Welcome to Day 2 of our 30 day celebration of the 5th Anniversary of
Giving Thanks: The Art of Tithing, by Paula Langguth Ryan
– where we’re answering 30 questions about tithing!

Dear Paula:

I’m into my third year of unemployment and don’t know where to turn. [Ed. Note: Kurt shares the story of what led up to his unemployment, which we deleted for brevity but is mentioned in Paula’s answer…] I’ve run out of savings, unemployment and am now going into debt. I used to live a simple life filled with joy and happiness. I loved tithing and sharing with others whatever the occasion. I love and still love God as my source, but I can’t get my mind around what happened to me and why it continues. I simply cannot go on much longer in my present financial state. I just turned 56 and it feels like I’ve lost everything. I blame no one. I continue to forgive this situation… I’ve been “A Course in Miracles” student for about 5 years now and it’s been truly wonderful. But it almost seems that once I started to get serious about the Course work my life began to fall apart; does that make sense?

Paula, I admire your work so much and enjoyed your “Art of Tithing”. I’ve been tithing my income for almost 20 years, ever since I found Unity. No matter where I’ve lived or worked I’ve always managed to discover a Unity church in the area.

Any thoughts? I’m currently applying for anything creative. This all seems so surreal and frankly not fun at all. Can you help me understand what’s happening? I just have to find a way through this… Thank you for your valuable time and your great work. God Bless!

Kurt L., Texas

Dear Kurt,

Thank you for your heartfelt letter. You are not alone and you did know where to turn. You turned to Spirit and asked God for guidance and wrote to me, which was pretty awesome. You said something profound in your letter. “I can’t get my mind around what happened to me and why it continues.” My first suggestion is to STOP TRYING TO UNDERSTAND what has happened or why it continues. Let go of what happened. It’s in the past. The only thing that matters right now is the present.

Beating yourself up for not working, or not keeping up with your creative computer skills, or not getting the training earlier, and not being able to find work and so on….does not serve you. Starting today, focus all your attention on what it is you want to create.

You have a brand new slate. What are you going to draw on it? If you want to continue in fashion design, and you know computer skills are important, then power up your computer and start finding free tutorials on line and bone up on your skills. Start volunteering to draw fashion items using those computer programs. Put the skills to use, hone them, sharpen them the way we sharpen our prayer skills.

Tithe of your time to places that can use your skills. Tithe of your talents, sharing with others what you’ve learned, perhaps at a school where students might be interested in doing the kinds of work you do but don’t have the resources to learn. And continue to tithe on what you receive financially as well.

Where you’re guided, submit your resume. In each new cover letter, talk about the new things you’ve been doing with your skills since you were unemployed. This is a time for you to get “home-schooled.” Refuse to see any circumstance outside of you as anything that is denying you the abundance that is your birthright. Boldly move forward and KNOW that as you do so the right and perfect job is being easily and effortlessly drawn to you. Sports negotiator Leigh Steinberg tells a wonderful story of how Troy Aikman became the Dallas Cowboy quarterback. He began acting as if he had the job – getting fully immersed in the community – well before he ever had a contract. Until the day comes when you are to begin your new job, keep moving forward as if the job is already yours, by using your skills. There’s always a divine plan, even when we can’t see it. For some reason, yours was to move back to Texas to be with family at this time. What it’s for will be revealed in time. Keep the faith!

Peace and prosperity,

Paula