On Honesty

Last year when I was going through RCIA, we discussed that being a follower of Christ is not always easy. Sometimes being Christ-like is hard. We want to do what WE want to do, not what Jesus would want us to do. Sometimes going against what WE want is not fun, but it is almost always right.

I had a lesson in this about 8.5 years ago before I became Catholic; before I was technically a follower of Christ, I guess you could say.

I’ve always considered myself an honest person. I was born with a huge guilty conscience {perfect for Catholicism many have joked}. I learned honesty is the best policy at a young age from my parents, obviously. I always chalked it up to “doing the right thing” because it’s the right thing to do, but now I know it’s the Holy Spirit guiding me and by following the Holy Spirit, I am glorifying God.

So, when I was pregnant with Elliott I worked full-time and knew that I wasn’t going to return to the workforce after she was born. See yesterday’s post for more on this. It came time to prepare for her arrival and get all my ducks in a row. Like I said, I knew that I needed to give my employer notice before I went out on maternity leave {or SAHM leave} and when I talked to several friends they suggested I tell them I’m coming back so that I could get my disability. Well, that didn’t sit well with me although you KNOW I saw dollar signs flying out the window in my head. Let’s be honest.

It was not worth it to me to LIE to my employer who had been so good to me and have them think that I was coming back only to call them 6 weeks after my baby was born and say, “Hey guys, I decided to be a stay at home mom. I won’t be coming back.” I didn’t want that conversation hanging over me while I was enjoying my new blessing of motherhood. So one morning I went into one of my bosses offices {the one who interviewed me} and sat down. I explained to him that I knew I wanted to stay at home with my baby and that I was sad to report that I would not be coming back to work there. This was the best job I’d ever had. It was an hour commute each way, but worth every mile. I was sad to leave, but I was excited for the next chapter on our life.

Do you know that Mark looked across the desk at me and said something to the effect of, “Amy, I’m so glad you’ve decided to stay at home.We’ll certainly miss you. But I’ll just have you send in a letter of resignation after the baby is born because you’ve paid into this for so many years and you DESERVE to receive these benefits. This happens all the time.”

I couldn’t believe it. I “did the right thing” and was still blessed with the thing that I was worried about losing ~ money.

I left that meeting overwhelmed with gratitude and complete peace. Because I chose to be honest, I believe I was rewarded with several little checks during my maternity leave that certainly helped us financially. I will never forget the day the last one came. I knew it was the last one. I opened it and it was like a big {not THAT big} lump sum and there was a note that said this was my last of my benefits. The total was way more than I was receiving weekly and I guess it was just the balance of what I’d paid into?? I didn’t call to ask, just thanked my lucky stars and lived off that instead of starting to ask Jay for money and getting me a debit card at HIS bank. LOL

Anyhow, I was walking with my friend a couple weeks ago and we were talking about blessings and how they come when we least expect them. I told her about this story and about how Mark’s kindness would be remembered for a long, long time…probably forever. I got choked up as I was telling the story and she could tell that this was something that I held close to my heart after all these years.

Last weekend Jay and I were invited to a 25th wedding anniversary celebration {stay with me here} of the sweet friend who had gotten me the interview of this best job ever. We had a mutual friend and were wine tasting in Temecula one Sunday afternoon. I had expressed to her that I was unhappy at my current job and she begged me to come and apply at her company. So I did and I am ever so grateful.

OK, getting back to the party…Jay and I walked in about an hour late due to a dumb grass fire on I-5. The vow renewal had already taken place and the guests were enjoying passed hor d’oeuvres and cocktails before dinner. The DJ directed us into the room and the first thing I saw was several smiling faces of some of my favorite colleagues from, you guessed it, THE BEST JOB EVER. After a mini hug reunion, we sat and got caught up from over the years.

All of a sudden I asked, “How’s Mark? Does anyone keep in touch with him?”

There was a silence. Art, my other former boss, said, “Mark died!”

I was in complete shock. So saddened.

50 years old and had a heart attack while surfing with his son.

I couldn’t believe it.

I shared with everyone that I was JUST talking about him a couple weeks earlier and how he would forever be remembered as one of the most compassionate bosses in my career. I reminded them about how painless he made my departure for the workplace and that he had been the force behind a little financial freedom that doesn’t always come when you stop working.

It was SO great to share in our friends’, Tom & Teri’s, celebration. It was so neat to view photos of them over the years…the places they’ve visited, the CCI puppies that they have devoted their hearts to raising.

I didn’t know who to expect on the guest list from our Decision One days, but I can tell you that it was so, so great to see the ones that were there and the way they welcomed us when I was feeling terrible that we were over an hour late!

Art, Julie, Teri and Linda ~ I loved spending the evening with you all. XOXO

Being a stay-at-home-mom is great, but working in a cubicle with amazing people all around you is pretty great too!

Mark, rest in peace and love. Your words and kind gesture will NEVER be forgotten. Thank you for reminding me that being HONEST is always the way to be.

*****

No legacy is so rich as honesty ~ William Shakespeare

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight ~ Proverbs 12:22

8 thoughts on “On Honesty”

  1. Great story!! I too share your born “guilty conscious” (hehe) and going through RCIA-what a wonderful gift! Your shared life journeys on your blog are a great example to us all.

  2. Thank you, Kelli. Passing along the same lessons to Elliott & Holden….you can never start too young, right? Hugs and have a great weekend! XOXO

  3. Thank you, Bree! I loved hearing that you’re going through RCIA and sent you a PM on FB. Easter Vigil ’13 was certainly an evening that will be in my heart forever and I wish you the same blessings that I experienced through it all. Hugs to you and have yourself a great weekend! XOXO

  4. What a great story. You can submit it to a magazine as a first person anecdote. It iw worthy of sharing.

  5. Honesty–You have planted your tree with deep roots, dear daughter! You shall never want and have abundance, even in the time of drought!
    “For ye shall be as a tree planed by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”
    Jeremiah 17:8

Leave a Reply