“Mom, can I have a quarter to go to the candy store?”
“Cindy, I don’t have a quarter. If I did, I would give it to you.”
I walked all the way to school steaming mad. I hated my life. We seemed to never have anything. I kicked the dirt on the way and bemoaned my rotten life to God as I walked.
When I arrived at school, I leaned against the brick wall with my head down. My best friend Kyna found me and asked me what was wrong. I told her my sob story.
I was raised by my single mom and we lived in a dingy apartment. There was never money for extras. Mom’s top priority was to feed her four kids.
Somehow I thought Mom, the world, or God owed me something.
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. –1 Timothy 6:9 NIV
At different times throughout the year, we were handed order forms for books. We could purchase novels from Schoolastic. Three weeks later the teacher would stand at the front of the class and announce the names of kids who had bought books. My classmates would go to the front and receive their purchases. I always wished I could have my name called. Not being called meant you were poor.
Going to Disney World was my biggest childhood dream. Some of the students in my class would come back to school after Christmas break or March break and excitedly tell us about their trip.
Jealousy filled my soul.
I married my husband Vance when I was nineteen. When we were planning our honeymoon, he wanted to go to Niagra Falls, but I was determined to go to Disney World in Orlando Florida.
Finally, he gave in, and we had a ten-day honeymoon in Orlando. We had the most beautiful vacation and other than both of us having heatstroke on separate days we were happy we picked Florida for our trip in the middle of a hot summer.
I had married a hardworking man. Within a few years, I had everything I had fantasized about as a child. We built our dream home in 2005. It was a beautiful two store home with five bedrooms and four bathrooms. We took multiple trips a year, sometimes on cruises, other times to resorts.
One day I was complaining to Vance that we owned too many books and I didn’t know what to do with them all, they were stacked throughout our home. I decided to donate them to an organization. Then it hit me.
All my childhood dreams had come true.
Everything I had ever dreamed of I now had. But there was sadness I carried even though I had all the material possessions a person could desire.
My husband worked around the clock. I had very little time with him. I also had a son who had severe autism, and Kyle had health problems that couldn’t be figured out by the medical community.
A wife cannot buy a husband’s attention. Mother’s can’t purchase their children’s health.
All I had left was prayer.
When I prayed, I would tell God I would gladly give him my house, cars, and trips to have an attentive husband and healthy son.
I was lonely and tired. Caring for Kyle was beginning to take a toll on my health physically and mentally.
All the diamonds, mansions, and name brand clothes this world can give you cannot bring a person true happiness. I know this for a fact.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. – 1 Timothy 6:10 NIV
A year ago I lost my health, my home and my kids for a while.
Our beautiful home had been overrun with toxic mould. Over five years Kyle had flooded our house multiple times when he flushed household items down the toilet, like socks and underwear.
Our family had become quite ill, and we were forced to move out. Community Living Algoma gave us a two bedroom apartment to live in with Kyle. Our three youngest kids moved in with their oldest sister Charity and her husband, Dan. There were five of them squeezed into a small two bedroom apartment.
They all came down with stomach flu and the runs and only had one bathroom. Then their apartment developed bed bugs, and they had to move again. The three younger kids moved in with Grandma. Charity and Dan moved in with Dan’s parents.
Vance and I were at doctor’s appointments continually trying to clear up sinus infections and urinary tract infections that the mould had caused.
Our life was complete chaos and spinning out of control. But I was at a place in my life where I had learned to trust God even when life doesn’t make sense. We drew closer to God during this time of uncertainty.
The mould was removed, our health had cleared up, and we were living together again as a family. We came to a realization that our health and our children were our most prized possessions.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you. -Psalms 5:11 NIV
If you don’t have your family and your too ill to enjoy life, what good are diamonds, fancy homes, show-off cars and trips around the world?
They are just fluff compared to feeling alive and vibrant and having your kids nearby to spend time with.
Eventually, a few years ago, my husband Vance slowed his work down to spend more time with the kids and he became a devoted father and doting husband. Vance also became Kyle’s caregiver. Kyle’s health has improved dramatically this year.
I really do love my home, having a vehicle and going on vacation. But my prayers are the same. I would gladly live in a trailer park, drive an old beat up car and give up holidays if God would answer two of my prayers:
That my son Kyle would be healed from autism and my daughter-in-law, Jazmin would be cured of stage 4 cancer. If I put their health on one scale and worldly possessions on the other, which do you think is of more value?
You will not care two hoots about your stuff when you lay dying in a hospital bed one day. If you did, then you have not lived life to it’s fullest.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. – 1 Timothy 6:6 NIV
Look around you, do you wish for more than you have now? Maybe you really do have what you most desire, you just haven’t realized it yet. God had to hand me everything I wanted on a silver platter, then allow me to lose what I loved most, and to be reminded of what really mattered.
You might possibly be that husband who is working 24/7 and has a lonely wife and neglected kids at home. You’re on a mission to become rich and powerful but have lost the respect of your wife and the adoration of your children. You may lose everything dear to you in your pursuit of becoming respected by society for your position on the social ladder.
Life is too short to chase possessions that are here today and gone tomorrow. Seek to spend time with your family, be healthy, have a happy marriage and a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ.
These are your greatest blessings💗
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. -1 John 2: 15-17 NIV
Believing and hoping,