Monday, August 20, 2012

Why We Are Not Poor

Reader, let's be honest.

My husband is a medical student at a private institution. This means we are shelling out major bucks and digging a dark and ugly pit of debt to fund his education. Four years of tuition that continues to rise. This also means he can't get a job to make more money because, well, medical school plus a kid and wife is all a reasonable soul can handle.

I have a degree in English Literature, an almost 39-week-old baby in my belly (any day now...), and even when I was working full-time, it was at a daycare, loving on toddlers. Toddlers don't pay much. Yes, I have a part-time gig as a writing tutor now that I'm officially a stay-at-home mom, but still. Not much.

Technically and realistically, Andrew and I are living under the poverty line. We qualify for food stamps and for Medicaid; the Commonwealth of Virginia is singlehandedly paying for my maternity insurance and medical care, and will pay for the man-cub's insurance. Our two cars are from the 1990s, I don't think we paid for a single piece of furniture in our home, and we pretty much only go out to eat when we have coupons or gift cards. Oh, and Wal-Mart price-matching? We are professionals. Don't get behind us in line. We will take forever.

In the eyes of society, we are poor.

But reader, I have never really thought of us as poor. I don't think we are at all.

We have a sweet little townhouse full of furniture and appliances; we have running water and air conditioning (not that we need it in Virginia); we have shelves full of books, and a fridge full of food.

Our friends and family have outdone themselves in providing for us as we've needed it. I don't think Andrew and I have bought anything that is in the nursery out of of our own pockets. Maybe a cute onesie or two on super-sale at Gap, but nothing else. All given to us, or funded by gift cards given. What?! Our son is completely provided for.

(Andrew and I finished up our baby needs this week with BabiesRUs giftcards; our total? $148.00 How much we had in giftcards? $148.00. Coincidence? You'd be a fool to think it.)

I don't think we've ever had a time when we wondered if we could pay the bills. Student loans, electricity, groceries, even internet ... all paid, every month. Like the widow's oil, we have always been had exactly what we need.

I'm only referencing physical needs, but we are so richly blessed; I don't know how to describe it to you. My heart is full, and our hands are full. And we have friends, we have family, we have dear souls that love us. We have a wonderful church community that pours into us, and that we long to pour back into.

Humbling? Absolutely! It is hard to accept grace. It is humbling and embarassing to admit that you have a need; it is hard for an adult to accept a gift un-asked for. Children never question unprecedented giving, but we are suspicious and embarassed as adults. We want to take care of ourselves, admit we have it all together, show no weakness or want or need.

But of course Andrew and I have needs. It is foolish to refuse to admit it. But we don't have them for long. We don't have deep pockets, but, oh reader! We have a great God with the deepest pockets of all! And how He gives! How He gives!

Poor? Psh. Certainly not us. Nor will we ever be.


  1. I agree with Kelly and Lindsay..and I just want to say that I enjoy the honesty you write with in your posts, Millie :)