Christmas is around the corner, and the children need money to pay for an activity coming up, and the car needs new tires, and of course there are those never-ending bills to pay. It’s easy, so easy, to feel the pinch.

I tell myself it’s all relative. There are so many with so much less. There are mammas trying to feed hungry children. I’m nowhere near there. My kids are fed and clothed and warm. We are blessed. Yes.

Do you hear me, though? Some of you, maybe? Single mom, or stay-at-home-mom, or husband-lost-his-job mom, or just plain old woman-trying-to-make-ends-meet?

Stretching to make it work. It’s good exercise, this stretching. It makes me consider things like value and need and what I can do without. It’s faith-building.

Here are a few thoughts I’m thinking about it today. About how to feel rich when you’re a little bit poor.

1. Make something. Bake it or sew it or stitch it with sticks. Or write it or sing it. Create something.

– Today, I’m baking bread and chocolate chip cookies. The kitchen smells lovely, and the children are smiling. And I’m writing a bit. That makes me smile. And if I have time, I will dig out the crochet hook and start the little hat I’ve been wanting to make with that wool I bought on sale about three months ago. Creating makes me feel rich.

2. Clean something. Not everything maybe, but one little thing that’s been needing some attention.

– Today, I’m doing laundry. Again. And the smaller the pile grows the lighter my heart feels. And as I fold their clothes and send them with their piles to their rooms, I feel thankful. For clothes, for being able to be clean, for children and a husband to care for. I’ve seen how hard it can be in some places, the simple chore of keeping clean. Being clean makes me feel rich.

3. Share something. Pack a loaf of bread or some chocolate chip cookies or a bag of something no longer needed, and share it with someone. When money is tight, sharing is a creative thing. When you can’t just write a cheque, sharing is a personal thing.

Today I’m packing a gift of food to take to a family who has lost a loved one. It’s a small thing, yes. But it’s what I can do. I will send it with prayer and sympathy. And the sharing, as sharing always does, will bless me richly.

4. Listen to something. Put on the music, or a Ted talk, or a podcast that’s been downloaded and is waiting for your attention. Sit and listen, or work and listen. Be blessed by another’s words.

– Today the family playlist includes everything from Johnny Reid to John Denver. The children are listening as they do their school work. I’m listening as I bake and write and check the math problems. And when they head outside for a break, I’ll pour a cup of tea and listen to that lecture I’ve been wanting to hear. Or I won’t. If I need to, I’ll sip the tea and listen to the quiet of a home that loves me. Either way, the listening will bless me.

5. Celebrate something. Celebrate the day, the completion of a task, the beginning of a project, the accomplishment of the school work, the success of a new recipe. Clap for the child who does a hard thing. Cheer on the weary one. Make a special treat for the family.

– Today, we’re celebrating family. With good food, with smiles, with questions asked around the table, with interest shown in what the other is doing, with love. Celebrating, being conscious of the blessing, and acknowledging it, makes me feel rich.

Blessed. Rich. Yes.

May you find the rich in your day today, Friend.

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