Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Unexpected Blessings

What do you do with unexpected money?

I know, I know, “unexpected” and “money” don’t usually belong in the same sentence. But every once in a while it happens. Money we weren’t expecting just “happens” to find its way to us.

My first inclination, should money just “happen” to float in my direction, would be to head straight to Nordstrom and spread the wealth. (I usually have a pretty long Nordstrom wish list going on in my head.)

Hardly ever do I think about giving it away. Giving is my husband’s spiritual gift, not mine.

A couple of years ago I came into some unexpected money after speaking at a women’s retreat. I was thrilled to be asked to speak at this retreat and, being new to the speaking thing, I did not give any thought to getting paid. But when the event ended, the woman in charge handed me an envelope. With a check in it! A check that I did not expect.

I thought about that check while I drove home from the retreat. The fun I could have with that money! I must have spent it a dozen different ways in the short time it took me to drive home.

But somewhere between here and there, God started to nudge me: Shelly, what could you do with that money that you weren’t expecting?

Well, Lord, there’s this really cute pair of shoes . . .

No, not shoes.

How about a coat? It’s getting colder and my winter coat is looking pretty ratty.

No, not a coat.

What then?

What if you gave it away?

Before I got home, I had realized a few things. One: I wasn’t expecting the money. Two: the money wasn’t really mine in the first place. Three: I could experience lasting joy by giving it away, rather than spending it on shoes that I probably wouldn’t be wearing today.

By the time I pulled into my driveway I had made a decision: I would sponsor a Compassion child for one year with the money I received from the women’s retreat.

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

I’ll continue my story tomorrow, but for now, I want you to know that several bloggers, including my friend Maggie/Gussy who saved me a seat on a Southwest flight one time, are in Tanzania with Compassion this week. You can check out their posts here.

And if you have found some money that you weren’t expecting, why don’t you consider sponsoring a child, too? You can sponsor a child by clicking on the picture above.

So tell me. Have you ever found unexpected money? What did you do with it? (Don't be ashamed to share--like I said, I'd normally go shopping!) Leave me a comment and let me know.



  1. I feel immodest saying this but I anonymously purchased a very large piece of electronic state of the art sports equipment for a school.
    And neither of my kids attended that school! I had just heard that this piece of used equipment was sitting available and not being used so I called the school to see it they wanted it and they did but they could not afford it so....I bought it and gave it to them.
    It made me smile everytime I passed the school and saw it being used! And my tax person said that it saved me some taxes unexpectedly so I was really blessed in multiple ways.

  2. That's a great story, Nancy! Thanks!

  3. Is the picture your Compassion child? Such a darling face.

    Great story ... it will give me something to think about next time I get some unexpected money.

    Last year, Dave and I found $100 in cash on the street. We put it in our date fund. :-)

  4. What a great post! Our pastor spoke this past wesk about handling wealth...said though that most of us are are not that rich, blah, blah, blah. All I could think is that we, here in North America, are very rich compared to the majority of the world. Our perspective in our family has changed greatly in the last couple of years...since we transformed our lives through adoption. What has been ringing in my heart & soul ever since is 'To whom much is given ,much will be required.'. Sometimes I have trouble saying no to myself...(as I sit here typing away guiltily on my ipad!) but when it's in perspective, like you said, it's all God's...and I don't want to say no to Him. Nothing wrong with doing something for yourself, and when you're abiding in Him, being faithful with what He has given, you just know when it's ok to enjoy His gifts, and when it's right to pass it on.

  5. I confess the first thing I'd think about would be to finish fixing my house...

    BUT in thinking about your choice, I remember very clearly as a young girl overhearing my dad on the phone with World Vision requesting to sponsor a child. I felt surprised and proud as I listened in. It showed me the generosity and integrity my parents had that I may not have seen elsewhere. You never know who may benefit from a choice such as yours. It could be little eyes behind you!