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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Feelin' grateful...

Last night while cooking dinner, this thought crossed my mind: "Today I am grateful for a husband who will willingly eat anything I place before him - even when he's already eaten it three times this week!" The poor guy must be so sick of chicken and noodles. He's very patient with my pregnancy cravings! Gosh, just looking at this picture makes me want to gobble down another plateful!

Later on last night, I did what I do every night before heading to bed. I snuck into Chloe's room to give her one last kiss (after ensuring she was still breathing of course). When I found her like this with her baby laying on her chest (as she once layed on my chest), I couldn't help but melt (well, and grab the camera). This cute little thing is gearing up for her big sister days! What a pro she'll be by the time November rolls around. I am so grateful to have her in my life. She drives me nuts and wears me out, but I could never imagine life without her!

I spent the morning volunteering with some women from church at the Marian House Soup Kitchen. Sadly, this was the first time I've ever done anything like this. It was humbling to say the least. Over 430 people, homeless or of low income showed up for lunch. I worked in the back of the main dining area, collecting dirty plates, cups and utensils, and in the process interacted with many. I'll have to say I was especially touched by those who cleaned their plates entirely and offered me a very genuine "thank you!" on their way out the door. It showed me just how grateful they were for what very well could have been their only meal of the day. I took a break around noon and went and sat in a separate dining area, designated for families with small children. It was tough watching some of those kiddos scarf down their food as if it was the last meal they'd ever eat. One little family in particular really got me. It was a young mother with her three year old son and ten month old daughter. The sweet little baby and I kept making eye contact, and each time she'd give me a big huge smile. She was quite a flirt, actually, and oh so cute! I don't know that I've ever in my life seen such a smiley baby before! What an example she was, that even in the midst of struggles and heartache, it's still possible to wear a smile!

There is so much to be grateful for. A roof over our heads, food in the fridge, flushing toilets, electricity, health care, shoes, family... so many of the things we take for granted are the very things others wish for more than anything else. Today was a real eye opener for me, and I hope it's made me a better person.
signautre

8 comments:

Jamie Lamb said...

It is crazy what we like and don't like during pregnancy. I could not eat chicken during both times I was pregnant. The thought of putting chicken in my mouth made me sick. The soup kitchen is a humbling experience. I went 2 weeks ago and really enjoyed it. Glad you had a good experience.

Stephanie said...

I loved this post, Valeri! I love days like you had, where you realize how incredibly blessed you are! Todd and I were actually just talking about how grateful we are for so many blessings we have during dinner tonight. What wonderful lives we have!

Wendy said...

It always feels good to have humbling experiences as you did today. I know that for me, it usually takes something like that for me to realize (or perhaps remember) just how blessed I am, and it's almost unfortunate that I don't feel more blessed and grateful all the time. When we were in the ER with Chase a couple weeks ago I couldn't help but imagine all the sick children that lived at Primary Children's because they had cancer (or something similar) and thought about the things those parents must be going through...our situation suddenly seemed so trivial and my heart just went out to them all. It definitely made me feel a lot more grateful for everything. I'm so glad you had a good experience!

Nells-Bells said...

So my mouth is watering right now. I want the recipe!!
I volunteered a couple of times like this and it changed me for the better. I can't tell you how grateful I am for my position in life, healthcare, etc...the same that you had mentioned. AND I realized how lucky I am to have such loving parents and how lucky my kids are to be surrounded by so much love. They are definitely the minority in this day and age. How awesome you got to do that!

Kelly Stoddart said...

I am so glad that you check on your kids to make sure they are breathing, because I do the samethig. I am pretty sure it annoys the heck out of Brett, oh well. Aren't we glad that Heavenly Father asks us to serve so that we can bless the lives of others and realize how blessed we really are.

Cristi said...

You ARE VERY LUCKY that he will eat anything you make. Alan is very particular about food. Cooking is an art form to him, but to me, the simpler the better. We're still working on this issue after 6 1/2 years. :)

Anonymous said...

I wrote something here a couple of nights ago and where did it go? Into oblivion I suppose. I am just so proud of your sweet service at Marian House (and in so many other places) and I know blessings will come (already have, already are) because of your blessing the lives of those who were there and of those with whom you went. Also I wanted to say amen to your words about Neil - what a guy! And darling Chloe and her baby....melted my heart. SO glad you take photos!
Love you all so much....
Mama/Gma Jill

Camille said...

I can't believe I'm asking this but... what is your chicken recipe? :)