Thursday, January 15, 2009

Recession vs. Depression

A recession is when your neighbor loses his job; a depression is when you lose yours.

We hear it on the news, but it seems this past week it keeps coming closer and closer to home. As of today, I have three friends out of work, and 8 friends who have had their hours either cut or made almost non-existent.

It really makes me re-evaluate the difference between a need and a want. My mother used to remind me growing up that God promised to provide for our NEEDS, not our wants. I never liked it when she quoted that Bible verse. But I can say that God ALWAYS provided. I didn't have name brand clothes growing up, and more often than not most everything I owned was a hand-me-down. We ate out maybe once a year, and food was almost always given from a church member's garden or a generic brand, but I never went hungry. Not ever.

I remember the late '80s when the coal mines shut down in Walker County. We had three men in our church who lost their jobs. One of the families complained several months later that it was hard being poor. Every time they went to the grocery store they had to buy generic brands they were so poor. My little sister and I just stared at her. I actually felt sorry for her that she thought buying generic brand food meant you were poor. I knew several girls in my class who owned 2 pairs of blue jeans and alternated them out every other day because that was all they could afford. And about 1/2 of our high school students had jobs. If we ever heard of a position open, be it McDonalds, Church's chicken, or in a grocery store, people rushed to apply. I found my after school job as a cashier by overhearing a girl at school saying she'd have to quit to play softball. I went in the afternoon she was to quit and put in a job application. I went in for an "interview" at 9am Sat morning and went home at noon for lunch and worked until 5pm. And that was after six months of looking for a job. I considered myself blessed.

Then I went to Nashville to college, and for the first time I realized according to most people's standards, I was poor.
The next year I went to Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa, and discovered I was one of the richest people on the face of the earth - and my income hadn't changed a dime.
After graduation I went to China, and discovered that I lived in a land of opportunity beyond anything I had dreamed or realized. It had always been taken for granted. I've been to college twice for different majors, have changed careers, even had the luxury of being a stay at home wife for several years - and those facts alone make me one of the most privileged people in the world.

I do wonder what will become of our nation and its economy. But I also recognize things can get much worse before we're even close to destitute. And its times like these I turn to my Heavenly Father and rest in his arms. He's never out of a job.


Jessie said...

Monica have to say I understand what it is to be poor also after my father left with my mothers best friend at the age of 12 we went from Riches to Rages and I know what all you wrote means...

I myself feel very blessed and for the things we do have here in America and the jobs we do have and you are so right needs and wants are so different.. Jose and I have learned this so well in the past 6 years and we are so thankful of all we have and the life we live.... Blessed Much Jessie

Jennifer said...

once again, what a wonderful post! i remember very well shopping at "aldi's" so many times because we couldn't afford to go to a normal grocery store. I never got new clothes until I got a job my jr year of hs. even now i welcome clothes for the kids and feel blessed to get them. we pinch a lot of corners and make sacrafices (try to cut down on extras, live in a 1200 sf house, driver our cars till they can't go anymore). keep the great posts coming!

gypsy@Hebrews11:13 said...

I know what it means to live out of the missionary barrel...I forget too often what that was like. Thanks for reminding me how VERY MUCH I have to be grateful for. I am now living in a bigger house than I have EVER lived in in my entire life. I eat VERY well, and have way too many clothes/shoes/purses in my closet. IBM is doing a HUGE layoff in another week and we are SCARED but God is faithful to provide!