My hubby is an Arborist. What a fancy word! Basically it means he is a tree nerd. He manages accounts for a great commercial tree care company, and knows everything there is to know about trees. It’s pretty cool- but that is not the point. HE GETS BONUSES! We are talkin’ CA$H-MONEY! Depending on his portfolio, and how each individual job turns out, with the “man-hours” calculated and, blah blah blah…he gets extra money. What a dream! All I know is that sometimes on pay-day I scroll right on through my lovely bank app on my phone and BAM I see mo money, mo money! It always makes me smile! Not because money brings me joy or happiness, but, because let’s be honest, a little more cash in the bank makes one rest their shoulders down a bit and breathe a little easier for the moment (and of course because I want to high-five that hard-workin’, sexy, tree huggin’ boyfriend of mine!).
So, this got me thinking today. Bonuses are good. They are helpful. They get you through a little bit further. Or…they can allow you to be generous and bless others. (Yay, for a husband with a generous heart, who literally just gave away 80% of his bonus to his 5 foreman this month, just because he wanted to bless them! I would have liked to bless a new granite counter in my kitchen or bought a new laptop or….I digress!). Then, I was reminded of a recent conversation I was having with that same generous husband of mine, on our weekly date night. (Yes, we go every week. Yes we are lucky. Yes, I highly recommend it!) We dove into a great analogy of relationships being compared to bank accounts. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, and I don’t know who originated this metaphor, so I can not give appropriate shout outs to said person. So let’s just say for argument’s sake, that I came up with this brilliant idea and call it good.
Relationships are made up of deposits. When you invest into someone, you are making deposits into who they are. Building them up, giving them more value, establishing worth. This creates relational equity. Over time these deposits give a rich foundation for security and perhaps even comfort. Simply put, just the means to get through life. Sure enough, just like a bank account, withdrawals are inevitable. They come every single day, some big, some small. Some withdrawals are needed and even healthy. Effort given, mental energy, time spent, tending to someone’s needs. But most feel negative. Hurtful words, insensitivity, miscommunication, insecurity. Then every once in a while, a HUGE, unexpected one rears its ugly head. Betrayal, anger, malice, loss, transition, heartache. These deplete the entire account, spiraling it into the ugly world of deficit where panic, angst, fear, mistrust and overdraft charges occur. This is where my little stolen analogy gets good… If you haven’t made enough deposits over time to cover the withdrawals then you will constantly be in deficit and very quickly end up with a closed account. Relationships, just like bank accounts, can not function in the negative. Sure, you may be able to get away with it a few times. You may even bounce back with some extra effort and hard work. But, ultimately this repetitive cycle will come to an end. It can not sustain. No bank (or person) with any integrity or common sense will allow you to just continue without the proper funding. Makes sense right?
Back to my husbands bonus. I LOVE when one shows up. It is over the top. More than what was needed and/or expected. So this is the icing on the cake. Bonuses are awesome, especially in relationships! The every day effort of constant deposits and withdrawals are what makes life just keep on keepin’ on. But the BONUS!?!? That is where mercy and grace and goodness and extravagant love can flow. So go beyond in your relationships this week. Give those you love a much-needed relational bonus! Send a card to a friend… in the actual mail! Love your husband in an unexpected way that will bless him abundantly. Go the extra mile for your kiddos today. Give YOURSELF some freedom, space, something that is life-giving for YOU. And, how about our sweet Jesus. When is the last time you extravagantly loved HIM? Actually spent some genuine, unseen, beautiful quality time with the Giver of Life? That bonus pays unequivocal dividends! Proverbs 3:27 reads, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them”. I’ll tell ya this – I’m gonna get out there and be a BONUS-GIVER today! Who’s with me!?!?
Heather Sanford is freaking phenomenal! ….because she was hand-made by THE Creator! She is not shy. She is confident, beautiful, funny and likes herself and her journey a whole lot (in the most humble way possible of course).
Heather is outgoing, witty, sassy, wise and generous. She once was fired from a Christian School for being too “raw, authentic, and vulnerable”!! Gotta love that. Heather has been on the Young Life Staff for over 15 years, entering into the crazy third world country of “teenager” to meet and love kids on their turf.
She has a heart for the lost, a passion to bring freedom to those who are bound (especially in religiosity), and a zeal for living life to the fullest! She is a wife to Joshua, Mom to Bayli and Obadiah (Obi), friend to many, mentor to the lucky ones, child of the King!
You can often find her singing karaoke, laughing with friends over a good glass of wine, traveling the world, living on the edge, pushing the envelope and inadvertently offending many….but always at the center of the grace and goodness of Jesus. Learning to love Him most while loving others!
Heather Sanford is a real breath of fresh air in pursuit of living her best life now! And I should know….since as awkward as writing your own bio is…I’m Heather Sanford and I approve this message! Much love – Peace Out!