“JOY Must Be Shared”

 

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So many small things build up to larger moments.
Sometimes the small things ARE the large moments in disguise.

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Yesterday’s mail contained something extra special. A letter from a cousin, whom I haven’t seen in person for many years, arrived unexpectedly.

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I assumed it was a wedding invitation for her upcoming nuptials and I opened it knowing that we were not in a position to fly out to attend. Hopefully a wedding registry would be listed at least.

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The first thing I spied was a bunch of paper heart cutouts which seemed to support my wedding invite theory, but when I opened the card (which didn’t look particularly wedding-y) these bills were resting inside.

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My parents, who were here visiting for Easter, and my husband were relaxing about in the room and I told them I thought it must have been a mistake. Maybe Molly had an It’s A Wonderful Life moment and accidentaly enclosed some cash while sealing the envelopes. She was probably wondering where she had misplaced it at that very moment, poor girl!
But then I read the note.

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Such a sweet card made me a little sniffly, but still no explanation for the $.
Then I chanced to flip over the card and saw this single sentence scribbled on the back.
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At which point tears of joy really welled up and overflowed.

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Since writing the post about next actions and actually facing down the extent of our student loan debt many things both large and small have been aligning so that this crushing figure:

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is already at

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and now, thanks to Molly, it is down to

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Earlier I talked about how we try to budget every penny and stick pretty close to it…but I admit sometimes the stringent measures cramp my style, particularly my wardrobe style. This whimsical dress on eshakti (my favorite clothing website) had been on my mind for a few weeks and when they sent me a coupon AND they had a spring sale going on I was going to step out of the budget and buy it.
The sale ended last night. The coupon expired last night. I had pulled out all the stops to talk myself into how this investment *not splurge* was a good idea because the quality of the clothing will last a long time, when will this kind of opportunity come again, it will be my early birthday gift to myself…blah blah blah.
Where was the money for that dress coming from you might ask?
It was coming from my most recent paycheck from the job which I chose to seek out so that we may eliminate debt in order to provide a loving Christian home for more children. The job which takes me away from my children while my husband spends his one day off a week being Mr. Mom while I am gone. The job we agreed I should accept with specific plans for all that income to be thrown at those student loans. Yeah, the dress was going to come from that money.
Sitting there with those loose dollar bills from my cousin, who barely knows me, but who was still willing to give her mite, all the justifications sputtered and died.
Last night when I went to bed the sale ended, the coupon expired, and our debt now looks like this:

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When I sent a facebook message to Molly asking her if I could share her note, she said yes and that “JOY must be shared.” Thank you for sharing your joy and reminding me to redirect my gaze back on what is important.

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