Tuesday, July 23, 2013

It was a pleasure serving you.

Fact:  Satan does not want you to feel the joy that comes from doing good.

He is the world's #1 buzz kill.

Yesterday, that was made all too clear to me, as I was presented with lots of opportunities to provide needed service to others, but one thing after another kept trying to knock that lovin' feeling right out of me!

I can't remember why exactly, but I was feeling drained (oh yeah, I'm dieting and waking up early to exercise, duh!), and I remembered that the Elders were coming over to pick up dinner.  Luckily, I had just enough of the ingredients to throw together this yummy-looking (and smelling) chicken fajita meal.  

I was kinda rushing around to put it together when one of my kids came in wanting me to put a pony tail in her hair.  I'm like, hey, I'm cutting meat here, and I have to do this right now, let me do your hair later.  Suddenly, Mount Hormones erupts into a fit of loud tears, and in my distraction I suddenly slice my middle and pointer fingers, cutting straight through the middle of my nail!

Now I'm bawling.

Wah.  Life is hard.  I'm so tired.  Why is everyone always crying around here?

I had to pull myself together, stop the bleeding, and get this dinner ready.

At least I knew I'd have enough for the Elders and enough to feed our family too, so dinner would be at least handled.

Ding-dong.  I go to the door to tell the Elders it would just be a minute for me to finish wrapping up their food...when I realize there are not two Elders, but FOUR, hungry-just-back-from-playing-B-ball Elders standing at my front door, with these eager eyes.

I return to the kitchen in disbelief.  This just figures.  I start reluctantly spooning the rest of the food into the large ziploc bag.  It smelled so good, and I wasn't even going to get a taste.  
Then I thought about the small bag of blueberries that I had prepared for them.  I thought about how the kids and I had picked them earlier that day in the hot, hot sun, careful to get the nice big, blue ones.  

Part of me wanted to keep some of those big, juicy blues for us, but I reopened the bag and filled it with our special harvest.  Then I threw some strawberries in on top, because I knew they'd be happy to have them.

When I walked the meal out to the Elders who were patiently waiting on the step, they were so gracious, and so excited.  They exclaimed that it was "still hot, and smelled so good and Oooooh! Fresh fruit!!..Thank you so much, Sister Christensen!"

I walked back inside, wanting to lament the fact that I'd have to go back to the drawing board to come up with yet another dinner for my family, but strangely, I just couldn't feel put out about it, because those Elders were just so sweet and complimentary.  And the spirit was letting me feel how much the Lord loved those boys.  And letting me know that the blueberries were really His harvest, and that he let me pick them for His boys.

Hadn't I also taken a bowl of these same berries to a neighbor who had just moved in this afternoon?  God was watching over that family too.

As it turned out, grilled cheese sandwiches made my kids happy as clams.  I was tired, but after a few minutes, thoughts of a friend kept returning to my mind.  My friend, who is always taking care of others, needed to be cared for herself.  I knew it from looking at her face earlier in the day, but also because the spirit had told me so, many times in the last two days.

So I went back to the fridge and discovered there was yet another bowl of beautiful blue berries waiting to help my friend feel the love of our Heavenly Father.  I Pinterested up a blueberry muffin recipe...and about 40 minutes later, I was driving to her house just a short mile or so away.

It was getting dark.  I didn't know if she'd be home.  If she wasn't home, I thought, I'd just sneak in and leave them on her kitchen table.  As I pulled over a large hill that separates our houses, a torrential, sideways, nearly blinding rain commenced.

Really?  Really?!  Even this late at night?  I can't just deliver the last of these blueberries in peace?

And yet there was peace, especially when I saw the look in her eyes as she hugged me, standing in her front yard, in the rain.  There was peace.

So, maybe it wasn't Satan at all causing me all this trouble.  (Sometimes I give him more credit than he deserves.)  Maybe it was just the Lord helping me to learn what it means to serve with a happy heart, what it means to give the best of what you have to others instead of keeping the best for myself.  And maybe it was just my opportunity to understand that sometimes sharp knives find their way to pink fingers and rainstorms come at inopportune times, and yet the Lord has all of these things and all of these people in mind.

And then there's this:

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? aConsider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.


  1. Thanks for being real. My husband invited the missionaries over and forgot to tell me, so they show up. I am making pancakes because I am being lazy. I am sitll in comfy clothes, house is mess, kids are half dressed. I double/triple up hte recipe and find the remnnts of juice and some extra fruit. They never knew and I couldn't be annoyed iether. =)

  2. You are such an inspiration! I just know you made everyone's day. I hope your fingers are feeling better.

  3. I just love your posts! I've still got so much to learn.

  4. The more unselfish we can become, the happier we will be. I know this, but it's so hard sometimes. I try to remember that each time I make a good hard choice, it'll be easier the next time and sometimes that's all my motivation. But I like to think the Lord accepts it and encourages me to keep going.

  5. So good. Thanks for keeping it real and sharing from the heart.

  6. Beautiful thoughts. Thanks for sharing. And I hope your fingers heal rapidly!

  7. sweet story of service despite obstacles...you know you are doing good when you have road blocks in your way!!!

  8. Sometimes my giving is more enthusiastic than others, but in the end, it never fails to make me feel good.


  9. Personally, I don't think we should ever give Satan credit for anything. It's not like he needs the credit for making us feel badly. Sometimes it IS just us getting in our own way. Just continue doing what you feel inspired to do. Your family always comes first, but sometimes they are 1a, not 1. It's just mortality. And learning. and loving.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Ok, I change my answer. I definitely blame Satan for PMS and the lack of chocolate in my house right now. ;)

  10. This is a perfect post for me. It just resonated within me. Thanks for sharing and reminding me of the importance of serving those around me and the joy that comes from it! I just love your blog!

  11. Excellent post. Fantastic post. Loved this post. Needed this post. Thank you, Jocelyn!

    Every post-baby diet, I always think it's necessary to have chocolate or some sort of sweet on hand so every night I can have one piece to say to myself, "Good job! You made it through another crazy day!" It keeps me sane...ish;)

  12. This is so necessary for me today!! Thanks. I hope today is happy and finger-slicing free. :)

  13. For some reason this made me all sorts of teary eyed. I'm having one of THOSE days and your post meant so much to me, thanks for sharing.
    PS- I cut my finger with a box opener today, just close enough to my nail where a bandaid can't fit, UGH

    1. Hugs girl! You have my permission to cry it out and then get on with your day!! XO

  14. This post really touched me. Thank you.

  15. This post really resonated with me. Lately, I've been learning a lot about my own weaknesses, and how often-even with my best intentions-I get in the way of...myself. Anyway. Thanks for sharing. :)