Home » Lessons From Butterberry Farm

No Need For Money

>4 March 2009
 
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The more time I spend with Addy and her family, the more I learn about generosity and the freedom that comes from the lack of need for money. I am truly inspired and awed by their kindness, and their willingness to share and give to anybody of what little they may have for nothing in return.

A few weeks ago, as Addy and I were digging up the blueberry bushes that she gave me, she was telling me how people will call her up every now and then and ask her if she has any blueberries to pick. When they are in season, she is happy to let anybody come by and pick all they want, for free. But she will get these calls from people asking her if she would have a gallon of blueberries ready for them to come by and get, and offer to pay her for them.

It surprised me as she went on to tell me that she will refuse to pick for these people. She will tell them that they are more than welcome to come and pick for themselves (at no charge), and she will even be happy to help them, but she won’t pick for money. As she put it, “I’m not for sale; I won’t waste my time for a buck! I’m more than happy to share anything that’s leftover after feeding my family, but I’m not going to pick for your family too!” She explained that she would much rather help you pick your berries, and enjoy good conversation and fellowship, than pick them all herself and meet you at the front door for a split second to earn a dollar.

I found myself pondering this mentality for quite a while. See, my thinking is just the opposite! To me, I would much rather make a dollar than give my hard earned produce away for free. But the more time I spend with Addy, the more I realize that their riches come from the blessings of their generosity and friendships, and not from any monetary gain.

As a matter of fact, they don’t have much need for cash, and they turn it down often. A few weeks ago Addy and her husband helped us with a project at our house for two whole Saturdays (a post on that coming soon), and we gladly offered to pay them for all of their help. They refused, saying that when they were young they had people help them when they were first starting out, and they were just passing it on.

They did spot an older dishwasher in a junk pile (from our remodel) beside our house, and they asked us what we were going to do with it. We were more than happy to let them take it with them. Addy told me that her dishwasher had just died like the day before. I told her I wasn’t sure if ours would work, but she was more than welcome to it. We also sent with them a bike for their son that we just had sitting around. It was such a blessing to us to be able to repay their kindness in some way.

Turns out, the dishwasher worked great for them. I was so glad! So, it was a blessing to them to be able to help us, and it was a blessing to us to be able to give them something in return that they could use. It was neat to see how the Lord was working through it all. I love how they trade for just about all of their needs. Of course her husband works, obviously they do need some money, but for the most part they see very little need for it.

What inspiring and awesome role models they are to me to have such little dependence on cash. It is my whole hearted goal now to follow in their footsteps: that by the time I am 40 we too will be out of debt completely; no house payments or anything! And it wasn’t because they made such a tremendous amount of money, quite the contrary. It was because of their wisdom, frugality, modesty, and I believe, even their generosity.

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9 Comments »

  • Debbie in PA said:

    Well, that was refreshing! I wish more people had this attitude, really.

    I worked until I was 40, at which point I “retired” to stay home with my son. I had kids (a daughter too), by choice, later in life, and chose to stay home. Although I did not homeschool, I still choose to stay home once they went to school. Many people can’t understand that choice, and truthfully sometimes I feel like a slaker. Even my own kids wish I had a paying job, so that they could enjoy more of the material things their peers have. I still think i made the right choice, but it would probably have been easier if we lived in a different area.

    FYI–have you ever read “Your Money or Your Life”? You might enjoy it!

  • Kendra said:

    Hi Debbie-

    I just wanted to say that in my opinion you did make the right choice by staying home. Even though you didn’t homeschool, the fact that you were able to be home when your kids were out of school most likely kept them out of a lot of trouble. And I’m sure you were very busy taking care of your home and providing meals for your family. Don’t feel like a slacker, you have the most demanding, important job there is… MOM! And when your kids are grown and have kids of their own, they will appreciate your presence in their youth.

    To answer your question, I haven’t read that book, but it sounds interesting! Thanks for sharing!

  • calina said:

    I totally agree with Addy with her blueberries.

    Let me explain, our family puts out a 1/2 acre garden every year and we have apple trees and a grape harbor, we forage our property for raspberries, blackberries, walnuts, wild cherry, wild grapes, etc.

    I don’t have a moment of spare time! Now, I enjoy what I do for MY family. I am joyful and I am teaching my children to help. I enjoy getting the organic food for MY family and OUR health (and OUR budget). BUT, IT TAKES TIME AND WORK!

    Many people don’t understand that I rarely sit down in the spring/summer/fall. It’s constantly doing something from early morning till 11 pm. I have had people ask for produce, sure I’m willing to share! (BUT you are welcome AFTER I have gotten what MY family needs – I’m not doing this for the fun of it! Gardening comes at great time and expense)

    I have had people say, “Oh, but, could you please drop it off, oh and I might not be home, just leave it. . .” HUH? You want me to PICK it and DELIVER it, too!

    Definately not worth my time for a dollar or two. Even if someone did offer to pay me. The feeling of being used is just not worth it, instead it would be more fun to take a break and pick together and maybe share some conversation and a cold drink.

  • Rollingstonemom said:

    Great post. It reminded me of a bumper sticker I saw just yesterday. It said: Everyone has debt, be WIERD.

    I just found your blog and will be dropping by more often.

  • Cliff said:

    Kendra,

    Wonderful article! Sara and I are so blessed to have friends like you and Jerry. You are an encouragement to both of us. Hey, we just cancelled our television subscription today so we are totally television-less now!! Less need for money and more time for each other, right? Maybe we can get together with you guys and not watch it together! LOL.

    Anyway, thanks for your wonderful writing. We’re reading it and loving every minute of this new generation of people who are seeking God’s will, friends and family far above paper money and the will of an unlawful state.

    ~Cliff

  • Irma said:

    Kendra,

    I really enjoy your website! We stay in South Africa and for the past year have also heard the call to live “simpler”. It’s truly been an adventure in learning to homestead and fine tuning our ears to hear God’s will.

    I like this article so much! Just last week in our community newspaper we had an article about some local veterinarians whose practice is on a corner stand at a big intersection, planting veggies on the sidewalk for those in need. There’s a simple sign inviting those who are in need to help themselves. Last night me and my husband were comtemplating doing the same thing. So this week I’ll be clearing the sidewalk flowergarden to make space for veggies!

  • Heather said:

    Great posts on this website by everyone!

    I have always thought the idea of leaving food for those in need is wonderful and what a better world we would live in if it happened regularly. Your posting about leaving food reminded me of something I read about many years ago. While I am not religious, this line from the bible really spoke to my heart:

    And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger (Leviticus 23:22)

    As soon as I read this I knew I would always leave food in my fields for those in need. I’m about 5 years away from my dream homestead and this has always been part of my plan.

    ~Heather

  • Citysister said:

    How true it is…We often give eggs away to our neighbors and friends. They in turn often share what they have with us, this way we have gotten raspberry plants and tomato sauce as well as car repair and farm sitting.

  • Shawn said:

    I love the sweet simplicity of life in the slower lane that you describe in your post. Thanks for sharing your life with those of us stuck in the fast lane in Southern CA. Hope to be joining you soon out in the country.

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