What is Poor?

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Last week I was reading aloud to our boys a book that came in Nick and Luke’s Kindergarten homeschool curriculum called I Heard Good News Today.  The book is full of 91 stories for children about families around the world who were sharing the word of Jesus. As we know, Jesus told the disciples to be His witness and to share the good news.

When Nick and Luke were in Kindergarten this was not a book they could follow. They were not listening as I would read, instead easily distracted because they just weren’t savoring the goodness of the stories. I put the book back on our shelf and waited three years to bring it back out.

Last week we read an amazing story from this book that poses such a important question for kids growing up in a materialist culture…. What is Poor?what is poor-

Have your kids ever asked you this? How would you answer the question?

The answer from our story melted my heart.

The plot takes place in Japan and is about a young girl who was told she is poor by her childhood peers. The devastated girl seeks answers from her mother wanting to know if their family is indeed poor.

The mother so sweetly tells her daughter that “poor is having nothing to give away to others“.

The tale goes on to show the simple gifts that you can give, that have no monetary value, like telling and sharing a story with someone.

a simple gift


Think about this. Let it really soak in.

Being poor is not about what you can and cannot afford monetarily. What our culture says wealth is, is not wealth.

We may think others are poor because their clothes are old and they live in a home we would not live in. We may think our friends are poor because they drive a “clunker” or because they cannot afford to shop at fancy stores.

Consider the gifts your children give you every day. The flower they pick, the picture they create, the story they share.

teaching a child what poor means

I am so grateful to be home each day with these guys of mine. We may not live in a home ripped from the pages of a magazine. We may not drive fancy cars. We do not vacation every year. But every day these boys give me amazing gifts. Gifts that money cannot buy.

And I want my boys to understand the gifts they have to offer others.

What gifts are you teaching your children to give? Better yet, what does poor mean to you? Are you overlooking your treasures?


  1. You are SO right. Having lived in and visited areas of the world that are, by typical definition, “poor,” I have come to see first hand that word doesn’t mean what we think it means. I love the definition of “poor” as “having nothing to give to someone else.” Lovely post!

  2. Great post. Pinned and tweeted. Thank you for bringing this to our party and we hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm. Lou Lou Girls

  3. I love this story, Crystal. When I was little I suspect I got teased about being poor because I remember Louisa May Alcott’s book Little Women made a huge impact on me. In it (if I’m remembering the right book – there were many), they took in sewing to make ends meet and had to re-use their basting thread. I remember thinking, we’re not really poor – we can use new thread for basting.

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