Then you qualify for the greatest amount of love.

The words in this title might already be stirring a reaction in your. The first time our family lost everything I was a child, so I didn’t know the circumstances. I only know that on the other side I had three shirts, two pair of pants, some sneakers and a pair of flip flops. Somehow I went on from there to enter and survive middle school before my family fell apart fully, but that’s not the story I’m telling today.

The second time our family lost everything, I was one of the parents. Because of the economic downturn of 2008, my husband and I were out of work. So many people were losing their homes, the mortgage companies could not repossess houses as fast as people were declaring bankruptcy so we hung on until the bitter end. Coincidentally, the day we removed the last of the curtains from the house was the day the infamous agent finally came to change the locks. The image below is one of many Thanksgivings in that house.

That was one of the saddest times of our lives as adults but one of the greatest times as humans because we were able to witness tremendous generosity. People filled our refrigerator with food. Several people donated anonymously to pay for an urgent surgery. And because we had very little money, our family spent a lot of time at home together…without cable. We had a blast playing games, playing in the snow…enjoying everything we had access to with gratitude. The lowest point of our life was the closest we’ve ever felt to each other and God.

Years later when we were working again and closer to plenty than we had been before, we realized that having more did not equal greater happiness. We longed for the lean days when there were fewer choices. This realization has guided the way we steward our resources. I’m curious to know what life’s highs and lows have taught you?