God winked at me last Friday.
I don't know if your idea of God allows for Him to wink. But, I assure you that's exactly what happened.
A wink is delightful bit of fun. A wink can be conspiratorial, saucy, flirtatious, or just a way to say, "you know what? I like you!"
My amazing friend Tamara is a winker. I'm not even sure she's aware of the amount of winking that she does on a daily basis. The first time I met her, I think she winked at me at least three times in the first minute...okay I'm exaggerating. But, while I was at first taken by surprise at her visual gesture -- and with a stranger, no less. I quickly warmed to it and especially to her -- that she would be so friendly and open to said stranger with that spirited little eye communique. It made us...well, not strangers...really quickly.
But a "God wink?"
I first heard this fabulous expression from another friend, Patti -- one of my "other mothers." You know the type...generally of your own mother's age, someone who nurtures and loves on you...you get the idea.
Patti is a retired widow who has struggled with some grave health issues over the last few years. In fact, it's one of the reasons she retired and moved back to the Central California valley. Which has been awesome for me -- we have connected over music, gardening, couponing and more. She's a kindred spirit.
Anyhow, God has been "a wonderful husband" to her over the past few years as she has struggled a bit financially making the adjustment from a full-time employee paycheck to the "Golden Years" variety. She has shared with me some pretty amazing stories of God's provision in her life when she was at the end of everything -- financially, spiritually and even relationally. She calls them "God winks."
I thought that was just about the best expression of God's provision for us at certain times. Certainly I believe that He provides for our needs. But sometimes, He just comes through in a surprisingly unexpected way.
And that's what happened to me last week.
I recently blogged about the lovely skin condition that is Rosacea. In my post, I mentioned that there is no real cure or fix for it. Rather, there are ongoing medications, procedures and treatments that one can do to "manage it." One of the ways I "manage" it is by using some products by Clinique that are specially formulated for redness and rosacea.
On the upside, the three part regimen really works for me in terms of minimizing the redness in my face during the day. The downside is that is pretty spendy (at least for me...frugalista that I am). However, when you have a "condition," you will most likely do, say, spend whatever is necessary to fix/manage/help it. (I think the cosmetic companies know this and capitalize on it, but I digress.) On the other hand, when your family lives ever-so-squeakily off of one income -- and in fact, is struggling financially with some debt and some poor spending choices and is currently enrolled in Dave Ramsey's, Financial Peace University (to be further explored and explained in another post) -- you find it very difficult to justify spending almost $100 on "tubes of stuff."
Even when you feel so much better about yourself.
Especially when you've done the budget and know there is no money for your longed-for miracle cream.
And absolutely not when you and your husband have committed to no longer spending money you don't have.
So, a little part of my died when I realized this earlier in the week as I looked our budget for October.
I had already actually run out of my amazing foundation two weeks before and had been grudgingly using another brand (well-known...good stuff, but just not what I need for my "condition") that I had tried before I found the Clinique stuff . Every morning, I sighed a little bit as I dug it out and slathered it on. It just didn't cover right or sit on my skin right. But, it didn't cost me anything. So, I kept using it.
One morning as I looked at the disparity in the color between my face and my neck, I asked God if He could please somehow make a way where financially there was none. At this point, trying to find another $100 seemed monumental. So really...asking God to provide was pretty much my last and only option -- other than setting up a swap meet outside of my house.
That day, I even received a little postcard in the mail from Macy's telling me all about the upcoming bonus days where I could get my beloved cosmetics AND a lovely free gift. I tried not to examine the lovely little eyeshadow compact, lip gloss and assorted other goodies too closely. I set it aside sadly and forgot about it.
So back to last Friday (pay day...whoo hoo!). When I sat down at the computer to check that the online deposit from the school district had come through, I was amazed to see that my husband's paycheck was higher than usual. That got me wondering...but I know better than to allocate or spend money before I confirm any discrepancies form the norm with his actual pay stub (yes, I've learned this lesson the hard way). So, when Rylie brought it home, I curiously perused all the pre-tax figures and realized that he did not have to pay union dues for the month.
Guess how much money that saved us?
Right then I just knew!
I knew...that I knew...that I knew....
...that God was winking at me.
I literally laughed out loud in delight, ran back to my room and rummaged around until I found that postcard, and immediately called to put in my presale order.
I was so delighted to jaunt into Macy's today with my little two-year-old son on my hip and head on over to the Clinique counter to pick up my purchase. Although I had done the same thing many, many times over the years as a Clinique customer, I had never been so grateful and humbled by the sheer joy of that bag being handed over the counter.
And as my boy and I walked out together -- with my precious bag clutched in my hand, I felt a wave of love from God -- like he was saying, "Heather...you know what? I like you!"
God winked at me last Friday.
When was the last time He winked at you?