The Virus of Abundance

The long months of COVID-19 are weighing heavily on our hearts, minds, and spirit. But perhaps, on reflection, we can discover that we caught the virus of abundance.

Life is good

“There is a lie that acts like a virus within the mind of humanity. And that lie is ‘There’s not enough good to go around. There’s lack and there’s limitation and there’s just not enough.’” 

This quote is from Michael Bernard Beckwith, founder of a spiritual center in—of all places—Beverly Hills, Calif. Agape is not your traditional church in any sense of the imagination, but at its core are ministry programs to feed the homeless, serve the imprisoned, advocate for the planet, and care for children that are victims of war and AIDS. Michael and his followers put no limits on the good they do, even during Covid.

Most of us have been dealing with an Orwellian life for over a year. The Year of Denial! Don’t go to the store, don’t go out to eat, don’t go to school, don’t board an airplane, don’t get married or die because no one will show up to celebrate your marriage or your life. We feel deprived because we are deprived. But no one can take away our abundance if we don’t let them take it.

We all have a choice between an Abundance Mentality or a Scarcity Mentality. If lockdowns have left us feeling as though we aren’t living a full life, we can choose to feel overcome with negativity, or we can choose to celebrate the gift of time with family, less time at the mall, home delivery, less gasoline consumption, or freedom from the dreaded commute.

We can choose to live with an abundance mindset and find a “revised world” still full of possibilities. This decision toward positivity leads to opportunity, and when you believe that there’s enough opportunity for success to go around, you’ll catch the virus of abundance.

As money-wise Suze Orman once said, 

“Abundance is about being rich, with or without money.”

If you are a current client who would like to review your investment portfolio to better understand how we are being good stewards with your money in 2021, or if you are interested in working with a principled investor such as us, please call our office today (614) 800-7985.

Advent Season, Advent Wreath

When it comes to preparation for the Covid Christmas of 2020, we can go nuts on decorating the inside and outside of our house, spend hours shopping online, gain a few pounds baking cookies and cakes, and feel really sorry for ourselves that we won’t be wearing that ugly Christmas sweater to all the usual festivities.

Or, we can put the craziness on pause and prepare ourselves and our families for the annual remembrance of the coming of Jesus Christ through our own acts of charity, personal reflection, honest conversation…and an Advent wreath.

The time between November 29 and Christmas Eve is Advent Season—four weeks of spiritual preparation for the coming of a child that changed the world. For many Christians, it’s a devotional time spent lighting candles on an Advent Wreath prior to the evening meal, a Bible reading, and a small prayer prior to the blessing of the food. Others may use an Advent Calendar to encourage children to count down the days through pictures and items that represent each day of December leading up to Christmas. 

The candles on the Advent Wreath invite us to pause in silence to understand the real reason for the season: preparation for Christ’s coming.

Only if people change will the world change; and in order to change, people need the light that comes from God, the light which so unexpectedly entered into our night on that first Christmas.

—Pope Benedict XVI. Homily at Mass for the Nativity of the Lord, 25 Dec 2008

Meanings of the Advent Wreath

The wreath is a circle signifying continuous life: no beginning, no end; an eternal God; immortality of the soul; and everlasting life through Christ.

The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. One candle is lit each Sunday until all four burn brightly. Three candles are purple, one is pink.

The Prophecy Candle
The first purple candle symbolizes hope in remembrance of the prophet Isaiah who foretold the birth of Christ. 

The Bethlehem Candle
The second purple candle reminds us of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and symbolizes trust in God’s promise.

The Shepherd’s Candle
The third candle is pink. It symbolizes joy that the world experienced with the birth of Jesus.

The Angel’s Candle
The third purple candle marks the final week of prayer and penance as we await the birth of our Savior, much like the shepherds in the field near Bethlehem.

Christ Candle
It’s become a popular tradition to place a white candle in the middle of the wreath to represent purity of sinlessness as seen in the life of Christ. It’s lit on Christmas Eve at evening prayer, and again at morning prayer on Christmas day. What a wonderful way to prepare our mind and heart for the promise of Christmas!

Blessings to you and your family from all of us at the Stewardship Foundation.

Let’s Talk Turkey

We hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. It’s always a special holiday. Rooted in connection, harmony, and unity during adversity. And isn’t this all what we’re going through in 2020? After a difficult first year, the remaining Plymouth colonists in 1621 were just glad to be alive. 

There are many stories of that first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621. The European colonists and the Indigenous Wampanoag tribe gathered in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to share a meal and thank God for a bountiful season of good crops. But historians argue that the first Thanksgiving actually occurred 60 years earlier!

Near the Matanzas River in St. Augustine, Florida, Spanish soldiers, sailors and settlers broke bread with the indigenous Timucuans following a Mass of Thanksgiving in June of 1564.

Had it not become the American tradition to celebrate the Plymouth meal, we’d be gathering with friends and family for Thanksgiving in the Summer. There’d be no Black Friday (which was pretty much true this year anyway) and Americans would lack that all-important calendar reminder to start the mad rush toward Christmas with all its gift buying, decorating, cookie making, elf pleasing, card sending, trip planning, do-gooding, and merry making!

We like the autumn Thanksgiving because it’s a reminder for our clients to schedule a year-end review. Celebrating holidays, and having regular financial reviews with your advisor, are both important for our mental and physical well-being. So do both.

Have you had your financial plan review this year? If not, give us a call now before the year runs out. Call (614) 800-7985 or email us.