Feeling guilty for spending money

Today’s Tender Mercies story comes from Mindset Mastery participant Stephanie Lee. She writes:

Something interesting happened to me this week.

Over a year ago I had started a business making baby clothes. A lot of thoughtful preparation went into launching it – product prototypes, professional photography of said products, website set up, etc. It felt so divinely orchestrated and I was excited about how it could grow.

It did pretty well initially and I was excited. Without getting into all the details, I soon lost my excitement and coincidentally my sales decreased. I had ideas of new products I wanted to make but they would have required a very specialized and expensive machine. I couldn’t justify it and so my excitement and drive just sort of fizzled out. However, before the fizzle-out, I had very detailed visions of owning this machine. I would “see” the products I was making with it and feel them in my hands.

But I never went so far as to actually create any sort of plan for how to acquire it.

For some reason that makes no sense in the context of what I’m busy with in my life right now, I jumped on FB Marketplace the other day and searched for this machine not EVEN expecting to find one locally, let alone at a price I could afford. They are so specialized and if people have them they usually keep them so imagine my shock when I found one!

One year old, in mint condition, with $400 worth of expensive accessories. The very exact specialty accessories I would need to purchase additionally if I were to buy this machine new. The exact brand I had wanted.

I was shocked.

I messaged the woman and asked her about it. We arranged a phone call and there was something in her voice that felt so familiar. She had what I affectionally call “the Utah Lilt”. I said, “This is a super weird question…are you by chance LDS?” (It’s a rare thing here in many parts of Oregon).

She said “yes! Why do you ask?”

I told her it was her voice – that it sounded to familiar and peaceful and happy. She said that was the nicest thing any one has ever said to her. 😉

We chatted some more and made arrangements for my sister to pick it up. (She lives two hours north of me but my sister just happens to be coming down from even further north next week and can swing by and pick it up.)

She even told me that if I ever needed lessons using the machine or help of any kind, to call her or come for a visit and that she’d be happy to help me. She was feeling so sad to get rid of her machine (downsizing) but told me that all her sadness is gone and that she is THRILLED that it’s going to me!

We’ve messaged each other quite a bit since our phone chat and have become fast friends.

The night after sending her money via PayPal, I started to feel so guilty for buying it. I just “happened” to have made the exact amount of money for the cost of the machine in art sales the few days before finding the machine. It wasn’t earmarked for anything but I still felt like I shouldn’t have spent it so spontaneously on something I didn’t even have a really solid plan for.

I took this guilt to my journal and discovered how habituated I am to feel guilty for spending money. Even in things that will make me money or that I saved up for it that will allow me to expand my creativity. I felt prompted to write a list of all the “proof” that this purchase was exactly the right thing to do with that money including points like “It was for sale for nearly 1/3 if it’s value that also was exactly what I had made in sales the days before”. It felt like I was journaling what God’s reasons and ways of giving it to me. It was an awesome journaling experience and I felt so much peace about it.

Here’s what’s weird…

This machine doesn’t actually make sense in my life right now. And that feels, surprisingly, completely okay. It feels like one of the tumblers in the lock Leslie talks about and because I understand that analogy and the laws it relates to, I feel at peace knowing the other tumblers will continue to turn in perfect time and the reason I got this machine will become more evident. AND bless our family!

I am so grateful for the peace I feel at God’s pace. It hasn’t always been easy and tomorrow morning I might wake up completely unmoored from that peace for whatever reason and feel the impatience I have made into a living art form. 😂 But for now, I trust.

She later added this:

I was reflecting on many thing this morning and thought of the adage “just take the next right step” kept bubbling up. I’ve always assumed it meant the next logical step. It occurred to me that MY experiences have included a lot of steps that, at the time, seemed very out of order. So I’m reframing “the next right step” to mean “the next step you are being called to take even if it doesn’t feel like the next logical one.”

Wise words, Stephanie. I’ll end with this reminder: “…behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes . . . (Alma 37:6-7).

This has been another installment in a series of articles about Tender Mercies. Stay tuned for more coming soon…

What about you?

Maybe you’re not a millionaire. Maybe you haven’t yet realized that big vision for your life. Maybe your relationships aren’t what you want them to be. Maybe you’re still waiting for that breakthrough that never seems to come. Maybe you struggle with your health, or maybe you’re caring for someone else who is. But even so…

Have you seen God’s hand in your life today? Have you noticed Him sustaining you from day to day?

“And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in ALL things, and obey not his commandments,” (D&C 59:21, emphasis added).

Submit your stories here!

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“I wanted out”

Here is another installment in my series about Tender Mercies. Now YOU can submit your OWN stories at ANY time right here.

Today’s story comes from Cosette Snarr, who writes: 

My husband started having seizures in 1985. At first they were just at night and didn’t disrupt our daily life, although they did have an affect on my sleep. Over time the seizures changed and started happening during the day. Eventually he was in a terrible car accident and lost his ability to drive.

Over the years the seizures created situations of lots of unemployment and underemployment. I was frustrated and angry and did not want to deal with this terrible situation. I had tried everything I could think of to “fix” the situation but to no avail. I felt like my prayers were not being answered. It was awful.

I wanted out but knew I could not leave.

Over the years I went through all kind of emotions, mostly anger, until finally, f-i-n-a-l-l-y I decided to turn to the Lord in humility rather than telling Him how things needed to be. That seemed to be the key. I felt inspired that we needed to start re-finishing furniture together. I thought that was really odd. That’s not the kind of activity I would necessarily choose to do but I felt strongly that I had been directed so we did.

We took a class together, went searching for furniture together, worked together and in the process I fell in love with my husband again. The anger was gone. I felt confident that I could simply look beyond the seizures and everything would be okay. They did not have to rule me.

Within a couple of months of starting on the furniture the seizures stopped. It was not due to any change in medication or treatment that he had been getting. This happened in 2014. He had been having seizures for 30 years and they had stopped. His doctor had never heard of such a thing.

To me it was more than a tender mercy. It was a miracle in every sense of the word. A miracle that came through the love of the Savior as I finally allowed Him into my heart. The miracle was not so much that the seizures stopped as much as my heart had been changed.

Today our relationship is strong. My husband is still seizures free and is healthier than most men his age. We are incredibly blessed.

___________

What about you?

Maybe you’re not a millionaire. Maybe you haven’t yet realized that big vision for your life. Maybe your relationships aren’t what you want them to be. Maybe you’re still waiting for that breakthrough that never seems to come. Maybe you struggle with your health, or maybe you’re caring for someone else who is.

But even so…

Have you seen God’s hand in your life, sustaining you from day to day?

I want to hear about it. Submit your stories here!

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God multiplies things

Diana with her husband

Here is another installment in my Tender Mercies article series. Today’s story comes from Diana Johnson, who writes:

Leslie, I’m so grateful I met you about 7-8 months before my husband’s stroke. Reading your books increased my faith and helped put me in the frame of mind to experience so many miracles. With all my heart, I KNOW that God multiplies what we have when we share! He has already shown this to me.

Back in 2006, I gave my sister my share of profits from the sale of our parents’ home (about $10,000, because she was in dire need). We were in need as well; but I felt her need was greater. That, plus a loan of about $3,000, which I eventually forgave.

Ten years later, my husband suffered a massive stroke, and could no longer work. Miraculously, it happened when his Wal-Mart bus run was cancelled due to BYUI students leaving for Christmas. Otherwise, his stroke would have occurred while driving a busload of students!

And when our need was the greatest (after my husband’s stroke), the amount I gave my sister was returned to me, multiplied, in a miraculous, unexpected way:

I received a certified letter in the mail, which at first I ignored, thinking it was just another notice from the IRS. When I finally picked up the letter from the post office, I was informed that a previously unknown retirement was waiting for me from BYUI, where I had taught for 15 years. I had worked part-time, but was told that part time and adjunct instructors receive no retirement. Yet, here was a certified letter informing me of a lump sum which had been held for me for years, and growing without my knowledge. 

That unexpected retirement was close to $24,000, equivalent to one year’s salary that my husband made at a part-time job just before his stroke. And this has lasted us much longer than a year, due to other financial miracles: donations, an unexpected deposit from Social Security to our credit union account with a letter (which showed up later) informing us that they had not credited my husband properly for his military service!

While my husband was still in intensive care, I also received a call from DMBA (my retirement account), informing me that they had discovered another $5,000 plus that was owed me. This was exactly the extra amount I needed to pay for home medical equipment I had ordered, and didn’t know how I would pay for it! 

And then, when my husband suffered a relapse, putting him back in intensive care, my son tried to give us a thousand dollars to help pay the hospital bill.  They were expecting a new baby, so I told him to keep it until they had enough saved for their baby.  But two days later, I received a hospital bill discounted over $1000 (beyond the Medicare discounts)!!… 

…I have learned that when we live in LOVE, FAITH, and GENEROSITY, the Lord can return the same for us, in every time of need!

You can read more about Diana’s miracles here.

_____________

What about you?

So, maybe you’re not a millionaire. Maybe you haven’t yet realized that big vision for your life. Maybe your relationships aren’t what you want them to be. Maybe you’re still waiting for that breakthrough that never seems to come. Maybe you struggle with your health, or maybe you’re caring for someone else who is.

But even so…

Have you seen God’s hand in your life, sustaining you from day to day?

I want to hear about it. Submit your stories here!

#RareFaithTenderMercies
#ModernMiracles

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Enough and to Spare

“For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things…” (D&C 104:17)

The following message was submitted to me from Diana Lynne Johnson after I issued my “call for stories” on the Rare Faith and Tender Mercies themes:

Leslie, I met you at a Bear Lake Divine Eating Retreat in May of 2016. You spoke, sharing some of your stories and principles. I was very inspired, bought one of your CDs, and have since read all your books, as well as forwarding them to my children.

Since that time, amazing miracles have increased in my life, amidst some heart wrenching challenges (my husband’s massive stroke 2 days before Christmas 2016, as well as a relapse caused by medical negligence, which nearly took my husband’s life in Feb, 2017)! Rather than suing the hospital, I felt impressed to share my faith-promoting story of miracles, forgiveness and love in a book!

My husband is no longer able to work, yet miracles have sustained us financially. I have not been able to return to teaching, since I am his 24/7 caretaker; yet there is always “enough and to spare”! And the increase of FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY growing within us and those around us, is very inspiring… 

Many times, I’ve grown very discouraged in writing and publishing my books. Each time I pray, “Father, if you still want me to share these stories, please return my motivation.” At least 3 times, He has answered my prayers with a boost of inspiration and renewed enthusiasm. My book, which will follow with a series, includes miracles small and large occurring during life threatening high adventures, car accidents, Breast Cancer and Stroke, as well as large financial losses! 

At the Divine Eating Retreat, I shared a few miracles experienced during my daughter’s breast cancer treatment, and the woman commented, “Your life is amazing! You need to share these stories!” That’s when I decided to press forward with my book(s). I began by reading all of your books, Leslie.

…Thank you, Leslie for your inspiring works and “Call for Stories.” …Your work has inspired me again to press forward!

(This post will be updated when her book is finished, so I can link to it!)

What about you?

So, maybe you’re not a millionaire. Maybe you haven’t yet realized that big vision for your life. Maybe your relationships aren’t what you want them to be. Maybe you’re still waiting for that breakthrough that never seems to come. Maybe you struggle with your health, or maybe you’re caring for someone else who is. But even so…

Have you seen God’s hand in your life, sustaining you from day to day?

I want to hear about it. Submit your stories here!

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