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Do You Feel Rich?
Do you feel rich? You likely don't. Few of us do, and especially in this recession, many of us are understandably worried about money. We're not sure how the bills will get paid. We're wondering when our husbands will find work, or better work. It's tough.

And I don't mean to diminish that. I just want to add some perspective. Here's something I read on the Sarcastic Christian blog that made me think:

If you make $25,000 per year (about $12.50/hr) you are in one of the top 10% richest people in the world!
If you make $35,000 per year, that puts in in the top 5%.
If you make $45,000 per year, you are in top 1.72% richest people in the world!

Wow. You probably think you're stretched, but most of us, reading this blog, are at least in the top 10% of the world, at least when it comes to family income.

Most people in the world wonder where their next meal is coming from. We worry about what takeout we might order tonight.

When I was in Kenya recently, one of the biggest delights was sitting with several Kenyan women just chatting as I taught them how to use knitting machines to start a micro business. (Here's my mother with two of our "students"). One woman, who had been rescued from the street when she was 10, and was now a married mom, asked me what we "plant" here in Canada. She wanted to know what crops my husband and I grow, because in Kenya, that's the main thing. Everyone grows something, and one's crops determine one's wealth. It's inconceivable that one wouldn't grow crops.

I explained the kind of crops that grow in my area of Ontario, without going into detail that the only crop I actually grow rather well is dandelions.

Another shocker from our first trip to Africa was how expensive sanitary pads are. They run about the same price as they do here, with the only difference being that there people only make about $1 a day. If you made $1 a day, could you afford pads? Probably not. And that's why many Third World girls and women miss a week of school and work every month because they literally have nothing to use.

One of my pet projects in Africa was showing the women how to sew sanitary pads out of rags (and fabric scraps from their sewing school). We got quite good at them!

They're just flannel on top, two layers of towel (or four layers of flannel) in the middle, and then fleece on the bottom. Here's another one:

Kind of cute, aren't they?

Here's a stack all cut out and ready to go on the sewing table at the orphanage. They just loved them (although everyone acknowledged they're a pain to wash). But women have been washing them for centuries, and they'll figure it out.

It's a little thing, sanitary pads. We take them for granted. But that just shows how rich we really are!

I know many of you are struggling with money right now. Remember, though, that we have been given so much here, and no matter how bad things get, God has still given us so many blessings. If you're burdened with worry today, think of these girls in Africa, so thrilled just from a little piece of flannel. We have much to be grateful for, and remember that this, too, shall pass.


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At 11:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

How do they stay in place?? Do they pin them in?

Did you have a pattern for these??

Just curious how it all works...


At 9:07 AM , Blogger Sheri said…

awesome post. You know, when I read about the girls having to stay home I always wondered why someone wasn't helping them with cloth pads which could be washed. Never occurred to me to make some and send them (not that any one would want anything I sewed!)


At 3:45 PM , Blogger Sheila said…

We use velcro to keep them in place, but velcro can be scratchy. Snaps are better! And Sheri, we've thrown "pad sewing parties" here so that people who can sew do, and people who can't cut. They're actually rather fun! You can see a video of it here:


At 3:45 PM , Blogger Sheila said…

This comment has been removed by the author.


At 3:19 PM , Blogger Ann-Marie said…

I was just part of a "pad sewing party" at Wesley Acres this past week. ;)


At 3:36 PM , Blogger Ellen said…

I love the 'party' idea, I will have to mention it to our church ladies group.

God is faithful! Last year our family survived on half my husband's normal yearly income, only by the grace of God!! The biggest piece of advice I can give anyone struggling to make ends meet, is to take one day at a time and trust God.


At 2:40 PM , Blogger Terry @ Breathing Grace said…

This was a wonderfully convicting and thought-provoking post, Sheila.

We do need to be reminded of how blessed we are.

I think I'll add this to my delicious links list!

Thanks for sharing your experiences in Africa with us.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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