Actually, right now I am reading her novel, "The Town That Came A-Courtin'." So far a very cute book. If you visit her website, you will find out about her, her books, her next book coming next spring, read her syndicated newspaper column (which is also featured in Y'All magazine), and sign up for her weekly newsletter.
It's that newsletter that prompts me to post the following today. Right now, the economy is in the trash...we all know that. Most of us are scared to open up our statements for retirement accounts, IRA's, college savings plans, and brokerage accounts. I know everytime I see one in the mail, I just leave it for my husband to read. Right now, I really don't care to know. I am hoping the experts throughout history are right and you don't rely on the here and now, but realize on many of these accounts (depending on your age), your in it for the long haul and they will eventually hit bottom (I don't think we are there yet) and then raise up from the ashes to being better than they were before. (Sorry, don't mean to be a downer here.) But Ronda Rich brought it all in to focus today when I read her newsletter. (And basically her newsletter is what's happening in her life on a weekly basis). Today she talked about a man with a great memory who one time gave her her favorite perfume on her birthday all the while she tried to remember how he knew it was her favorite. He informed her that years ago, they were dining and she had it on and he asked what it was and she told him the name and that it was her favorite and he never forgot. Apparently he has memory magic and she thinks he could teach all men a thing or two about that. She also talked about going to Sauer's who makes yummy Duke's mayo and that is her favorite mayo and they gave her a gift bag of may and spices and such. She talked about different people she has dined with. She talked about Mike Huckabee as governor proclaiming it Courtin' day throughout the state while she was on tour for that book. But she also talked about the following excerpt that so touched me and put focus on the situations at hand:
Has your stomach been on a rollercoaster trip with all this crazy financial
news? I got some statements from brokerage accounts and did not open them. Well,
I opened one because I thought it might tell me that I was going to get some
kind of tax break because I'd lost so much (no such luck, though). When I saw
how much it had tumbled downward, my stomach tumbled downward. I'm not looking
at them again. If those financial guys want me to know something, they can just
Then I picked up another envelope and opened it. When I saw the photo tucked
inside, I realized what real sorrow is.
I have known Susan since I was a teenager. Her parents, Herb and Annie Mae,
were like second parents to me, and I spent many Friday or Saturday nights in
Susan's bedroom. This is to say that our friendship goes back a long way. A few
weeks ago, Susan called me on my cell phone. She was crying and said, "Please
pray for my baby, Shannon. She's in intensive care and it doesn't look
The story is this: A week earlier, Shannon's boyfriend, who was 18, was
working out and hit his head somehow. He didn't mention it to his parents. He
just went home and went to bed. Apparently, he had a concussion and he died in
his sleep as a result of it. Shannon, 16, was devastated. They were close as two
peas in a pod. For a week, she wouldn't eat. Well, you know if you don't eat,
you get a headache. She started taking a pain reliever. Over two days, she took
a dozen or so. Without having eaten, the pain reliever attacked her liver and
complete system. When she collapsed, her parents rushed her to the hospital in
Augusta and then she was air-lifted to Egleston in Atlanta. This was on Thursday
evening. By Friday afternoon, she was on life support. She died at 5 a.m. on
Now, that's true sorrow. Two beautiful, young people gone within a week, and
both dead from such unusual circumstances. Susan, poor thing, is heart broken
but holding up as strong as possible. She called me a week after the funeral to
thank me for my prayers and said, "How do people make it through things like
this who don't know God?"
After I opened my brokerage statement, I opened a note that Susan had sent,
along with a picture of that beautiful daughter of hers. Listen my friends: as
long as we have those we love and we have our health, we can make more money. As
my daddy was fond of saying, "Worry not about what money and hard work can
Here is my wish for all of my readers:
- If you don't know God now, that you find it in your heart to find and know God. So many people are willing to share testimony or just help you find God. It is so easy and you will be so glad that you did.
- That you don't worry or make financial worries, the focus of your life. (A precious friend of mine's husband made some bad financial decisions, the economy took the wrong turn, and now he is in a deep depression and feels so guilty "for letting his family down", when in actuality, the family is just fine financially. But the family is suffering now because he is suffering so badly mentally)
- When your life looks so bleak, realize how much better you have it than so many others out there.
- And finally remember Ronda's daddy saying, "Worry not about what money and hard work can replace." Which makes me remember the old saying that money does not buy happiness!