How do you measure your wealth? Is it simply by your dollars and cents or do you dig deeper and add the stocks and bonds? Perhaps you measure your wealth with your house or cars, what you wear, the bag your carry or the alcohol you drink. Maybe your kids go to private schools that commoners cannot afford? You travel all the time to exotic places, not just camping or to the beach 6 hours from home. Think about that for a moment and then read on to hear how I learned to measure my wealth.
You see, I was raised in a small town with a loving family, two sisters, surrounded by friends, a loving church youth group and in a neighborhood full of "other mothers" all who loved and supported me. I was wealthy and didn't know it. Who would have ever guessed I'd meet the love of my life, in a bar, and he too would be just as wealthy. Little did I know that night in January 1994 I would instantly double my wealth. Fast forward to 1999 and as a married 24 year & 28 year old we would once again double our wealth when our first of two daughters was born. Presley brought a joy to us we had to soon duplicate. God had shown us in August of 2000 that His plan was far greater than we knew we were capable of. Parker was born early and spent the first 100 days of her life in the NICU between two hospitals. She was gravely ill when our then preacher told us this incredible story of measuring our wealth in love and friendships, not dollars.
When you stop to smell the roses and think of all the many things you have in your life that have nothing to do with the almighty dollar, you may feel the corners of your lips turn up just a bit. It may have been that funny story your child just told, the lady at the store who smiled at you for no reason, the person that let you out in traffic or the hug you just got from someone unexpected. We have many things in our lives to be thankful for but often we just don't slow down enough to see them. I have learned that it's the sunshine peeking thru clouds on my way home. The smile of a homeless person as I hand them food. The kind words someone shares with me. The friend at work who feeds my candy addiction :) and of course walking into the house and being greeted by the two happiest brown furry creatures I've ever seen.
I've learned that although it does take money to make things work that it's not what I'm chasing or measuring my happiness with. Of course with a debt free life there would be another level of happiness not diluted by stress of how things are going to work but it's not measuring my true happiness. Not what keeps me going or makes me get up, love my family and friends or push so hard ever single day at being successful. I won't lie, I want success in a monetary sense because I want to help people in ways I cannot do with just time and efforts but my happiness would be measured on my ability to give. I've gotten to a point in my life where it's important for me to begin and end my day documenting the things I am thankful for, I encourage you to do the same. Like the rain gauge in my back yard, my book of thankfulness continues to fill and will one day, overflow.