Sunday, September 06, 2009

Sunday thoughts

I can't think of anything else today besides service.

If I know one thing about getting ready to move halfway across the world, it's that we are inundated with service. You might think you would welcome that with open arms -- and maybe you would -- but I still struggle with being the recipient at times. Nonetheless, I am always, always incredibly grateful and humbled afterwards.

Jill has once again proven herself to be the most understanding, selfless, giving friend ever. She has been over so many times this week, I lost count. She didn't wait for me to ask for her help or tell her what I needed her to do (she knows me too well).

-- She took Eva for the whole day on Thursday, and I spent the entire day doing errands and knocking items off my to-do list(s).

-- Hannah watched Eva for several hours on Friday so I could be distraction-free.

-- Jill came over on Friday for a summit about the state of my lists.

At Marc's suggestion, we went out to lunch. My first reaction was that I couldn't possibly, but I was oh so glad that we did. The summit took place at California Pizza Kitchen. {all photos by Jill}

This was one of my lists. I consolidated them all to one new one. (plus one for packing) I am seriously a list addict.

We then hit Cold Stone, as Jill had a gift card (thanks, Lisa!) and treated me to this embarrassing decadence. It was fabulous.

We went back to my house and did 3 more things on the list before I had to pick up Eva!

-- One of my visiting teachers called on Friday and asked if we liked corn. She was going to a corn stand and wanted to bring us some as well. Oh, and a Costco rotisserie chicken and a huge package of strawberries. I nearly wept with relief.

-- On Saturday, Jill and Jenn came over to help. It felt more like they came to stabilize me. I feel like I've been teetering on the edge of a precipice for the last week -- one minute I am thinking, "I'm doing great, I can totally handle this!" and the next I am thinking, "I am never going to make it to the end. I think I'll sit down and cry." And yes, I'm still taking my meds.

When they first arrived and asked what they could do, all I could do was shrug. Jill returned our library items and came back with Sonic drinks. Jenn started dusting:

I am embarrassingly bad about dusting. (I think that once someone has cleaned your house, and seen your (lack of) housekeeping skills, it takes your friendship to a new level. There are no more secrets.) Jill joined in on the dusting, vacuumed the laundry room and the downstairs.

(blurry self-portrait, but it had to be documented)

Jenn had to leave, but Jill picked up Wendy's for us and the kids and we all sat down to watch So You Think You Can Dance (top 15 routines ever). Any guesses on how I felt when they left?

-- Jenn brought me the game Gloom because she knew I was planning to buy it before leaving. She gave me a gift and saved me from another errand!

-- Marc took Lucas shopping for new shoes, as we discovered he didn't have any. Hooray, one fewer errand for me! Plus, he helped the boys pack their suitcases! Woohoo, I didn't have to pack for 4!

-- Our bishop announced in sacrament meeting today that we were leaving and wished us safe travels and told us that we would be missed. I was surprisingly touched by that.

-- My darling neighbor Traci called this afternoon and invited us to dinner. I haven't been buying food, as I'm trying to use up what we have, and I was planning to scrounge up something, probably waffles. Instead, we went to her lovely home and had a veritable feast. We ate wonderful food outside on her back patio, which feels like a little corner of paradise. She even sent us home with a cellophane bag of homemade cookies!

-- I received several cards from blog friends over the last couple of weeks, many well wishes and expressions of thoughtfulness sent my way.

And so, once again, I find myself absolutely humbled by the many ways I have been served. How did I get such wonderful friends? What have I done to deserve such gifts of time and sacrifice? All I can think is that I have a Heavenly Father who is aware of my every need. Thanks so very very much to everyone who stepped in to fill those needs.

*We leave tomorrow!*


Elisa said...

I can't believe you leave today (I can't sleep so it's early). I can't wait for posts from Paris!!

Oh, I so agree about the housecleaning/friendship thing. I dread anyone opening my unorganized cupboards...everything looks so clean on the outside but the true me lurks behind!

Doodle Bugs Paper said...

Safe travels!!

I can't wait to read the Paris posts. Enjoy your stay and have fun!

patsy said...

I can't believe it's here!

Hooray for all the great service that has come your way- it's inspirational to read about & gives me an idea of what someone needs at a time like this- so YOU have provided a service once again.

Good Luck & God Bless :)

Jill said...

I especially love it that your visiting teacher called you from Costco! She probably felt prompted to buy corn for you and then since she followed that prompting and called you she thought about getting you the chicken and strawberries. What a great example of service and of being a good visiting teacher!

Alison said...

I still read every day (although I don't always comment) but we are on the same gearing-up wavelength this week. I am getting married in less than two weeks and I have been trying to get the apartment/the event itself (in PA, where I'm from) in gear and it is super overwhelming. I'm with you, lady! I haven't even thought about packing yet (but my Euro trip is only a little over a week!) Good luck to you and it's so great you have such supportive friends. My buddy Schultz and my sister are taking a few days off before the wedding to come to Lewisburg and help me tie up loose ends. How lucky we are! And post lots in PARIS!

jenn said...

It is hard to accept service- whether by nature or from society, we think we should be self-reliant and capable of handling things ourselves. But that is not the Lord's way. We NEED our family, our friends, our visiting teachers, our neighbors, and when no one else can be there- Him.

I hope you are feeling calm and ready and loved as you leave today- you WILL be missed my sweet Michelle!

Kelly said...

I'm so glad you were the recipient of so much kindness in these last few weeks. This whole post was such a good example of how little things can make a huge difference when it comes to service.

Have a safe and wonderful journey!

rebekah said...

I can't believe you're gone now. It doesn't feel real.

I love that in our church we are used to giving service. I think that one of the greatest qualities of Latter-day Saints is that we have the 'pith in' attitude. We're a barn raising people.

charlotte said...

I am seriously disappointed that Emily and I couldn't make our way over to your house to help out. We were planning on it all summer, and then our car just had to die like that. Travel safe! Love you :)

Kristy said...

I'm so glad you had so much help to make it! Can't wait to hear about Paris!

Robyn said...

Good luck! Good luck! Good luck! I hope your flight is going well right at this moment. I'll say a prayer for you. This post made me teary. I am excited for you to just rest and put your feet up in Paris.

Susan said...

Mothers feel the debt of gratitude almost as much as the recipient when it is given for their daughters.

Thanks to all the darling friends you have for being such selfless ones!

Safe travels. I'll be praying that there are all calm stomachs this time! I'll anxiously await your report of the trip.

Love you.

Shawna B. said...

Bon Voyage, Michelle! You have been well cared for. I agree, once friends see all the dusting to be done, the friendship reaches a new level! The Lord is very mindful of you as He has put so many good people in your path to help you at this very busy and stressful time. You are so right - He is aware of our every need.

Wishing you lots of happiness and good memories in Paris.

April said...

Your house is so lovely, I can see why you hate to leave it.

You have wonderful friends and I totally cracked up about the list summit.

By now you are on your way, I'm sure. Can't wait to see your life from the other side of the ocean.

everything pink! said...

I can't wait to hear about your next few months and look forward to your exciting travels.

i hope you have the blogger application on your itouch so you can blog anytime you have wifi!!

everything pink! said...

oh and to gripe a little bit. i had told a friend in my ward here how freaked out i was about having my friends come clean our house when we move and that I was already starting to clean so it wouldn't look like i live in filth - and she said "most people in the ward hire house cleaners. that is what I would do"

seriously it is sometimes tough to live in a area where all your friends have maids!

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