Money, money, money

working macbook computer keyboard
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Amazon Prime makes it too easy. In two days, I can have just about anything I want delivered to my doorstep. Add Alexa to the mix, and all I have to do is make a request from across the room and she places the order for me.

To be honest, I’ve been on a mini-spending spree lately. There’s something about planning for a vacation that transforms my normally frugal self into a zealous shopper.

Some expenses can’t be avoided . . .like the airline ticket, lodging, and the dog-sitter. But the travel wardrobe is my downfall.

With limited suitcase space, I’m trying to put together a collection of clothing and shoes that is color-coordinated so I can “mix and match.” Then there’s the fact that some of my warm-weather clothes mysteriously shrunk during their winter hibernation . . .hmmm.

Bottom line, it’s easy for me to justify my frequent online shopping trips.

But the “high” I feel from my short-term retail therapy always comes crashing down when I receive my credit card bill.

One morning, as I was reading in the book of Hebrews, I caught a glimpse of God’s perspective on finances.

Continue reading “Money, money, money”

Some day my prince will come

bloom blossom bouquet couple
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I confess, I watched it. I turned on the TV in the wee hours of May 19, 2018 just in time to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle kneeling at the altar in Saint George’s Chapel. The sight of Meghan, her ethereal silk veil stretching sixteen feet behind her literally took my breath away.

Later, I watched the entire recording of the wedding, captivated by every nuance. I wasn’t alone, as an estimated two billion people around the world tuned in to catch a glimpse of the American “commoner” marrying her handsome British prince.

The love story of Meghan and Harry (now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex) breathes life into a classic song from the Disney movie, Snow White:

Some day my prince will come
Some day we’ll meet again
And away to his castle we’ll go,
To be happy forever I know. [1]

The tune, originally released in 1937, is so popular it was ranked the 19th greatest film song of all time by the American Film Institute in 2004. [2]  Perhaps one reason is because the lyrics appeal to the deep desire that most women (and men) have to find their perfect soulmates and live “happily ever after.”

There’s nothing wrong with dreaming of Mr. or Mrs. Right. We are all wired with the need for companionship and intimacy . . . and marriage is a sacred union ordained by God.

Unfortunately, real life isn’t a fairy tale.

Continue reading “Some day my prince will come”

My unexpected path to career contentment

Sometimes I glance at the two diplomas on my office wall and think back to the sacrifice my parents made so I could get a college education. They wanted to be sure I had the chance to go “further” in life, since they only had the opportunity to complete 7th and 9th grades.

I worked hard to get those degrees. I can still hear my college advisors and professors telling me what an outstanding student I was, even naming me “Senior of the Year” in the College of Forestry.

It’s clear many people thought I had a lot of “potential.”

But here I am, over thirty years later, serving in an administrative support role.
Many of my high school and college classmates have achieved lucrative careers and lofty titles. In comparison, it would be tempting to feel as if I have failed to live up to my capacity or wasted my education. Continue reading “My unexpected path to career contentment”

Ambushed by aging

retail-store-metal-mirror-and-footrest2[1]It happened in front of one of those unforgiving, full-length mirrors.

I had stepped into mom’s adjoining dressing room so we could show one another the clothes we were trying on.  Instinctively, I reached out to smooth the white blouse on my mother’s slightly stooped back.

I was in my thirties, and she was in her seventies.  We stood side-by-side, looking at our reflections.  I think that’s when it hit her . . . hard.

At home I noticed a tear trailing down her cheek.  Alarmed, I asked her what was wrong.  Continue reading “Ambushed by aging”

When you wish you could do more

poverty_in_mexico2[1]

When I heard that my church’s service would be devoted to a mission’s trip report, I initially dreaded it.  I knew the team would show photos of the home they built for a needy family in Mexico and share how their own lives had been transformed in the process.

It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in the cause . . . or celebrate the great things that God had done through them.

It was because I couldn’t go with them.

My physical limitations keep me from taking on short-term (let alone long-term) mission assignments.  Hearing others share about their amazing experiences (whether in person or via social media) can sometimes make me feel “less than,” left out, and longing to do more.

There are so many things I would do, if only I could . . . GOOD things, that would help meet the overwhelming spiritual and physical needs in the world. Yet, more often than not, I have to say “no” to opportunities to serve.

“No,” to pounding nails in Mexico. “No,” to traveling to an Operation Christmas Child warehouse. “No,” to overnight shifts at the local homeless shelter.

Then I discovered something I could say “Yes” to! Continue reading “When you wish you could do more”