Eureka! I've found it. Yep, at the ripe age of 30 I've found what truly makes me happy. How lucky am I right? Some people go through their whole lives not ever finding what really makes them happy.
So here it is... are you ready...serving others! Yes!
Let me back up here for a second. If there is one thing we LDS people know how to do is help people. If it needs to be cleaned, we'll clean it. If it needs to be baked, we'll bake it. If it needs to be moved, we'll move it! Happily ( usually, sometimes not so happily).
When I first started going to the LDS church I remember one particular Saturday we were participating in a service project. We spent the whole day cleaning out a wash. Kids, adults, teenagers. All working together to clean up public space. Was I super happy about it then...no. In fact I remember several service projects where a certain friend and I did not participate ( I won't name her, she would be mortified). We actually sat around doing nothing while everyone else worked. Not my proudest moment. Ah what are the teenage years if nothing but one mistake after another right? Anyhow in recent years I've benefited from serving others and being served.
In all the times we've moved we've never had to hire movers. Including last September when we moved in 115 degree weather...church members came and helped! It's crazy. When we had Claire, church members brought us meals for 4 days. And they were good meals! It was such a relief with a new baby to not have to worry about cooking dinner.
When Brynlee was in the hospital with spinal meningitis church members drove 45 min to bring us dinner, to the hospital! So awesome. I'm still in shock that people did that.
I have a very special Aunt and Uncle who shower my family with presents. Clothes and goodies for everybody. It's like she's Santa Clause. Whenever I see a package from her ( which happens often) it warms my heart.
Being on the receiving end of service is such a great feeling. Almost as great as being on the giving end!
A lady in my ward gave birth to a still born baby last month. This hit me particularly hard as she and I were pregnant at the same time ( me with Claire). I signed up to work at a luncheon for the family and to provide a dish. As sad as the situation was, I felt incredible. That's when I realized it. Helping others makes me feel helpful in a world filled with horrible things that are out of my control. I can't cure cancer, or end hunger or end poverty. But I can do a little bit to help people that are suffering from these things.
Last weekend I was asked to participate in a benefit sale to help a neighbor. I've been selling bread to bring in a little extra money that we desperately need. It's actually going really well. Who knew, right? I was asked to bake bread for this cause and before I knew it I was agreeing to donate the money from my sales for that day. I got home wondering how that happened. I basically agreed to donate $100 that I don't have and could really use... what was I thinking? My attitude at times was not great I admit. But after I did it I felt so amazing! My neighbor was extremely shocked, and grateful. I realized if we wait until we have surplus to give, we might never give. At this point I'm thinking I might never have a surplus. I'm not sure it's in the cards for me. But if I kept waiting then I'd be missing out on these great feelings of self worth I get when I serve others.
Now it's like I'm completely addicted. Donating bread to manicurist who agreed to give a girl with cancer a manicure over there, donating bread to be auctioned off for a fund raiser for the phoenix children's hospital over there. If I see an opportunity I'm all over it like white on rice. I'm sacrificing time. I'm losing money. And I feel awesome! Try it people. I'm telling you, giving is not just for the holiday season. Give all year, be happy all year! Now who else can I give something to...
Waiting for James to arrive!
2 years ago