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Women's History Month--Special Guest Blogger 
Seven Rubies of Wisdom

Connie Renee Clay, Esquire
 
 
My great-grandmother, Indiana Wilson Moseley, lived to be 105 years old.  She gave birth to six children and did domestic work her entire life.  I have been blessed with advantages that she never dreamed of such as easy access to health care and a good government job.  I have every intention of living as long as she did; therefore, at 49, I don’t consider myself to be quite at middle age.  Nonetheless, I’m preparing for my Act II.  I love the idea of middle age for a couple of reasons.  First, I feel great most of the time.  Secondly, I’ve learned so many lessons that I can put to use.

The seven most important things I’ve learned during my first 49 years are:

1.  Give God the best part of the day.  For me, that is early morning.  My home is quiet, and I’m full of energy.  I am in a position to learn and receive whatever God has for me.  On occasion, I have tried to move my quiet time to the evenings.  By then, I’m tired, and sometimes I forget my appointment.  The best part of the day is not necessarily the morning; it’s when ever you are the most energetic and alert. 

2.  Put yourself second.  Put God first in all your dealings.  Put yourself second.  I hear the huffing and the puffing already.  What about my husband, what about my children?  If you put getting little Johnny to soccer practice ahead of your mammogram, and you meet your maker early, have you really done little Johnny any good?  If you continue to bake for the church socials, knowing that your doctor has repeatedly warned you that your blood sugar is out of control, are you helping your church as you make your way towards diabetes?  My point is that you will be of no use to God, your family, or your church if you are sick and worn out.  Put yourself second.  Get your rest.  Make time for wellness appointments which include testing, doctors and massages.

3.  Save money.  Most employers offer a 401K or 403B retirement plan, and many employers match employees’ contributions up to a certain percentage.  Several years ago, when I was really struggling financially, I set aside $25.00 a pay period through a 403B plan.  Although I was in bad shape financially, I didn’t miss the $25.00 a pay period.  My contribution was pre-tax.  Now, that little account has over $3,000 in it and is growing tax free.

 

Short term savings are important too.  Call it an emergency fund, a life happens fund or whatever.  You will need brakes.  You will need tires.  You will have a huge co-pay for a medical procedure.  Be prepared.  Set up an online account and have $50.00 or so from every paycheck go directly to the online account.  Keep the debit card for this account at home so that you’re not tempted to use it for every day expenses.  When life happens, you have money set aside and you won’t need to borrow from a relative or put the expense on a credit card. 

 

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Connie Clay is the editor and publisher of Blessed Reader, an online magazine. By day, she is an attorney employed with a government agency.  Connie published a Christian lifestyle magazine, Alberta Katherine, for two years and she hopes to use Blessed Reader to help Christian women live the extraordinary lives that God expects. 

Connie is the mother of two beautiful young ladies and a graduate of Howard University and University of Virginia Law School.  She is available for speaking engagements.  For information,
click here.