Friday, July 4, 2008

I'm Grateful

I'm grateful for the chance to serve. I think I feel the purest and the closest to our Heavenly Father when I'm serving. It may sound bad but I'm not into "service projects" so much as just doing something by myself, quietly. It's more of a humbling experience I think. Wondering where these random thoughts are coming from? Let me share...

Last night at work I took care of a an older gentleman who was a long ago retired marine. One of those cute guys that still wears the "retired marine" ball cap with all the patches and everything. Anyway, it wasn't hard to tell he had been living a rough life and was very down on his luck. He lives in the shelter and like many veterans, suffers from under-treated PTSD. (By the way, anyone else besides me find it sickening that so many of these brave men that served our country end up homeless or mentally screwed up with a very poor health system (the VA) to help them?) Okay, off my soapbox and back to topic. So I felt for the guy. He was wearing every piece of clothing he owned and carried 2 grocery sacks with everything else he possesses, everything. I had to throw his only pair of underwear away and the rest of his clothes were only slightly better. I felt so bad and wanted to help but our short supply of used clothing we keep in the ER wouldn't work for him. So after a quick phone call, my sweet husband at 11pm went to Walgreens are bought him a package of underwear and donated a package of his own favorite black Nike socks. I'm so blessed to have Ryan and to live amongst his unselfish and unconditionally loving ways. Without the drop of a hat, he was there at midnight to bring me a few minor supplies for a man who appreciated them more than we know. I'm sure you all know the feeling when you are able to help someone who honestly needs and appreciates it. It felt so good to provide him with the most basic of necessities, a sandwich, and a little brotherly love that he probably hasn't seen in awhile. He was SO grateful!(FYI, I'm a big baby and am choking back the lump in my throat right now).

(Another FYI to lighten the mood: for those of you that don't know...I'm a sucker for animals. Any kind, every one of em, I plan to have a farm someday where I can take in all the animals that need me. But next to animals I'm a sucker for homeless people and the elderly. Let's just say, if this guy had brought in his homeless dog (he didn't have one but if he did), he would be staying in our guest room right now :) Just to show you how serious of a problem/obsession this is, a few months ago, I took care of a truck driver who had to stay in the hospital but his dog was locked in his truck 20 miles away at a reststop. Guess who took the dog home till he got released from the hospital then gave him and the dog a ride back to the truck :)

I'm so grateful for good parents who raised me to care about others, and for a mom who taught me by many examples. I'm grateful on this 4th of July for the men and women willing to serve our country and pray for their well being not only through the war but in the many years to come. I'm grateful to live in this country and to be blessed with freedom. I'm grateful to be a member of the church and to reap the warm feelings that come from serving others. I'm grateful for friends like you who will read my crazy, all over the place posts and try to understand them :)

The link below is to Bianca Merkley's website. Bianca is my "cousin-in-law" (she married Ryan's cousin) and the coolest girl! She is a beautiful singer/songwriter and wrote this song called Grateful. I've heard her sing it several times before she recorded it and every time it touches me. It fits perfectly with my post today but I wasn't able to get it on my blog so please cut and paste the link, go to her website and click on Grateful and just listen. I think you'll love it but please let me know!Love you guys! Happy Independence Day!


The Lawrences said...

I am so grateful to have such a great friend like you Steph. You have always been so kind and giving to everyone which is one of the many things I love about you. I hope you had a happy 4th!!!

mom A said...

Thats my girl! I'm so grateful you developed all the gifts I think are best...Charity, love for others and Nursing!
PS I was crying too!
Love, mom