I remember when I was young watching my mom, who was in her 50s at the time, and thinking to myself, “I am going to stay in shape so I don’t get weary like she does.”
Ha! In my youthful naiveté I actually thought that if I worked out (which I love to do and have basically done my whole life and she never was into) that I could outsmart all that aging-slow-down-stuff! Boy-oh-boy was I ever wrong! I watch my daughters and daughter-in-loves speedily put together a meal or bathe and dress our little girls in no time flat and think to myself, “Was I ever that fast?”
One day Dw was watching me watch them and commented, “You used to be speedy like that too.” I thanked him for his reassurance, it was comforting. But that aging thing is undeniable and the slow down is not at all imagined but rather “really-real” – even for people who have worked out their whole lives.
So here we are, not quite as fast as we used to be,
okay, not fast at all with nine treasures at home and an old house in need of repair and well, the most beautiful thing happened the other day.
As a backdrop to this story, let me just mention that a couple of months ago, as I walked through our home, I was whispering to the Lord, kinda’ sharing how overwhelming life was, so many things in need of fixing and wondering if we would ever be even remotely close to “caught up”. Our home had been vacant for a long, long time prior to us moving in and contrary to what some might think, the longer a home sits vacant (on top of previous owners who didn’t care all that much about fixing things) the more help it needs! (Insert very slow sigh here.)
Anyway, right around Christmas Dw and I both received a text from a woman, Denise, whom we had met last spring. Our family had barely met Denise and her husband Guy when their son, Grant, built Ruby her motorized chair that I share about here.
In her text Denise explained that usually over Christmas break they go as a family somewhere to serve, but this year they were unable to go away. Denise and Guy were wondering if we would be open to the idea of them coming to help us out with projects around the house? WHAT?? My eyes welled with tears as I read her text. We had never before in our lives had anyone just volunteer like that to help us.
Friends, I have heard people say that they want to help out with the orphan crisis but they are unable to adopt. I have encouraged people over the years to minister to large adoptive or foster families by giving them a night out, a day off, lend a helping hand – something, anything! Denise and Guy’s offer is the perfect example of generously and practically lending a hand to a large adoptive family!
We seriously were dumbfounded. There have been so many projects that have needed attention that it has been very overwhelming to both Dw and I! Our resources are such that we couldn’t “just hire someone”. We slowly (emphasis on s-l-o-w-l-y) plodded along, praying and trusting the Lord would provide for our needs as Dw worked on the many projects in the evenings and on weekends – but there was still so much to do! So when Denise’s text came we knew it was a gift from the Lord and we eagerly said we would love some help if they were willing!
Our friend, Kevin (who is on International Voice of the Orphan’s board of directors) had recently flown in for a board meeting and while here he and his son had helped by putting up studs to turn the dining room into a room for Ruby and Birdie. Dw and our boys had continued plugging away at the drywall, but the dry wall was not quite done nor was it “mudded” and sanded. Painting would be a long way off!
Such a beautiful, incredible, outstanding blessing when after Christmas, Denise, Guy and their two sons came and worked on the little girls room, putting up the remaining drywall, mudding it all and sanding it! They also worked on our dryer vent problem and I am happy to report that our dryer now works! I didn’t realize how much I missed it, but oh how good it feels!
Grant took it upon himself to get on the task of removing a kitty door that the previous owner had also had in the dining room that was now in Birdie and Ruby’s room. Since we don’t have a cat, the kitty door could go. (Bye-bye Kitty!) Grant repaired the walls inside and out, drywalled and mudded where the little door had once been!
They came back a couple of times and I regret I didn’t get any pictures of them working as a family. They even ordered wheelchair ramps for the front and back door which was crazy-amazing! It had been quite the trick getting the wheelchairs in and out of both the front and the back doors – but not anymore!!
The following week Guy went back to work, but Denise and her sons brought a crew of friends who pitched right in and sanded the little girl’s room again, painted the bathroom and the back hall and in general cheerfully spent time serving at our home.
We cannot thank them all enough for the incredible boost it gave us! Dw commented to me, “I remember my mom saying when we would come home and I would work on projects for my dad that it was such a ‘shot in the arm’ for him, now I understand what she meant!” These precious new friends gave us the shot in the arm that we desperately needed! We cannot thank them enough for being His hands and feet to us!
Perhaps you, too, can be “the shot in the arm” for a single mom, a widow, a large adoptive/foster family, a handicapped neighbor, or someone else in need of a little encouragement!
We were so blessed to be able to share our Christmas Break with such a wonderful family. We are appreciative of the new friendships that have been forged and the crazy fun experience of watching Birdie intently “mud” a section that was within reach mimicking the work of Denise. It wasn’t until Liberty praised her then took her off to the bathtub, that we realized what we were actually doing. It wasn’t about the work being done. It was about God working in and through us. Not that Birdie would mud a room herself, but she knows that complete strangers love her so much. Hopefully the entire family feels this love. That is truly the blessing. If you’ve never taken the opportunity to say “yes”, I cannot encourage you enough to do it and with a grateful heart. It is such a wonderful thing to “Be Blessed to Be A Blessing”. The Saunders’ are the real blessing here. Thank you and God bless.
Oh Guy! I am sure you all will never understand just what your “shot in the arm” meant to us. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts – the Lord was so very good to us through your generous hands and feet! Blessings to you and yours!
“Our God is a great, big God!”. Amazing, totally uplifting, awe inspiring story.
This is a wonderful idea. Thank you to this family for the way they minister to others at Christmas time!
Sandy in the UK
Isn’t it amazing? They really did wonders for our hearts! We cannot ever thank them enough for being our Savior’s hands and feet!