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I just loved this post, “Thrills and Chills: How We Raised a Large Family on One Income, “ and I think we should celebrate this sweet family and pass the wisdom around.

Our stories are similar although we had four kids and I married a roofer, but letting the Lord lead you and gleaning some wisdom from your elders is a winning recipe. This is a timely post too, because I was just talking to my kids about contemporary world problems, excessive consumerism, and how those who can master some simple and sensible living are the most blessed of all! There is a lot of discontent in the world, a lot of mental health problems, a lot of fractured families, and a great deal of that has to do with the nature of our society, envy, frustration, and all this striving.

Chuckling here, but not long ago I discovered the word “grind.” What in the world is that all about?! Sheep don’t strive! Have you ever seen a striving sheep? How about a grinding sheep?? I get a lot of blank stares when I say that, as if my analogy is too abstract or something, but if you’ve ever studied sheep and you know “my sheep know my voice,” then all these words like “strive, grind, perform, grit it out,” seem a bit foolish. Work hard, play hard, have some fun, but the only “grind” ruling over one’s life should be the grind in our coffee beans.

By the way, used coffee grounds made into a paste with some coconut oil makes the most amazing exfoliant. I’m not even kidding, I’m a big fan of being well pampered and living the spa life. It is messy though, so rinse off outside to avoid having to clean the bathroom. I have a long black garden hose, so you see, solar hot water before it was even cool.

Join me for other tips on how to avoid cleaning the bathroom….

I jest a bit but it’s a serious matter, the economics of mental health perhaps, or how economics shape our mental and spiritual health. I’m really blessed by the fact that my kids range in age and are pretty spread out, so I can really see the shifts in our culture, the decades of drift that happened.

The other day I was chatting with some young people about the worst things that can happen to you. Getting pregnant and being poor. No! Heck no. Let me put my foot down here and declare those can be life’s greatest blessings. At the end of your life, those can be your greatest accomplishments, your biggest blessings, your fondest memories. The worst thing or the biggest mistake is actually credit cards and loan debt, being robbed and fleeced by interest rates. It’s kind of like the ancient medical practice of blood letting, literally just sucking off all our wealth and life energy….

There are heaps of grace available for those who get stuck in debt, and some things like buying a house are somewhat unavoidable. This is not a shaming post at all, it is just that young people are being taught by our culture and learning all the wrong things. Our culture has been teaching them to avoid family, avoid pregnancy, avoid “poverty” at all costs, but just take on lots and lots of debt, everything from school loans to car loans. It’s no accident that you got your check cashing places (at 30% interest) right next to the liquor store and in poorer neighborhoods.

Okay, off my soap box now. Sorry! Go read the original post. 🙂