For several hours on New Year’s Day, my son and I shredded old receipts and files from 2004.
Tax professionals report that we only need to keep 10 years of receipts, so to make room for the 2014-2015 files – we shredded the past.
As I looked through those files, I remembered the fun and the difficult times of that year. A receipt from Dillons for the cake I ordered for my son’s high school graduation party. Green frosting with silver letters, “Congratulations, Caleb!”
Gas receipts for the trip to Oklahoma to bury my dad. A medical bill for thousands of dollars that was somehow forgiven because someone at the hospital decided to pay it.
We lived on pennies and coupons during those days – a single mom with a son who was starting college and trying to find his path.
Friends often left groceries for us or garage sale treasures. We celebrated the end of every semester dumpster diving for items we could repurpose and sell or refurbish and use.
The miracle townhome where we lived and healed – provided by friends who gave us a generous discount on the rent.
Looking through the old receipts reminded me of how hard life had been yet how many times God came through with an emotional or financial miracle.
As he carried us through those years, he proved his faithfulness over and over. He cared for this particular “widow and orphan,” met every need and became my eternal Husband.
A few hours sifting through old files brought me once again to a place of gratitude as I realized the hope I hung on to 10 years ago is now a reality.
As Anne Lamott writes, “Faith is hope with a track record.”
God’s track record has left behind blessings and their impact on my heart. He gave me hope for the future and because he’s good – he builds more layers of hope for the days ahead, for the next time I open a box of receipts and shred the past.
All because of his grace-filled and generous heart.
Birthdays, anniversaries and special dates for family and friends
More prayer requests
With all the lists and all the activities, I wondered – did I faithfully follow God this year or was I just busy? Did I make the most of every opportunity to show the love of God to others? Did my work make a difference in the lives of the people I met? How did God answer my prayers?
Then I noticed a gap in my list of activities. Except for a few meetings with friends and the week of family vacation, what did I do for fun? Plenty of activities involved work, but precious few included days of joy.
How can I change that pattern in 2015?
I’m always telling my clients to not put undo pressure on themselves but to relax and find some time for fun.
Author and Coach RJ Thesman, heal thyself.
Fun activities make us better writers, more able to deal with the stresses of life when we encounter and nurture creative joy. We all need a few moments to decompress and just be.
My old calendar pages disappeared in the trash while the new pages took their place. Yes, I already have events scheduled for 2015, so I carefully penciled them in along with birthdays, anniversaries and important dates for family and friends.
I also vowed to make each calendar day something for good, but for Pete’s sake – to have more fun!