He walked into the bank, obviously carrying a heavy load, and wearing a proud smile.
“I can help you over here,” I chirped in my newly fluent teller-ese, and the white plastic bucket landed with a thud on the counter. He had personally counted and rolled over five thousand pennies and was bringing his loot into the bank for more convenient currency — but he was also there to share his story.
“My dad collected pennies,” he began, and he came back to this fact several times throughout the duration of the transaction, and it eventually became clear to me that the $52.50 he received from the vault had very little to do with his reasons for coming to the bank on that Thursday morning.
When the rolled pennies had been loaded into their metal trays for storage, he looked at the high-rise with . . . and I searched for a descriptive word, and found this one: respect. In his eyes, they represented more than a collection of tiny one-cent coins. They were a link to his dad; they were evidence of his perseverance; they were worthy of his time.
And this is the gift I am receiving through my new job. The customers that I would be tempted to look down on, to “despise” in the sense of biblical lingo, are the ones who make me smile. I am learning to respect small things like pennies and the cozy home I’ve taken for granted. As I drive to work each morning, the hay fields lay flat and shorn, praying their scent to the morning sun. Admiring the giant round bales, placed like sporadic punctuation on a page, I think:
“I can’t believe I get to live here.”
It’s the same old house, same old road that I’ve driven for the past twenty-two years, but leaving it each day to go to work has lead to a new appreciation for all that I have been given.
After one month of employment, I can finally say that my “terror level” has come down from red and settled into a manageable Level Orange. What feeds this, of course, is the knowledge that there are at least ten thousand routine banking questions for which I do not have answers. However, now that I’m thinking like a banker everyday, I can report these entries to the blessings side of the balance sheet for the month of June:
- patient and competent employees who have trained and assisted me;
- evidences of common grace that feel God-sent — such as the cedar wax wings that visit the flowering crab apple trees outside the office window;
- sons who are learning to wash dishes without being asked and a husband who is doing a lot more picking up than ever before;
- a daily commute that is short enough to be manageable, but long enough to review Romans 8 twice if I stay on task.
- the garden is in full-flourish-mode. Soon we will be picking lettuce!
- the on-line book club that I’ve been leading for the women in my church has kept me accountable with my reading.
Father’s Day at our place was a tremendous weekend with lots of family and continual activity — although I sat out for kick ball after breaking my toe in the Memorial Day game. The patient husband said the best gift he received was the gathering. He’s a keeper, and his Father’s Day Card from me was a blog post.
The most-read selection at Living Our Days for the month of June was Veering into the Serene Providence — with last month’s Musings post (surprisingly) taking the number two spot. The most read book review featured September Vaudrey’s Colors of Goodbye.
With my schedule so vastly altered, I will be limiting myself to one book review per week for the month of July, but will also be sharing some thoughts on family, Scripture, and life here on our country hill in a second weekly post.
What are you musing about as June comes to a close?
Is your summer going according to plan? Or do you prefer to wing it?
I have been encouraged and strengthened by your words this month, especially those who have asked how the new job is going and have even said that you are praying for me. Amazing gift! If I can be praying for you, be sure to let me know in the comments below.
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I’ll be linking this post with Leigh Kramer‘s great community of month-end encouragement. I hope you’ll join me there!
Also, I link-up with a number of blogging communities on a regular basis. They are listed in the left sidebar by day of the week. I hope that you will take a moment to enjoy reading the work of some of these fine writers and thinkers.