Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Help Yourself

I loved reading Brittany's posts last week about gratitude.  Focusing on someone else's problems is always a great shot in the arm for poor-me-syndrome.  It's like the man who feels sorry for himself because he has no shoes, until he meets the man who has no feet.  I have feet and I have shoes--more than one pair, so I am one lucky chick.

A couple of years ago we took a family vacation to Mexico to work in an orphanage.  We took 5 of our 7 children, the oldest being 19, the youngest 8.  We bent rebar, mixed cement, plastered walls, painted out-buildings and did general clean-up.  After a good day's work, we played with our new friends.  We rode bikes with the toddlers and small children and cuddled the sweet babies in the nursery.  We went swimming, played "street" hockey and soccer.  After a week of hard work and sleeping on a cement floor, my children, even the 8 year-old said it was the best vacation they'd ever had and yes, we had been to Disneyland just a few months before.

So, to get to the point, serving is fun and this past weekend my family got to have lots of fun.  Friday evening we were able, with our ward (church group), to help host the carnival for the Kauri Sue Hamilton School.  This is a school for kids with special needs. Saturday we were able to run participate in the Kickin' it for Kendra 5k.  Even my 11 year-old son who complained when we woke him up early and said his body ached all over, had a great time. 

Bottom line is, when you help someone else, you're really helping yourself.

Tess playing "street" hockey

Morganne and Bri riding bikes with the toddlers

Morganne playing soccer--me in the background being goalie

Me and my sister-in-law Robyn standing by a building we just painted

Bri, in the background, plastering walls
Me, visiting the nursery
Cassie, crafting with her new friends

Luke painting rocks

Ric with his brother Rod working with cement


  1. What an amazing experience. I'd love to do something like that with my kids someday. :) Thanks for stopping by my blog! It's nice to meet you! :)

  2. That's so fantastic! I went to Mexico with my youth group as a teenager and I cried when I had to leave. It was one of the best experiences ever, with some wonderful people. I loved getting to be there and see how happy the kids were.

  3. Hey, thanks for the shout out Jill! That is really cool you did this and now I feel like my family should too. Because really, we're just right up the road from Mexico.
    Also, do you have a Tess? Because I have one of those too.

  4. What a life lesson for your children Jill. You truly have a servant's heart. ; )

  5. Thanks for the nice comments everyone. Laura sounds like you had a fabulous experience in your youth--your more youthier youth because I'm sure you are still very young because aren't we all?

    Brittany- You should do it. I was going to say that in my post but thought it might be too much pressure. . . But we just met the group--A Child's Hope Foundation in San Diego and then we all drove across the border together. The orphanage is just about an hour across the border out in the middle of nowhere. We were kind of scared about the whole drug thing but the scariest thing we saw was a chicken. Anywhoo, Bri has been 4 times now and Cassie has been 3, Cassie ended up living in Mexico and teaching English for a semester. They go in the summers and at Christmas. The orphans know their names and look forward to their visits. And yes I have a Tess. The last girl of 5 who happens to be 14. BTW I want to win that book because reading a book would be so much easier than blogging or writing a book. .

  6. What an excellent thing to do with your family! I completely agree, it always helps to have gratitude and a thankful heart. I had a friend in high school who was always chipper and happy and I asked her about it once. She said there's always two different ways to look at any situation, and she always tried to pick the positive one. Love it. Need to work on it. ;)