[Followup posts on this topic are Bring on the Marching Band (Use It Up,) Wear It Out, a postscript to Wear It Out, Make It Do, and Do Without.]
Meredith's post on Frugal Storage Solutions pointed me towards Sallie's new focus on Abundance for 2007 at A Gracious Home, and her first post this year about that. (Sallie's blog is sometimes a bit slow to load for me, but it's really beautiful. If you have trouble accessing the "focus on Abundance" page, you can click on it from her second post.)
"Abundance." What a good way to balance the more negative word "frugality," to celebrate what we have rather than searching for more, for something else. Yes, it's easy for me to say that this week, after what feels like a very "abundant" couple of months here. This week we got some much-needed (yes, it was needed!), brand-new furniture for our recroom/schoolroom, after years of sitting on something that was sagging closer and closer towards the floor. Cards still stuck to the doorframes remind me of our abundance of friends. There's pumpkin cake on the counter and a roast in the freezer. I have a warm coat (if it ever snows here again) and a watch that works (even if it needs a new strap).
We also have daily reminders of God's true abundance that transcends the perishable blessings. Couches eventually sag, food is eaten up, and our physical bodies betray us, but there is more beyond those things. We get updates from an in-real-life friend battling cancer, and from another homeschooler I know only online but whose struggles with illness are no less real and distressing to read about. The updates from both families continually speak of God's goodness and the blessings He shows during times of adversity.
Ann's ongoing list of gifts from God was a good reminder of how we celebrate God's abundance in everything from bananas and nylons to eternal life. I don't know if Ann's thankfulness "that hair grows again" was meant in response to a bad haircut, but someone at church last Sunday happened to mention her own thankfulness for that very thing--because she went through chemotherapy (and a time without any hair) several years ago.
So I'm in on this "Year of Abundance" too. Sallie says her aim this year, rather than not buying anything, is to make do and use what she has; for instance, enjoying the games in the closet and the books on the shelf rather than looking for outside entertainment. Meredith's post reminds us that, even in organizing what we have, we can use other things already around (a purse, a clay saucer, a nail) rather than buying more plastic containers. (Side note: Mr. Fixit went out yesterday looking for plastic shoeboxes and couldn't find any good quality ones anyway. What's happening out there?) I'll continue to post when I can on this theme, and Sallie is organizing a system of links from her website to other bloggers.
Let's celebrate abundance--and live abundantly this year.
[A postscript: A blog that always reminds me of enjoying life through adversity is Momma's Corner. Momma is a 70+ blogging grandmother, and she tells it like it is.]