How Do You Count Riches?

Got Rich?

Not me.  Well, oops, let me back that one up.  I’m UNBELIEVABLY wealthy.

I just don’t have lots of money.

I can count among my gems lots of amazing friends; a very close, loving family that I can delight in sharing with, don’t have to “pull punches,” we can just say what we feel for the most part.  I’m a member of the most genuine church to worship in that I have ever seen.  We’re all flawed, and we goof up, and we happen to laugh at each  other and ourselves a lot.  But we just plain old love the Spirit, worship the Lord, let Him know it, and do all we can to share our faith and glorify Him.  So I’m PLENTY wealthy.

As for money?  Assets?  Funds?  Not really, not yet; we’re on the debt-free path, courtesy of Mr. Dave Ramsey, and doing our best, but we’ll get there.  But all in all, my life’s motto is to spend less than I make, relax and enjoy the simple things.  Love my friends, share good food, lots of laughs, keep busy making days when we fall over laughing…so that time’s not wasted.

I used to absolutely frantic-ize over gift giving.  It had to be really nice; unusual; something jaw-dropping to the recipient; and a gift they’d never think of or think to ask for.  But that’s changed this last year.  Maybe I grew up.  I’ve finally learned that the gifts I choose to give my children, grandchildren and friends are lavish love and unconditional support, because that’s what really matters to them.  And to me. And to Him, in the long run.

If you don’t count my lemonade stand, I began working when I was 12.  Babysitting for friends from church and those who answered my little typed want ad.  My first “real” job was at age 16, employed as front desk/receptionist for a podiatrist.  I  can’t believe he hired me, but I was “mature” (built) enough to pass for 18-21, so it didn’t present a problem.  And the next summer I returned to the same job.  I love that kind of work; encountering people in an uncomfortable or anxious situation, and helping to make them feel at ease, and make the awkward moments just as smooth to get through as I can.  Helping people is my thing.

I’ve been doing financial work for the past 18 years, and that’s fine.  As long as it’s something that helps other people better their situation.  My background has been broad and varied, and now it seems it will mesh into quite a package for some lucky employer.

I’ve worked in a church setting; for a missionary to the Ivory Coast; in education; for a safe company; preparing audit reports for a bank; posting payments, preparing reserve checks, and other functions for an auto finance company; prepared and monitored the IT budget for an airline; pilot-tested new billing software; billed Medicare for a hospital, major insurance companies for a home health agency; and in a sales function, worked for myself.

Most recently I’ve spent a week in fund-raising.  Our church is hosting a Community Fair next weekend (May 26th) with everything free.  Games, Food, Bouncy things for the kids to play in–all free to the families of Claremore, OK.  I’ve been surprised and amazed, and so encouraged to be on the receiving end of the kindness and generosity of the businesses that support our little town.  No one hesitated.  No one was stingy.  Every business, whether a major national chain or a tiny shop with one owner, providing services all alone, stepped up and opened their wallets, their hearts to the hundreds who will visit our Fair and enjoy the games, the amusements, the refreshments, and the prizes.

What’s the catch?  We’re fishing.  Using a hook.  Not a metal one, but a spiritual one.  We’re extending our arms open wide, our smiles genuine and engaging.  We’re loving them.  Simply giving and loving.  That’s really hard to beat.  And so thoroughly fulfilling to be a part of.

So…what’s the next chapter?  Where will my skills and God’s providence lead me to next?  I’m anxious to discover!!

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