Unfortunately, I couldn't claim the genius of it. I stole the idea from my mother, who used an old Easter hat, extra stuffing, and spare toile to design a clever costume for her unappreciative daughter. My mom's homemade costumes were always brilliant, but it took a lot to get me on board. All the other girls in my class would get to be Disney princesses, while I had to wear whatever household leftovers would allow.

I didn't get what volumes it spoke of my mother that when the church Halloween party rolled around each year, she could design three good-looking costumes with what she had at home while sticking to the theme of the party. I didn't understand then, that forgoing the store-bought princess costume kept me in dance class, or that the money saved by planning a creative birthday party rather than paying for Chuck E. Cheese could be used for baseball uniforms. My family certainly wasn't poverty-stricken, but with three kids and careers as church-workers, my parents had to prioritize. And they knew what they were doing.

As I sit tonight in the laundromat, dreaming of a house with a washer and dryer, I find myself thanking God for the financial lessons of my youth. It was through my parents that He taught me that the gift of a calling overrides the gift of wealth, that money is a blessing to be held with wisdom, that wealth is a process, and that the greatest joys in life come of living creatively.

I look at my parents now, at the hard-earned peaks of their careers, their children finally feeding themselves, and I pray that God will continue to teach me through them . . . that as my career advances and wealth comes, I'll use it as they do—on experiences and things of substance, never forgetting that joy is a Halloween costume made of the blessings I already have.

Prosperous Soul

Remind me,
when my transmission dies
and the numbers in my checking account
turn red,
that I am blessed—
that this phase of my life
is nothing short of a miracle.
Without financial disaster,
I may not discover my own creative potential.
I may not learn to simplify.
I may not see the love that surrounds me,
the open hearts eager to give.

Without this time of less,
I would not know the value of more,
or recognize the wealth
already within me.

Thank You for natural prosperity—
with You, there is always enough.

-Abi Wurdeman


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