Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Savings Account

Since our income will take a huge plunge in a little over two months with my retirement, my husband and I spent hours going over our budget.  We felt we’d be okay, financially, as we will have all our debts paid off, except the mortgage, but it is always better to sit down and look at actual figures, particularly our tax withholding. We sure don’t want a nasty surprise at the end of the year.

And so, we fiddled, plotted, and planned for hours, crunching numbers around every possible scenario we could envision. With the debts paid off, and no work expenses, we’ll actually have more money left after bills than we do now (no surprise there, but good to see the actual numbers verify that).

Sunday, May 17, 2015

In Time

Based on my personal experience, I believe there are several factors involved in the timing of God’s answers. My first understanding of God's timing came in in a dream (The Bus). Other life experiences added to that lesson and I came to the following conclusions. 

First, there may be others in involved in our request, and since each of us is free to accept God’s will, or reject it, the prayer might not be answered, or it may take a long time for the other heart to soften and finally relinquish their will to His. God is patient. He’ll wait. Then, we must wait.

The other option, we may be the stumbling block. Maybe we aren’t ready and God in His wisdom will not grant a prayer we aren’t capable of handling. He’ll send difficulties and trials, conditioning us until we are ready.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

Traditionally this is the day we honor our mothers. I have done that in the past, and will certainly be calling my mother and wishing her a Happy Mother’s Day, but I will spend most of the day in reflection. What kind of mother was I? Did I nurture and encourage as well as instruct? Did I guide more than demand?

From my perspective as a mother of grown children, I can only say that sometimes I succeeded and other times I failed. I hope my children remember my love and encouragement and choose to forgive and forget my failings They still me haunt after all these years.

It is my faith that keeps those painful memories from driving me toward depression or addictions. God loves me in spite of my failings, just as I love my children in spite of theirs.

As for my own mother, at this point I view her mistakes in a much different light. Intent far outweighs action. Even though I didn’t always agree with her choices, her intention was one of guidance and instruction, metered with love. And her choices helped me to make the right choices as a child as well as an adult. I am the person I am at this moment, not only because of my life experiences, but also because of the foundation my mother laid early in my growing years. I knew right from wrong, even when I chose wrong. 

I am fortunate my mother is still alive and in reasonably good health. In fact, I am lucky to still have both of my parents. They are my most faithful fan club and ardent supporters. I try to do the same for my children, a bit more difficult now that they are scattered across several states and lead very busy lives, but we manage through social sites, phone calls, and those rare and precious visits. 

I wish my daughter a very Happy Mother's Day. She is passing on the same guidance and structure dolled out with love, patience, and understanding that my mother used with me, and I tried to follow with my children. In fact, all of my children have been good parents, in spite of my flawed example. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms who love and cherish their children, regardless whether that love was perfect or not. We tried, we cared, and most of all, we loved, and will continue to love past our last breath and on through eternity. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Serendipity

Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

George Ballas had a moment of serendipity at an automated car wash and invented the Weedeater. Spencer Silver, a scientist with 3M, discovered the adhesive used in Sticky Notes while looking for a super strong glue for aeronautics. Mary Anderson conceived the idea for the windshield wiper while sitting on a NY trolley car.

We have all experienced moments of serendipity, but may call it by another name: inspiration. Writers say they receive inspiration while pursuing other tasks: showering, driving, dining, walking, watching TV, conversing. Inventors obviously receive inspiration while doing other things outside of the lab, or while researching for other ideas. It’s the same for any profession.

My devotional, Breakfast with God, by Honor Books, takes this one-step further by stating that God is the Master behind serendipity. While we are busy looking for the answer to prayer in one direction, He sends something better from the opposite direction. And why not? He is our Creator, the Creator of the entire universe.

How like him to be directly involved in our daily existence: guiding, teaching, comforting and inspiring. I've experienced this in many aspects of my life, including my writing. Seemingly out of nowhere comes an idea so perfect I am in awe. Of course, I’m awed. It wasn't my idea. His ideas are always better.

The lesson gained from these experiences is recognizing them and acting, not just shrugging them off. Imagine if the discoverers of the above inventions had not acted on their inspirations. Not only would their lives be different, so would ours.


We can take this even further to include the other things God inspires us to do: the nudges to help, to comfort and to love. The list is endless. However, if it’s important, God will do more than nudge. Sometimes He throws us off a cliff and we either fly or fall. With faith and trust, we soar.