This year I've been listening a lot to our local Catholic radio station. Every day at 3 PM and 3 AM, they pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, which ends with the following prayer:
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.
It is a great reminder that God's will is not meant to hurt me, but to shape me and mold me, as the song that I quoted at the beginning also attests. I also like how the Chaplet and the Rosary both begin with the Apostles' Creed, which begins "I believe in God the Father Almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth..." Sometimes it is easy to say that in a rote fashion, but when I stop to think about it, I am saying that I believe in a God who made EVERYTHING. Is anything too difficult for Him? If He can create Heaven and Earth from nothing, my problems aren't going to be too tough for Him to solve.
I guess I'll end this post with some gratitudes to reframe my perspective.
1. I'm grateful that my husband is willing to spend his days driving around in his pickup to get scrap. It's a dirty, tiring, thankless job and sometimes requires dumpster diving. Yet today he made almost $100 with scrap that he picked up yesterday and today (and since it is paid at a few cents per pound, you can imagine how much scrap that was that he found!)
2. I'm grateful that Allen is also willing to do just about any odd job that will bring in money for the family. Whether it is driving around to pick up furniture to resell to antique stores, donating his plasma, helping people move, doing yard work or maintenance, or baling and bucking hay, he will go the distance and get sweaty, dirty, and tired out to help make ends meet. And all this he does without complaint: he's got a great work ethic.
3. I'm grateful that we have family members who are pitching in to help us get through the tough times. Whether it is putting money towards Ruby's upcoming childcare expenses (preschool this year!) or offering to babysit the kids for free or for very delayed and far-below-par pay, we would be sunk without family.
4. I'm grateful that God has provided in tangible ways even today. Allen had an uncommonly good day with finding scrap and then found two temporary job leads, one of which started immediately (as in right now!)
5. I'm grateful for the witness of those saints who have gone before, whether in past weeks or past centuries, and have trusted God in far more trying and frightening circumstances.
6. I'm grateful for technology that bears witness to God's love for us. I can listen to uplifting prayer, teaching, and song on the radio 24/7 for free!