Sunday, March 8, 2015
Days #12 - #16
I'm a tad behind here on my days. But without further adieu, let's get started!
Day 12 I decided to take our weekly tithe offering we normally would give to our church and spend it on food for the food bank. As I walked through the store, I placed certain items into the cart I knew families would like and need. I included toilet paper, oatmeal, soup, crackers, cereal, and even shampoo. As I was checking out in the grocery store, I felt so blessed for the food I have at home; that I don't have to rely on a food bank to feed our family. As little as I purchased, I know there will be smiling faces. I later dropped the bags off at fire station #5 in Meridian...the same place Steve and I got married. :)
Day 13 I texted a friend an uplifting message and asked how I could pray for her. Let me tell you...that sure brightened her day! After I received her request, I quickly said a prayer for her and her family. It amazes me when I ask others to pray for me how much comfort it brings me. Knowing others are seeking Him on my behalf makes me feel so grateful and loved.
Day 14 I donated more clothes I would have normally dropped off at the consignment store. I cleaned out the kids' closests for spring and had a large, very large, bag of wonderful clothes. I dropped the clothes into the receptacle and snapped this picture. As I glared at the image in front of me, I realized maybe my donation wasn't a donation after all? It clearly says clothing and shoe recycling drop-off. Hmmm, maybe those clothes won't go to needy children? They'll be recycled into what? Maybe they'll take the old jeans and turn them into new ones? Regardless of my silly mistake, my heart was in the right place...I'll just stick with bins that are better marked. ;)
Day 15 is one that is out of my normal zone. When all of the kids are home and it's bedtime, I always kiss them at the stairs and tell them I love them and I'll see them in the morning. This night, I decided to visit each child in their room and spend fifteen minutes with them. I listened to them talk about their day, tell me how hard their tests at school are, and one of my children even told me she's so thankful I'm her mom...WOW! I relished in that comment for awhile! While I concluded my stay with each child, I wrapped up my visit by praying with them. I always pray for my children, but I thought this particular night was good to ask them if there was something in particular I could pray with them about. As I was leaving the last room for the night, I realized I could have been asleep an extra hour. But I gained something way beyond sleep, I gained perspective. My perspective into their world, their thoughts and opinions. When you have as many children as I do, spending extra time with them individually is difficult; I always have guilt for not being able to do it as much as I'd like. But this evening, God placed it on my heart this is the way I can do it. And I actually like hearing about what boy likes what girl, getting caught up on what book my eight year old likes, and seeing the smile on their faces when I've taken time for just them.
Day 16 was hard for me....just to listen. As I was cleaning a home for a client, I had the next door neighbor come over and ask about my services. I told him I'd come on over when I was done and chat with them. As I entered into their home, I noticed Mom was in a wheelchair with one leg, Dad was old with health issues, and the older son who was their caretaker was not in the best shape himself. I listened as they went through what they'd like to have cleaned weekly. As I handed them my business card with their quote on it, I went to make my way out the door to leave. No.So.Fast! Mom started talking to me about the weather. Then Dad chimed in and said spring is just around the corner. Then Son walks into the room and wants to know what the house looks like inside that I just got done cleaning. I was bombarded by voices left and right; keeping me from going home and being with my family! As the family continued to talk to me about useless things, I began to get irritated. Thoughts were racing through my head that if spoken from my mouth wouldn't be nice at all. After the Mom starting talking about her Persian cat...for the 50th time, is when God whispered to me: Listen. Just listen to them. All they want is your time, your patience...just listen. God was right! I realized then and there how selfish I was. I bet there are countless times I bore the heck out of people when I speak, but they listen anyway. That very moment, I started to engage in the family. I asked them questions, I smiled genuinely, and I let them have the podium while I just listened. Mom continued to talk to me for the next twenty minutes. She spoke of her illnesses and how she's house-bound. My heart really started to reveal what a big fat jerk I was. Here I am annoyed at this family for taking up my time. Here I am wanting to escape their home and hoping they'll stop talking long enough to let me leave. Oh, how ashamed I was. I have the ability to leave my house; not confined by illness. By just listening to her and making her feel as if I cared, made her day! I finally wrapped up our conversation, 45 minutes later. I sat in the car and thanked Him for speaking to me. I thanked Him for having me realize how wrong I was to be so selfish when others needed something of me. I'm left with a smile knowing He transformed my heart in that moment...thank You.
Posted by The Hayes Family at 7:37 AM