Soaring on Eagle’s Wings

Are you wondering:  What next step to take?  How are you going to get there? Wondering if you have what it takes to soar on eagle’s wings?  I know I sure did!

If so, please read on…soaring eagle with words

This page is in loving memory of Frederick Russell “Fred” Burnett Sr., aka “Grandpa Fred” – who taught me that life is about more than making money to make ends meet.

It’s also not about climbing the tallest corporate ladder. It’s about helping others, being honorable, being kind and staying the course…in life.

“In the confrontation between the river and the rock, the river always wins…not through strength, but through persistence.”

So…here’s my story:

I am a lot like you – I longed to be the master of my money and to realize my deepest dreams in life.

However, the first 35 years of my life were spent bouncing from one financial catastrophe to another.

As a military child and all the way through high school, money was always tight.  I couldn’t wait to grow up,Rolling pennies for gas move out and THEN things would be different – and better.  Right?

Unfortunately, it actually got worse after I got married and became the mom to 2 beautiful little girls.  One job after another as the recessions hit, rolling pennies for gas and always wondering if – month after agonizing month – would we be able to make it – or not?

There just never seemed to be enough money – – and I did not know how to make it better


Every time I thought we were finally going to get ahead, something would happen and we’d get kicked back to the ground again.  I just wanted to dig a hole, put my head in it – and hide from my problems. 

Can you relate?

As a mom, this was tearing me apart every single day – and I craved to be a role model my babies could look up to and to provide a home environment they would be proud to share with their friends.

As I looked into their trusting little blue eyes, my heart ached to end this maze of financial insanity.  My little girls deserved greater emotional and financial security so they could grow strong, spread their own wings, fly and make their own beautiful difference in the world.

Then, one fateful week in May of 1993, I discovered the answer and it changed my life forever. That week, my husband and I both lost our jobs. That’s right.  My husband got laid off on Wednesday and my plant announced it was closing just 2 days later.

All I could do was gasp.

I started looking for a place to hide…but there was none to be found.

Instead, I held my head high, asked for help and went to college – at 30 years old.  Boy was I scared – but it did not take me long to realize I COULD DO THIS.  Yes, I had to study a lot, juggle school, work and my family – but I did it – one step, one hour and one day at a time.

And you know what else

God blessed me with help and encouragement in both little and big ways – just when I needed it the most – to take that next step in the journey to success.

That’s right, it’s the unexpected little things…

Little things like doing homework at the table with my kids – while we grew a little closer every day as they loved on me for taking this step to better our life.  My husband doing what he needed to do for us to have a roof over our head and food to eat.  Little things add up…

Then – sometimes, help arrives that just blows you away…

I’m going to share a great big God-thing that still makes me cry with joy.  It’s about Grandpa Fred.

One quarter, there was a specific class I wanted to take – it was called Money and Banking.  However, it was only offered at 7am and I needed to get our girls off to school.  I was devastated as this class was only offered once a year.

Enter Grandpa Fred R. Burnett.

Fred was actually not related to me by blood, but he was an amazing retired bank vice-president who lived right next door to us – and he was one of my staunchest and toughest academic cheerleaders.

He and his wife Virginia really wanted me to take this class too.  So, they offered to watch our girls at 6:30 each morning, feed them breakfast and get them to the bus…for the entire 13 weeks.

I was nervous how this would work out – but, after much discussion, I reluctantly agreed. cereal-898073_1920

The first day of class, I gathered the girls, knocked on Fred and Virginia’s door at 6:25am and was greeted by a beaming, dapper, silver-haired man with a neat tea-towel folded over his arm.  He opened the door and ushered us into the kitchen, which smelled so amazing that my stomach literally rumbled.

There on the perfectly-set table was orange and apple juice, fresh, warm apple fritters (Fred had just returned from the bakery) and four boxes of primo cereal that any kid would love.  The girls were just beside themselves with excitement –and so were Fred and Virginia.

I was ushered out the door so I would not be late for class – and urged to study well and learn a lot – with smiling promises that the girls would be just fine.  I was stunned, but off I went to my money class.

I got home that night and all I heard was how much fun it was to have breakfast at “Grandpa and Grandma’s” house and how nice it was to sit in the back of their warm Lincoln Town Car with a blanket on their lap until the bus came.  Fred even walked them across the street to the bus door.

Needless to say, the next morning, the girls were hurrying me out the door so they could get to breakfast…God does work in mighty and unexpected ways.  Oh yeah, I got the highest score in the class that term.

And it all started with that first step…and asking for the help I needed to make life better.

Yes, those trying years forever molded me and still guide me well today…but I NO longer have to live there.  Why? I took that brave first step and refused to remain a prisoner of my circumstances.

The same is true for you! 

Here are a couple of simple truths I learned from Grandpa Fred along the way:
1) Action: Success is yours for the taking, but it won’t happen unless YOU take the first step.
2) Persistence: Getting better with your money starts with everyday little things, done daily, and grows over time.

“In the confrontation between the river and the rock, the river always wins…not through strength, but through persistence.”

BUT…be careful though!

If you get frustrated, stuck and start to focus on your money situation as it is right now, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking “I am not good enough” or “I’ll never be able to understand how to make simple changes to take charge of my money AND my life”.

Resist that urge to dig a hole, hide your head and stay in the deathtrap of financial insanity. The answers and the time to take that first step to money wellness are right here at your fingertips – and you can start today.

Now the rest of the story…Deb Honors Convocation

In the spring of 1997, as I presented the Honors Convocation speech before our graduation ceremony, I looked over the crowd to see Grandpa Fred and Grandma Virginia beaming at me – a beacon of love and pride – along with my husband, children, my father and friends. To this day, I am still not sure who was more happy that day…me or Grandpa Fred.

With his love, guidance and yes, even prodding as needed, I had grown strong and was ready to soar into the world with the wings of an eagle.  Thank you Grandpa Fred for taking me under your strong, wise and unwavering wing and showing me that I too could fly.

Thank you for believing in me…more than I believed in myself at the time.  I pray that I am faithfully continuing your legacy of love – to bless and guide others the way you did for me, so many years ago.  When I look up to Heaven, I imagine you looking down at me, with that same beaming smile…

Smiling from Heaven…as I freely soar like an eagle.Dollars and Good Sense Seminar

“In the confrontation between the river and the rock, the river always wins…not through strength, but through persistence.”

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