Tuesday, March 2, 2010

In which I am grateful

So remember not so many months ago when I was thoroughly and completely bored? Refresher: I was misting around, feeling very blah and needing some focus in my life. Some PURPOSE, besides MamaRestaurantAndChiefEntertainer.

I threw myself into service. We invited over a different family every week for dinner. I made meals for the sick or overworked - visited the lonely - watched people's children - started a temple group - and wrote countless notes. I ran out of stamps. Every Sunday I sat down to ponder over a list of names I could serve. I slowly checked off name after name in the Relief Society directory - my goal to do something for all 185 sisters.

Disclaimer: These service activities were started for the most selfish of reasons. I was bored and unhappy. I served because I knew it made me feel better - not because I felt prompted, or because of the pure love of Christ. Nope. It was all about MOI.

But guess what.

I grew to love the people I served. I made friends - real friends. (And all that time wasted wondering the best way to make them ....)

I found purpose. I was happy. And I was helping people. Because I loved them.

Then, as you know, I ended up in the hospital and on bed rest.

(look - I am HANDING YOU free blackmail material)

But wait - I got visits. Meals. Flowers. Games. Chocolate. Books. And phone calls galore.

And I wonder.

What would have happened if I had crawled into my shell all those months ago? What would have happened if I gave into my self-indulging boredom, clinging to my wall at every activity and refusing to breach that mile-long female gap?

I really. truly. doubt I would have had so much help.

So I've discovered something. Even if we start serving for the most trivial of reasons - it always comes back to bless you in the end.

And I'm grateful.

21 comments:

Brittany Ann said...

You are a beautiful person, I am so impressed with you. And, this is exactly the kind of post I needed to hear today. Thank you!

gigi said...

Bless you!

Vanessa said...

What a great example you are! Thanks for sharing this. I need to be better at serving others.

Kazzy said...

So true. No matter the motivation, the payoff is great. I am glad people have stepped up.

Head Nurse or Patient- you be the judge said...

Amen. And thank you for both a lesson and an example I really, really needed today.

Kimberly said...

Beautiful message hun, you're an inspiration!

'Cause even better than giving service is inspiring others to do the same. I'm going to mail some packages today that I've been forgetting to for weeks now - to hopefully brighten the days of the gals I'm sending them to (umm...yeah...one of them is for you, actually).

Love ya!

Nikki said...

You are incredible. I truly am inspired by the post.

elesa said...

Wow. I know you had no intention of impressing, but I am impressed. I always want to throw myself into service. But I've never had the slightest idea how to go about it. I think I need someone like you to write me up a very clear and detailed description of what you did and how you did it. Because I KNOW I need to do something like this. But I feel to dumb to start.

Amy said...

I had this conversation with a friend yesterday! He's moved to a new singles ward, didn't reach out to anyone so didn't make any friends, and is bored with life...

I kept telling him to go do service on a larger scale, but maybe I'll tell him he needs to focus his service on a ward level... it just might be what he needs.

Fiauna said...

You have inspired me. I'm reaching for my notecards and a pen right now. I'm going to breach the gap too.

susan said...

Great post! Congrats on making it to 36 weeks.

You are wise beyond your years. Must be the influence of all those little men in your life.

Congrats on your new calling.

Melissa Bastow said...

Clearly I've been doing the whole bored thing wrong. Which is why when I was on bedrest, people delivered meals because they were assigned to, but no one called, or visited or gave me chocolate and books. And then when I saw actual people again they were like, "You were in the hospital?" But most of it is my fault because instead of helping those around me, I board myself up in my house and pretend that I like not having any real friends. I'm glad everyone is not like me. You're AMAZING. Next time I feel bored, I'm going to think, "If I were That Girl, I would...."

DeNae said...

You're an inspiration, sister. I essentially announced to the cosmos several months ago that I didn't need nobody, no how, no way! And then my dad died. And I got sick and had emergency surgery.

And the cosmos said, "We're sorry, we were too busy sending a bumload of karma your way. What were you saying about not needing people?"

I'm glad you're back on your feet. And you learned a great lesson about casting your bread upon the waters. It always comes back to you, manifold.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I'm so glad your end got blessed because it deserved it. :)

Kaylene said...

Glad you're back and off bed rest and inspiring us all again. :)

Qait said...

I love service for the same reason! It's such a beautiful principle! I love the way that works.
We live with my in-laws. That is hard. But I decided to serve them somehow every day (remembering there's no such thing as "little" acts of kindness), and it has made the hugest difference.
If I were a nearby neighbor, I'd do everything I could to make sure blessings and service would come back to you for all the good you've done.
And you know, I trust bishoprics. I honestly do. Sure, it's a little crazy (a LITTLE) as far as the timing, but I think you'll love it!
Okay, I like the word verifications just because I'm a word nerd, but does anyone else think it's uncanny how this one's "rebless"?

Melanie J said...

Don't freak out if I say I love you a little, okay?

Also, I'm 37 weeks today. Wanna race to the finish line?

Katy said...

Love you Becky. :)

Wonder Woman said...

I'm so glad you climbed out of that shell. And that you've made it this far!! Yay!

Rocketgirl said...

You are so fabulous for sharing this!! A few years ago, my senior year of college, I got really depressed and went to the bishop asking for a referral to a LDS services therapist. I explained my case, and after he heard, he said "I'll tell you what - you come back here in one week and I'll give you a referral - but in that week, I want you to lose yourself in service, and tell me what that does for you." So, I went home, got my violin and went to a nursing home and asked them if I could play there during dinner to lighten the mood. It was such a great experience I went there almost every day - and by the next week, I went to the bishop and told him I didn't need a referral at all. I was just so darn happy. That was one of the best years of my life. And a side effect - I played so much that my perpetual stage fright abated enough that I played the best recital of my life and got accepted into a graduate program. Just because of service. Thanks for sharing :)

Harmony said...

I am jealous of all your other friends. True Story.