I Don’t Want to be Poor No More

Debbie Walker

There are two ways I will beat poverty.

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I have struggled with poverty my entire life. I've also worked since I was fourteen years old. Have you felt that way? Working and spinning your wheels, not getting anywhere? We are doing our best to find income online and work from home.

That seems to be the plight of much of the country, nowadays. Lost jobs, mouths to feed, whole industries shut down, and long food lines. Every Tuesday a church in my neighborhood hands out food boxes and the line of cars stretchs two miles long. The police have to direct traffic.

I've never seen or expected to experience anything like this. My life seems on hold.

So, I finally decided that something had to change. But what?

After much thought and meditation, I concluded there are two ways I will beat poverty — writing and prayer.

You might say, “What? Wait a minute; how is that going to help?”

Well, I'm a writer. However, lack of paid writing opportunities, trials, and economic hardship haven't defeated me yet! I still believe through work, commitment, and prayer, I will be successful! You may think, "that's just a bunch of words coming out of her mouth. I don't buy it!"

I let you in on a little secret. I've seen the power of prayer in action. God works through people and circumstances.

Let me tell you a true story. I remember a time decades ago when I was laid off and my unemployment had not come in yet.

I said a prayer asking God for help. I had not told anyone about my situation but somehow word got around the neighborhood. The next day a truck pulled up in my driveway and people began unloading a truck bed full of food.

These people were not wealthy by any means, but everyone pitched in. We could learn a lesson from that experience today.

Background

Let me give you a little background of my life as part of the working poor. I went to school, got a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and became a first-generation college graduate.

But in my state, mental health is the stepchild to Human Services. At the fiscal year-end, funding is always cut, which means no job security and low pay.

I just wanted to help people — hurting people and marginalized people. However, they are not considered productive members of society. Therefore, not deemed as valuable.

But I continued to work because I had to. I supported five children through pain and medical issues. We never went hungry, because I hit up the pawnshop to make ends meet.

Poverty is tiresome, though. It wears you out. Studies have shown that economically disadvantaged people are sicker and die earlier.

The sicker part has happened to me, and medical bills take a large portion of my limited income. I am not ready to die yet, so I took steps to initiate my change.

1. Action Plan

To further my writing skill set, I developed a plan of action.

The plan is simple and easy to use. If you write the plan in pencil on paper, be sure to start in the upper right-hand corner, and as you work backward you will see the plan begin to unfold. Watch the magic happen!

I came up with my plan I named, Debbie’s Action Plan (DAP) using the following outline:

Vision statement — Mission Statement — Goals — Tasks

A vision is something we live to. A mission is something we live from. Even though we are working backward, we are creating upward momentum.

This plan enables you to conceive and envision your life. The methodology gives you the freedom to play and plan. You are empowered to capture your future and hold it in the present.

Why do I need a plan? The answer: to bring focus, clarity, and boundaries. What is my focus? What overall direction do I want my life to go? I also need clarity so I can know what specific path to take. Lastly, I have to set boundaries. Parameters for decision-making. If I know what I stand for, I can apply the principles to problem-solving.

2. Write

The next step in my quest to be "poor no more" is to learn the craft of writing by practicing the following steps.

· Study craft books. Look online for the classics. These books will help you learn the craft of writing. Things you may have forgotten from high school grammar. The rule of thumb is to read one craft book a month. Then practice, practice, and practice some more. Do the exercises. Learn by doing.

· Take workshops. There are plenty writer groups on Facebook that are free.Search for reputable authors that offer free classes. You will be surprised about the resources available for beginners. If you can afford it join a writer program. It is worth the investment.

· Write. This stands alone. You can’t write if you don’t write. Try to establish a daily writing routine as one of your goals.

· Engage with other writers. Ask for and give feedback. Join a writing community and become friends. You can read each other's work and give feedback.

3. Prayer

The final and most important step is prayer. It is just communication between yourself and God. Like anyone else you know, building a relationship takes time. The more you get to know your Creator, the more trust is established.

You have to stand on faith, believe in yourself, and ask for help. Like I said earlier, a creating a daily habit of prayer is worthwhile. I pray everyday. I have a list of verses I pray every day of the week. Here are a few:

· 1 Chronicles 28:19, “…all of this I put in writing as the Lord directed me and gave me the insight regarding the details…” (NET Bible)

· Ecclesiastes 12:10, “The teach sought to find just the right words to express truths clearly.” (NLT)

· Psalm 68:11, “The Lord gave the word; great was the company of those that published it.” (KJB)

I am not looking back. Only forward. We will not wake up tomorrow and be wealthy. It takes work. Little by little. Bit by bit.

In the meantime, I am speaking, sometimes shouting; I am not poor no more!

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