspiring to me these days!

  34. Sue Christianson says:

    Hey Me Ra,
    This post really caught my eye this evening. We are in a position fianancially we never dreamed we would be in. We invested a large sum of money with someone a couple of years ago and things have not gone as expected. We live in a beautiful home that my husband built and we know our home is a gift from God. We want our home to be a place of refuge and restoration for anyone who walks in. Through all of this, there have been days that we have walked in fear, disappointment an disbelief of what could happen. The biggest thing we have learned through all of this, is this situation does not change who I am or who we areas a couple. If anything we are stronger through it and God has revealed Himself to us more than ever before. Actually I think we are listening more than ever before! 🙂 Although we would love to be on the other side of all this right now, we have learned things and have way more compassion for others that I know we would not be experiencing if we wern’t going through this difficulty. No one can ever take my joy, no one can every take away who I am no matter what happens.
    Thanks for the post today and thanks for allowing me to journal on your blog! 🙂
    Love you!
    p.s. Zach & I had fun with Gina on Sunday. She is great!

  35. Airika Pope says:

    What a powerful message, Me Ra.

    Lately I’ve been guilty of not inviting anyone into our home because I’m afraid that it will shed a not-so-perfect light into my current state of being. It’s messy and cluttered and in need of repair everywhere you turn–so much like my life, my soul. Your message, however, is a reminder that no matter what state my life is in, God created me beautifully and it is the life that he’s breathing into me that deserves to be shared–clutter and all.

    Thank you for the amazing gift that you are to all of us; I love you lots!


  36. Denise says:

    I had to wait until ten thirty at night to read this post but it was well worth the wait! Eric and I are really uncertain right now about everything going on in our country and it has made everything about our daily life feel so shaky.

    “The truth being that I have the power to create something from nothing”

    That line made my heart skip a huge beat, so thank you for the encouragement – what a writer you are!

  37. Brian says:

    I remember you sharing this story with me this weekend Me Ra. I wouldn’t have imagined how many people would connect with it if I hadn’t read today’s post and everyone’s comments.

    Are you really my wife? You’re not just beautiful but also inspiring.
    How lucky am I?

  38. […] comments and feedback in regards to the post, A Woman’s Power During Uncertain Financial Times, were amazing. Thank you for all the […]

  39. Me Ra says:

    Brian, I’m upstairs and your downstairs. You almost snuck this comment in without me noticing! Oooh, you are a sweetie.

    To all the people who have posted today, I have read through all your comments and let them seep into my very being. Your thoughts, fears, courage, favorite quotes or song lyrics and experiences are moving to the soul. Thank you for sharing all that you have.

    When our family was at Trader Joe’s tonight, the grocery clerk said she read our blog. Turns out it was a portrait client from four years ago. Nora said she pours herself a glass of wine and reads through the posts and all the comments. What a gift we have given eachother–in cultivating such a beautiful place of depth, laughter, and freedom to be who we are and where we are at.

    Love you all so much.
    Me Ra

  40. Me Ra.

    The truth rings clear here. I have been really focusing on gratitude especially being a financially strained business owner and a single mom. Renting…owning… really all it is is having a safe haven to make home. I have been to people’s homes that are cold and dead and no matter the amount of money spent on the building or the furnishings it was not welcoming. I have also been to some homes that are small and messy with a plethora of recycled and unmatched handmedown furniture and it was like a mansion.
    It is really important to remember the gratitude… today my car died and I have so much gratitude for that car and even though it is old and needs to be fixed, I am happy to have it be fixed so I can drive. I could be upset, but really it comes down to being happy with what we have and giving back in small and big ways no matter what our “financial temperature”

  41. Jessica says:

    This was perfect. Thank you!

  42. Karina says:

    Dear Me Ra,
    Thank you, today was the perfect day for me to read your words. I sit here crying, crying is a good release, thank you!
    xox k.

  43. Kimberly says:

    Thank you so much for this post! As a stay at home mom that works part-time from home, and who is trying to start a photography business, money never seems to be around for the “extra fun stuff,” and barely the necessities. I hate that I have had the feeling of not wanting people to come to my house or seeing my car because I feel like they will judge me; instead of knowing how hard we have worked and feeling pride for who we are. As a mom, I constantly feel guilt because we do not have the money for extra activities for our, dance, etc.
    Me Ra, this post and the following comments have helped me to regain some focus on what is truly important. Thanks!

  44. Haley says:

    Thank you so much for this. I stumbled upon it this afternoon, and it reminded me of all that I have to be thankful for. My husband and I have been marred just over 2 months, and already it is easy to lose sight of what really matters, to become envious of his sister who is buying a home, or the women I know having babies already. Thank you for reminding me to be happy in my present, right where I am.

  45. amber says:

    I have to agree with Brian : ) Thank you for your heart, Me Ra. Somehow you express for me the thoughts that are hiding deep in my heart but can’t find their way out. It has been very hard for me to create lately, but I’m in a garage – my bro-in-law’s garage, where it’s hot while the kids are napping and dark all the time, where I probably need it now more than ever. I’m trying to break out of the physical circumstances that surround me and make it beautiful again. It’s coming, but it has been hard. Thanks for the encouragement.

  46. Addie says:

    A post packed with feminine wisdom! Your story made me think of my Grandma who had very little in the way of monetary value and whose household included 10 people but whose home was well known in the community for her hospitality. She never turned anyone away at meal time and somehow always managed to have enough for whoever showed up at her table. And there were people who would inevitably show up on her doorstep at meal time because of this reputation. The beauty and wealth of her home was defined by her love and compassion. As a child I couldn’t fully appreciate that. But as a mother of three I now realize just how wonderful an example my Grandmother set for me and what kind of home I want my children to remember being raised in. Thanks, Me Ra, for bringing back such wonderful memories with your personal reflection.

  47. I love this post…

    …I think you are SO right about how “beauty comes from within”…and how it’s SO easy to forget that and get caught up in the “competitions” of life. At first when I was reading this post I was thinking, “That’s easy for you to say Me Ra…you are creative and can express yourself so well…”…and I of course feel the opposite about myself…but…we all have our own kind of beauty to create. I might not feel like I can turn scrambled eggs into an inviting breakfast…but you know what?? I have never tried. I think that is part of it too…not being afraid to try…

    So anyhow…thanks for your thoughts! 🙂

  48. Kia says:

    Me Ra, I am so thankful to have been blessed by your message in this post today. Where you all were 8 years ago is where my husband and I are today. It seems that all our friends have beautiful homes, but we have to wait due to some bad decisions we made before we were married. I do feel the pressure of “competition” and sometimes embarassed that I don’t have a house that I own. I love photography and am trying to become a photographer, and as recently as last weekend, I had a “friend” remark when I pulled out my camera to take pictures as we were getting ready for an event that “she opted for the camera instead of the house.” I couldn’t say anything back which is very much unlike me because it really stung. Mind you, this same friend has asked me to take pics of her family on numerous occasions and may not have meant anything by it, but it hurt nonetheless. Your words gave me my POWER BACK because though others may not know why I am where I am at this stage in my life – I do and I also know where I came from and where I’m going and I’m THANKFUL that I am HAPPY, SAFE, BLESSED, and LOVED.

  49. Wow, great post! I am so right there, right now.
    We just sold our house in Western Washington because we couldn’t afford that lifestyle anymore. I am pregnant with my 4th child and my husband is completely switching careers and is opening a restaurant. We just moved into a rental house that is small and dingy and a little smelly. I am surpised by how content I am here though. I love our little, smelly, spider infested house. I’ve started painting the walls and getting inspired with ways to decorate and make our home beautiful and inviting. Getting rid of the spiders, too.
    I keep reminding myself how blessed we are. We live better than 80% of the world, my family is healthy, my marriage is good and my children are happy. I hope that when times are better for us financially that we will continue to live modestly so that we can give more and remember that our treasure is in Heaven.

  50. Destiny says:

    I am so happy that the planets aligned just right when I clicked “Stumble”. I needed to read this. My mother-in-law has told me that a wonderful part of being a woman is making something wonderful out of nothing, but I never really got it. There was something so familar about your story, about your “crack house”, my husband and I are that couple that if something bad is going to happen it’s going to happen to us. We moved to a new town for a job that lasted less than a year before he was laid off. Our only vehicle just broke down, I mean it died. We now have to buy another car. We constantly feel like we’re treading water. Our friends are buying houses and cars and going out and what-not and we’re watching hulu and renting a single wide trailer from 1967 for $350 a month. It easy to dwell on what we don’t have. I don’t have a nice new shiny honda hybrid, or nice clothes, or a refrigerator that doesn’t leak. But I do have a loving husband who is my best friend, a gorgeous little girl who can always make me laugh, food that I can cook for us and relish in the fact that I know my family loves what I make. Thanks for reminding me to appreciate all the thing I have and what I can do with everyday things to make our lives a little bit more beautiful.

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