Monday, November 8, 2010

Relative Abundance

I have been thinking more and more about abundance since living in Honduras – first in Santa Ana de Francisco Morizan and now in Santa Rosa de Copan …
First of all let me clarify that I realize there are different ‘types’ of abundance if you will. I have actually devoted this site to the understanding that a person is rich only when they create a close relationship with God, are true to themselves and their dreams, when they realize abundance is found in the relationships one builds with  family, friends and community,  and it comes in choosing to celebrating life.
That being said, I want to address something that is glaringly evident in our lives here in Honduras … we come off as being rich.
The truth is: we are rich if you compare us to some Hondurans (but not all!) and we’re poor to middlin’, if you compare us to some Americans. You see here in the above pictures some homes – if you notice the 1st house and the last house, you will see they are the houses in which we’ve made our homes. We rented them from people who built them, loved them and had stories in them. The first house’s story is pretty sad for although many years were lived there, the family ended up a ‘broken’ home with the patriarch/husband leaving the wife and her spending years in bitter sadness, aloof from her neighbors and friends.  They rented it to us at a very reduced price after she was no longer able to live there by herself.  The second house, where we are now, is owned by folks who came here from El Salvador and make their careers as professors, have kids, and pets and are now teaching in Bolivia. They continue to have a good reputation in this small neighborhood. They rented it to us at a reduced price on a one-year contract that may last for the 3 years they are out of the country.
The pictures of the other houses are randomly chosen – with 2 thrown in that we helped build – just to show you that the homes are pretty much all a hodgepodge of people and economic levels – electricians living beside teachers, seamstress living across the street from military, cooks next to bankers. That was how it was in Santa Ana and here. Of course, there are more and more neighborhoods (or colonias) being built like regular neighborhoods we have in the states where the houses are pretty much from the same mold, but it isn’t common at all.
My point is this, there is richness or abundance, if you will in life all over the world just as there is poverty. The worst poverty of all perhaps is the poverty that is inflicted on oneself because of ignorance or their own neglect. We’ve been invited to a good number of homes here in Honduras. And we’ve opened our home to loads of Hondurans to come over and visit. What has become glaringly clear to me is that I am very rich and I thank God for it. The richness I am talking about is not what this nice home of mine represents – it is what is represented by the choices I make every single day and have made since I was 14 years old. I choose to follow Christ, his teachings and His Way.
I do not take for granted that I was raised in a family who chose to follow God early on. I had Christian parents, amazing church families wherever we lived, and then I chose to marry a Christian man, who along with me every day, chooses to live in accordance to God’s word to the best of our ability. Have I messed up? You better believe it – but I had a Shepherd out looking for me and wouldn’t rest til I came home. Do I still make mistakes? Yep indeed and I’m not proud of making them but I know it is only by grace I am here at all so, I don’t beat myself up about it. The point is, I decide to live ‘on purpose’ if you will, every single day and the fact that I know to choose this, is simply because of the sweet and dear legacy that was given me.
Here is a paragraph from our last newsletter and maybe this is what prompted these thoughts and reflections …
“We’ve met people here and listened to them tell who their siblings are … it makes your head spin just hearing the explanation of who is who’s kid and which is their father and on and on. I feel sorry for children that grow up in that kind of situation because they never know when one of their parents are going to up and leave. This is the reason we want these couples to be legally married. The cycle of abandonment needs to stop.”  Click here to read entire newsletter and see more of our work.
There is so much that is left unsaid, knowledge of terrible things that have happened and will continue to happen that make you walk the floor in tears in the middle of the night because you want to do something but don’t know what   - but know this, a good home is not to be taken lightly or for granted. Commitment, loyalty and fidelity are rare and are more precious than you can ever imagine. None of this may come natural but it can be taught, lived out and exemplified. I am encouraged by what is starting to happen around us … a new generation is arising that are intent on breaking the crazy cycle of what they have known and truly want to give their own children the rare gift of living on purpose – choosing the path less traveled.
And so I am today, once again counting my blessings. The blessing of a childhood lived in a home where abandonment was far from me, where I was able to learn about God the Father from a man who strived to live like a Christian, and a mother who committed herself to the betterment of each of us. I am counting the blessing of being in a marriage that is a true covenant before the Lord. We have four delightful children who are living “on purpose” and are walking that narrow way when the world screams at them – do this, try that.
This life of mine did not happen by accident. It wasn’t luck of the draw. It was and is an investment every single day. I lay aside moment by moment to store up riches for eternity’s sake. The beautiful, amazing thing is – in giving all I can, the richer I become.
Yep, I am so very rich and yes, thank God, I live in abundance.

1 comment:

  1. I love this! Our church goes on a lot of mission trips and it really puts life in perspective, huh?
    Thank you so much for sharing this!
    Kerry at HouseTalkN