Sometimes it only takes a few words to bring home just how lucky you are.
After all, you have some new clothes that you just got at Target last month, and your kids do, too. You have been eating well: eating out occasionally, buying ingredients for pretty much whatever recipe looks good to you, even sometimes buying organic versions of produce or eggs or milk. You have meat when you want to, and sometimes you buy hunks of aged cheese just to eat with crackers when you feel like it. You watch movies & tv show episodes with your husband on Netflix, and your daughters watch tons of stuff, too. You & your husband have cell phones and laptops. You had enough to pay the bill for air conditioning in the summer, and you have enough to pay for heat now that it's approaching winter. You live in a whole entire house, just for your family of four, with separate bedrooms for everyone who wants one, and two bathrooms. You have had enough money to pay for gas for your car, even when you have traveled a little bit to visit friends or family. You have a semi-fancy camera & a couple of very nice lenses that work quite well. You have a very fine piano in your home.
And of course there are the blessings that are not material, like your health & the health of your family & friends, who you love very much (and who love you back), as well as your talents & abilities & interests, and enough time to indulge in them. There are so many of these kinds of blessings, too.
But you want more. Some wants are a little more serious (emergency savings, retirement savings, college savings, savings to buy a new car when the 13 year old car and/or 8 year old car need to be replaced, savings to visit your husband's family more than every 3 or so years) and some are not (an iPad, an iPhone, a newer & better camera, an external flash for your camera now that your old one broke, an XBox Kinect, a house just a bit bigger and nicer, savings for a real vacation one of these days). You suppose, when it comes down to it, that you will always want a little more.
You also fear that what you have now may not last. Who knows when that part-time job you have will end? It could be any time, really, or not for months, or maybe even not for years, but there's no telling. You suppose, really, that that's kind of always the way it is.
It's getting close to Christmas time now, and you worry a little bit about how you will afford to buy Christmas presents for your loved ones, but you know that you'll at least be able to buy a few things. You know that Santa will bring your little girls some presents, and you've already bought them each a gorgeous, fancy dress to wear on Christmas Eve (and the rest of the year, when they feel like being dressy), as well as a few other small things. You know you will have to be careful with what you buy, but you know that no one will go without. It will be ok. You will have a warm, lovely, happy Christmas, you are certain.
The church you attend, where your husband is employed, is sponsoring two families through a "giving tree," where each member of each family has put together a wish list of items that they'd like to receive. You know that these families don't have much; without the presents from you and the other members of the congregation, it is possible that these families wouldn't have much for Christmas at all. In mid-November, you approach the tree and read the labels on the tags. The tags specify not only the item the person wants, but also the age & sex of each person, as well as their clothing and/or shoe size if the item requested is clothing or shoes. Some of the kids want toys. Several people want clothing or warm winter outerwear. You see several requests for gift cards.
But the one that really gets you - the one that brings tears to your eyes immediately, is the tag for a 50 year old female whose Christmas wish is for panties, size 10. So you cry a little, and you pull the tag off the tree (along with one of the ones requesting a toy), and in your mind & heart you send heartfelt sympathy to this woman, and you hope her life has been filled with not only trials and difficulties, but also joy and love. And you go to the store and you buy her some of the prettiest, most comfortable looking pairs of underwear you can find, and you hope that she likes them very much.