The first 20 days of service in 2019 has not played out as I planned but I have been able to dip my hand in much.
Dad & Stepmother’s Christmas Gift
We have decided to make 2019 Christmas a “homemade” Christmas so I have already started thinking and working on some of the gifts I would like to give. I just hope that I have not bitten off more than I can chew.
My dad probably will never figure out what I am talking about. Several years ago I attempted to make my Dad and his wife something for Christmas but I never finished it. I don’t know that I will be able to finish the gift this time either but I am going to give it my best shot. I would say that the project is about 1/4 complete. If I keep pushing I may be able to finish.
Daughter’s Birthday Gift
I have decided to take the homemade Christmas to homemade birthday. My husband picked up a used fish tank and the stand was not in good condition so I decided to do mosaic over the ugly. However, I am so afraid to do the grout. It looks great without the grout but, I believe the grout will really finish the look. Here is a picture of what it looked like while I was applying the ceramic pieces:
I looked online to try to find some ideas on how to do this and ultimately decided to come up with my own idea. It would have cost me over $200 to use mosaic tiles or flooring tiles. I ended up purchasing $30 worth of ceramic plates from the dollar tree and taking a hammer to them. I do have to admit that breaking the plates was very time consuming. I also used eight tubes of caulking at $3 each. I bought an abundance of grout to ensure I have enough spending $28. A brand new hexagon 55 gallon fish tank would have cost north of $450. I paid $80 for the used tank, and about $80 in material to resurface the stand; my cost, $160 saving almost $300. Jo Jo LOVES the mosaic on the tank. I just hope I can deliver with the grout.
Painting With Diamonds for CoWorker
I have a coworker who is very impressed with the painting with diamonds so I decided to make her one. I asked her the kind of things she likes and I finally had tell her what I was up to in order to get a good idea of what should be in the picture.
I ended up choosing a pattern with huge red flowers. This project is about 1/10 of the way done. I have more projects going than I thought I would, so the process is proving to be slow.
Daughter’s First Mission Box
I want to be able to send my daughter’s first mission box as soon as she leaves so I am working of what goes in it. Sharing experiences is difficult when you want to be able to say the right things but you know you are not going to be there to talk your missionary through each challenge that will come.
Kayrin and I have been close since she was little. She is wise beyond her years and I believe she is going to make such a great missionary. I just never thought it would be so hard to let my little girl grow up. Words cannot express how I feel and no one has shared their story of allowing their children to grow up in ways that I could understand. I know she will make me proud.
First 20 Days of Service
I have had more opportunities to help or do good things than I could have imagined and it makes life a little easier. Not focusing on myself has really helped me to more easily see the Lord’s work in my life.
The Snow Storm
Last week we had a horrible snow storm; I wanted to go to the temple so my husband and I traded cars for the day. The snow came hard and fast. It ended up extending my hour commute home to 3.5 hours; it took husband eight hours get home in my little Fiat.
On my way home I counted over a dozen cars in the ditch or in an accident. In my last 20 miles of highway a man spun out in his little pickup and was stranded on the side of the road. I seen him walking on the icy shoulder and decided that I needed to give him a ride.
Once he got in my car he told me that he called 9-1-1 and told them that he was going to leave his truck on the side of the road and walk home. After he told me he had done that he continued to explain that within the 500 foot that he had walk he was already having a hard time breathing because he has COPD.
This man thought his house was only a couple miles from where he left his truck but the journey was 8 to 10 miles. If I would not have picked up that man and offered him a ride home, who knows what would have happened to him. He takes care of his 82 year old mother; if something would have happened to him, I am sure something would have happened to his mother.
I have been reading the scriptures on a regular basis. I am currently reading the Old Testament; I can’t say it has been the easiest reading but I can say that I have been prompted to do some things. Most recently, I have been promoted to go to the temple. This prompting to go to the temple was different from others. I felt such as strong push from the Spirit to go and I was devastated that I could not attend because of the snow storm. I finally made it to the temple almost a week after starting to prompted.
I prayed about attending often before I actually got there. I looked up every option of who I could take through the temple and I did not get any feeling outside the ordinary. I was in a good place in my mind and heart. It didn’t make any sense to me why I felt so “pushed” to the temple.
When I got there, everything felt the way it always had. I was able to go through the entire session with nothing out of the ordinary happening. When I finally made it into the celestial room, I sat there very content in myself. I dug through my thoughts to understand why I was there. It took me 30 minutes before it finally revealed itself. Oddly enough…as soon as it came to my mind I was being “pushed” out of the Celestial room.
My Take Aways
When you open your heart and mind, you see things that you have missed many times before. I am confident that as I continue through this year I will continue to have opportunities that are not my simple list that I have composed. I am thankful I have had the opportunities I have and can’t wait to see what is next. I have not mentioned every opportunity of service that I have taken advantage of these first few weeks but have mentioned the ones that have touched me the most.
I made a list of the service I plan to complete in 2019 and have already went off the list. I think that as long as I keep my eyes open to identify new opportunities they will come more easily than I expected.
My family was given the opportunity to service a family by helping them move into a new house. They have been blessed to move their household of six (I think) from a two bedroom apartment to a house that has enough room for them and and a new pet.
I don’t think the service opportunity was moving the family. I think having the opportunity to listen was both a service opportunity and a learning opportunity. Sometimes you get a glimpse into how Heavenly Father works in other people’s lives and you truly get to see the love love the Lord.
As we moved Lisa’s family I was reminded how much Heavenly Father does for children. Lisa has been through a lot in her life. She shared how she has tried to get out of an apartment for years but has only been able to recently access the resources to move into a clean environment large enough for her entire family.
Lisa has a heart of gold and gives all that she has to ensure the well being of her nephews. The boys are so happy to have a new place to say with one of the boys saying “the new house is AWESOME!”
To see how excited Lisa’s nephew is just reminded me how thankful I should be for the blessings that Heavenly Father has given my family and me. I know what it is like to want the world for my children and how it feels to struggle. I am so excited for Lisa and the new adventure she will experience as her relationship with Heavenly Father grows.
Lady at the Front Desk
I gave Christmas gifts to several individuals at my work and many of those who I gifted to has opened up a little to share a little more of their life stories. The lady at the front desk, I don’t remember her name so we will call her Debra, was one of those people. Her heart is also full and unmeasurable.
Debra took on a lot of responsibility when she lost her best friend in her twenties. Her friend had a 14 year old daughter, we will call her Karen, who had no place to go. The family was going to let the daughter go into the foster care system so that they would not have to care for her.
If you know anything about the foster care system it is often difficult for older children and they age out of the system when they are 16. Once a child ages out they may be put into an independent living facility for youth, similar to a half-way house, and are taught how to be independent.
To save Karen from the fate foster care would bring her, Debra adopted her at the age of 28. Debra raised her as best as she knew how, married, had children of her own; and put Karen and her children through college. Karen is now married and on her way to having children of her own.
Impact on Me
Both of these women have touched my heart in unexplainable ways. I truly believe that it takes special people to do grand, selfless, things. I would like to think that I too would be able to take on these types of challenges without question but I don’t truly know the answer. I hope that by focusing more on service in 2019 I will be able to come close to being the person that I want to be.