Are you Thrifty? | A Modern Approach to this Daily Devotional
Recently, I ran across a very interesting devotion in my beloved Simple Abundance book. Simple Abundance: 365 Days to a Balanced and Joyful Life is a daily devotional book written by Sarah Ban Breathnach and I chose it for my morning devotions in 2020.
While I generally love each day’s devotional topic - this idea of thrifting, which was the reading for March 5th, really spoke to me and I’ve had it rolling around in my brain for weeks. Now, in light of the current state of the world the concept is screaming at me and I’ve felt compelled to share my thoughts.
What Does It Even Mean?
If you’re like me, you probably didn’t realize that the word Thrift comes from the word Thrive. How is it that Thrift (or Thrifty) seems to have a much more negative (or at the very least neutral) connotation than Thrive when that’s its origin? To Thrive means to flourish, prosper, succeed, grow, expand, glow, shine, advance and so on. Therefore, Thrift should also convey a similar feeling – one of prosperity and peace. Instead, it seems to reflect an image of being stingy, selfish or mean. How did that happen?
As I reflect on this and rethink the meaning and origin of Thrift, I’m here to argue for it’s more desirable, admirable and overlooked qualities. It seems that Thrifting or being Thrifty actually means to simply be mindful, appreciative and smart with our resources. And by resources I do not mean simply money. That perhaps is where most of us (myself included) have assigned a more negative meaning to the word. Our resources include time (hello, planner girls!), creative energies, skills, emotions, material goods, strengths and charities. These are just a few of the many resources we possess, manage, and should be thankful for each and every day. When I apply these defining qualities to the word Thrift, I see it as approaching the details of our day-to-day with thoughtfulness and consideration.
Are Planners Naturally Thrifters?
This idea of being appreciative and mindful of the bounty in our lives also brings to light the concept of being present. Drawing your focus inward and away from the noisiness of the world redirects your heart and mind to the values and principles of both home and family. I feel it’s virtually impossible to be mindful, thoughtful and intentional without being more present in our daily lives. And being present, for me, almost always is accompanied by a feeling of gratitude. And isn’t that what we’re all striving for?
Don’t we in fact “plan” so that we can best provide for our families and ourselves? Isn’t planning something we do to make the best use of our time and resources? We aim to be productive at home, efficient in the workplace, reliable in our communication with others, and present (and pleasant) when we’re with our loved ones. Isn’t that a reflection of Thriving to us? And if we succeed at Thriving wouldn’t you conclude we are thereby Thrifting?
Thriving = Thrifting
Below are just a handful of the ways I Thrive in my life. I’m willing to bet that many of you share in at least some of these:
- I feel such contentment when my “nest” is in order.
- I find peace in a clean, well-stocked and organized kitchen.
- Sending snail mail makes me smile and “being there” for those around me makes me feel useful and valuable.
- Ticking things off my task list gives me a jolt of satisfaction.
- Being efficient with my household resources makes me feel smart.
- Being intentional with my financial resources makes me feel safe.
- When I’m able to help others with material, financial or emotional support I feel thankful.
- When I’m able to maintain the varied schedules of my family members and keep everyone “on the right path” I feel accomplished.
What do YOU Think?
When I read this entry for March 5th, as I said, I was immediately drawn to this concept. After “stewing” on it for a week or so I mentioned it to Jenny and Liz and encouraged them to read this particular devotion. I warned them that the writing style of Simple Abundance is perhaps a bit “formal” and “Victorian” – this is something that I’m used to after having been through the book already one time. I actually like the writing style now as I feel it slows me down a bit and encourages a more thoughtful approach to each day’s material. But after they read it, they did encourage me to put these thoughts into my own words in the hope we could better convey this important and timely concept. I truly hope I have done that – as I believe this concept can offer us all a bit of comfort and support as current events are causing us all to revisit how we manage our households and our lives.
You can read the devotion on Thrifting here.
Call Me A Thrifter!
In closing here is my last thought:
I’ve been called many things in my life, but Thrifty has probably never been one of them – until now! But it’s a moniker I’m self-applying today – with pride (!) and I hope many of you will join me. We have ALL the skills we need to not just weather this storm – but to Thrive/Thrift within it. In fact, I’d argue that as self-proclaimed planners we’ve been Thrifting all along as we use our planning skills to mindfully and compassionately manage our resources. Now is our time to shine #kitgirls and I look forward to seeing our brightness!