Sunday, April 13, 2008

Living like no one else

Dave Ramsey's mantra is "If you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else." What that means is if you'll sacrifice, pay a price, and do the things it takes to win now, as so few people are willing to do, then later you'll have the money to enjoy life in your golden years and give to worthy causes, maybe even pay cash for a house as so few people are able to do.

In one of his books, he talks about a typical retirement couple who retires to Florida, has a yacht, and basically "do what they want" every day. Using that as an example, he asks readers: "Is this the kind of life that you want?" (I wish I could paraphrase this better.) Do you want to spend your golden years in total vacation mode, spending your money on what could be used for worthy causes or to pass on to your children? That was his essential question. He prompts us to test the "status quo" continually on what we have, what we need, and what we think we need.

Similarly, I am thinking of an article I read awhile back. The author, a woman in her 50s, was essentially complaining about her role as a grandmother. "I'm not going to sit home and bake cookies. I'm not that type. Don't expect me to babysit my grandchildren." It was light, and supposed to be amusing, but frankly, I found it to be sad. You can bet the one thing I'll be doing when I have grandchildren is bakin' cookies and spending all the time I can with them. As I pour myself into my children, I plan to pour myself into my grandchildren. I want to be the granny who has a treat jar. My children need my help (and my husband's help) in raising their children. It's the way God designed it to be.

Now I'm thinking about my sweet grandmother, 91 years old. She is in a wonderful nursing home, not even 2 minutes down the road from my parents. Her sons visit every day. While it is hard for my father to see her in the nursing home, she is in the best situation that she could possibly be in, in these circumstances.

I'm thinking about my grandmother, because, even though she is in bed most of the day, even though she can barely speak or move, she is bearing fruit in her life. Psalm 92: 12-14 says:
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
proclaiming "The Lord is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him."
We must never underestimate elders and their work for the Lord. My grandmother has profoundly affected many people around her in the assisted living home she was in before moving to the nursing home, and even now, where she is, her Light shows. She bears fruit.

Dave Ramsay says, ""If you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else." Why can't this not only be applied to financial living, but also to kingdom living? Though I live out my daily moments, I am looking firmly toward the future, with every decision I make. These decisions will affect future generations, and so I want to be mindful of living that way. 


Monica said...

Wow, what a great thing to contemplate this morning. You've have me thanking God for my grandmothers and mother and praying for my children and grandchildren. That changes my perspective on this Monday morning.


Jaime said...

Great post.

BTW... Have you also read "The Millionaire Next Door"? I think I first read it b/c Dave Ramsey mentioned it in one of his books. Well worth the read!!!

Have a great Monday.

MacCárthaigh Family said...

This is a lovely post and I am going to read a little more of what you have to say. Got you from Amy's blog. Talk again no doubt!

Joni said...

What a very nice post, Andrea. I was reminded of my dear grandmother, who passed away nearly 3 years ago now. I know that so many of the blessings in my life were borne out of her fervent prayers for me. She, a prayer warrior until her very last day, bore fruit until she entered His Presence.

AIMEE said...

this was awesome!! really really good.

Trish D said...

Wonderful post! I once heard a talk entitled, "When I am an old woman, I shall wear green," based on this passage. Thanks for the reminder to adjust our perspective and focus on what's truly important.

Anonymous said...

Andrea- How true! I agree with your thoughts on this. I cherish the moments I had with my grandparents and also the times our children are having with our parents now. To me it is what family is about. What a loving tribute to your grandmother you have written. I am honored to have gotten to have her in my life as well these past years. I hope you all are doing well!

Mama Russell said...

Excellent post. And so true.

Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years said...

This was so encouraging, Andrea. I think there is not much more beautiful in my own life as to watch older women along the way (church, fabric store, etc.) take an interest in my daughters for everything from spiritual truths to knitting.

Your grandmother seems a lovely woman, as does her progeny.

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Great post.

However, one problem I have with Dave Ramsey's mentality is that it's too future-focused. For one thing, we don't even know if we are going to be here in our retirement years.

I think that balance is key. Yes, we make some "sacrifices" now so that we will be able to enjoy our retirement (I have "sacrifices" in quotes, because my husband makes a pretty good living, and not spending all of it is a sacrifice by the world's standards, but I can't call it that in good conscience). But we also splurge now as a way to enjoy our present lives.

My dad is in semi-retirement now, and he and his partner are now working to enjoy it. They spend time with family and travel and have a good balance.

Terry said...

Like you, Andrea, I plan to be hands-on, cookie bakin', diaper changin' grandma! I couldn't imagine anything else. The statement you read about the grandmother who refused to be pinned down by family in her golden years is just a typical outgrowth of our me-first culture. I absolutely intend to enjoy whatever stage of life I'm in, and that means this stage, too. You express beautifully the blessing of living in light of eternity. Thanks again for another great, heart of the matter post. Loved it!

Andrea said...

Jennifer--I always appreciate your perspective. I am all about balance and not holding on too tightly to ideals--leaving room for God to work.
There is nothing wrong with reaping rewards from retirement money saved--I am not saying that by any means! I just think Dave Ramsay questions the typical retirement route and makes us question what route we are on....which is important! If we are living a lush retirement lifestyle and *not* giving some away, or leaving enough for our chidren, then I question it. Unfortunately, a lot of people feel entitled to do that, and I don't agree with that mentality.
I have strong opinions, but that doesn't mean I don't leave room for God to work and for there to be a proper balance. :)

Sarah said...

Love, love, LOVE this post Andrea! We have read Ramsey and live our financial lives according to his Godly wisdom, which is so scripturally grounded. But what fresh perspective on applying the same principals to our walk in a sense. It's so easy to think selfishly about our retirement years, but I have often felt the same as you, that I want to partner with my kids in the raising of their children, as much as they want me to and as much as boundaries permit. I want to bless and serve them by relieving their burdens when I can, taking care of the grandkids so they can have romantic getaways and date nights, bringing meals when they are in a stressful time of life. Investing in the hearts of my grandkids, even that means the sacrifice of time and energy. Bottom line, I'm right with you sister! I need to be thinking of the legacy I will be leaving.

Anonymous said...

I love this post. I'm right there with you too sister! People ahead of things! I PRAY that we can be a blessing to our children in their parenting as my parents have been. That is one of my concerns about having 5 children...I know God's plans are perfect...I know the children should be resourceful...but I want to be there and take care of them in their parenting years. It is the current way our culture works.

Thank you for Psalm 92. I am pretty sure it is in Psalm 91 "Teach us to number our days aright so that we may gain a HEART OF WISDOM". I think about this a lot as I would like to be a wise, mature godly woman in my older years. My grandmother had such a rich, godly influence on others in her 90s. Mary Brooke

Holly said...

Oh, SUCH a good post, Andrea! I am with you! This is what I want, too!

Thanks, friend!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I came over from Amy's links.

As a wife, mom, and Grammie... I believe strongly in the ministry of cookies... especially for grandchildren.

Don't you just love Dave?

Jess said...

So true, Andrea. My mom pours every minute of her life that she can into her grandkids (even now that we're on the other side of the world)... and my husband's mom pours every minute of her life that she can into herself. And the joy of each woman is like night and day. When we live for ourselves, that's all we get. Us. Our plain, old, stinky, sinful selves. But when we live for others, God multiplies our joy in innumerable ways. I'm so glad to have that comparison right in front of me. But you're right- I want to be the grandma who invest in her grandkids, not trying to selfishly grab a few last moments of "happiness" on an island somewhere. Blegh!


Andrea said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone!
If you are here from Amy's or Holly's...welcome!
I encourage you to respond here. :) Love to hear your thoughts.