April Jeppson: Reach out to friends, family during this uncertain time
Every Little Thing by April Jeppson
Last night as I was preparing dinner, I smiled at my giant container of rice. It’s a white plastic five-gallon bucket. I have three of these — each labeled in large letters, flour, rice, beans. It keeps the bugs out of the open bags but it also is more continent for the items my home uses a lot of. When I’m making bread, I go through almost an entire bag of flour, so constantly having to purchase those small paper bags just doesn’t make sense for my family. When I discovered you can buy items like this in bags the size of a small child, my eyes lit up with excitement. I then needed to find a container large enough to protect an open bag this size. Hence, my big white plastic buckets.
I smiled because I had this flashback to last January. The government was shut down. My husband is an essential employee, so he still had to go to work, we just didn’t get paid during that time. I was only working part time during this, and we relied heavily on his income to get by. We went over a month without getting paid. It was hard. The emotional stress of not knowing how long the shutdown would last mixed with the financial stress of not knowing, which bills we could put off and which ones we’d have to pay.
I wrote a column about it. A friend from church dropped off some homemade tortillas and a bag of my favorite Jasmine rice. I can see it clear as day. I gathered the kids into the kitchen and I explained the situation and we said a prayer. We were on our knees thanking our Father in Heaven for sending us a reminder that he sees us and he loves us and no matter what happens, it will be OK.
A lot can change in a year. Heck, at the rate we’re going, a lot can change in a day! Since the government shutdown last year, I was able to get a job that provides a steady income for my family. We’ve been able to pay all our bills on time. This is something we haven’t been able to do since we moved here nine years ago. We made a very conscience decision for me to stay at home with our children, but we also knew we’d have to make sacrifices. I’m so thankful for family and friends who were able to help us during times of uncertainty. It really does take a village.
Since all sports were put on hold, I haven’t been able to coach gymnastics in weeks. My day job simply isn’t as busy right now, so I have cut my hours back. Like all of you, we’ve had some serious conversations in our household about what do we need to do if this continues for another two weeks. What can we do now to be ready if this goes for a month? It seems every two to three days my husband and I address the topic, but I’m not afraid.
You might be in the situation I was a year ago or you might be where I am now. You might be praying for someone, anyone, to help you. You might need food or gas money or even toilet paper. Talk to someone. If you have more than enough, I encourage you to reach out and help. You might not have extra food but maybe you’ve been blessed with extra time. People need their groceries delivered and masks made. Whether you are looking for help, or looking to be a help, pick up the phone and ask your friends how they are doing.
“By becoming the answer to someone’s prayer we often find the answer to our own.” — Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.