When You Choose to Be Grateful Though You're $15 Short

“I need $100 in three weeks!”

My eyelids fluttered, trying to register my 13-year-old’s intensity. 

“I really want $100 to take to the coin show. Can I do some odd jobs around the house to earn the money?”


Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t normally keep an extra $100 in reserve for possible coin show emergencies. 

I told him to put his goal on his vision board, imagine himself with the coins he wanted at the show, and to feel grateful — as if he already had the money. 

We started the next day with some deep cleaning in his bedroom, and I saw a potential first paying job for him: making a holder for his neckties. It was a place to start, and it fed my desire for order. I paid him a generous $5 for his time, as it was a pretty simple design. But it served its purpose, and he was happy to put a small dent in his goal.  


During our cleaning spree, we found a really nice building set he hadn’t used in ages, and we felt it was another idea for revenue. We posted it online, and it sold for $30.

The countdown for the coin show was speeding up . . .  but only $65 more to go.

He had recently made some beautiful snowshoes out of tree branches with my son-in-law, and the family had taken an afternoon to try them out. They were very unique, and they worked quite well, so we encouraged him to make some to sell. He was super pumped when he got a commission for the snowshoes, and he made $50 just days before the deadline.

Well . . . it was time for the show, and he hadn’t met his goal. But I was so proud of his positive attitude and the gratitude he felt for making $85 in such a short time.

His afternoon at the coin show turned out to be a great adventure with my son-in-law, and he came home bursting with news. There was a great variety of coins, the vendors were excited to see someone so young who loved collecting, and he made some really good purchases. His enthusiasm multiplied when he found the very coin he had posted on his vision board a couple months before. However, it was more money than he had left. He moved on to another booth, when the vendor of that coin called him back. This very kind man crossed out the list price of the coin and lowered it $15! My son had just enough to purchase his most coveted item.

This is the part I love the most. 

My son then told me, “Mom. Do you understand what that means? If you add the $15 that I should have had to pay for that coin to the $85 I earned, I still met my goal. I had $100 in time for the coin show.”

I feel like this tiny bit of truth is a tragically well-kept secret. To see that my 13-year-old had learned it so young made me so happy. 


Here’s the secret . . . our dreams and goals don’t always come the way we think they will. But  when we stay in a place of gratitude and belief, with God’s help, we will realize them. 

So what did my son do right? 

  1. He imagined in his mind exactly what he wanted, how he would feel if he got it, and felt gratitude, as if it had already happened. (Pretending is an art. Just sayin’.)

  2. He immediately moved forward with what he could do. He cleaned his room to clear out some physical space to receive what he desired.

  3. He accepted opportunities to move toward the goal — even though it only started out with a $5 job.

  4. He felt grateful for each step closer to his goal.

  5. He was willing to be vulnerable and “put himself out there” to sell his own creation.

  6. He worked hard.

  7. When he got to the end and it seemed he hadn’t completely met his goal, he still showed gratitude for what he did accomplish.

  8. When the $15 showed up differently, he recognized it, and his gratitude was overflowing.


Now it’s your turn. Set your goals high. Believe you can reach them. Dismiss doubt. Expect inspired ideas to come. Act on those ideas, and show gratitude for each step along the way that takes you there. 

That’s how it’s done. 

We Move Forward EXPONENTIALLY When We Go Our OWN Pace

I have always had enthusiasm and have usually had direction. (I’ve had my seasons of being lost as well.) But when I see something I really want, I go after it, and I get it. I never knew how threatening that can be to some people. 

Over the years when I have just been myself . . . my momentum has hurt others who don’t move at the same speed. In my own moments of insecurity—I used to let it stop me. I was embarrassed and even humiliated by who I was. I felt like I was “too much.” That people thought I was showing off or trying to make them feel and look stupid. So I shut down, paralyzed with shame.

This, of course, was completely untrue. God simply made me this way, and for me, it is the place where I thrive best. He didn’t make a mistake when He created me. But it is because of His power that my time and energy are multiplied. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. 


While visiting with a dear friend about this topic, she told me that her mother-in-law modeled AMAZINGNESS. Is that a word? Haha She did everything quickly and masterfully. She always had a good cause, and she accomplished her part of it with tremendous flair. 

My friend adored her mother-in-law and began to approach her life in the same way. She even pulled it off . . . for a time. After “keeping up” with her for a season, she found that she began to feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and needed to hide from her family to recuperate. This brought her a powerful life lesson about the dangers of going someone else’s pace. She has now found her own stride, and she has affected many people through coaching, writing, facilitating programs, and reaching out to those who need her. Interesting, huh?

I recently sent out my three month list of goals to my accountability group. One of the participants wrote back. She did not tell me to slow down. She said she believed I would accomplish those goals and more. Can you imagine how liberating that was to me? She wasn’t threatened. She was my cheerleader, and she anticipated even more from me. 


We all have WONDROUS things to do in life. We will see those wondrous things happen best when we go at our own snail, rabbit, or cheetah pace. Trust what’s right for you. There is no room for comparison when we are following our own personal paths. 


Thank you for walking this journey with me. I love you. I trust you. I believe in you and your divine calls.