Andi Cumbo - Writer, Editor, Online Writing Courses, Classes & Lessons

Enough and Not Enough

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When we think we can do it all ourselves – fix, save, buy, or date a nice solution – it’s hopeless. We’re going to screw things up. We’re going to get our tentacles wrapped around things and squirt our squiddy ink all over, so that there is even less visibility, and then we’re going to squeeze the very life out of everything. — Anne Lamott

As of this moment, I have $38.60 in my checking account. Almost $10,000 in credit card debt.  Very little savings, and if I had to retire tomorrow, well, those would be some lean years.  Sometimes, I wake up at night and feel my chest tighten around my heart as I ponder how in the world I will ever pay my bills.

Nelson County Pantry, just up the road from God’s Whisper Farm

I know that many of us feel this way.

I hate money. I hate the way I let it creep into my decisions and influence my faith.  I hate the way I grasp control of it back over and over again with my inky tentacles.

But one thing this dream living has taught me is that money – while necessary – is not the determiner of dreams.  Today, as we end the month, I have just enough cash in checks and Etsy sales to pay my first two bills of December.  Just enough.  I would love to have more. I’d love to have enough to pay all my bills, take care of my school debt, and give away uber amounts of cash to people and organizations that deserve it.  But I don’t have that – I have enough.

***

Many of us, though, don’t have enough.  Right now, in the world 925 million people are hungry.  I can’t even begin to fathom that number.  I can’t even begin to make sense of why that is.  If I have enough, why don’t they?

I have a lot of questions for God about that one. 

What I don’t have any doubt of is that I am called to help, in my small way.  I can’t fix this problem – if I think I can, I’m just going to muck it up and get it inky.  But I am called to help . . . somehow.

That’s why, on December 22, I’ll be at the local food bank distributing Christmas meals to the hungry in my community.  That’s why, in December, 10% of all the proceeds from my writing work will go to the Nelson County Food Pantry.  That’s why, I am committing the month of December to understanding how I can act more systematically to help bring an end to hunger.

Would you join me?  Today, I’m asking you to commit to one of two things – either giving some of your time this holiday season in a local food pantry, soup kitchen, or relief organization OR making a donation to an organization that you know is working to alleviate hunger around our world.  (World Vision, Compassion International, Results are all organizations I believe in, and I know you’re aware of more.)

So will you? Will you join me?  If so, please say so below. I believe in accountability – that words have the power to firm up our commitments.  I’d love to fill this page with commitments and then see how we, The Whisperers, can help to alleviate poverty in our generation.

What do you think? If you have enough, will you join me in helping those who do not?  I’d be so grateful.

***

Tomorrow, my first published book God’s Whisper Manifesto: The Makings of a Dream comes out.  In it, you’ll see that part of my vision for this farm is that it be a place to really help people. If you’d like to read more about this vision, you can sign up for my newsletter (in the upper right-hand corner of this page)  and get a free copy of the book.  Or if you’d like to financially support the vision of this farm, you can buy a copy through Barnes and Noble and Amazing, knowing that 10% of all those sales will help people in my community and yours.  Thank you so much for joining me in this journey. I am forever grateful.

 

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Author: Andi

I am a writer, editor, and writing teacher whose most recent book, The Slaves Have Names, tells the story of the people who were enslaved on the plantation where I was raised. When I'm not working, my husband and I are working to make our small farm - God's Whisper Farm - a retreat here at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

  • http://www.heidikreider.com Heidi Kreider

    Andi,
    I found you through Tammy and Pilar and have been reading along. Your words today, though, resonate deeply. I am right there with you. I hate money and hate that I need it to live and hate that I allow it to stress me out… but, like you, I have enough.

    I question often… why me? Why do I have enough and others don’t. The only answer I can sleep with is.. He is God, I am not. Therefore, I cannot understand His ways; they are much too high for me to grasp.

    Thanks for posting this today and for sharing your heart. Thanks for encouraging me as I read. Thanks Andi!
    Heidi Kreider recently posted…25 Days ’til Christ.. starts tomorrow!My Profile

    • http://www.andilit.com Andi

      I’m the same, Heidi. I don’t understand quite why I always get the cash in the nick of time and other people quite literally starve to death. . . but yes, God has God’s ways . . . and I do wonder if some of God’s way is to teach us that we are responsible for each other. Thanks so much for reading.
      Andi recently posted…Making My Golden CalfMy Profile

  • Vaughn Deyhle

    Even in the lean times it’s important to try and get the focus off ourselves once in a while and with December rolling around, it’s a good time to do that. As my pastor has said for several years now, CHRISTMAS IS NOT YOUR BIRTHDAY. That is why once again, I will be playing along with my church’s Sudan project. Pastor Slaughter’s challenge is that for every dollar you spend on your family on Christmas, match that amount for the Sudan offering. We’re going on eight or nine years of this now and the things that we’ve managed to do in Darfur are truly amazing. This is the kind of gift you get for Jesus on his birthday. Or your time at a soup kitchen. Or the Salvation Army. Or sponsor a kid in some third world country. Whatever suits ya.

    • http://www.andilit.com Andi

      I love that challenge, Vaughn. What a great thing!!! I wonder if we can all learn to live that way . . . taking less maybe so that we can give more. I’m going to ponder how I can do that. Thanks.
      Andi recently posted…The “Gift” of Unsolicited AdviceMy Profile

  • http://www.ordinaryservant.com Pilar Arsenec

    You speak my language. Hmm, I guess that’s why we are friends, LOL! I do, am and will continue to give to those in need… :) Love you!
    Pilar Arsenec recently posted…Prophetic EpiphanyMy Profile

  • Lisa Pedersen

    Love your farm-venture. I too wonder about poverty – but I don’t have questions for God. There is enough to go around. Humans are to blame for poverty. We don’t like to share. Best of luck on your book. Can’t wait to purchase and read it.

  • http://www.timthurmansblog.blogspot.com Tim Thurman

    Andi,

    I have slightly more than you — I have $57 to my name right now. It is ironic to me though. Two months ago, I started volunteering at a food bank. Most of the people who work there are dirt poor. Do those who have much not have compassion. I know in my own life when I was doing much better financially, I was much less sensitive to the plight of the poor. I get so much satisfaction, however, on the days I get to work at the food bank. Good for you encouraging people to care for the poor.
    Tim Thurman recently posted…During The DoldrumsMy Profile

  • Laurie

    So…God has spoken to me through a couple of things today, although I’m really not exactly sure what He’s saying. This post is one of them. I have had the “I hate money” conversation TWICE recently, which, by the way, is two times too many. You know I’m on board. Money is necessary, but I hate discussing it. It makes my head hurt, and I become a very grumpy girl.

    I wonder if people who have a lot of money ever feel that way?

  • http://denisedilley.blogspot.com Denise Dilley

    Enough. Yes, I have enough. Oh to have more so I could give more. But what I have is enough. And what I have I will give (or continue to give). As they saying goes, “it is better to give than to receive.” :)
    Denise Dilley recently posted…Calm after the CrazyMy Profile

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