In this time of fiscal uncertainty not only on a micro level (our bank accounts and jobs), but also on a macro level (financial future of our countries), it is very important for me to remember what I learned in Italy. Abundance is not about material goods. Abundance is about love. The love in your heart for the world around you, and the love that other people give to you.
Italians have a lower standard of living than many Europeans and most Americans. However, whatever they do, they do with love. I brought this wonderful gift home with me and am trying to remember it in my daily life. We are not wealthy. We are suffering the ravages of this economy like so many other people. However, I have discovered many things I can do with love that cost very little money.
Here are just a few:
- Make scrapbooks for my children and with my grandchildren for them. I am not your typical scrapbook mom. I don’t have the time or the money. My scrapbooks are clever (I hope) and functional. I enjoy reliving memories with love, and placing them in a book where they will cause laughter and love.
- Have women in to lunch. Again, this is done with love, not money. Italian recipes are very frugal and fun to make. I love sharing Italy with my friends this way. It is nice and far less expensive to share a meal in my home rather than going out to eat.
- Celebrate! I look for every reason I can to celebrate. It doesn’t take a lot of money to get some balloons, theme napkins, and flowers for the table. I don’t enjoy cooking as a rule, but I love to make desserts for special occasions. The last thing we celebrated was my youngest son’s promotion.
- Start traditions. I love doing this with my grandchildren. My oldest grandson is getting too tall for this, but since he could barely talk, we have had “tent time” whenever we get together: a table with a sheet, a treasure in our treasure box, our favorite stuffed animals, a snack, a water bottle, and books to read or a puzzle to do. It is also mandatory that you have a password. I look forward to doing this with one-year-old Micah when he’s about 2 ½. Instead of tent time, Jack and I now have craft time—scrapbooking, finger painting, fighting with light sabers, jumping on the bed (I guess those last two aren’t crafts!).
So, when you come to Embracing Abundance in the future, I hope you will be ready to share what you have learned to do with love! Feel free to comment.