Miracle #27 - God’s Peace And Joy Are Mine
I recently completed a two week road trip with my mom to take my daughter to college in Silver City, New Mexico from Virginia.
It was one of the longest road trips I have taken and my first time visiting the southwestern part of the United States. The trip was both an exciting vacation and fun family bonding time, but it also turned out to be full of miracles!
I had begun a 7-week True Prosperity class with the Teachers of God Foundation beforehand and I continued to work the program as I traveled.
In Module I we covered "Seek Ye First the Kingdom of Heaven" - knowing that everything is already provided.
I practiced "not complaining and not explaining".
Then, I had the idea to cash in my credit card points to get prepaid Visa gift cards for our trip. My mom offered to drive and supplied her van, arriving prior to our departure so that we could load all my daughter's belongings.
I received $500 worth of gift cards in the mail which covered all of our gas for the duration of the 4000 mile journey!
In Module 2 we covered "Trust" - truly knowing that when we turn our attention to God instead of our problems, the universe will support us.
I practiced "breathing in willingness and breathing out trust".
Then, I had the idea to take my husband's giant can of pocket change to the Coinstar to get Starbucks gift cards. He had accumulated $130 worth of coins, so I got a $10 gift card for my son who was holding down the fort at home, a $20 gift card for my other daughter for her drive back to college in Alabama, and a $100 gift card for me and my mom to use on our trip!
In Module 3 we covered "Self-Discovery" and answered questions about our grievances to uncover blockages.
While engaging in this practice, I became aware that I really have only one major complaint in life - and it is my mom! I realized that this trip was a huge "forgiveness opportunity" to see how I choose conflict with my mom repeatedly and with complete unawareness.
At this stage of our trip, I had dropped off daughter #1 and was making plans to visit daughter #2.
I had found affordable lodging near her, but I was too busy with school tours and orientation to book the place. I felt momentarily disappointed with myself when I found it was no longer available, but I remembered to trust that something better would come along.
Sure enough, I easily located another nice place to stay for even less - and it was in the same complex where my daughter lived!
In Module 4 we began work to undo the grievances that we had identified the week before. For each item on our list we had to "own it, make a decision (to be happy instead of right), and let it go".
As I made notes in my journal, two things came to light:
- I have a knee-jerk response to correct my mom when she says things that I think are wrong (not maliciously, but just out of habit)
- I still have a deep-seated need for her approval, and automatically modify my behavior so as not to have to listen to her complaints
These were both surprises to me, and had been heretofore completely hidden from my consciousness.
I thought about the unconditional love that A Course in Miracles describes, and I realized that my love for my mom was conditional - when she was pleasant I enjoyed her company and when she was unpleasant I did not want to be around her.
Unconditional love is consistent and does not depend upon circumstances.
I realized that I needed to take a step back from our special relationship and not take every comment that came out of my mom's mouth so seriously.
If a stranger said or did the things she did, I would just let it pass, but when she exhibited "unacceptable" behavior, I took the bait before I knew what hit me!
I practiced pausing before speaking, and reviewing my thoughts before words came out of my mouth. I remembered to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.
When we got to Alabama, my daughter gave me $700 in cash that her boyfriend owed me and had saved up over the summer. That covered the cost of our lodging for the week!
Then she introduced me to a classmate who had numerous scholarships - more than she could use for tuition, room and board. The classmate could only use her extra scholarship money at the school bookstore and she had already purchased all of her books.
She offered to buy my daughter's textbooks at full price with her scholarship account, if we would pay her a discounted rate for them in cash. We ended up with $600 worth of new textbooks that only cost $260.
It was a win-win situation for all of us!
Best of all, the last day of driving home with my mom was a delight. We chatted about things social and spiritual, and she was as relaxed and happy as I have ever seen her.
She thanked me numerous time for taking her on this trip - which she would not have been able to afford otherwise - and I returned home knowing that truly giving and receiving are the same.
Thank You, Holy Spirit
A major learning goal this course has set is to reverse your view of giving, so you can receive. - ACIM Lesson 105