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Archive for September 26th, 2013

ca8b8761a65cf7485827a2b0c79e036bThe book “Something from Nothing,” by Phoebe Gilman is a delightful tale of the childhood of a boy named Joesph, and his grandfather. Joseph’s grandfather makes him a blanket, and from that a jacket, then a vest, a tie, then a handkerchief, and finally all that is left is a button. At the same time, a parallel story is enfolding under the floorboards, where the mice family live, and they too make use of each and every scrap that falls (literally) into their … hands.

Not long ago, this book came to my mind as I was repeating over and over (as I have done since a young child when I was first read “The Little Train that Could”) I think I can, I think I can.

The idea of making something from nothing became very clear in my head as I was driving to the grocery store. The budget was tight … really tight, and the amount I had to spend on groceries was almost half of what I had originally planned to spend.

I think I can, I think I can …

Although I left the house with the confidence that I could make something from nothing, my knees were knocking as I entered the grocery store, and my doubts were rising, that I could pull this off.

I think I can, I think I can …

As is often the case when I am out shopping, I whispered a familiar prayer as I was choosing my cart, “God, surprise me with what might be on sale that we might need this week.” Many times I have prayed that prayer, and wanted to giggle out loud at a sale on turkey, or a bottle of shampoo on clearance. Imagine the looks I would get, standing among the turkeys, hands and head lifted up and giggling like a fool!

I think I can, I think I can …

And through the aisles, the coolers, I went, pushing my cart, and pushing through my thoughts of how make something from nothing.

I think I can, I think I can …

At the cash, my goods were rung in, and placed back into a cart. The total … twenty dollars less than I had to spend …

I smiled broadly, paid my bill, and pushed my cart back through the parking lot to load my vehicle with all that was needed for our family.

As I started the car, the following song was playing on the radio, and the words that kept echoing in my head were:

“Whatever tomorrow brings,
Together we’ll rise and sing
That we won’t be shaken,
No, we won’t be shaken.”

And this song, and it’s message, brought me back to the story of Joseph in Something from Nothing. Both Joseph’s family, and that of the mice, were ones of struggle to have life, but …

they worked hard,
they loved their families extravagantly
they gave thanks for what they had

In our lives, it is so easy to drop our heads in despair when things get hard, when it seems we need to make something from nothing. But, what we have been given is of greater value than what is out of our reach, and for that we need to keep bowing our heads, but not in despair, but thanks and gratitude for all that has been lavished on us.

“Whatever will come my way …”

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