The Much of Little

We no longer travel a lot by train, as we once did. But it always takes me back to our early car-less years here. When my husband rode an old moped 12 miles (20 km) to work – rain, snow, or sunshine. Our public transport enables car-free living in some areas. But no buses passed our cluster of houses near that village in Lombardy.

So our sole outings were our 3-mile (4,8 km) treks to town. With funds as scarce as passing buses, even ice cream or coffee were but rare treats. But towing our wheeled shopping bag, we enjoyed the special times of long talks and singing. Never seldom feeling deprived. And indeed we felt really spoiled after getting our first TV (in 1989)!

Those were days when we had very little.

That first TV introduced new, low-cost family fun times! Good old shows like Fury Brave Stallion,The Wheel of Fortune, and wholesome old Disney movies.

[Listen to the Furia theme song in Italian below.] ↓

Our children loved those weekly Disney films so much, that they purposely went out to buy a TV guide and a VHS cassette (remember those?). So they could watch the films, over and over, while munching hand-cranked popcorn from our stove top popper (right).

That super, super small house was a real challenge. (Hello, Tiny House Movement!) With a mean landlady, mostly unpleasant neighbors, and far from everything (at least with no car).

Even drying laundry on the small folding rack was a real challenge. Especially in that tiniest and dampest of all our homes. And yes, these challenges complicated life. But it was, at the same time, also more simple and pleasant.

Because of not having much, we appreciated the little we did have, all the more.

Progress has brought the west so many things, and we race to get it all. Bigger homes, nicer furniture, bigger and flatter TVs, thinner phones, and new cars. Often working overtime to afford it all, with little time to truly enjoy it.

At times we barely had enough. But we were wealthy in life’s true riches!

A loving family, a great marriage, and countless good friends. Health, happiness, joy, communion with the Lord. AND time to appreciate it all! No car – but more time to enjoy the flowers along the way! No clothes dryer – but the health of fresh air by hanging laundry out! No phone of any kind – but no phone bills either! And a super tiny house – that was so much easier to clean!

It’s true that we had few things. But we’ve learned that counting our blessings helps us to stop taking them for granted and always wanting more.

We had the much of little, and that made us so very rich!

IMAGES: Shoes by Lisa Fotios. | All others are my own.

Published by Signora Sheila

Missionary blogger, wife, mom, nonna. Join my simple life journey of faith and missions in small town Italy!

19 thoughts on “The Much of Little

  1. Thank you so much for this!! I watched this TV series in the States as Fury! I had forgotten. Thank you for a sweet stroll down memory lane and thank you for reminding me of the preciousness of simple and that the LORD is the One who makes simple precious!

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  2. I know that the simpler my life is, the more contentment I feel. The “much of little” is very true and I love how you wrote about that fact from your own experiences. I believe that the unhappiness we see today is partially due to the fact, too, that we’re seeing the “little of much.” How little peace it brings – peace that only God can give. Thanks for your wise words today!

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    1. Thanks Patty. I’m grateful that the Lord allowed us to go through certain circumstances that taught us many of these important life lessons. And I hope he continues to allow them so that our eyes will remain fixed on true eternal treasures!!

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  3. Loved reading this again and refreshing my outlook. I want to be like you, Sheila, and see the positive side of life! We DO have so much to enjoy, so much to be thankful for. God has indeed supplied all our needs–and then some!

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  4. The much of little–brilliant wisdom and so much healthier all the way around. I love how you focus on the small things. The big, expensive, time-consuming, energy-draining things we focus on today don’t bring joy. They typically bring guilt for spending the money, exhaustion because there’s no time or energy to enjoy them, and frustration because what seemed important then is obviously unimportant now, I’m grateful for your story that shows how valuing the small and rich things of life give more joy than what we perceive to be grand and necessary.

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    1. I’m so glad it inspired you, Dayle! Life in this world centers around stuff. All that we can see and touch. Things that are passing away. But the things we experience with others remain in our hearts and can even become eternal treasures!! Those really are what count!!

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  5. You are, indeed, a reminder of what is really valuable. I love that GK Chesterton quote–one of the greatest lies of the enemy is our sense of never having enough, of feeling the need for more stuff and things. I’m learning the truth that gratitude is a discipline. Thanks, my friend.

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    1. Thanks Dayle. Yes, gratitude and contentment are disciplines. They are so contrary to what this world pushes that we have to constantly battle to hold on them. And I think Chesterton hits it on the head. We fall into taking so much for granted.

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