Sometimes service is not what we expect, and sometimes it’s hard, especially when we have a bad attitude.

This morning when I got home from Seminary I was super tired. I didn’t sleep really well so I laid down and took a nap for 45 minutes. When I woke up my husband asked me if I wanted to go to town with him and how long it would take me to get ready if I wanted to go. We are preparing to either turn his mom’s house into an Airbnb or sell it, so there are a few things that need to be fixed. He was going to look at a new shower surround for the bathroom as well as other bathroom fixtures and flooring, and wanted my input.

I told him it would be about 45 minutes and he said that would work. I went into the kitchen to make a sourdough focaccia and to then eat breakfast. I was trying to hurry because I knew he wanted to leave sooner than later. Just as I was almost done putting the ingredients in the bowl, a neighbor, who tends to need a fair amount of help, came to the door. I am the one who ends up helping all the time, even though my husband is capable, and sometimes more equipped to help than I am. This morning was no exception as the person came into the kitchen to wait for me rather than talk to my husband. I then felt like I needed to hurry even faster.

As I was finishing up the ingredients in the sourdough, I reached across the bowl and knocked it off the scale and tipped it over. Nothing was mixed together yet and the water in the bottom sloshed all the ingredients out onto the counter, down the front of the cabinet and all over the floor. I stood there momentarily and decided to just leave it and help the neighbor. It took about 20 minutes to help the neighbor and then I proceeded to clean the kitchen. My husband walked in as I was cleaning the kitchen and asked me if I was about ready to go. I am grateful to say that I did not bite his head off at that point in time even though I kind of really wanted to. However I did inform him that now I had to clean the kitchen and I still had to eat breakfast and get dressed.

I told him if he wanted to head out that was fine with me, at that point in time I was slightly frustrated with him because he did not help with the neighbor and he did not help me clean up the mess. But I guess he really wanted my input, so he waited until I was ready to go. After I finish cleaning up the mess and threw out my sourdough, I sat down to eat my breakfast. I started to say my prayers and expressed my frustration to my Heavenly Father. I asked him why I was the one that had to help the neighbor all the time. At that point in time the answer that came was not what I had expected. He helped me realize that this was my opportunity to serve somebody besides my family for a while. I don’t mind doing service, in fact I really enjoy it, but I hadn’t yet viewed what I was doing for this neighbor as service.

This week in the New Testament we have been studying about how we serve and our motivation for serving. I realized that often times I find it easy to serve when it’s something I want to do to serve. Dealing with the neighbor on an almost daily basis was not something I wanted to do most of the time, it was always at an inconvenient time, and often the problems that needed to be dealt with persisted over the course of days or weeks. But that person needs help, and for the most part, even if it takes time, it is in small manageable pieces of time. I was reminded that service often requires a sacrifice of time and energy, and that my attitude and irritations made it harder for me to help.

I saw this person a little bit differently, and decided I needed to change my attitude as well as my perspective on this subject. I have found myself recently, especially as we have been reading the Sermon on the Mount, reflecting on how I can try to do better and serve others. I hadn’t even looked at current situations, but was looking for an “easy” service project, possibly something that might even come with a thank you or appreciation in some way from someone. I don’t normally like to be in the spotlight, or even be noticed, so this realization came as a bit of a shock to me. This morning was frustrating to say the least, but I have learned some things about myself that need to be changed, and I learned to see someone else just a little bit differently. I hope I can remember what I learned today (that’s one of the reasons I’m sharing it here, then I can look back and remember), and that I can go forward with new eyes to see and a heart more willing and able to help everyone, not just the easy convenient ones.

2 thoughts on “Neighbor”

  1. Hi, neighbor! You’ve had quite a day so far and the description of your morning has me thinking it may be time for you to come underglaze on pottery before the week is over. I have a table of new bisque ware out of the kiln. If you can spare an hour to create on clay, let me know and you will be welcomed. It’s what I’ll be doing for the next several days. Join me for awhile if you’d like..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like you had a busy day! I’m glad that you and your husband are able to work together to get things done. Making a sourdough focaccia sounds like a great way to start the day. It’s nice that you have a neighbor who can ask for help if needed. Best of luck with the Airbnb or sale!


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