It was a busy day, shortly after the wedding, and one of the cousins had been staying with us for a few days. Kids were busy “having fun” which meant that the house was pretty much a wreck. But two sisters in my ward were having birthdays, and I wanted to at least visit them.
When I stopped at the first house, the kids were so excited to see me. It was like they had never had a visitor, even though with twin babies in the house, I’m pretty sure they have had a myriad of people coming to help. Ashley came down the stairs holding one of the babies and apologized that she was in her pajamas. They were trying to pack for a weekend away, and she was just doing laundry. I told her that was perfectly fine, and asked if I could hold that darling baby of hers. The 3 year old, Savannah, took my hand and said, “Come see my playroom!”
Not sure if Ashley wanted me to explore her house, I asked if that was ok. Ashley was a bit frazzled, and I didn’t want to add to her stress. “I’m sure she doesn’t want to go down to our messy playroom,” she said. But I couldn’t disappoint my cute little friend, so I went with her to the playroom. She was so excited to show me the barbies, the blocks, and trains. It was fun to watch her and her brother dance around and show me things. I felt privileged to be allowed into their world. After a few minutes, Mom came down. We chatted for a few minutes, I wished her a happy birthday and gave her a small gift. Savannah held my hand as we walked upstairs. It was like we had been friends forever. She even wanted to walk me out to the car.
What joy I received from that short visit!
Later that day, after another visit with a sister (that wasn’t quite so joyful), picking up a little guy from school for a friend, and then dropping off cousin at Hang time for a party with his other cousins, I was done. I had spent my whole day serving, and I was done.
However, I was already in Orem, and I had planned to visit a sweet older sister in my ward who was in a rehab place after she broke her hip. She’d been there 4 weeks and I hadn’t visited. I had promised her daughter-in-law that I would go that week. Today was supposed to be the day.
But I’m tired, and I’ve been out of the house all day, and I want to go home, my inner voice whined.
But if not today, when? You are right here. You said you would do it today. My other inner voice protested.
It was a struggle. Right there, in the Hang time parking lot. I said a little prayer, asking Heavenly Father to help me. Asking him to give me the strength and the desire to do what I knew in my heart I needed to do. After I finished my prayer, I took a deep breath, and put the car in drive. I didn’t exactly go RIGHT to the care center, I went through the McDonald’s Drive through to get myself a large diet coke FIRST, and then I went to the care center. Hey, it was 2:00 and I hadn’t had lunch, so don’t judge. At least I didn’t order food. I happily slurped my cold refreshing drink until I got to the care center.
I went inside and asked around for Shirley, and was directed to her room. Her husband was there with her, but they were both so welcoming! I found out how she had been learning to walk again, and she was doing even better than before she broke her hip. Her new physical therapist was such a blessing, and was teaching her how to walk, even with the neuropothy in her feet. She had walked all the way down the hall today! Amazing! I had never seen her walk before. She’s been in a wheelchair all the time I’ve known her.
I wasn’t there more than half an hour, but it was a good visit. Good for her, but even better for me. Why was it so hard to make myself do that tiny bit of service? I came back to the car and said another prayer, thanking my Heavenly Father for allowing me to feel such a sweet spirit of love with this couple. I also repented of my stubborn and selfish spirit earlier.
Service is a blessing.
No, it’s not always fun, and it’s hardly ever convenient, but whenever you serve, you WILL be blessed.
Matthew 25: 34-40
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.