One of my adult daughter’s favorite conference talks was a talk on tithing. I can understand why because she lives it so beautifully. Elder Bednar talked about the small, subtle blessings that come from paying our tithing. I know we have had more countless little blessings than we can count. I think both my adult daughter and myself understand what was meant by the blessings of gratitude that often accompany the payment of tithing. I have seen that gratitude and those blessings work together to deliver to us enjoyment of many of the better things of life. Despite the pitiful numbers reported on our IRS forms at the end of the year, and our larger than average family size, one example that comes to mind is how we have found ways to send our children to college without any student debt.
My daughter especially has seen this blessing as she has attended school away from home. Doors are opened. She is well aware that most of her fellow students, and even roommates simply could not get by on what she has to get by on. She does have to be more frugal, but she has sufficient. I’d like to share two examples of how her faithfulness has inspired me.
As she was preparing to go to back school this year she knew she would need to get a part time student job just to be able to eat this year. (She could easily have opted for a small student loan instead, but we share a goal of no student debt.) In the past that idea has been overwhelming. A few weeks before she was able to move into her apartment she began searching for possible campus jobs. She became inspired that she may need to go to campus much earlier than she had planned on. As she was making preparations to do so, she was called and asked to schedule an interview from an application she was pretty sure she had not even finished submitting. Thanks to her faith and humility, everything fell into place. She was offered a job that was ideal for her situation, and is living frugally, but without fear of not having the money she needs.
Last week she was invited to be a part of a group date. She is a wonderful cook and offered to provide the food for the meal part of the activity. They could easily have just expected the guys to buy some food or stop somewhere, but didn’t. She made homemade pizza “from scratch.” From what I hear it went over very well. I know she loves to make her own pizzas, and they are not only delicious, but much healthier. She will someday make a wonderful companion to some lucky young man who loves being wise with his money, loves staying healthy, and loves pizza! No one said being careful with your money couldn’t be fun and good for you. I think Shanna is learning that.
Just wanted to share a few examples of the principles in action that were so beautifully covered by Elder Bednar.
Today I am grateful for all the Divine help I have had in readjusting my schedule to accommodate a last minute schedule change. There have been a few struggles, but many things have fallen into place as well. I can see how much the Lord wants my daughter to succeed, and has been opening things up for her benefit, funding her schooling, helping with her housing, and making her paths straight. She is one of my examples of how to live a faithful, righteous life, trusting completely in the Lord. Right now I’ll just have to trust Him to keep things here safe while I go help her.
My oldest daughter is halfway through college. She was fortunate to find a major that she loved immediately, but has struggled with finding exactly what area to specialize in so that she can use her degree in the real world. She has seriously considered several minors, and started exploration, only to not feel good about anything.
Yesterday we sat down to look at some more options. After searching through the university catalog, reading through course descriptions, and feeling like she could do pretty much anything, we were ready to decide that maybe she should just pick one and settle. At the last second we found some small print. There was one minor that had simply been overlooked because it was listed as a certification program, but on further inspection it included a minor along with the optional professional certification. As she looked closer at the program, she has already taken several of the classes, and all of the “fun” classes she so carefully fit into her schedule the last two years will count towards her minor and its related certification! In fact, she has already completed what she will need for the professional certification. Talk about a real life option! Even her elective general education classes are related and will be an asset when she enters the workforce. To put icing on the cake, the final project class she will need has been on her wish list to take since the day she entered college. I really don’t know how we missed this before.
After two years of stressing out she is all smiles and giggles. She is so excited and has been smiling all day long. The Lord has very strange ways of letting us find where we need to be, and I love it when things are opened up and we can recognize them with peace, smiles, and giggles. 🙂
Last week I had to travel across the state to pick up my kids from college. Long story short, a lot of things were just not coming together the way I had tried to plan them. I spent a significant amount of time, worry and money to get things to all work out in the end. Eventually everything went very smoothly, and a few things worked out better than I had planned. I would even call it a wonderful trip. I’m calling it, directing paths.
On the way home we were listening to a motivational speaker who pointed out that too often we do not understand the consequences of our choices simply because we fail to look far enough into the future. I think the same holds true with our everyday faith. If we had the ability to see far enough ahead to understand how things will really work out, we would be much more willing to allow the Lord to direct our daily paths, and much more appreciative of his hand in things. We may even be grateful for our trials. Of course that would make the test far too easy, so instead we struggle with lack of vision and serious deficiencies of patience.