Monday, October 5, 2015

When You're Rich

Friday began with a simple text that read, “Congratulations!”

“Well that’s sure nice of them,” I half-whispered while sliding out of bed.

Minutes later another message pinged in.

Glancing down with tooth brush hanging to the side, I read and reread these words. “Congratulations! This could not have happened to more deserving people. We know you’ll do great things.”

It seemed a little odd ––but nice.

Wrapped in my favorite blanket, I sip coffee slow and read. My iPad blinked with messages. I was trying to push back the day and embrace this one quiet morning.

The night before we arrived home late from traveling to see my oncologist and doing annual scans.

The days on the road, were just how I love them. My husband as captive audience.

Me talking. Him listening. More walking than shopping. The beauty of mountains in autumn. Eating all the Krispy Cream donuts we had bought to share with our kids. Making the trip to our favorite roof top Mexican food establishment.

It was as refreshing as the Colorado air in October.

My tests came back good. –So grateful.–

I passed these messages off, as people who were happy for my good report.

Soon another text came in that had me a bit more baffled. “Good morning! Heard your great news. Could not have happened to nicer people.”  Wow! What does it feel like to be rich?

Now I was confused.

And intrigued.

So I went to the computer and began to read the messages and e-mails that were waiting there.

More of the same. Congratulations. Words affirming that we were the most deserving people, ever, to win a million dollars.

I found myself nodding, as if I agreed.

I tried to call JQ. No answer.

It would seem like he'd have called me by now with this kind of news, though we do make jokes about our memory.

I could hear the conversation in my head. He’d try to be all nonchalant and act like it wasn’t that big of a deal. “So hey....  by the way…. we just won a million dollars."  "What’s for lunch?”

There may have been thoughts filtering into my brain, about what we would do if this winning the lottery, being rich, was for real.

We would definitely buy JQ a new vehicle. The paint has peeled off the main body of his 120,000 plus miles, well-loved transportation. His seat-belt doesn't even work, but that's another story.

He'd probably want something practical like a new Corvette.

I thought, "How nice would it be to give some money to the first 20 people that sent messages to tell us how happy they were to hear we'd won."

And we could celebrate by getting some front row tickets to a football game. Never mind that I've never cared to share 16” seats with 81,000 fanatic fans who have been known to paint their bodies red and stand in subzero temperatures. Never-mind too, that I don’t look particularly good in red. (Go Big Red!)

And I think we'll get an ice cream machine. The kind that makes soft serve, vanilla, chocolate or swirl. Then I would need a personal trainer and while we're at it, a house cleaner and we would probably have to put an iron fence around our home, but that is against the neighborhood covenant so we'll have to move.

Of course I’d give an exorbitant amount of money to an orphanage in Mexico that is bringing kids in off the street and teaching them about Jesus and giving them an education. And I'd donate to a baby house in Africa. And we could give money to dig wells for clean water in remote 3rd world countries. I've been trying to talk JQ into adopting a large family of children who are stuck in the foster care system and just want to be together under one roof.

Yes, those are just a few things I decided we'd do in the first minutes of being rich.

My money spending, do-good-er planning, was jolted back to reality when JQ got home. He'd been too busy on the phone responding to people who wanted to know how it felt to be rich, to answer my texts and calls.

I told him about all the messages and he matter of fact-ly stated that we couldn't be the winners of a lottery, since he had not purchased a ticket.

“Are you sure?” I pressed.  “All these messages, ––I feel like we may have won.”

He went on to explain that the winning ticket was sold near our house, and since no one had claimed the million dollars at that point, someone at work thought it would be funny and told one person that we had won, just to see how far the rumor would go.

“So all this proves is guys are rampant rumor spreaders? I said in a bit of a deflated tone.

“Yup,” he replied.

They say, you have better chances of getting into a car accident, plane accident, or being struck by lightning, than to win your lottery.

I happen to live near a woman who has been struck by lighting. Not just once, but twice. Surely the odds of knowing someone who has been struck by lightning twice, has to be as crazy as winning the lottery without buying a ticket! 

Obviously rational thinking has left the building at this point.

We laughed about the whole thing and did our best to squash the rumors as congratulations rolled in. 

And on Sunday our pastor was talking about money and storing up treasure in heaven. Crazy timing.

He pointed out, how here in America, if we make poverty level income per year, we are in the top 2% of the richest people in the world. 

So the reality is, we are rich.

Rich by the worlds standards, but more, we are rich with things that money cannot buy.

That sounds trite, but our faith, our family, our friends are beyond what money can ever buy.

Walking out of a cancer center and being told the scans are clear  ––priceless.

It has rekindled an awareness that we want to be storing up, investing in more, are things that are eternal. Not to be good people, just doing good deeds. Eternal life really is a free gift because of Jesus Christ.

But everyday you and I have a choice how to use our resources.

We can choose to spend it all on things that will perish or we can invest in His kingdom and store up treasure in heaven. I want to get it that and do more of it in my everyday life.

So the reality is, Jim will keep driving his old reliable vehicle for a time, but we still may buy an ice cream machine.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Every Little Thing {{{by Deidra Riggs}}}

Her book launches {{{TODAY!!!}}}
And I'm giving away a copy! 
Leave a message in the comments and 
I will announce the winner this evening!

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents; physical addresses only (no P.O. boxes).

The winner is Joyce Piskorski!!!


My shelves are lined with great books.

I collect them, mark them up with pink highlighters and ruffle their pages.

But this book…. this book..... it surprised me and has shifted my heart in some unexpected places.

I’ve met Deidra.

I’ve read her heart on her blog Jumping Tandem.

I’ve attended the Jumping Tandem retreat that Deidra founded.

She was transplanted from east coast to {{Nebraska}} ––the good life–– as our state motto says and I believe it's true.

She is a Pastors wife. Bless her!

I bought her book for these reasons I suppose, but I’ll be getting a few more for gifts because of what her words have done for my heart.

Her book has spoken to something in me that I didn’t realize needed a talking to.

She reminded me of Gods profound love for each of us. Right where we are.

We know this right?

But do I live like I believe it in the deepest parts of my soul?

I could hear the heartbeat of the adventure of faith strung throughout the pages and was reminded that God is in the business of using ordinary people.

Ordinary, messed up people.

Like me.

Deidra didn’t shy away for speaking about the heart of Jesus or how God is always meeting us where we are and calling us to His work in small ways that have big impact in the kingdom.

Sometimes I buy into the voice that mocks me, how everyone else is doing every single thing better. ––So why bother.

Deidra’s voice is clear. Her words, comfortable and profound.

This book. Her words. They were truly linen and satin to my soul.

Her book stirred up the embers of some nearly forgotten, tiny, small, pint-sized dreams which I've pushed past as ––not big enough.

Or maybe that I wasn’t enough.

But that voice in my head? Deidra put it this way: "Lying never gets old for the devil. He's not bilingual. He knows no other language."

If our big God, is in every little thing, then are there really any small things?

I think we ––and definitely me–– need to rethink small, in light of God and all of eternity.

In her little bright colored book, Deidra Riggs unpacks a bit of the mystery of grace. 

And that seriously no small thing, right?

A few more gems from the pages of 'Every Little Thing?'

"But God is not counting. He is not measuring. God is not keeping score."

"God sees things differently. With God, the small things matter for bigness too."

Hop over and grab a copy of her book?

© Rhonda Quaney