Friday, April 8, 2011

Grace and Giveaways

Tuesday morning, I sat at my desk and attended to a massive email inbox chocked full of fun things to do before Friday.  Yes, work is BUSY!  I stopped for a moment and logged into my online banking account.  Looking back, I have no idea why I did this.  I wasn’t looking for a transaction to clear.  I wasn’t trying to balance my check book.  I just logged in, glanced at the balance, and logged out.  Probably a few seconds after logging out I let out a HUGE GASP!  Why?  Well something pretty big had just hit me.  It was now the 5th of the month and I HAD NOT PAID MY RENT!!!!! LOL….

O!M!G!  LOL….  It’s funny now, but it wasn’t so funny then.  You see my rent is due by the 3rd of each month.  The funds had been sitting in my account for almost 2 weeks just waiting to go down in history as the ones who paid for the birthday month’s rent!  The management company that owns our complex recently released this snazzy new online resident portal where residents of their many properties can pay rent and submit maintenance requests.  Early on, the property  manager warned me that the pay online rent option is locked after the 3rd of each month (so that people can’t pay online after the “you snooze you lose” due date).  With this in mind, I was waiting until the 1st of the month to pay my rent.  Of course you know that by the 1st the birthday train had definitely left the station, and rent was nowhere on my radar.  Since I’d been paid so long ago, my mind thought I’d already paid my rent.  Turns out my mind was pretty darn WRONG!

I quickly paid my rent online (not even remembering that I shouldn’t be able to do so), and I received a confirmation email immediately!  WHEW!!!  Yeah, not yet.  This story gets SO much better.

As I was working from home the next day, I hear the sound of paper being thrust through my door.  I just shook my head, because I knew that this time it wasn’t the local Chinese restaurant distributing its latest menu.  Nope!  This was from the leasing office.  Folks, it was a “Delinquent Notice”.  Now in the UMPTEEN years I have been paying rent I have NEVER seen the likes of a “delinquent notice”.  Ever….  I realize things happen, and they’ve certainly happened to me over the years, but God’s enormous blanket of grace always covered me.  Well, God and His enormous grace were at it again this morning.

I called the leasing office and told the truth.  I FORGOT, y’all!!  I simply forgot!!  I can show you proof that the funds have been ready and waiting to pay my rent, but I just forgot!!!  Not only did they provide me with a “one time” waiver of the late charge which, by the way, is ONE HUNDRED  George Washingtons (GRACE), but the course of my conversation with the leasing agent revealed some additional information.  Remember how I mentioned that I wasn’t supposed to be able to pay my rent online beyond the 3rd of the month.  It just happens that the person who was supposed to lock down that function in the system forgot to do so – 2 days later.  MORE GRACE

This post was originally supposed to be just about announcing the winner of the giveaway, but today you get GRACE as an extra bonus.  Isn’t that what grace is?  Favor, unmerited favor that you weren’t looking for and, truth be told, simply don’t deserve.  I had already made up in my mind that if I had to pay the late fee, so be it.  It was my fault.  My carelessness….  Birthdays and bills just cannot coexist, you know!

Click here for Merriam Webster’s definition of the word grace. Definitions 1 and 2 are my favorites!  Enjoy!

Now for the giveaway…

I’m so excited to be able to do this small something for one of my special readers.  Only a handful of you left comments for a chance to win this meager little gift card.  As much as I enjoyed reading each and every comment, Ms. Margaret Hall had a birthday memory that was truly unique.  If you get a chance, click here to check out her comment on my Birthdays and Giveaways post.  I’m sure once you read it you will understand why I chose Ms. Hall as the winner of a shiny new $15 gift card to her local Target store!  Margaret, I hope you can find something fun for those few little bucks.

So that’s all for today.  Grace and giveaways….  It’s been a pretty good day!

The A to Z Blog Challenge rolls on, and I’m really loving every minute of it (even though I have NO IDEA what “H” will be, lol).  Until tomorrow…

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,