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Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cast your bread upon the waters....

..and it comes back buttered.
That's what my auntie Margaret used to say, she wasn't really my auntie but I knew her from a little girl, she was always there and I adored her. She was easily 50 years older than me but we were friends. When I was a single mother, with 3 little children we, auntie Margaret and I would go out for jaunts every wednesday, I would drive and she would pay for the petrol and we would laugh like drains the whole day.
I wonder what a sight we must have been, a sad and nervy 27 year old with a crippled and laughing old lady, she was a big woman was auntie Margaret and she loved to feed people, I think I caught something from her because darn it, if I'm not getting more and more like her the older I get!
We would go exploring and always visit places we hadn't been before, we would eat lunch and she would tell me stories of her childhood, charging kids on the street to come and see her dead baby brother, a common occurance back in the day, in the tough streets Auntie Margaret was raised in. Different men who would come in and out of her mother's life, dead babies and horrible abuse. The stuff of novels and epic movies, but every word true. She had experienced things the worst nightmares are made of and she would sit and wipe the tears from her face as they spilled like rivers down her plump cheeks. Then she would laugh about something until she cried again.
She would see homeless people on the streets and take them home, she would feed them and clean them and wash their feet. She would love them to within an inch of their lives and then she would set them out, to start new and prodcutive lives, forever changed because she had taught them what real love was.
She always called these people 'My' My Dave, My Colin, My darlin'.
She never mentioned what she did for people, she would just wink and say " They'll be alright, you see" and usually, they were.
She would say over and over again "cast your bread upon the waters and they come back buttered" and then explain that if you share what you have and do it with real love, you will never be without, she would tell me that if I ever had money and I tried to hold onto it, hoard it, selfishly hide it, I might keep what I had but it would bring nothing but misery. Because I have a mother who has always lived by the same rule, only my mum has never had anything much to share, it wasn't hard for me to know and see the truth of her words and I never have had to think about what to do with my money.
I don't have lots of money but I have enough for all that we need and some for things we want. I feel blessed and I think of Auntie Margaret and I hope she can see that I listened.
I'm not going to say what I do because the right hand should never know what the left is doing. It isn't important, I mention it only because, without fail whenever I do something for someone else, however small, it comes back to me 10 fold.
Sometimes I laugh because darn it if I can't get rid of the small 'extra' I have!
This week has been one of enormous gratitude for me.
The car died and I cried, then I took a deep breath and knew that this was a minor setback, it is a THING for goodness sake, things are always replaceable.
I set about selling the old car and I started a half hearted look for a 'new' one.
I never seem to look for things for long, I decide or am told that I need something and suddenly, there it is..that's what I need, fancy that! The same thing happened with this car. I saw it while trawling through cars online and "That's it!" I saw the price and took a 2nd look and couldn't imagine how I would find that amount but I knew this was the car and knew somehow I would do it.
It was £2, 695. That's a lot of money when you live week to week and manage to squirrel a tiny amount away for an emergency. I went to see it and opened my mouth and the words " I'll have this one" came out. I handed over £700 which was all I had in the world and I walked away with a receipt and a tiny flutter of panic.
I knew this was a good car and I was particularly thrilled to learn that with it, comes a lifetime warranty on the engine, all the expensive bits that go wrong right when you can't afford it for as long as I have the car or until I do a million miles. Sold to the lady with £700 and a huge dollop of faith.
I have almost done it. I hope that by next week it will be paid for.

Shiny, isn't it?

How did we do it? Well I just kept doing what Auntie Margaret told me.
My bread came back buttered and then someone put jam on it.
I'm not saying someone came along and paid it all for us, that isn't the case, although someone did send a generous gift along with all her love and I am hoping beyond hope that she gets her bread back toasted and filled with all things delicious.
H's dad is so generous and he used to help us all the time, since we came back to England and he has been to visit, he has seen that we don't need his help anymore, I love that he knows we are OK, sometimes though he surprises us with his generosity and he really did that this week.
We have budgeted and cut things to the bone to find the money for the car and we have been helped and the most striking thing I feel about this week is that if you feel something is right, if you believe that you can do something, then you should go ahead and try.
I also have a stronger than ever conviction that you should always share what you have, you won't ever suffer if you do that, you won't lie on your death bed and say " Oh I wish I'd held onto my stuff more"
It doesn't have to be a grand gesture, sometimes you will suddenly think of thing and feel so compelled to do it, I remember once, when my sister Julie and I were out in Plymouth, it was the middle of a beautiful hot summer and we were by the sea eating a delicious 'Opal fruits' ice lolly, ice cream covered in real fruity icy. As we walked along, a lady at church popped into my head and I said " M needs one of these!" Julie looked at me and told me I was losing it and I said " No, really, we have to buy one of these and take it to her" So we went and we bought a box of 5 and we drove to this ladies house, she opened the door and I said "Oh M, you are going to think I have lost my mind but I suddenly thought of you when we were eating a lolly and I knew I had to bring you some they are SO GOOD!"
Her eyes filled with tears and then she told us ( have goosepimples just remembering that moment) that she had been having chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer and she showed us how her whole mouth was filled with sores and ulcers and then she said " My husband has been away on business for 3 days and I have turned my freezer and all my cupboards out trying to find something juicy to eat, I couldn't find are the answer to my prayers!"
£2 for a box of lollies was the sum of someone's heartfelt prayer. I often imagine if I had ignored that bizarre thought I had..that was no thought, that was the still, small voice of the spirit whispering to me so that I could be the answer to her prayers. The Lord uses other people to answer our prayers whenever He can, He gives us countless opportunities to love one another and to serve each other.
I am so sure that we will be blessed when we do what we can for others, He doesn't want us to go without, He doesn't expect us to suffer in order to help one another but I truly believe He expects us to do what we can with a smile on or faces and love in our hearts.
I am so glad that I am able to share what I have, be it my time, my experience, my substance or my heart. I have been taught well by my parents and by people like Auntie Margaret, by others who come into my life just as I need them, who quickly become so important to me that I can't remember a time when they weren't there.
They help me when I need it and I always promise them that when an opportunity comes my way I will pay it forward and it is always a joy to do just that.

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Blogger Tired Mom of Six said...

Helen - thank you. I want to be that person who gives with a happy heart. I try, but I know I can always do better. Thanks for the reminder. Love you xoxo

3:29 am  
Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

You humble me.

9:04 pm  

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