Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Personal Thanks for the Alms

This will be a slightly unique post for me, but, in the spirit of this month's resolution, I think it needs to be said.

I scheduled this resolution essentially in December 2007,when I first started my current resolution. At that time, I had no way of knowing how appropriate it would be this month. At that point, I was happily employed - and I thought my employment would last for quite some time. However, I realized toward the end of last summer that I needed to leave that job, so I began looking for something else. At the end of October I accepted a job about which I was excited - one that I ended up enjoying very much.

I lost that job two months later - between Christmas and New Year's Day, and I still don't understand fully why it happened. I think I understand better now than I did at the time, but the official reasons I was given still don't make any sense to me. That, however, is not the purpose of this post.

Mama and I have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from friends and family. It has been immediate and generous and deeply appreciated. It has been anonymous where possible, but even when coming from family as a result of our telling them about our situation, it has been as good as anonymous in spirit. We have received BOTH temporal and spiritual alms this month of a magnitude that is astounding to us.

Our oldest son has turned in his papers to serve a mission, and our second son might choose to leave this summer or fall. Our dear bishop has informed us that they will be able to serve no matter our ability to contribute due to offers by numerous people in our ward and stake (and friends who have moved from our ward) to help. I don't know who most of them are, but I owe them a public thanks for their private concern and care.

The outpouring of love has been wonderful most of all for my eternal companion. Simply knowing that she is loved so deeply and widely by so many people has alleviated much of the despair she felt when I told her about my job loss. I will never be able to thank enough those who have been such a needed cushion for her in this difficult time. God bless you, one and all.

I have a few employment possibilities right now (Thanks, Tim and Andrew, though you probably will never read this.), and even that is relevant to this post - since each of them was generated by a friend who took the initiative to inform me of an opening that fit my background and experience.

Truly, I have been the recipient of alms this month, and I simply want to acknowledge openly my gratitude for that which has been given in secret.


Anonymous said...

Hi Papa and Mama D,and Im so sorry for your circumstances. this is something that we have passed through many times in our family,and will probably pass through again-though retirement(tiny pension as a consequence)is not far away now.We had hoped that my work might see us through,but my illness means that will be unlikely.We have not prospered,but we have found creativity in the journey,and I like the idea that during those times we have been money poor but time rich.Each time has been a time of great growth for us,but we have never come close to starving due in part to church welfare.None of which stops it being scary,and being Brits we need not fear about health care.We are able to make no plans for the future and have learnt to live for the day-and i gues in current economic circumstances we don't have to grieve for the money we lost!Have no idea how the remaining children will be educated missioned or married,but I guess it will all just be different,and maybe they won't be educated-something which we have come to worship as a family,a little like the rest of society.Honest labour is no shame.I hope we're learning,and so wish you and yours well.How lovely that you have found so much love and goodwill,it must be so sustaining.

Amanda said...

your gratitude is inspiring. good luck in the job search.

Anonymous said...

Also,and i so hope this does not sound smug,but listening to Prophets has taught us the necessity of controlling our borrowing,before circumstances had to.I'm so grateful that we do not have to stress over excess debt.The last years have suckered so many of us into being slaves to our debt.

Matt W. said...


what is your background?

Papa D said...

Thanks, everyone.

Anonymous, a full response would take way too long right now, but you are in our prayers.

Matt, quick thumbnail version of highlights:

Harvard BA, with honors, while working full time and raising first three kids; high school teacher; training manager; Regional Manager of Sales and Marketing (Regional VP duties); small business General Manager. Deepest passion is education, particularly educational reform. Almost 20 years of supervisory, training and management experience.

Mission to Japan, but language skills are not current.

Jami said...

Not sure what to say except we've been there too many times, so my empathy is heart-deep. You are going to make it. I'm so glad that you and Mama D have each other and so much love in your life. God bless you.

Rob and Crys said...

This is beautifully written. You are very blessed.

backandthen said...

Reading your post reminded me of a saying that irritates me in the US: when life hands you lemons make lemonade.
Lebanese could come up with a better one which would actually fit your "bigger is better" idea. The better version of your lemonade thing would be: when life sends you bombs make swimming pools.
I was joking with my sister about it because my aunt proudly explained to me that there are swimming pools on all the roofs in Lebanon. I refrained from telling her that the wholes had already been made! She had already not understood my joke about this interior architect who I think must have plenty of work.
I just wanted to make you laugh because it is not a fun time for you these days.

Papa D said...

b&t, Thanks for the laugh. It did make me smile.

The lesson today at church was on Elder Wirthlin's talk, "Come What May, and Love It". I couldn't help but think of how appropriate it was for my current situation.

Tasha said...

Love you!

Stephen said...

That is neat, I am glad that you are loved.

Anonymous said...

b/t-Love the idea of the' Interior Architect 'as I often dream of finding new rooms where there were none...
papaD I don't know you but I can see why all the love is coming your way,and I'm so grateful for your benevolence,integrity and generosity. 'Cast thy bread upon the waters and thou shalt find it after many days' (but it will be soggy).

Christy said...

I wish you the best in your search. Feel free to look in CT... I am so glad to see how well your "neighbors" are taking care of you. You and your family will be in my prayers.