I am not a fan of puzzles. Taking a perfectly good image, cutting it into one hundred or more tiny pieces and then trying to reconstruct it feels like a frustrating waste of time. But last weekend, I was selling books at a local Grange hall with my 9-year-old son, Asher, when one of the organizers kindly offered us a puzzle of a shiny green frog.
I wondered whether I was wasting my time, all those early mornings and late nights sitting at my computer writing children’s stories. Would anyone ever read my work? If only I could enroll in an MFA program, I was sure I could get published. But with a house full of children, life was too busy. Plus, I didn’t have the cash.
My earliest Easter memory is of my mother cautioning my older brother and me that if we didn’t pick up the nails we’d spilled on the front porch of our Oregon ranch, the Easter bunny couldn’t come to our house. He’d hurt his feet. Then there was the time she cleverly disguised a carpet sweeper as an Easter gift. We’d get to clean floors? Oh, joy!
How I spend my time. How I spend my money. And how I respond to Christ. Far greater than the peril of a broken thermometer is the danger of delaying decisions of eternal consequence. Thankfully, through Christ’s death on the cross God himself launched a campaign to exchange the penalties of our toxic choices for his eternal rewards.
For the first time ever, my husband and I hired a tax accountant. Having sold both our house and my late mother’s – as well as being self-employed – I really hoped we didn’t owe money. Just as importantly, I wanted to avoid making a mistake that might later result in a bill from the IRS. A couple of weeks later, we were blessed to find out that – like up to 80 percent of Americans – we were to receive a tidy tax return. But where to spend it? The leaky roof? Investing in a second car? Helping our high school senior with college?