Finding Joy and Gratitude in Hardship

We have had a pretty tough week.

finding joy in hardshipWe have been dealing with problems that I would not classify as normal. They have really tested our faith and hope.

The first big thing that happened this week was our basement flooded. We went to bed Wednesday night with a dry basement, and in the morning we had about 3 inches of standing water. A sprinkler valve had failed, and the high pressure sprinkler water had pooled, and run right into our house.

I panicked. We are renting, and I called the management company, but they did not answer. And so I called my home teacher. A home teacher is a calling in the LDS church. Every family has one assigned to them, and it is basically a man who comes and teaches a lesson once a month, and kind of watches over the families they are assigned to. It is the ward’s way of making sure everyone’s needs are addressed and no one falls through the cracks.

I asked my home teacher to come help us move some furniture out of our basement since it flooded. 15 minutes later an army of men and young men, as well as women came to help move and clean up. They brought shop vacs, and willing arms and hearts. What would have taken my husband and I all day to move and clean up was done in an hour and a half.

A few minutes after everyone left, the doorbell rang and one of the women had returned with breakfast. She said, “The last thing you need to worry about right now is cooking.” It was a horrible situation, and I was looking at a big mess, and a long-term construction zone, but this little act of kindness meant the world to me. I was so grateful.

All of these people had other things to do, it was early, And no one wants to wade through water and heave heavy furniture up stairs. But they came, willingly and happily. And blessed our little family.

The second trial that week was a car problem. It seems trivial, but it felt like just the straw that broke the camel’s back. A few weeks ago my car was making a weird sound, so I had it looked at. The tensioner was bad, and the belt needed to be replaced. And so I had it fixed.

We were out visiting a friend in a rural town, and on our way home, that belt that was fixed came off. The car overheated, and we got stuck. In what felt like was the middle of nowhere. Not a house, or business in sight. But lots of cows. We called our road side service (motor club), and they scheduled a tow-truck to come out. But it was a two-hour wait.

road side, stuck

We pulled out some toys and games for the kids, and did our best to make the most of it. And in the 2 hours we sat there about 15 cars drove by. And want to know the amazing thing? 9 of them stopped to see if we needed help. Nine!

  • The first person who stopped gave us water bottles to help keep us hydrated while we waited.
  • The second person asked how they could help.
  • The third person gave us more water bottles as ours were almost gone.
  • The fourth person said he was a mechanic, and would run home and get his tools and come back and put the belt back on.
  • The fifth person asked what she could do, and then left. Only to come back later with ice cream, fruit, and cookies for our kids.
  • The sixth person left a phone number in case the tow truck did not show, so they could come help.
  • The eighth person was the wife of the mechanic, and brought fruit snacks and water for the kids. The mechanic did come back, and got right in under the hood, grease and all, and tried to fix the belt.
  • The ninth person was a police officer, and he said he would come back and check on us.

I was once again overwhelmed by the goodness of people: Stopping to make sure we were okay, to give us water, to give snacks to my kids so they would be okay and happy while we waited.


I know I am not the first person to have a house flood or a car break down. I am not the only one in the world who has ever dealt with awful inconvenience and frustration from things that are out of my hands. But I felt so much goodness and love from total strangers. People we barely knew, or did not know at all, dropping what they were doing to see how they could help.

I am not one to express my religious beliefs often, and while I have faith, I keep it private. But today I want to take a moment to say how grateful I am to a loving Heavenly Father. Life has really sucked for us lately. We have been facing many challenges, and these two things were kind of those tipping point items that just put me over the top and made me feel so overwhelmed and alone. And right when I needed it, I got that confirmation from God that He loves us, He knows our troubles, trials, and hardships, and we are not alone.

I am grateful for those people who were the hands of God this week, blessing our lives for good. And I hope I can be the person that blesses someone elses life for good.

About Rachael

I am Rachael, I have a passion for all things travel. I have an incurable wanderlust, and a need to see and do. I have four littles that call me "mom" and I am currently wading through the ever changing tides of parenting. I am figuring out what works, and what doesn't. And, I have a passion for food. In fact, I have an entire website dedicated to food I love to eat, cook, and try new things.

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3 Responses to Finding Joy and Gratitude in Hardship

  1. Sara July 22, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    We’ll this made me cry! Love you Rach. I hope things start going better.

  2. Alana July 27, 2014 at 8:08 am #

    It’s so nice to know that there are great people who still help in today’s crazy busy world. God is good

    • Anne Banks August 13, 2014 at 6:34 pm #


      Yes, He is. We appreciate you visiting.