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Like most people in the world today, or at least in America, I live paycheck to paycheck. And like most people who live paycheck to paycheck, I do my share of whining about the bills I have and the luxuries I don’t have. I also dream and plan about what I would do if my novel would just sell “x” more copies or if the kindle version would just be downloaded “x” more times. And on and on it goes.

Then there’s always that one little thing that brings you back to being grateful for what you do have and what you don’t. And being a woman of faith, I know that when that little thing happens, it’s God telling me to stop complaining, because my life isn’t as bad as I think it is. In fact, there are times when God shows me that my life is awesome. This past Saturday was one of those times.

I sponsor a little girl, Maritza, who lives in Bolivia. When I knew I would be getting a tax refund this past February, I wanted to do something extra special for Maritza and her family. Not only did I give the monthly donation, but I gave an additional donation. I received a message that I would be sent pictures to show me what Maritza and her family bought with the extra money I had sent. Well, that was the beginning of February, and it is now the end of June. I thought surely, I would have received at least some type of communication by now regarding what they purchased. Impatience is not a good thing.

Well, this past payday I realized that I am in a financial bind. There will be very little money left until my next payday. Here we go again with whining about what bills needed to get paid and losing sight of what is truly important, not that paying bills aren’t important, but I’m sure you know what I mean.

Then in the mail this past Saturday I received a letter and pictures from Maritza’s father. What I read and saw turned around my perspective of what I have and don’t have 360 degrees. Maritza was standing next to a bag of flour, a bag of sugar, a very large bag of pasta noodles, and what really got to my heart, was the table and chairs behind her. In the letter, the father thanked me for giving them the means to buy those few staples so they would be able to make bread and have noodles for many dinners. But he also thanked me for letting them finally have a table and chairs so that they would no longer have to sit on the floor. Talk about having a moment when you can hear God say, “Stop complaining about your circumstances.”

So instead of how little money I have left from my paycheck, my new perspective is “wow, I have an apartment filled with furniture, three beautiful children, a car, a job, a published book, etc., etc., etc. So what if it might be a mac and cheese night with hot dogs or the 1000th night of having spaghetti, or tomato soup instead of steak; at least “I have” instead of “I don’t have.”

And God…You have great timing. For that, I am truly grateful.



Christine Maria Jahn