When I was a child, I asked God for a million, billion, dollars, so I could get a new bike. I really prayed. I asked God every night for that million, billion dollars because I knew he’d get it for me, then I could buy a new bike. I prayed and I prayed, My birthday came and went, and I didn’t get enough money to call it even a hundred dollars. On my birthday, I was given $10. I had a lot of money to save for that new bike. I was also older. I knew that my parents didn’t have enough money for a new bike. I thought of all the hours my parents worked just to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. I decided it was okay if I didn’t get a new bike if God would just give my parents the money to make them happy and not so worried all the time about money.
My parents had a way of making things fun for us, even if we couldn’t go out to the movies every weekend like some of my friends, we’d cook our weekend meals together. We would roast marshmallows over the grill for desert. We’d have a huge salad made from vegetables in the garden, then, we’d have hot dogs. That was great! It was a backwards dinner that my Mom invented. Even though they were tired on the weekends, my parents put so much of their precious time at home into our family. Secretly, I still hoped that God would give my parents more money.
One day, Mom came home. She had gotten a new job! She was going to work in the hospital. She would work weird hours, but now that we were older, we would be expected to help out more around the house. She also said that the hospital would help to pay for her education to become a nurse! It was rough, but through it all, she made time for us. Dad took on a second job that turned into a full time job, but it paid a lot more money. I knew it wasn’t a million dollars, but it was a lot of money to us.
We still did a lot of things together, but the kids were getting older, going into high school and getting ready for college. Mom and Dad couldn’t help us much with college, but it was at a time when there were a lot of school loans to be had, so we all took advantage of the grants and loans, and we went to college. It was wonderful to go home and see mom and dad, even if they were getting older. Mom was a nurse. Dad was a mid level executive in his company now He was going to retire in less than a year. Mom wanted to work a little longer.
They were blessed with that time. Mom and Dad retired. They had so much fun. They’d come to visit us, and, we’d talk about things like money. I learned great budgeting skills from my parents. When I married, I was able to put together a wedding, with the help of my family, and we had a great time! The church was beautiful! Mom and I scoured the thrift stores looking for decorations. Everyone talked about how great the church looked. For the reception, we had a backwards Barbeque in the back yard and all of our family and friends were there.
When my husband and I had our first child, I had to work, but my husband and I were able to save and buy a new home. We spent as much time as we could with our first baby. I prayed and prayed for that million dollars, still, but God and I would chuckle. We both knew it wouldn’t happen, but that was okay. I had a bike now. It was used. Baby and I would ride all over town together and she loved it! We were given our needs. We had to work for our wants, and even when the money was there, we had to decide whether to save it or not. We made good choices and we made poor choices. Money wasn’t everything.
I finally realized that we were rich and had always been rich.
Does prayer really change things? I think prayer changes us. I think prayer, from the heart, gives us all we need through thick and thin. My family is a gift that so many didn’t have, even if they were rich. Prayer changes things? Yes, I would agree.