Thursday, December 9, 2010

Their Helping Hands

I know we are in the Christmas Season now but I just need to do a little flashback to last month...Sometimes as a parent your heart is just bursting to share something special that your kids have done. This post was on Laura's blog on Thanksgiving and I just wanted to share it. That's what I love about blogging~you can do whatever you want to and this is one of those times I need to tell you about something wonderful our Laura and her family did.

She writes:

"We decided to spend Thanksgiving this year serving Thanksgiving Dinner to the community through the local Methodist church. It was awesome!

They asked us to show up at 11 am and when we did they put us right to work. Spencer and I worked in the kitchen making casseroles while Ross and Robert worked in the main room preparing tables and gift bags. We worked steadily until 1 pm when the doors were opened and people started to arrive. Spencer and I served food from the main serving line and Robert and Ross served desserts. As the afternoon rolled on and things began to wind down, I joined Robert at the dessert table. And,we all had a chance to do LOTS of dishes (as the food was all served on glass dishes and eaten with real silverware). All in all it was a great experience- one I hope we can continue to do in the future.

Our time serving today reminded me of some truths that I hope to teach my kids not just on the special days in life but in the way we live each day of our life. Here are some of the things I learned and relearned today.

1) In giving to others, we receive. In lifting others, we are lifted up. I don't know how or why this is true. I just know that it is. When I give to others I always feel better- ALWAYS!

2) When people work together toward a common goal they can accomplish great things. There were times today when I felt bad because I didn't feel like I was doing much. But today, I was a part of something bigger than myself and that is a great feeling. We did something remarkable, we gave food and companionship and joy to 100 people that would have otherwise spent the day alone. I could not have done that alone, none of us could have but together we did. Opportunities like these are humbling and empowering at the same time.

3) When we serve others our love for God grows. I just don't think it is possible to show love for, give service to, or truly lift another persons heart without feeling a closeness to God. It is a testimony to me that we are His hands here on earth and that He is a real part of the service we give.

4) Having a job to do (a real job with real significance) builds confidence and brings joy. I have been trying to teach my kids to love work for as long as I can remember and to be perfectly honest, it just hasn't been working. But I learned something today that I hope will help as I try to teach them in the future. Working with purpose, working on something significant, working for something with real value is what makes working worthwhile and joyful. I saw my kids enjoy work today for the first time because they knew that what they were doing was important. They were given real jobs with real significant and they found joy in it! Wow, what a discovery!

5) We have been so blessed. Living in Naples was a very eye-opening, very humbling experience for me. I promised myself, as I watch the people I grew to love there struggle, that I would never forget the blessings I have been given. We have made significant changes in our life style this year as a result of the things that we saw and the experiences we had in Italy all with the hope of remembering our blessings and living in thanksgiving daily. I felt very humbled today as I watched how something as simple as a warm meal brought joy to the lives of others. A warm meal- that was all it took to brighten someones day. I eat three warm meals a day and never think twice about it. It made me wonder what other blessings have I been given that fail to recognize regularly? President Monson said, an attitude of gratitude must be cultivated. I love that word and hope that with significant, conscious effort on my part my attitude of gratitude will grow!"

The kids ate their own Thanksgiving Turkey
{that turned out to be a chicken}
on Friday
but that is a story for another day!

Anyway, I just love that they did this and I truly am so proud of their loving service to those in need. Talk about cultivating an attitude of gratitude and living in Thanksgiving daily!


Caroline Craven said...

Wow, Laura impresses me again. She always has. She is a chip off the old block!!! What a great example.

LA Adams said...

What an awesome experience - maybe I should try something like that with my kids.

Nellie's Cozy place said...

What a precious girl you have!!
and what a great heart she has....
course, she has parents that have a great heart as well, so not surprised.
She is an impressive young lady,
and a pretty one too!!
and a wise Mom.....
Know you must be proud as a peacock, I sure would be!!
What a lovely post!
Love ya, Nellie