It has become my practice over time to keep my eyes open for pennies and other loose change.
Last year I began depositing all of my finds into my joy jar ... along with feathers, joy notes and other treasures that bless me throughout the year ... so that I could add it up in December and see the sum total of "found" money for the year.
The total was $34.20. Not too bad ... when you are penny-nickel-dime-ing it ...
with a quarter here and there for good measure.
Truth is, the most common find is a penny. Followed by a quarter. Because, you know, quarters are now necessary to obtain air for your tires. Air used to be free. Now it costs a quarter or so
for a few hits.
Much like the concept of bottled water ... but I digress.
During a period of a couple of weeks, I found a preponderance of dimes. It seemed that no matter where I visited ... I would stumble across a dime. Sometimes it was multiple dimes in one day.
The thing with the dimes become so obvious ... that I made comments about it to those
closest to me.
Then it became a funny thing ... a game of sorts ... to tally up the number of dimes I would find each day. All in all ... the total was over 20 dimes in something like a ten day period.
This happened in the spring of 2015. I have told this story dozens of times since then ... but have never taken the time to write it down.
During that same time, some friends of mine began asking me to get together ... to catch up.
I was busy. Driving all of the time. I kept putting them off.
Their requests became more direct. Urgent. You see, they had something exciting and new to share with me.
*sigh* Exciting and new, indeed.
"I would love to see you. It has been a while. But ... I am probably not interested in anything ... exciting and new ... right now." That was my response. My friend said, "This is something that I have been working on for some time now. I want you to know about it."
Finally the very direct call came saying, "Where are you today? Want to meet for a glass of wine?"
I was nearby so I figured what the heck. These were friends that I really enjoy ... and if I said yes than we could just get the whole pitch over with once and for all.
So I went through my day ... and sure enough ... I found a couple of dimes along the way.
You have to understand that not only had I been telling those close to me that there must be something significant about the dimes ... but I had also been running it all by my best friend,
God - Creator of the Universe.
I would say things like "What's up with all these dimes, God?" Or "Find a penny. Pick it up. All day long you'll have good luck. But ... Find a dime. Pick it up. Then what?"
Of course, God only answers when He feels like it. You know, when He's good and ready.
I don't believe in coincidences ... so I just kept picking up the dimes ... and impatiently waiting patiently for the mystery to be revealed to me.
Arrived at the happy hour place to find my friends with another gentleman. There was that sinking feeling that somehow I was being set-up. You know how those things go ... bring along a 3rd party testimonial type.
Introductions were made. Polite conversation followed. Then one of my friends turned to me and said something like ... we're-involved-in-something-new-and-we-want-to-share-it-with-our-friends ... you know, the ole we-wouldn't-want-you-to-come-to-us-later-and-ask-why-we-didn't-call you approach.
I smiled and said, "Thanks. But no thanks. I am probably not interested.
My plate is very full right now."
Then I turned to the gentleman ... waiting for the double-teaming to begin. Turns out, he was there to hear about this opportunity ... just like me. And he was a little more interested than I.
My friend assured me that this was not another "one of those things" and that he would not be wasting my time with such as that. He said, "Didn't I tell you this was something
I was working on?!?"
So he told his story. How there were 10 men ... he was one of them ... who took one man's idea and framed it out ... and were now ready to launch a new business ... a mobile app that offers discounts on things you are already buying.
He whipped out his phone and opened up a demo app to show me how it would work. As he walked me through the app he explained that it was designed to support small business owners everywhere ... to attract new customers and build retention with existing ones.
"If I told you that all of those small businesses that you coach and consult with could have free advertising on our new app, what would you say?" he boldly asked.
Duh. That was a no-brainer. Immediately my curiosity was piqued. He went on to explain how the new company, Save10, was structured:
Businesses get free advertising by offering a 10% or better discount to Save10 customers.
Customers pay $10 per month to take unlimited advantage of the discounts and offers
on the Save10 app.
Associates who are customers that love the savings are recruited and paid a 10% commission
for sharing the app with others.
Smart and simple.
When he was done, I said "Sign me up!" I wanted to be able to offer the free advertising to my small business friends ... and to be supportive of this friend and his friends.
"But I haven't told you how much it costs to be an Associate?" he countered. "It's $24."
"Sure. I can handle $24 a month to make this available to my small business colleagues," I said.
He laughed. "No, MaryJane. The annual fee to be a distributor is $24 ... that's per year ... and there are no products or anything you have to buy. Just put the app on your phone ... and start saving money on things you are already buying. You will save your $10 back each month simply by using your app at the places you already go ... doing the things you already do."
So we left where we were happy houring ... and headed over to an organizational meeting nearby.
The app was due to go live in a month or so. This was really a ground-floor opportunity ... to get involved in something new and exciting ... that some friends of mine had developed ... something that was so brilliant that I found myself wishing I had thought of it on my own.
After the meeting, I walked to my car. My mind was racing ... full of ideas and information ... embracing this opportunity ... that was so unexpected.
It was dark out. My car was parked under a pole light. I leaned in to unlock the door ...
and there on the ground ... was a dime.
I shook my head ... and laughed out loud.
It was a bit of a drive home because I live in a satellite community to the larger city. I turned off the radio so that I could hear the noise and chatter in my own head.
"Okay, God. So what's up with this whole dime thing?" I asked boldly ... again ...
for the several hundreth time.
This time a whisper came. "What do you do with those dimes, MJ?"
"I pick them up. Just like the find-a-penny-pick-it-up rhyme goes. So find a dime ... pick it up ... what?!?"
Again came the whisper. "What do you DO with those dimes, MJ?"
Ahh ... He was probing a little deeper.
"Well, I put them in my joy jar ... and ... save them until ..."
And again ... for the third time ... came the whisper. "So what exactly are you doing with those dimes, MaryJane?"
And as always ... when the punchline came ... I was awed and amazed ...
at how God works in my life.
"I am saving them ... the dimes .... ohhhhhh ... I get it. I am saving ... 10!"
God set me up ... way in advance ... so that when the opportunity came ... there would be no doubt. And to underscore the point ... God spoke it to me three times ... just like Peter. (Feed my sheep.)
When God says something three times, it's important.
Finding the dimes ... picking them up ... shifting my focus ... changing my direction ...
as I go about my business of touching lives ... and making a difference.