The Gift of Enough

It all started with a picture and comment my friend and coworker, Connie, put on Facebook.

car

Every time I pull in parking lot at work and see this car, I just smile. Why? Because it belongs to our CEO who speaks to 10’s of 1000’s of women each year and has written many successful books. But no matter how big her following, she’s never lost her “real.” And she not only shares that real but lives it. So here’s to Jill Savage!! Who has made it safe for all us moms to just be real.

living with less cover with black edgeI like my little “Living With Less So Your Family Has More” car, but honestly I get razzed about it all the time.  “What CEO drives a 23 year old car?” I’ve been asked dozens of times, along with other comments and questions like, “Don’t you think it’s time for you to get a grown-up car, Jill?”  or “If you add water, maybe it will grow!”

The other day at a speaking engagement, my assistant and I pulled the boxes of books out and didn’t shut the back hatch. We noticed it when we got inside the church. Someone said, “Don’t you have a button on your keychain to close it?” My assistant Mel said with a smile, “There’s nothing automatic on that car…you even have to crank the windows up and down!”

So in the midst of being teased about my little old Mitsubishi Mirage, you can see why it was nice to read Connie’s positive comment.

I’m also fine with the green gingham wallpaper I hung in our kitchen in 1997. It’s not falling off the walls. There’s nothing wrong with it.  It covers the rough plaster walls in our 100 year old farmhouse we live in.

Then there’s the bathrobe I had for nearly 30 years. No holes. It wasn’t even threadbare. But my family insisted I needed a new one.

My ability to be content with what I have is most often seen as something bad.  Something negative. Something that indicates that I’m not “up with the times.”

But last week when my friend Connie put the above post on Facebook, it was my friend Marianne Miller’s comment that just blessed my heart in a huge way.  She said, “Someone gave Jill “The Gift of Enough.”  She was actually referring to the title of her new book, but I read it in a different way.  I read it as “Someone gave Jill the gift of enough.”

When I read those words that way, I wanted to cry. Happy tears.  Tears of relief that my old car, my dated wallpaper, and my purple bathrobe were okay. They were simply representative of something inside of me that says that “enough is okay.”  And I can tell you who gave that gift to me…my mom and my dad.  I grew up with “enough.” Not more than enough…just enough.

Marianne also indicated that it was her father who gave her the gift of enough when she shared this story in her comment, “My dad’s car got towed once from the vice-president’s spot because no one thought his rusted car could be a vice-president’s car.”

I. LOVE. THAT.

Years ago when I traveled to El Salvador with Compassion International, our trip leader asked the question, “What is the opposite of poverty?” Most of us in the group answered, “Wealth.” The tour leader corrected us that actually the opposite of poverty is “enough.” Enough food in your tummy that you don’t go to bed hungry. Enough healthcare that you don’t have a family member who dies of a disease that could have been prevented.

Honestly, we all live with more than enough.  Even those of us who were given “the gift of enough” and drive old cars and lived in outdated furnishings. We even have more than enough.

Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying it’s bad if you’re driving a new car or just redecorated your kitchen (we actually are planning on stripping wallpaper and painting our kitchen this summer).  That’s not the point.

Today I just want to affirm others who are content with enough and withstand their fair share of criticism for not having “up-to-date” items.

Today I want to affirm those parents who are concerned that they can’t give their kids a trip to Disney or the opportunity to go to any college they want. I want you to know that you are giving your children “the gift of enough” and that is powerful.

book-coverAnd I want to encourage us all to consider what “enough” looks like and recognize that we really live with “more than enough” each and every day.

Do you have something you live with everyday that is not the latest and greatest but is simply “enough?”  I’d love to hear about it!

I’m giving away a copy of Marianne’s book The Gift of Enough: Raising Grateful Kids in a Culture of Excess.

Leave a comment before noon on Friday 5/29/15 to be entered into the drawing!

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43 Responses to The Gift of Enough

  1. Heidi says:

    Thank you for this great reminder. We are daily trying to figure out what’s enough and how to teach our young children the same.

  2. Erin Buente says:

    Love Marianne and can’t wait to read this book!

  3. Hilary Dickson says:

    Love Marianne! She has such timeless advice in this modern world!

  4. Jenni McAllister says:

    So true! I just quit my job after 18 yrs of being a working mom and one of the main reasons is just this. I want to learn how to live with less so I can bless my kids with that gift as well!

  5. Lisa Hurley says:

    Hi Jill. I just love this. I am the same way and I often find myself feeling like I’m missing out on some part of life because my furniture doesn’t match and I’m not up on the latest fashion trends. It’s so nice to know others who embrace simplicity and who recognize the abundance in our lives, no matter the age of our cars!

  6. Patricia Ford says:

    I.LOVE.THIS.TOO!! To be content with “Just Enough” is a peaceful place to be. Thank you for sharing your post and Marianne’s book!

  7. Shannon says:

    I love this message. I desperately want my four daughters to be content with what they have. To quit constantly wanting something more and not being happy when they do get something. It never seems to be enough. I can’t help but feel like I have somehow made them this way. It is very hard to overcome and I don’t know that I will before they leave home.

    • JillSavage says:

      Shannon, I think many kids naturally have trouble being content. It’s not always from the way they were parented. Think about the commercials they see on tv…they are always being told they need “bigger” and “better” or that you can’t live without ___________. Just keep modeling “enough” for them when you can and resist giving them too much. You’re a good mom who is surrounded by a discontent culture.

  8. Beth says:

    Thank you for teaching “Enough” to us all. So many things tell us we are unfulfilled without them, and yet all we really need is Jesus.

  9. Holly says:

    Thank you for the reminder! Sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in what you don’t have and forget how blessed you are by “enough.” A good reminder 🙂

  10. Chris says:

    Such a great devotional for me today. Unfortunately I’m the mom who needs to learn/receive/teach the gift of enough. We are going through a season of life right now that is forcing me to be grateful for the ‘more than enough’ God has given me, even though I seem to always want more. My daughter has started mimicking my ungrateful attitude, so I know now, more than ever, I need to change my attitude, perspective, and heart. Even though this devotional was aimed more at those who actually are thankful for all they have, it was helpful to me as a reminder that it is possible to be content.

  11. Bethany kennedy says:

    I would love to read the book. Love your blog!

  12. Colleen says:

    I love this – we should all live like this and teach it to our kids – the gift of enough. I saw something on FB recently that someone said they shouldn’t complain – they had a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs and food in their belly. They may not be living wealthy, but as you say – they have enough. Just having a roof, clothes and food are way more than many people in our world, in our own country have today. Thanks for sharing this.

  13. Kelly K says:

    This is a great reminder about what “enough” means. I really need to work on remembering that I have enough, right now. I struggle with that. Thanks Jill!

  14. Courtney DeShong says:

    Marianne has so much wisdom, and I’m really looking forward to reading her book!

  15. Nicci Ramirez says:

    LOVE this!!! 🙂

  16. Susan says:

    This message was so timely for me. Our family has had medical bills for the last few years out of pocket larger than a trip to Disney. I know in my heart that my kids have enough, but it can be hard to see what others are spending via social media (even if they may be increasing credit card debt). I try to remember not to compare my life to other people’s highlight reel & to focus on the things we do have: mostly good health, full stomachs, a place to live & cars that drive us to work and appointments. It is not easy, but so important! Would love to read that new book.

  17. Lynda Brandt says:

    We have been on the roller coaster ride of should we look for a different house….which of course would mean newer and bigger. I struggle with “house envy”. I keep telling my family “love grows in small places” and I have enough to keep clean.

  18. Holly says:

    Perfect timing, as I have an unwritten list of “wants” in my head, knowing that they are not needs. Thankful that we have more than enough.

  19. Donna says:

    I drive a 12 year old van with 153,000 miles on it, it’s part of the family! Lol

  20. rachael says:

    Ugh. This is something I’ve been struggling with, especially in the past month. Perhaps this book would help!!

  21. Wanda Stauffer says:

    Love this.

  22. Carol says:

    Thank you for the reminder of “enough”. I had tears in my eyes when I read today’s blog. Even if our children don’t have or experience many of the things their friends do our children still have “enough”. Thanks Dad and Mom for teaching me what enough meant.

  23. Marisa Anderson says:

    In the world today the Gift of Enough is rare. Thank you for the reminder that it is a gift.

  24. Karla says:

    I loved your post, Jill. I share your feelings of enjoying “enough” but I’ve always called it the “gift of contentment”. Because it is a gift to not constantly have to shop and “do” more and more. It makes for a much more peaceful and stress-free life. However at times I have struggled with it because I feel like the odd mom out who is not striving for bigger/nicer/newer. With age comes the satisfaction of knowing it’s good to be the “odd duck” with the smaller, older car and the curtains and wallpaper (that I still like!) from 1998. We have taught our boys that we choose to live the way we live, and we spend our money very differently from other families. It was easier for them to understand growing up that we were choosing not to have the latest/newest/coolest because we spent our money on other things (like tithing and saving) than fear that we didn’t have enough money. It’s gratifying to see them doing the same thing as they grow into adulthood. That is one way to pass on ‘the gift of contentment’.

  25. Liz says:

    I can’t wait to read this book. I feel like we give our kids so much that they become ungrateful if they don’t get something.

  26. Jen B. says:

    Thank you for this post. A good reminder for me to be content with what I already have. 😉

  27. Maryann says:

    I’m glad I read this article. I’ve been struggling with all of the STUFF in my life. I want to part with the excess. Shifting my thinking to the gift of enough reminds me that enough is a blessing and worthy of pursuit. I pray my pursuit of enough will yield contentment in every situation.

  28. Lisa says:

    Thank you for letting me know that I am normal. We have moved from a 3000 Sq ft house to a 1300 Sq ft house. I have learned what enough is and it is wonderful.

  29. Marlene Cleghorn says:

    I absolutely Love this story as I am driving a 1993 Sundance,,,Yes!!! Its 22 years old ,,,,,I am on disability living with Osteoarthritis and not able to work,,I am almost 63, Single and have no clue when it comes to buying a vehicle and 5 years ago I prayed and said LORD you know I need a car BUT I dont know even how to start looking for one,,,I said , “LORD” if you want me to have a car then bring it to my door,,LOL,,,and two months later I got a knock on my door and it was my sister in law,,She did not know I was looking for a car and she did not know I prayed that prayer,,,When I opened the door she said, Marlene,,,I just drove by a car with a FOR SALE SIGN ON IT and GOD spoke to me and said to go to your door and tell marlene that car is for her to buy,,,Well! I took 3 steps backward and invited her in as I dont rush into things anymore,,I said Lets have a coffee and talk about this LOL and later I went and bought that car for $1000.00…It only has 79,000 Km on it and here I am 5 years later with very little monies put into it , got it inspected yesterday and it passed inspection for only $52.00…GOD never ceases to amaze me and I am ever so Thankful for my little old 1993 Sundance,,,I am blessed !!! and your story so spoke to me as Yes I have at times saw my friends driving new cars and at times envied them BUT then I would stop and say,,THANK YOU LORD for my little car YOU brought to my door ,,,,GOD is good and will never see HIS children go without,,,HE will always meet our needs ,,,,Thank You for sharing this story as it soke to my heart in such a huge way,,,Blessings ,,,,,,Marlene :):)

  30. Becky says:

    Thank you for the post & affirmation. I would love to read her book!

  31. Bp says:

    Great post!

    One thing that came to mind was my cell phone. It’s an older version, not a smart phone and only does calls, no texts.
    It’s enough though.
    Bethany

  32. Susan Smith says:

    “My ability to be content with what I have is most often seen as something bad. Something negative” YES!!! Me too!! Thank you for this post, it is so encouraging. I have an older woman in my life who has on numerous times critiqued my house and home decor for not living up to HGTV standards. Even though she sees it as sharing advice, its overboard and really just more hurtful than helpful. Thank you for reminding all of us that its okay to be content and to also encourage a spirit of contentment among our sisters.

  33. Erica says:

    I love this post! I have a dryer with a broken knob. I “fixed” it by using pliers to turn it on. Then the plastic around the door cracked and clothes would catch in the crack and it was ruining clothes. My very handy husband fixed that too! He keeps harassing me to buy a new one, but this one works and I’m the only one who sees it in the basement! Thank you for giving me permission to be content with enough!!❤️❤️

  34. Katie says:

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder! Can’t wait to read this book!

  35. Paula says:

    Thank you for the article. I watch hgtv and it’s amazing how easy it is to compare my home to the beautiful houses on the shows. Your piece is really a wake up call to remind me to stay grounded and that it’s okay to love what I have.

  36. Hollie says:

    Jill, thank you for sharing this on your blog! I drive a no-frills 16 year old Ford Escort my husband’s car is 13 years old, and we have a small two-bedroom home (our 7 year old son and 6 year old daughter share a room). Having no car payment and a mortgage we can afford with one income has allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom. What a blessing living with less has been to our family!

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