Let me paint a picture of the type of woman Rachel is. She is the one who will invite all of the college kids living far from family to her home for dinner. She is the one who will willingly have the missionaries drop off their dirty clothes, and wash and fold them, so the missionaries can focus on their work. She is the type that makes gingersnap cookies for a neighbor for his birthday, because she knows gingersnaps are his favorite. She is a wife and a mother to four beautiful children and a constant friend to everyone around her. I’ve always admired Rachel’s ability to serve so when we chatted, I asked her about how she finds ways to serve and how it has impacted her life! Here is what she had to say…
“I learned from a young age that service is important, but a big turning point for me was when our son, Liam, was born. Due to health complications we spent a few months in the hospital with Liam, with part of that time being across the country in a hospital in Philadelphia. We received so much help during that time, especially with our 3 other kids at home. But I remember one day I came home to find my floors shining, they were so clean! I found out later that a couple in my neighborhood had come to our home and had cleaned our floors on their hands and knees because they didn’t know what I used to clean my floor. In addition, I had some friends come over and put together Liam’s nursery because we hadn’t had time to do that yet. With what we were going through, knowing that someone would take the time to do that, meant so much to us. I learned something really important during this time: you don’t have to do something grand, even the little acts of service, will be huge for the person that is going through a rough time.”
I asked Rachel, “What advice would you give to help people increase their opportunities for small, daily acts of service?” Here are her thoughts…
“I think looking for ways to serve is the key. Get to know the person and find ways to ease their burden. Look at their circumstances and try to find something that will help them. This lets people know that when they are going through hard times, you’re there for them. A few years ago we had a small house fire in our kitchen. Afterward our kitchen was still functional, but needed a lot of cleaning from the flames and smoke. But there was a very kind lady who brought over a few loaves of hot bread from her oven. I’ll never forget how she looked at our situation, thought of a need she could fill, and did it.”
Rachel shared one more story that has stuck with me so much. I loved how in this example, Rachel was truly listening to this woman, recognized a need, and jumped right in!
“There is a lady in our neighborhood who has been given a lot of challenges in her life. Her daughter and their children were living with her, but they were all leaving during Christmas. This woman suffers with some health complications and one day she mentioned to me that she took a shower before her doctor appointment and how she just wished her shower was clean. I knew she was headed out of town for a few days and I thought, ‘how great would it be for her to come home and have a clean shower?’ I knew it was going to be a really big job, but I asked for Heavenly Father’s help. I went. It was about a 4 hour job, but it was so joyful for me because I was so excited for what it was going to do for her.”
There were SO many lessons I learned from talking with Rachel, but the biggest one for me was to look at the specific circumstances and then actively find ways to help. And this doesn’t have to be big every time - it can be a kind text, a quick visit, or a yummy treat. But trying to understand and truly get to know the person, will help us better understand their needs. I would LOVE to hear from YOU! Drop a comment below on what ways you have found to incorporate service into your life. And to Rachel: Thank you for loving those around you and for being Genuinely Good.