Whether through death or divorce, chronic illness or tragedy, college or the armed services, missions or marriage, families change! And, when we find ourselves amidst such a change or challenge, we ask ourselves, “now what?” You wonder how you will ever sleep at night, look at the empty chair at the dinner table or celebrate the next holiday season.
Friday, February 1, 2013
If someone gave you a million dollars, what would you do with it? A brand new car? Vacations? Trips? Shopping spree? Our answers would vary. A professor asked a few students this question, the other day in class, "If I gave you a million dollars, what would you do with it right now?" I have pondered my response for the past few days. I realized that my answers today, are much different than they would have been 3 years ago. Today, I would pay off my kids sports fees at the high school and buy them each a yearbook. I would pay off the few thousand I owe on my van and on a credit card. Then, I would pay my utilites ahead for one year, just so I would not worry about them. I would then pay a friend's utilities for a year, anonymously (did you know you can do that on your bill--- cool huh?) I would pay my tithing. I would put some money away for each of my children to have a college/mission/wedding fund. Then, we would go to Disneyland and the beach, and visit my brother and his family. The rest would sit in the bank, collect interest, so that each year I could do the same. As Families Change so do our priorities and things we treasure.
Treasure Timing. He knows us so much better than we know ourselves. He knows our children better than we do. And, as any loving parent, He knows ulimately, what is in our best interest. Two Fridays ago, we were getting ready to attend the High School rival basketball game. Everyone was excited! I sent the boys upstairs to get their jackets and shoes. Soon, the ceiling began to move as the brothers began their regular wrestling match----not always great timing for such events!!! Soon, Adam came down with Garrett in his arms. Garrett's leg had hit the window sil and his knee split open. So, rather than attending the basketball game, I found myself spending Friday night in the doctor's office. As I sat with his leg on my lap, I took a deep breath and thought, "Wow--I sure need a break!" Then, I realized, that's exactly what I got. Rather than worrying about all the game I was missing, it was actually fun to just relax. I have been impressed with His timing, over and over again in my life, through my last minute decision to serve a mission, miscarriage, babies, infertility and the finale--adoption. He knows. We know He knows. The trick is really in learning to Treasure His Timing.
Treasure Trials. Where you stumble, look down, there's your treasure! Stumbling blocks or stepping stones? Trials or treasures. I know I can look back at the hardest of times, and that is when I definitely grew the most. Family Change is definitely a trial---- but there are treasures to be had, that could not be found in any other way. X-Experience truly does mark the spot!! With the illness of familiy members comes ultimate service. As loved ones pass away, other relationships are often times stregnthened. With weddings come new relationships that could not come together in any other way. With divorce and any Family Change, dynamics are different, positions change for yet a new game to be played, as a new team, with many new triumphs to treasure.
Treasure Tithing. As a single parent, I wondered how in the world I was going to be able to afford to pay my tithing. I payed it. I trusted. Things were and are very tight. But the last 2 years have testified to me, that I can't afford NOT to pay tithing, and it has become more of an honor than an obligation. There have been so many blessings! Laundry detergent that never runs out. A neighbor who knocks on the door with just what I needed. A check book that just doesn't add up, in monetary sense. It has been fun at times, to pay the bills, buy the food, fill the gas tank, then retreat to my bedroom in prayer, and ask my Heavenly Father where He would like me spend the remaining $29 dollars over the next two weeks? My heart has been full as those $29 stretch to provide a meal out with my kids, a meal for someone else, $10 to a child "just because you're great", and as always, Friday Family Pizza Night!!
If I had a million dollars, I don't think I would feel any richer than I do today! It has not been easy, that's for sure. But, as my Family has Changed, I have learned to Treasure His Timing, to Treasure Trials, to Treasure Tithing and most of all, to Treasure Today----by changing the way I look at things, the things I look at seem to CHANGE----- and not seem as overwhelming!! Here's your million!! How will you spend it? Treasures!!