Monday, February 18, 2008

A Thank You note...

Being given the opportunity to get away for a little bit and seeing what a fabulous difference it made has really put me in a thankful mood. This was something fairly simple to do, not too expensive but full of such a giving spirit and it has meant more to us than anyone could imagine.

We had a lesson in Relief Society a little while ago that was about service, and specifically about visiting teaching. The teacher gave examples of times she had served and been served and it really touched me. I do try and do that. I've watched a baby for a day so the first-time mommy could rest. I've taken kids out to the park, on a hike, to McDonald's for an ice cream so a mom could get a break. I've washed a kitchen full of dishes for a mom who just lost her baby. When the teacher talked about how the older women especially could serve the younger ones (because I think sometimes they think we are too different and hard to get close to) I got very weepy. Because how cool would that be?

What if someone came by and said, "Hey, can I take your kids to the park this afternoon?" Wow - that's just never happened to me. But wouldn't it be awesome? I hear stories all the time about how people come and serve in answer to a prayer when someone needed it the most. I got a little "boo-hoo for me" party going because no one has ever come to my house and cleaned, or given me a reprieve from the little ones just in time.

But really - things like that have happened to me. They've just been a little different. This time with Rick was one of them. What a simple act of service (setting it up would take minutes and my kids are awesome so watching them would be a treat, right?) but what a profound effect! I am determined to do this for someone else. What a fun thing to be able to do for our kids as they get married! Or for a couple in our situation with no family nearby who doesn't get the chance to get out much. The hotel and the $20 was less than $100 all told and I'm sure we could swing that occasionally!

And this made me think of other things that people have done for me specifically. Things that weren't terribly expensive but made a difference to me in my very core. Like they fill a need that you didn't even know was that big of a deal to you - but when it's filled you want to cry with gratitude because of the burden they've lifted or the love they've helped you feel. Once, my family bought me maternity jeans and a top at the end of my pregnancy with Nathan. Being tall, all 2 paris of jeans I had were too short. And being cheap, they were second hand, dated and not too flattering. I received the package as a surprise - I hadn't asked for them and there was no big occasion. But I put them on and I felt BEAUTIFUL and LOVED. Not just because I had spendy, trendy LONG jeans (they looked so nice!), but because someone noted an offhand comment that I had made and then filled a need they saw. I felt so cared for and that is what affected me.

This past Christmas I had the same thing happen. Rick's family gave me gift cards to Red Robin. This may have been because I'm hard to shop for :) but it meant the WORLD to me. Why? Because now I can go out with my husband or as a family and not beat myself up over the $$ I maybe should have spent elsewhere. And we LOVE Red Robin! It is something that I feel so LOVED by having received it. I feel free to enjoy my husband and my family and all I have to pay for is maybe a babysitter! It's just awesome! I didn't even realize that I missed dates as much as I do - until I got those gift cards. It just goes to show you that people do love you and people are God's hands here. Even if they don't know it. :)

So thanks everyone! I hope that I am in tune enough to be able to do this for someone else too. :)

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