15 Minutes: belief, budgeting, Tom and Joe

{FYI, this ended up taking longer than 15 minutes, and I've gone back and changed some things. And it's probably because I had iced coffee at 5:30 pm.}

The Gospel from Divine Mercy Sunday (April 23rd this year) has continued to be on my mind and heart. For those of you who do not recall that particular Gospel reading, it was about Thomas the Apostle's moment of doubt, and how Christ totally proved that Tom had gone full on into doubting mode by BOOM appearing in front of him, and asking him to touch His wound.  First of all, who the heck did Tom think that Christ was?!  He knew he was God, butttt he still hesitated.  Secondly, Christ knew that Thomas' doubts would be overturned by directly putting him in touch with a physical and concrete reality.  Whoa.

We are currently in "limbo," as my husband is between internships.  We've (read: mostly me since I do most of the shopping and such) been in a tight budget period.  I say this not to get pity, trust me, but to tie this to belief.

 

I can't really complain about living on budget because we decided together that he would attend law school, and we knew that this would be part of it.  As I always say, "don't complain about what you have chosen/choose/will choose for yourself." Living this budgetary way has forced me to be creative in ways I did not know I was capable of.  I am constantly learning new tricks, coming up with new recipes, pawning off Tom's clothes for the next size up, using the Cartwheel app and coupons to the maximum capacity.

However, some days I wonder how we can make it work the next week.  Sometimes we just have very simple meals, and sometimes I've had enough clients one weekend, which means our meals can be a bit more "extravagant," buying some extra ingredients so we are not tempted to eat out.  Sometimes I worry that I won't be able to find Tom that one piece of versatile clothing that he needs to make through another season, but then a friend lends me some clothing, and I find a jacket for $1.50 at a thrift, and he is set.  Sometimes I wonder how we can repair the car that is needed to last us for at least another year, so we wait, hoping nothing else happens, then a tax return comes back.  Sometimes I worry about finding a few extra bucks to buy new makeup foundation (don't judge, I believe a bit of makeup is necessary), and then a friend ends up going through her makeup drawer, offering to give away her unused and unopened items to a group of friends, and happens to have two tubes of brand new foundation just for me!

 

There have been so many instances for doubt and so many more instances for believing the Lord loves us enough to provide for us, even if it's just in the nick of time.  I have learned to keep a running list of things we need, and a list of things we want.  I have learned that if I wait to purchase, the right item or sale will come along.  The Lord constantly wants me to remember that we will be alright, and lately, those reminders have been coming in strange ways.  He's been answering little prayers I had almost forgotten I had said, be it, "Lord, I wish I could buy/have this right now," or, "I would really like a new this or that."  It's kinda crazy and beautiful to see how He'll give me that pair of army green pants [found in my mom's get rid of pile] just to hear me say, "wow, thank you! How'd you know?!" again and again.   He gives me the physical gift, so my belief in Him can be renewed again and again.

 

We are all like Doubting Thomas.  We know to believe, but we feel otherwise.  It is easier to doubt, than it is to take the risk and the leap to believe.  It sounds like a total diss to be called a doubter {hey you, weren't you the loser who doubted us?! LOL you were totally wrecked by a Man who decided to say heck no to death}, but it's such a beautiful reminder of the Lord's mercy and love for us.

 

In the Eastern church, the Sunday following Easter is called Thomas Sunday specifically because of this reading.  It is the only Sunday they celebrate a saint on, and this year, I am really understanding why.

 

xoxo,

alex

P.S. Today, being the feast of St Joseph the worker, I need to remind you of him too.  Remember how the angel appeared to him in dreams about Mary being pregnant, then about flying into Egypt?  After the first dream, he doubted, and wanted to divorce Mary.  Then he saw the goodness of God made manifest through Mary, and His Son and his belief strengthened.  After the second dream, he got up, packed up the Holy Fam, and left for Egypt, even though they had been settled where they were.  He learned to believe even if he didn't understand.