Thursday, August 15, 2013

How To Become Rich and $ave your $oul

Before you read my crash-course on becoming rich, you should know that I dangled perilously on the curved tip of a C in college accounting and that my husband managed our finances after he noticed that I couldn’t balance our checkbook.   So my post is actually about saving up for your $oul's eternity and getting rich in the process.

Still with me?  Good. I should also now admit to you that the decision to write for free was borne during of a time of financial constraints for my family.  Now, my husband used to be self-employed in Las Vegas, back when the housing market was thriving and his skill was in demand for model homes and by interior designers.  When we moved to the country, he worked full time for the Benedictine Abby and his business was relegated to the occasional side.  Since we’d both discerned God called us to invest my time in homeschooling, I didn’t think we’d ever go on our precious vacations again, a perk we enjoyed while working in the big city.   

Briefly, I toyed with the idea of writing secular or Christianized novels for a broader market and publisher appeal, (because two very Orthodox Catholic novels by some unknown author making it to the New York Times bestseller list is not going to happen in my lifetime).  But the obstinacy to reject watering down what I know to be truth about the Eucharist and Our Lady was fierce.  So with foolhardy faith and trust in God’s provision, I took a deep breath and.... gave my novels away.

Since then, we’ve received three unexpected gifts of vacations.  
Vacay #1
Vacay #2
Vacay #3

          But when I was depressingly homesick during the holidays, I forgot about the blessings and prayed, “Well, Lord, since you’ve not provided for my travel benefits abroad, maybe I better go back to work and provide for myself.”

Just when I sent the last resume out to a firm, chaching!-- my husband’s business picked up a bit and with the additional help of generous donors, we’re going home to the Philippines for Christmas this year.  

What was it that triggered the windfall from heaven?

It surely wasn’t my threat.  It was simply that God wanted it clear to me that He can compensate for our labors for Him in this life (and more so, in the next). He cannot be outdone in generosity.  Never.

So here it is.  My one golden advice on becoming rich: “Give and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down and shaken together will be poured unto your lap.”  (Luke 6:38)  “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, That there may be food in my house and try me in this, says the Lord of hosts: Shall I not open for you the floodgates of heaven, to pour down blessing upon you without measure?”  (Malachi 3: 10) That’s it.

I don’t how many times my novels have been read; I don’t know who’s loved it or hated it and considering my weakness for numbers, I can’t compute how much I would have made in sales or royalties anyway.  But I’m counting my travel perks as God’s bonuses, as a foreshadow of the richness that awaits me in the after life if I continue to work in the Lord's vineyard.

*On that note, I have to stress that the most valued and irreplaceable fringe benefit we receive from my husband working for the Benedictines is our spiritual growth.  We get to go to Confession at our convenience and pick out favorites from among spiritual directors.  Being an audio-visual learner, my husband's Catechism questions are answered on a personal level. (He sees a poor monk walking the grounds and he runs to catch up with a question or two.)  We have wonderful relationships with the priests and brothers, who voluntarily offer Masses for us during our difficult times (because faith doesn't mean we're cross free, right?).  We get invited to their Simple and Permanent Profession of Vows and get the scoop on their vocation journeys (who knew monks led such interesting lives before joining the monastery?).  We unite our Ora et Labora spiritually to theirs. Its almost like being part of a religious community (except without the black habit and the vow of obedience ;).
Recent simple profession (Not ours, obvs)
P.S. If you’ve followed the novenas I made to the archangel Raphael at the beginning of the year, this answered prayer was one of those intentions.  That St. Raphael --he is awesome!  

Sharing this on Theme Thursdays: Faith. I love this particular link up so go check out Clan Donaldson for other great posts on faith.


onecatholicmama said...

So glad your prayers were answered! What a beautiful example of faith

Micaela Darr said...

Annabelle, this is such an inspiration. It is so so hard to let to and trust God, and you have done it with abandon. What faith that is!

The photos are gorgeous, too. And I'm so excited for your trip to PI! Will you post lots of photos?

Anabelle Hazard said...

Thank you Micaela and Amelia. Micaela, you bet I will post them. I'm going to try to get a tricycle shot like yours.

Melanie Jean Juneau said...

amen. He provides in His way, His timing. Last year we were flabbergasted-one tank of heating oil lasted ALL winter when we usually need to fill up at least every 3-4 weeks from mid October to April

Nancy Ward said...

Good story and real. Very encouraging.

TeeSee said...

Anabelle (what a beautiful name for a beautiful lady!), I love your blog and your faith, especially your devotion to St. Raphael. He is very special to me, too, having made an "appearance" a few months ago. Since then, he has shown remarkable signs to me that he's "working on the case," so to speak. Wonderful Archangel! Can you tell me where I might find a chaplet of St. Raphael? God bless you and your loved ones abundantly!

Apoorva Kumar said...

Amen, you have not only good thoughts but also a very pure soul. I'm glad to read your article as it is such a great inspiration. God is with us all and whatever we do we must do it with faith in our heart.

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