Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cultivating Gratitude

The past few years have been hard. The grand majority of the difficulties for our little family are directly related to finances (or lack of finances). Loss of business. Look for job. Loose job. Look for another job. Job doesn't pay enough. Car repossessed. Another car wrecked. Utilities always paid late. On and on and on. I'm not going to lie. I have whined. I have complained bitterly. It's not been fun.

There is a sunny side. There are more blessings that come in trials than at any other times. Today is a perfect example.

We have one vehicle for our large and busy family. Kermit needs it to get to work. This morning I had an early morning meeting for seminary teachers. Kermit would drop me on his way to work. My friend Carrie Folsom, who also had to be at the meeting, generously agreed to bring me home. Our home is very much out of her way. How very grateful I am for good people like Carrie Folsom. At the conclusion of our meeting my phone rings. It is the kids. The kids who have overslept and missed the bus. Not only do I not have a car, I am at least a half hour away from home. A couple of quick phone calls and I found rides for all of the kids. Lana Whitely and Lisa Leach (who I woke up. Sorry, Lisa!) agreed to help. They all made it.

The first blessing in not having a car, I got to spend a little extra time with a friend. We both have busy lives and we don't spend a lot of time together. I genuinely enjoy talking to her. Carrie is remarkable in many ways. She is gentle and compassionate and I appreciate her insights.

The second blessing of not having a car, our family had the opportunity to be served by our neighbors. I did not have the ability to cure this minor crisis. Our had the opportunity to be served by others. My children see that they are part of a community. Hopefully, they learn some compassion and gain a desire to serve others to the best of their ability.

Compassion and a desire to serve are two things that have been increased in myself. I did not lack compassion before, but my ability to empathize has broadened and deepened.  I understand at a different level. I've always had the inclination to help those around me, but now I have a greater understanding of how to go about it. I cannot quite declare as Paul did when he said he was "exceedingly joyful in our tribulation." But I think I am getting there.