Some Surprising Benefits Of Being Broke

being broke

Are you strapped financially?

That has always been us too. A change is happening that for the first time gives us hope for a small cushion, a tool to combat debt.

But, money really can’t buy happiness. Not in the ways that matter..

There might be a few surprising benefits to being broke.

Hear me out… few of us would CHOOSE broke, but when we are there?

With close consideration we can find a few gems in the seasons of “not enough”. Extra money can cause false security.  I am in no way downplaying the difficulties of hard times, but instead suggesting ways to look for the spark of hope in the darkness.

  1. Necessity forces creativity- Small amounts of income can develop resourcefulness. A spirit of making things work with what you have. Being broke and living broke don’t have to be the same thing. Having a nice home that felt comfortable to us, to our guests, has always been important to me. I learned to do that with very few dollars or none at all. Be creative, and make your house a home no matter what your resources are. My mom used to tease me that I created a home faster than anyone she’d ever seen. Each move sharpened that skill and gave me the ability to nest like the best, without the cost.
  2. Unexpected Provision- God will provide, cliché? Listen, we’ve had utility shut offs, no food, no job but yet…yet, here we are. We made it, you will too.  Provision comes in a million ways we can’t see until later. There are bits and pieces of help around us that form a net of safety. It doesn’t feel like that when we are falling, but it doesn’t mean the net isn’t being built.
  3. Value of together- When you are scared of losing it all, you become better at evaluating what is yours, truly yours, that can’t be taken away.  When we worried about losing “it all”, it being material things really, in desperation we learned to dig our heels in and claim our life back. Practice saying “No matter if we lost _______, they can’t take ________ away”. For us, we knew that regardless of circumstances, they couldn’t take away the joy in our family. That was ours to keep, and we fought for that. Me and my man? Us and our kids? No bill collector can take that away.
  4. When you got nothin’- You realize you have God. Always, right there with you. And that is a big something! He goes before you and follows behind. We didn’t always see this, though we believed in God. We had to hit rock bottom to realize He’d been there all along. And that He really was what we needed most.
  5. Make the most of what you DO have- What do you think of when you read the word Goodwill? If I’d never  been broke it is doubtful I would have ventured into a thrift store. There in excellent chance of finding clothes for your kids, a table for your kitchen, books for your shelf…anything necessary can be found cheap. Even better than cheap? Free. If you came to my house you’d feel comfortable, and if you made the mistake of saying how nice something is, I might  get a passionate fire in my eyes and corner you with stories of how I got if free and redid this or that. And how about our true necessities? Are your kids healthy tonight? Are their stomachs full? Do you have heat and water? The lower our spirits, the harder we need to search for the stuff that really meets our basic and most necessary needs. And then, live in gratitude. This alone can change the way we see our entire set of circumstances!
  6. Avoid borrowing When money is tight, the temptation is there to just charge things. Make payments. Sometimes there really seems to be no other choice. Use caution, the terms might be greater than they seem today. We are servants today to lenders of yesterday, and it hurts. Really bad. Proverbs 22:7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
  7. Been there, coveted that, got the t-shirt- Listen, please. We’ve been there. Been there. Can I share a small piece of wisdom here? Stop thinking So and So has it all together. That their lives are easy while we struggle unfairly.  Easier? Perhaps…but maybe not like it seems. If we spend time cultivating our own lives, we enjoy it infinitely more than wishing it were like someone else’s.

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Tell Me You Don’t Have “It” All Together, Please


dear you


I received a very disturbing comment from a friend today. She told me it always looks like I have it all altogether.  Apparently she doesn’t read my blog, or she would know how untrue that is.

She hasn’t asked my kids what it is like to live with someone who nearly every days asks, “What day is this? Where are we going? Does anyone know why I came in this room? Did I happen to say out loud who I was going to call when I picked up the phone?”

She doesn’t see the piles of unfiled papers or unused planners or me falling to my knees crying out , “Oh the humanity!”

Ok, maybe I haven’t done that yet but you certainly understand that desperate feeling of behind. [Read more...]

We Are Beautiful, Scattered Puzzles


If you look at puzzle pieces, they don’t make much sense at first. Oddly shaped, patterns that are random.

We are incapable of seeing how they will work together.


We are like that, we humans.

Odd and beautiful, all at once.

We start with one piece, maybe our quirky sense of fashion, and add a few more pieces. Our kind heart and love toward the helpless. [Read more...]

Photography {Vintage Polaroid Camera}


Part of my Wabi Sabi journey is finding vintage cameras.

It delights me to hold a piece of history, that connects me to another person who looked at life through a lens. This Polaroid Speedliner was found at a barn sale, in the middle of nowhere, on a beautiful fall day. What was once advanced technology, today would be considered cumbersome and outdated. Used and discarded–perfect. The bulbs are especially detailed…

It is beautiful, it is Wabi Sabi.

If you’d like to read more of my posts about exploring Wabi Sabi through Art, click here.  You can follow along with my #31daysofwabisabi on Instagram here. If you’d like to see more of my Vintage Camera collection, click here.

Check out the details of this beauty below. Do you collect treasures? What appeals to you and why?

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An Open Letter To My Younger Self: Dance On Your Wedding Day


If I had to do things over again, I wish I had danced more.

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A Few Of My Favorite Things {Cinnamon Pumpkin} Video

Last month I promised I’d do a short video for you, to go with my new monthly series of A Few Of My Favorite Things. You can read the first post here.

Admittedly, it feels really, really awkward to share this with you. Being a writer is completely different from sharing “yourself” on video.

Take one.

Subscribe to my new Youtube channel if you’d like to stay updated. And if you like this? Please share!

An Unforseen, Yet Still Wabi-Sabi, Ending


I should have listened to my mother.

She warned me. So did my husband.

It is with a conflicted heart that I must end this series just as it was beginning.  I am so deeply passionate about the essence of Wabi-sabi. But reality beckons.

I am heading to a conference in a few short weeks that has been a longing, a hope. This year is part of a dream puts on its shoes and starts walking. The Allume conference is part of that journey. That means, for this body, I must choose to direct my mental energy to preparations. I am finding it unwise to stretch myself in so many directions after all. Luckily I learned this year I wasn’t Superwoman after all, so that is ok! [Read more...]

The Bible As Wabi Sabi

My Bible complements the Wabi-sabi aesthetic.

Aged, humble, well used, loved.


_DSC0504 [Read more...]

When What You Create Is Ugly…


Chasing Wabi-Sabi

The blank page didn’t get me, but the next step did.

We have a lot of similarities I imagine, you and I. Was there sort of a reckless delight that followed when you put down the first drop of color on the shiny white page? I enjoyed spreading paint every which way.

Trusting that the next step would be beautiful.

Sometimes that isn’t how things work. It is easy to lose our footing, precariously balanced between moving forward and giving up.

Today I wanted to give up. Are you surprised to hear me say that?  I thought what have I DONE choosing such a topic. My attempts at art for the next step are, well, ugly.

Ugly should never stop us. Hard shouldn’t paralyze us. Doing something new takes risk, and risk is not comfortable.

But this is art! How risky is a piece of paper, really?

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. ~Pablo Picasso

Wabi-sabi isn’t about perfection, so I am sharing my ugly with you. And it does feel risky, even though it is just paper.  Because I am a recovering perfectionist, I so wanted to have a beautiful product to show you. But then, I would have missed the point, yes? [Read more...]

How To Conquer The Blank Page


Today let’s jump in and tackle the hardest part. The blank page.

This metaphor could apply to many areas of our lives, couldn’t it? The expanse of possibility seems bright and often fills us with optimism.

For others, the choices available are overwhelming. After all, we might make the wrong move. Go down the path that leads to an unexpected ending.

How To Conquer The Blank Page


Challenge yourself to move forward, right away.

Overthinking can kill the creative process. Wabi-sabi requires that we trust in the process. We must lay down what we think we know and look again.

We might think we will mess up our blank page. But…nothing is wasted in life. Especially not in art.

If we choose to look at creative process from our newly formed Wabi-sabi lens (read yesterday’s post), we see that art is interpretive. Not performance based. In art, as in life, we simply move forward.

It is freedom. Sometimes freedom feels intimidating, don’t let that stop you. This is fun. Childlike. [Read more...]