But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. – Mark 12:42
Many of our conversations start out about sports, family, books… and always find themselves in deep contemplation of how best to live out our life plan; make the most of what we have; and live generously. It’s weird how much joy we find in structuring our lives around simplicity, asking ourselves ‘do we really need this?; could this money be better spent elsewhere?; are we buying this because we want/need to or because it’s expected of us?’ We chose minimally lucrative careers in helping professions and we know that giving freely and fully in our future will not be a result of having abundant expendable income.
One day Jon suggested ‘maybe this is what our life is about, maybe this is what we should offer our community’ and it clicked.
We know so many people who roll their eyes about ‘those conversations’ and that’s OK. This is what community is all about, offering up your passions to meet needs. We know we’re quirky in this way and we believe God’s asking us to use this quirkiness to help others see their life plan and stick to it.
Too many times people (especially young people) say “if I had more money I could…” or “I’d love to support this cause but I’m just a (youth worker, social worker, teacher)…” The tricky thing about these phrases is that they create a defeated attitude about income and careers even when choosing those fields often comes from a place of joy! We have nothing to say about why the world pays certain professions so much less than others, but we know this is true. Our invitation to our peers in the helping professions is that if you make small and consistent choices to live simply and within your means you will be LIBERATED from the chains of a small income and eliminate this defeat. It’s about reframing your outlook on what you can afford right now. How else can you give? How can you prepare to give more in the future?
We often joke about how staying busy with volunteer work keeps us from spending money and it’s SO TRUE. The biggest enemy of our budget is boredom. We are so busy we come home and want to relax rather than go out and spend money keeping ourselves entertained. Keeping up with blog posts – all a part of the plan.
When you’re in your mid-20s it’s easy to anticipate the usual questions. They hit on these areas – kids? career? house? Each of these things is good. HOWEVER when you’re drowning in student loan debt, can’t quite make all your ends meet and don’t have a general idea of what you want out of life, making decisions about some of those pillars isn’t only a bad idea, it’s irresponsible. Creating a life plan includes figuring out where traditional milestones fit in for you, if at all, and living into what makes sense for your situation. It can be a challenge, one we face every day, to not wrap up our identity in how many of these life pillars we’ve accomplished. It’s time to change the perception that these checklist items are a litmus test for a person’s stability or value. Often choosing to postpone these milestones is far more respectable than jumping into them because of the expectations placed on us by society, church, family and friends. This means we must release our assumptions about where we thought we should be at this age. and finally
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. – Colossians 3:15-17, The Message