This November I’ve been learning some things about being thankful. As a full-time free-lance harpist, I’m careful with my finances. I’ve never yet gone hungry (except when I’m driving back from a gig and refuse to stop for take-out because I should go home and eat the food I have there.) And I’ve only occasionally felt like I had plenty of money.
On a side note, I’m aware of how rich I really am compared to the rest of the world. Though that doesn’t always make me feel better when the health insurance premium is due, or the car insurance, or taxes.
My mental dialogue with God goes like this: “Lord, You’re the one who thought up this whole harp business thing, so I’m depending on You to make it work.” Sometimes it’s more like: “Lord, why don’t I have any gigs? What am I doing wrong?” My pastor recently reminded me that these conversations could also go: “Lord, thank you for promising to take care of me. I trust you to do what you’ve said you’ll do.”
So this November was a bit tighter than other months have been and I’ve put myself on what I call the “austerity budget.” No coffee shops, no expensive groceries, no restaurants, no movies, no overdue fines at the library, no driving places unless I need to, no new clothes. Do you know that you can buy ten pounds of potatoes for $1.49? I’ve been trying to work more potatoes into my diet. And lentils. Those are good for you and more interesting than potatoes.
Anyway. Anything that I don’t absolutely need, I say “I’ll buy it later.” So the other day I noticed I was running low on Q-tips. Ruthlessly I thought, “They aren’t necessary. I’ll buy them later.” But then just a few days later my sister brought home a package of Q-tips from her work. A few co-workers were moving back to the Philippines and they were cleaning out their apartment. Who would have thought I’d feel so thankful for Q-tips? I know some people read this and simply see a coincidence. That’s fine, but I see God’s provision. I really do think He cares about little things like Q-tips.
This morning I went to a dental appointment provided by MusiCares, a non-profit which provides health-related assistance for professional musicians. I had recently been thinking I needed to go to the dentist but, not having dental insurance, it got put on the “not now” list. Until I saw an advertisement for free dental appointments for professional musicians in the Twin Cities. What? Not only that, but after my dental appointment, they asked if I wanted custom earplugs.
I’ve been wanting custom earplugs (for orchestral playing) for years, but they’ve been on the “not necessary” list as well. Today MusiCares provided them for me. What an unexpected blessing. And though it was unexpected, I really can’t say I’m surprised. It really was God’s idea that I do this whole harp business thing.
And He seems to be doing a pretty good job of taking care of me.
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Stephanie Claussen is a professional harpist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She performs on her harp throughout Minnesota in various concerts, recitals, and collaborations with other musicians. Consider signing up for her e-mail newsletter to be notified directly of upcoming performances and important announcements.