Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Economic Impression

This morning I had an impression that I wanted to share. To give a bit of background, I have noticed our children doing more asking than thanking in their prayers lately. It has been bothering me. So on Monday we had a Family Home Evening lesson on how important it is to be grateful.

We talked about how we need to do better with this not only in our prayers but in every day life too. I pointed out how much more I hear "EWWW! This is gross" at dinner instead of "Thank you for making us dinner, Mom." We also talked about how when a sister shares something we need to thank her for sharing.

Another topic that has been frequent in our home lately has to do with the economy. Like most other families I know, we are trying to rein in the financial horses of our budget and plug up the leaks. I have been trying to be more efficient in our food use and have been very strict with the kids about not wasting food.

So part of our FHE lesson was on how we need to be grateful that we have food, even if it is leftover stroganoff again. We ought to be grateful we are not hungry and without food in our house or money to buy food.

I ended up challenging the family to thank God for at least 10 different things in every prayer. So far I am pleased with the results. They are remembering to do it and it has carried over to them thanking for things without me having to tell them to say thank you.

Now, to my impression this morning. The state of the economy has been on my mind. With friends and family and neighbors who are looking for jobs and trying to find ways to make enough money to live, I think it is on most peoples mind.

Our family has been affected as well. While Jonathan has done well despite the turbulent stock market, our largest investor fell into financial trouble and had to pull all his money out of our fund some months ago. And it is difficult to find investors for any type of investment fund these days, even when a fund is showing good results.

This morning as I was thinking about the economy and our family's financial situation, I had the impression that I needed to express more gratitude for the economic blessings with which our family has been blessed.

We are right now in lean times, that is to be sure. But, we have come from a time when the Lord did provide great opportunities for us to fill our storehouses, so to speak, to help us through this time. I am grateful for the wheat I have stored, both literally and figuratively.

I think we as a nation must turn more fully to the Lord and offer up our gratitude to Him for whatever blessings we do have before this economic "famine" will fully turn around. It is most difficult to think of your blessings when your needs are shining so brightly in your face. But anyone who has traveled much in the third world knows that every American is blessed. The poorest of the poor here have things so much better than the poor of so many other countries.

I wonder if there is a person living who could and would call the country as a whole to turn to the Lord in humility and gratitude. I am not sure there is. I think President Obama may have the ability but I don't know that he would do that. Perhaps the movement I am hoping for must be one that starts on a grassroots level.

Perhaps it will be us, in our own homes coming to that conclusion for ourselves. Perhaps it will be us telling our friends and neighbors of such impressions and expressing our gratitude instead of singing our woes that will turn our country one family at a time to the Lord and bring once more the sweet relief of the thirst quenching economic "rains."