Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Life of Service

"God the Father gave His Son, and Jesus Christ gave us the Atonement -- gifts of unfathomable depth and value for us. Jesus gave His gift freely, willingly to us all. One of the sure signs of a person who has accepted the gift of the Savior's Atonement is a willingness to give." Henry B. Eyring, Giving with Joy, Ensign, Dec. 1982
Our countdown to October is almost officially over. You may remember several months ago I posted a blog saying that when October came around that our family would be focusing on giving more service to those around us as a way to honor our little Aspyn. I also challenged and invited those who read this blog to join us. As the time has gotten closer I sill feel that it is very important to do but have wondered if it was necessary to make one month out of the year seem more important than the rest to serve those around us. It may seem weird to some that October is the Ogden family service month. Let me explain a little more about why we are doing this.
When Aspyn passed on we really didn't know what to do or what to expect. But before we had the time to figure this all out we immediately were given support from our family and strangers that we did not know. Even at the hospital I had nurses and hospital workers that came to give emotional support and offering to help with making arrangements for Aspyn. I was amazed at the generosity of Amy Engle and the time that she spent at the hospital taking care of things for us. Such as taking pictures and putting together a memory box for us to keep. She was there almost the whole day ready to give of her time. Not much later we began to have family come to the hospital as well. Randy's parents came and were a big help to us with furthering the arrangements of what needed to happen as well as took the other kids to eat and brought them to the hospital, and were just an all around comfort to us. My mom hopped on a plane and got here that evening and was a big help with the kids in making sure that things tried to stay as normal for them as possible. If it weren't for her they might not have been trick-or-treating last year. My sister was available for me on the phone every time I called her and was a great listener as we shed tears together, even at 5:00 am when I woke her up to talk! It didn't end there either. We continued to receive support from people all around us even from people we didn't expect. Meals were brought in for several days, arrangements were made for graveside services and burial, we received gifts of love from family, friends, and even people we hardly know. At that time we had not really ever had the need of service from others, besides the occasional helping us move kind of thing. The amount of love and kindness that we received at that time was very touching and as I look back now it was also inspiring. So now we want to be able to give back.
We are taught in church to love and serve others. The two really go hand in hand. How can you love somebody and not want to serve them as well. So we decided that October we would really focus on giving to service to others in hope that we will make it a part of our lives always. I know that we have our families that keep us pretty busy and I remember in a VT lesson a couple of years ago that it said our service should begin in our homes with our families. However, we need to make great efforts to serve those in need as much as possible and incorporate our families into that. For our children who are older they can learn so much from our example but also by being a part of it.
It is my hope that by focusing on service this next month that we will become more in tune to the needs of others and be able to bless their lives as ours was blessed last fall. When I think of the Savior I think of how much he loves each of us, and how his mortal life was filled with service and charity. He gave all he had to everyone around him. And now he still serves and love us and we get to know of his love through the service of others. I knew that he hadn't forgot our family because he sent others to us in our time of sorrow and they brought his love with them. We need to always be willing to share his love with others, which means serving others, even if by small and simple means! Let us all follow his example and be better givers of service!
(Is givers even a word?)

2 Say Something:

KrisJ said...

I have been waiting for this post. You speak so eloquently about this and I think it is such a sweet and good thing to do. What a wonderful way to remeber Aspyn. I love surprise service, it always makes me feel the best. Im going to try to help a couple people that have been on my mind for a long time and I want to really focus on my own family too. We love you so much and I appreciate what a good example you are to me and everyone else. You are so strong and brave and such a good daughter of God. Love you so much!!

Stacey Jensen said...

I love that you are part of our family. It seems when I am struggling with something, you happen to be inspired to say just what I need to hear. I know that the loss of a child is difficult and can really turn you from where your focus should be, but in your case it only brought you closer to the One who could offer the healing balm that actually works. I wish we were closer to you so we could help and participate in this with you. As it is, we will participate from Idaho in memory of Aspyn. I appreciate the opportunity to serve others and honor your daughter. I think I will begin with my own family as that is where it is needed the most and will have the biggest impact in my life.