As I venture out from this land to the Relevant conference, I struggle with the two worlds as I travel from world to world. The shock of wealth overwhelming me as I leave poverty.

I fly across worlds to be changed, encouraged, uplifted, and I am. I cry my way through the weekend, a good cry, and am touched by the love of Jesus, palpable, in so many beautiful women that I talk and share with.

And I come home. I come back to the sweat, and children who’ve been loved on by their daddy, and the house with the funny couches, and it feels good. It feels right. It feels like enough.

And I realize that I have been given a gift, though I have struggled with contentment in the not so distant past, I am the one who has been given the beautiful, wondrous gift of just enough.

He sang to us the last night of our togetherness at Relevant, and I cried. Cried as he showed pictures of the children that Compassion serves….and I cried for them, because they are my neighbors…they are my friends….they live among me here in Indonesia.

And I wept as he sang this….

And please, don’t give to me
Wealth or poverty
But God, I ask only for
O Enough
God, only
Just enough
 Rain more than this day’s bread
And I may say I’m God instead
Take all my crumbs away
And I may rob and wound your name

… I realize how blessed I really am. I have neither wealth nor poverty. Some would say we are the sacrificers, the ones who have given up all and left home comforts for a foreign life, but I say we are the blessed.

And she makes us all cry with her beautiful post about Ecuador…and at the end she writes….

 ”That is the insidious danger of wealth — that it makes you blind. Blind to the hungry Christ and the thirsty Christ and the suffering Christ in humanity. Affluence can anesthetize you to God and belongings can blind you to Christ and isn’t this why it’s hard for the rich to enter heaven – blind and visionless to Christ?”

And I nod my head in agreement (through the tears), because I am the blessed one, the one who has neither wealth nor poverty….but enough. I am so thankful that I can see the hungry and the thirsty.

Thank you, Jesus, just for enough.

Photo Credit: the Amazing Dave Forney

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  • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin

    I felt so blessed when I came home -feeling right in my element- knowing that’s “home”. Not just home for my body, but home for my heart. And really? I feel so rich–too rich for comfort, if that makes sense. Like we have so much it would be a crime not to give some away.

    God is really teaching me and molding me–making His desires mine.

    • Joy

      Oh Christin, I love your sweet, tender heart. You are such a giver, it is so evident in how you help people even online. I love that you have that perspective…God uses that!! Thank you dear, sweet lady!!

  • Mommybyhisgrace

    Wow. I am new to following your blog and I just want to say thank you. You are blessing me. I want enough as well and find that here in the States I fool myself into thinking I don’t have enough compared to many, yet in the bigger picture I have way more then enough. As financial difficulties are abounding in our home we still have enough. My heart has been missions since I was little and seeing what you are doing makes me want to pack up and go more then ever. Thank you.

    • Joy

      Thank you so much for commenting. I have to say, I feel like I have it easy…where I live it is easy to see as I look around me that I have plenty…but when I am in the States, it seems like I have little to nothing. It is a hard thing to be able to keep the perspective of enough in the midst of life. Praying for you and your financial difficulties right now. Be blessed today dear sister!

  • Emily

    Oh…your blog is so lovely, I am a new reader and have been so blessed. Thank you for sharing your life with us, strangers. The way you put your experiences and feelings into words is so real, so encouraging. The photos that you share are so BEAUTIFUL, the photos make what your expressing in words come alive. You have given me a new understanding of what is is to live a life of missions. You have a beautiful family. I pray that God continues to meet all of you needs in Indonesia.

    In Maine

  • http://www.cravingsonline.net Carey Bailey

    Was walking along side you at Relevant. Thank you for all you brought. This post was for me! Thank you. Just wrote on my contentment struggle and asked for prayer. Love how He responds. With Joy, Carey

  • http://www.lotsofwagners.blogspot.com Jenny

    I was thinking of your couches last night. :)

  • Katrina Ryder

    This is beautiful and reminds me, yet again, why He allows us to help Him in missions. (Still planning to send you my story sometime . . .)

  • Anonymous

    Joy, I am so moved. Here’s what I wrote after reading your post. http://buildingforreynosa.blogspot.com/2011/11/fear-of-breaking-heart.html

  • Danielle

    Those are some of my favorite verses in the bible… (Prov 30:7-9) I cried through Ann’s post yesterday. God is so good!

  • Anonymous

    Oh Joy I just love this post… *tears*.. beautiful.

  • Heather

    FABULOUS persepective! And, very timely. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    What a timely post to read as I struggle to be thankful and content in a recently-begun life in China with a very young family of my own. Listening to Shaun Groves’ song right now again and again. It’s so true, that all we need is enough so that our faith is in God and Him alone. Thank you for the reminder, so beautifully put.

  • Robert&Gretchen Clarke

    I love this post. I live in asia, although a less poverty stricken area then where you are, and struggle with the balance between the two worlds of riches and poverty regularly. I agree 100% that I am the blessed one to be here, seeing HIS world firsthand and knowing that I have enough

  • http://1plus1plus1equals1.blogspot.com/ Carisa

    Joy, I could have written this post. I know we only talked for a brief moment at Relevant-but those few sentences meant so much to me, we are so connected in a way. That song is the one that has spoken to me also-I have quoted it to Frank since the conference and asked him to listen to it in his car. It is my exact prayer and also my exact point of feeling blessed-that I have enough.

    The trash on our inner city streets, the drug dealers, prostitutes, crime, and abuse that surrounds me are the constant reminders that Jesus is needed in lives, NOW. I can’t possibly forget it for long, all I have to do is glance outside. Many also talk about the “sacrifice” we have made but I never see it that way either-we are the ones who are blessed, beyond measure to be living a life of just enough.

    I wish we could have spent more time together, I am so thankful that we at least got to meet face to face and share a hug and a few words.

  • http://www.deniseinbloom.com Denise In Bloom

    Oh sweet Joy! Yes that we would be content with just enough! That is the essence of living out this life here on earth. Thank you once again for blessing my heart with your words.

  • Cyndi Spivey

    I loved meeting you at the Relevant Conference and I’m so glad we are sisters in Christ. On this journey called faith! Thank you for sharing your heart and I look forward to staying in touch!
    Blessings friend,

  • http://houghslife.blogspot.com Sarah

    This is great to have this reality put in the forefront of my thoughts. We are getting ready to return to our field after two years away and I am a bit nervous knowing now exactly what it is that we are returning too. Excited yet nervous. Great to be along for the ride with you Joy as we serve cross culturally!

  • Tonya Daniels

    I am moved by these words. Thank you for reminding us that just to have today, is more than enough, and to have all we do in america, feels like we are rich beyond measure. Yet it is so easy to overlook it, even when we arent “wealthy” to the worlds standards. Such a conviction that hits me straight in the heart! I have so much, and need to be mindful of giving back for all that I have been given. Thank you Joy.

  • Cynthia Erickson

    I can say that I am touched by the words you have written as a fellow missionary and mom, we are preparing for our first overseas assignment. and have begun even while still in america to adjust to enough, especially as we think over gift suggestions as family asks. Its a wonderful place to be to be content with enough. Its a radical adjustment in the mind, when the money isn’t yours and you aren’t attached to building it up.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. Enough and contentment are so valuable.

  • Angtolpin

    You bring a far reality home for me Joy! God bless you guys as you serve theLord!

  • http://www.gracetags.com Janelle@GraceTags

    So beautifully written. I cringe when my kids call out, ‘I want that’ at every commercial they see. I think, we have so much! We really do, have so much. We’re not rich but we are not poor. God is providing and I love Him so much.


  • http://www.littlewritermomma.com/ Lisa

    I love the photos and the faces…they add such a depth to the meaning of the words…and thank you for the links to Ann’s post and the words to Shaun’s song…I will be thinking about this post for days to come.

  • http://carriethinkstoomuch.blogspot.com/ Carrie

    Jesus is always enough

  • http://lifeofamissionarywife.blogspot.com/ Kaylee

    Thank you for writing. My husband and I are missionaries in Bolivia and it’s amazing how much we see in a day. How do you choose who to help? We are blessed to be here but more blessed to be among those with Enough.

  • http://simplemom.net Tsh @ SimpleMom.net

    That’s my favorite song of Shaun’s, Joy. :) All-time favorite.

  • Rakel Thurman

    Blessings upon blessings….thanks for sharing Joy.

  • Pingback: I Saw Jesus at Relevant | Grace Full Mama

  • http://kimita.wordpress.com/ Kim

    I am new to your blog as well and think it”s so beautiful! What an awesome testimony to Christ! Love all these sweet photos :) And I too recently came across this verse in the Bible and was struck by it – give me only enough, only what is sufficient for today which is very similar to what Christ tells us to pray for in the Lord’s Prayer. Just our daily bread, our daily portion :)

  • Toni Raquet

    This made me cry. I have been to Africa twice in the last few years & seen what you speak of here. We are in the same “in-between” place financially – less than some, more than many. My children have not had the privilege of seeing that kind of poverty with their eyes yet. And when they whine about the ‘stuff’ they want, it upsets me deeply, but I tell myself they don’t understand. God willing, I will get to take my whole family to Africa in the near future. And you are right – you are the blessed one to be on the mission field. Not only do you see others’ hunger & thirst, but you, in some small way, are leading them to Living Water. Those of us who have been there (even for a short time) understand the blessing you have everyday. May the Lord continue bless you and your family as you serve.