Friday, December 10, 2010

Serving Others

When Mr. Patriot lost the election I knew there had to be a reason.  What was suppose to be the point of our life now?  We weren't moving to our state's capitol, we were moving into a tiny house and we would be there all week long, all winter long.  What in the world was our new focus to be?

I felt strongly to simplify our life done to the barest of bare bones.  Like I mentioned we did not bring the Internet with us, we dropped our land line, we got rid of lots and lots of "stuff," and we even stopped piano lessons. We opted out of starting in on some "scholar" classes and "love of learning" classes for the children also.  Very little remained standing!  Now what?

I felt strongly again that we were to keep our life in this very simple state of existence and only add one thing: service.  We do a lot of service generally speaking, but where exactly was I suppose to go with that? 

I called all the local organizations around and found out what our options were.  There were food banks, hospitals, soup kitchens, poor people, sad people, old people and young people.  I waded through the options and I discovered what WE, our very own family, was suppose to do.  We were to visit the elderly as often as possible at the local care center.

We have been visiting them for well over a month now.  It is our week's highlight.  We have been added to their list of activities every Monday afternoon.  We come in and we sing to them and they sing with us. We do random projects for  them.  One day Liberty rolled yarn with a resident, another time we went through books on a bookshelf and this past week we decorated their Christmas tree.  We go to the rooms and we visit the residents.  We talk to them about their lives.  We encourage them and we love them.

Most are sad.  Most are extremely lonely.  We have been coming now regularly and so we are welcomed with happiness.  It is just a small nursing home-there are only 35 residents.  Not only are we making a difference in their lives, but many of the workers notice that our family is different from others.  Our kids talk to the residents.  They hug them.  They smile with them.  They seem happy to be there. (And they are!)

There is one resident who is very sad.  As soon as she sees the kids though she lights up and they just hug her and hug her.  She usually gets teary eyed.  She just hugs them over and over.  My little angel kids just hug her back with out a thought.  They've hugged her solid for minutes at a time.

I say that we are making a difference, and we are.  I know this is what the Lord wants us to do.  But where is the real difference being made?  In our family's heart.  They have become our dearest friends.  We love them.  We need them. They are making us who we need to be.  They are teaching us.  They are lifting us.  They are helping me raise my children to be "the youth of the noble birthright" who will usher in the Savior's reign. 

It may sound overly simplistic to say this is changing our lives, but it is.  All of the other things we've given up were great activities for our family, however we have found that holding someone's hand who is sad and lonely is a best activity for our family.

So when it comes time to think what we will do for Christmas the answer is simple.  We will see our dearest friends.  We will sing with them and love them and be with them since the Savior can not.

Imagination (9) has a birthday shortly after Christmas.  When he was asked what he wanted to do on his birthday he said he wanted to go to the nursing home.  Yes, we are finding that love and that peace that comes when we reach out to those that need help.

As part of our efforts to make a difference we organized our first humanitarian drive.  We requested lap quilts from the community to present to these sweet spirits on Christmas Day.  We have received a great response.  Liberty and I were able to make 15 lap quilts of our own in less than 5 work days.  We had an amazing experience.  We felt truly blessed to make and finish them.  Of course we could because we didn't have things going on in the afternoon!

I know that your lives and missions are different than mine.  You may feel strongly that you should focus on music in your family, maybe you feel strongly that your mission is to blog and connect with the outside world on a regular basis, or perhaps you feel that pursuing your own classical education is what must encompass your time.  Whatever we feel drawn to do we must to it so we can progress as individuals and as families.  As we do we will become like the Savior, so when he comes we will see Him and we will be like Him.  Also know/remember that we will have seasons for doing things.  Our family had a 9 month season of intense focus on American History, Government and public spotlight, and then it was over-we were called to another field.

I have a testimony that the Lord is always molding us.  He is reaching out to us and hearkening to us saying "learn of me and listen to my words and walk in the meekness of my Spirit."

May you each go forward empowered in your sphere, in your mission, and make impact.


Chocolate on my Cranium said...

Lovely, and truly inspiring.

Deanna Householder said...

I LOVE this post! I can relate somewhat - my family isn't serving on a weekly basis, but just this past Tuesday night, I had nine of the widows/widowers in our ward to our home for "A Christmas to Remember" evening. I invited them to bring their favorite treat, a Christmas memory and then I had arranged for different musically talented members from the ward attend. My children were present as well. They loved it (my children and the widows!) I was on such an incredible, spiritual, fulfilled, satisfied high! I received the kindest thank you note today from one of them. It is extremely satisfying and uplifting to know that you have made a difference in someone's life! I want to make this a tradition! So much learned by my children as well...perfect homeschool learning opportunity - for them and me.

Deanna Householder said...

Sorry - I needed to clarify - the other members came to sing and play different instruments - lasted about 45 minutes. Everything from "The Grinch" to Gesu Bambino on cello/violin.

crazy4boys said...

Inspiring. I need to work harder on finding out what our mission is. Right now it's probably to get healthy enough to do stuff with the family, but I need a mission to look forward to.

I love your kids!

Ranee said...

How I LOVED this post! This goes right along with my thought process lately! I have felt prompted by the Spirit, to re-focus my efforts to learn about the gospel through the scriptures! We have A LOT of work to do in Core phase, around here, and I have lots of work to do in my relationships with my children, so that we can all progress! Each time I try to think about ways to inspire my children academically, I am always drawn back to teaching them about the gospel. I am thankful for personal revelation and for the knowledge that Heavenly Father will help me know what we need to focus on in our family! So glad to hear about how life is going for you and yours! Merry Christmas! :0)

Christine said...

This touched my heart. Thank you for sharing it. I have been searching lately to know what our family's current mission and focus should be - haven't found it yet - but I feel encouraged now to keep looking. :)

kitchenrecovery said...

You should submit this to the Ensign!

Melanie said...

Thank You for sharing! What a blessing to be able to serve. I love hearing your families adventures, it is so nice to see others striving for the same things we are in our family. I feel like we would be fast friends. Thanks for inspiring me to try harder and be better.