Friday, January 7, 2011


We all need a new and different perspective on things from time to time.  Today, I got myself  a new perspective. I've always been interested in business planning.  I have run up to 5 home-based businesses at one time and love the business planning aspect of business.  I do not like the mundane of business, so my husband nearly always handles the books when it comes to our joint businesses or my private businesses.  Now, don't get me wrong. I am interested in business planning, not corporate business.  Right out of college, I worked in a small business office and it was ok work, but I didn't like the mundane tasks that had to be done over and over again each week.  I also worked a corporate job for a few months just a couple of years ago and I found the mundane parts of it nearly intolerable.  After all, I've been "free-lancing" for 28 years as a stay-at-home mom who can basically run my own schedule.

My interest in business planning led me to click on a news link that was about the weirdest questions asked during job interviews.  These were real questions taken from real-life situations and they were beyond interesting to me.  One interviewer asked, "If you were shrunk down to the size of a pencil and stuck in a blender, how would you get out?"  Another was, "How do you weigh an elephant without a weighing machine?"  I would love to be in a position to answer either one of those questions in competition for a real job!

As I thought about all the questions, there were 10 total, I began to think about business and money. After all, isn't money the  ultimate business goal?  The questions prompted me to think about how these businesses, in their quest to hire only the best, had become incredibly creative in their interview processes.  I think this is great.  When it comes to money, it doesn't look like I have much.  My bank accounts are low, my retirement plan went up in smoke and I have not been able to replace that, and my prospects look less than promising for a glowing financial future.

Yet, I calculated what I have earned and spent over the past 28 years and I realized that I am a multi-millionaire - literally!  I'm not talking about the emotional or spiritual value of raising kids and how that is worth far more than any bank account. I'm talking about real, grass-roots money that I have spent over the past 28 years in the raising of these kids.

FYI - we have 8 children.  The government estimates that it costs roughly $215,500.00 to raise one child to age 18, not including college.  Ok, let's be a little more conservative.  Let's say I spent only $200,000.00 on each child.  With 8 kids, taking them at their current ages, that adds up to more than $2M.  So, according to government calculations, I have spent over $2M raising these kids over the past 28 years (the age of my oldest).  No wonder I never feel out of place in a room full of wealthy people!  I'm one of them!

It must be what we do with all that money that makes a difference.  I used it to give 8 children life, love, security, discipline, responsibility, education, values, ambition, and drive, not to mention the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  So, while my accounts remain low, my satisfaction is high because I have been given the privilege of raising children, the best job on earth....and the only one that I pay to do instead of get paid to do!

The Scriptures tell us that "The love of money is the root of all evil," and, of course, we all know that to be Truth.  It takes money to raise kids, it takes money to live in this world.  I don't love money, butI have no animosity toward anyone who has lots of money.  Apparently, I had lots of money and gave it all away to people I gave birth to.

Hmmm.  What does my theology have to do with this?  Well, today, I was discussing pretty laundry rooms with a friend of mine. That discussion stemmed from me seeing pictures of Martha Stewart's laundry room, well one of them, anyway, at her Maine estate.  I commented how pretty it was and my friend talked about how happy retailers were with her, and with all women, because we like pretty laundry rooms and such.  He's right, retailers are happy when we spend and many of them probably love money.  But, money issues don't bother me because, apparently, I'm a millionaire!  Besides, you can get a pretty laundry room with lots of creativity and very little money.  My theology says God will provide, and He always has. My new perspective shows that He provided much, much more, even materially, than I ever realized!

But, even if He hadn't blessed me so much, He would still be good - all the time.

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