Monday, February 2, 2015

When You're Helping You're Happy

My sweet sister Haley had a baby two weeks ago. Little Leslie was born on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The Friday before, I had had a strange thought. I should go visit and help Haley when her baby was born. It was strange, because Haley wasn't due for another two weeks. It was strange, because my time is extremely limited. How would I even make it work?

Haley ended up having her baby the following Monday. I discussed with Ben the idea of me going down to visit Haley, who assured me I was bona fide crazy. I get this response from him sometimes, and usually he's quite right (that's what I get for marrying someone six years older than me, he's always right). I gave it some serious thought.  I read in Moroni 10:6 "And whatsoever is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is." It brought to my mind a talk that I heard years ago that has changed my life. In it I was taught: "Never suppress a generous thought." I knew I had to go.

I thought of our mother, far away in Panama, who would give anything to be at my sister's side during this exciting but difficult time. She would want me to be there. In my mother's absence, I have often felt the need to show kindness and do as she would do, to show her love through my actions. I am forever grateful for her legacy. I thought of my own experience becoming a mother of two, and all the challenges this change brings. I thought of Haley, affectionately called a "sensitive soul" in our family, one who feels deeply and cherishes expressions of love shown by her family. God loves her, and I could be His hands.

I made all the proper preparations I could, trying to double up on my homework, take shopping trips, and get everything ready for Ben to take over the house for a few days. Although Ben was still unsure if this was the wisest thing to do, he is a man who stands by me. I love him for it.

I was happy to help. It was fun to spend time with my sister, to shelf my own problems for a while and think about hers. As I drove home from Las Vegas, I saw ways I could have helped more. But I'm starting to realize that God sanctifies our efforts, imperfections and all. And I gained a new resolve to face my own problems. Service didn't "solve" my discouragement, certainly, it's a choice I have to make each and every day, to choose light and happiness. But I have seen this weekend that God loves his children. And he gives us each other as answers to our prayers. It's so interesting to me that the world teaches us to take time out for ourselves when we are feeling low, but the exact opposite is the medicine we seek. Haley will never know how much she helped me this weekend. And through her gracious accepting of service she was able to be helped as well.

Thank God for the human family, and the agency he gives us to lift us out of our own despair!


  1. I have really appreciated your perspective while going through this rough patch. It is true for me too that I have to make a choice to not settle into the enticing misery of "oh I'm depressed so I'm stuck here" mentality. (I'm glad that I have the choice at least.) It has been neat to see how God has helped you see things differently and grow, I think it will help me to see His hand when I am struggling too.

    Also, I'm grateful for your blog in general! I always come here to read a post or article whenever I need a little uplift or motivation to be better. Thanks!

    1. That was nice to read today! Thanks Jill for thinking of me. I'm excited for you and you new house! Fixer-uppers are adventures, aren't they?! I'm grateful to have a friend like you. Thank you.