Friday, September 16, 2011

Yo Gabba Gabba and Service

A talk I gave last week just two weeks after moving into our new LDS Ward . I truly feel inspired to share it here, and no matter what your faith, religion, or lack thereof, the ability to serve and be served has far reaching effects and we all should make time for it in our daily lives, if anything, to make us better people and to make this world a happier place for all who live here. Happy weekend.

Shot on a Nikon F100 50mm 1.4 lens at f/16 on Portra 400 Film .

It is an honor to stand before you today and be the one to introduce my beautiful little family to you. There is nothing very unique or special about us, except for maybe our recent discovery and subsequent adoration for Yo Gabba Gabba. Okay, truthfully, Hubbs hates Yo Gabba Gabba, and I am not certain that Memms really, truly, hates it or likes it or if she is just pretending that she doesnt like it, but do know that Joth, Millz and I are pretty much in love with DJ Lance Rock. You are probably wondering what does Yo Gabba Gabba have to do with her talk? What? You dont know? Well, neither do I, I just needed something quirky to spark your interest in hearing my talk this morning, I think that might be something they teach you in public speaking, but I am not sure since I have never taken public speaking.

Hubbs was born in Sao Paulo Brazil, and spent the first 17 years of his life growing up and attending school there and in a small town just outside of the big city called Atibaia. He came to the United States to study English and attend university after graduating high school. Hubbs was able to master the English language and has studied at LDS Business College and Salt Lake Community College and later studied Accounting and Finance at the University of Utah. He is an eternal student who has 12 credit hours left, but now that he is almost done with school he is pretty sure he doesn
t want to work in accounting or finance. Go figure. He is now celebrating his 11th year with Discover Financial, and works part time as a Real Estate Consultant with HomeNet Real Estate. He is also a full time dad, and I think does his best work when doing that job. I am certain his children would agree.

I was born in Salt Lake City and spent and lived in many parts of the valley. I attended Cottonwood High School, and LDS Business College. I later studied photography at Salt Lake Community College. I am currently self-employed as a graphic designer and portrait photographer. I also work part time as co-owner of an inspirational jewelry and gift company, which targets shedding light on the difficulties of infertility and pregnancy loss as well as infant loss and a line of adoption gifts and apparel.

Hubbs and I met at work twelve years ago. He had just returned home from serving his mission in Anaheim, California. I was a senior in high school, so yes, you can do the math and decipher that I was 18 when we met. Hubbs was 22 and I wanted NOTHING to do with the fellow. He was a returned missionary, and I was graduating from high school. I wanted to travel the world, finish school, and serve my own mission. Despite being very devout in my faith, if I am being 100% honest, marriage and motherhood were not anywhere near the top of my list of things to accomplish in the near future. However, Hubbs had different plans. His plans involved things like sitting by me every day at work, asking me out numerous times even after being shot down each previous time. Finally, one day on my last night working with Hubbs, I slipped him my phone number. I was feeling quite guilty for turning him down. I was pretty sure I was safe that he would never call me anyway. Surprisingly, he called a few days later and asked me out for the next evening. When I asked him what we would be doing (A girl has to plan her attire for such things) his response was, and I quote,
Uh, uh…” Followed by immense sweating and possible tears. The poor guy hadnt planned a date! He was SO eager for me to just say YES (He was sure I was going to say no again) that he had neglected to actually plan an evening on the off chance I would say yes. Well, he pulled a date out of his hat and in the next breath said, A birthday party! So that was it. I went with him to a birthday party where they were only speaking Portuguese. It was the- worst date of my life. At the end of the night he made sure to ask me out again for the following week, I decided I could give him one more chance, and it was on our second date I knew, with all of my soul that this man was to be my eternal companion. I can describe in perfect detail where I was sitting, how the air felt, everything, the moment I knew. I was scared out of my mind. However, I have since learned that my Heavenly Father loves me very much, and He doesnt prompt me in ways such as this if it isnt in my best interest. We were married 9 months later in the Salt Lake Temple and yes I was still 18.

Three years later we were blessed with our astounding little boy Joth who will turn 8 in a month and is making the courageously righteous decision to be baptized. I am so pleased with this tiny creature and his kindness and loving ways are a great example of Christ like love to anyone.

Our daughter Memms is almost six and has just started Kindergarten. She is a bright, cheerful, and helpful little girl. She is very funny, and she and her brother are the best of friends. They know how to always make us laugh, and one of their most endearing qualities is when they quote
my- favorite movies just to make me laugh. Especially lines from Napoleon Dynamite and 50 First Dates, or my favorite Disney movie UP.

Millz is our baby. She just turned two and is SO spunky. Spunky is a term people use to describe someone who is lively and vivacious. This definitely defines Millz. My favorite thing about her these days is her constant,
Hold you! which she says only 1.2 million times a day. When she isnt begging me to hold her, she is either talking about babies, drawing babies, asking to hold babies, playing doll babies or pretending to be a baby.

We are all very excited to be in your ward, to get to know each of you and we hope that you will all feel the same excitement we do in getting to know us as well.

I am so thankful to be able to speak to you a little today about service. One of my all time favorite scriptures can be found in Mosiah 2: 17- "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

Time and time again we are taught this lesson. There truly are not many other ways that one can grow closer to our Heavenly Father and our Savior than by serving and at certain times, allowing to be served.

President Spencer W. Kimball said,
I have learned that it is by serving that we learn how to serve. When we are engaged in the service of our fellowmen, not only do our deeds assist them, but also we put our own problems in a fresher perspective. When we concern ourselves more with others, there is less time to be concerned with ourselves. In the midst of the miracle of serving there is the promise of Jesus, that by losing ourselves, we find ourselves.

We live in a very selfish time. We are bombarded with so many different things and can often be consumed by the
I- need to _______. It can become seriously challenging and overwhelming. It is at these times I need a huge boost of spirit and one of the fastest ways to receive the spirit in your life is to forget the I- and see what you can do for someone else. This is called service and it is the swiftest high I can imagine one can ever possess in this life.

I am not very proud to admit this, but I used to be a very prideful and selfish person, I wasn
t horrible or mean, or prideful in an outward way, but I didnt like people to know I was struggling. I didnt like to share that I needed help, and if help was offered to me, I didnt like taking it. Nearly four years ago our family suffered some very difficult losses. We lost a baby when I was 17 weeks pregnant. We were not only battling with the heavy loss of losing our baby, but I was recovering from a near death experience and was very weak. Man, I had no idea what service was until those very dark and trying days. I didnt know what service was until complete strangers were sending us cards of sympathy. It wasnt until flowers and countless meals showed up on our doorstep and when women came to fold my laundry, and scrub my floors and to watch my two children and another son we were fostering at the time so I could rest. It wasnt until I recovered physically from these events that I realized how valuable service is and was to me. I realized at this time in my life more than ever before that allowing yourself to accept service, and giving others the chance to practice this divine art was just as important a lesson as giving service. I have never been more humbled or felt closer to my Father in Heaven or my Savior than I did during these times when angels passed through the walls of our home in the disguise of friends and strangers and women with mops and baby wipes and hugs and shoulders and tissues.

I promised myself that we would do all we could in the future to,
“Succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.”

Going through trial refines us and better prepares us to serve others in the future. It gives us empathy and an awareness to reach out to touch the lives of those who are suffering and brings us closer to the Savior in a depth that couldnt be reached otherwise.

President Spencer W. Kimball also said in this same vein:
God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdomSo often, our acts of service consist of simple encouragement or of giving mundane help with mundane tasks, but what glorious consequences can flow from mundane acts and from small but deliberate deeds!

I love how President Kimball talks about service. It is so obvious that we need to be on a vigil as it were, seeking out what we can do each and every day to conquer those small and simple mundane acts of deliberate service. Brilliant!

I love preparing for a talk. For me, it is as if I get to have a weeklong conversation with Heavenly Father about the topic. He has shown me so many examples of service in the last week. Our family has recently gone through another amazingly painful trial. It has been very difficult channeling through, but I am amazed at the love my Father in Heaven has for us, and how often times through this trial it has been the hands of those around us who have helped to strengthen us. Sometimes it is very hard but one of the most recent examples of service came through an email just yesterday from an old friend which simply stated:
I have willing hands what would love to help in any way.

How beautiful is that statement? Look at your own hands. How willing are they to help lift up our brothers and our sisters? Are they ready to love one another and serve one another as our Savior would?

I want to share my simple testimony of service with you. There truly is no greater way to grow closer to our Father in Heaven and to His Son, than to serve his children, and when appropriate, to humble ourselves and allow ourselves to be served by those sent to do such a sacred work.

I have seen it borne witness in my life countless times. I have seen service bless my life both when I receive it, but more importantly when I give it. It is my prayer and my hope that each of us can make it a point to increase our level of service, to choose even one small, simple and perhaps mundane thing each day to do for someone else. Even the smallest things, like holding a door open, or even a simple smile can lighten the heaviest of hearts and bring the greatest joy to the giver and to the receiver. Like the words of one of my favorite Hymns, Have I done any good in the world today? Have I helped anyone in need? Have I cheered up the sad? Made someone feel glad? If not I have failed indeed. It is my hope that we can each wake up and do something more each day to serve those in our lives.

Our Savior lives. He loves us. Our Father in Heaven is aware of each of us. Allow Him to express His love to you, by serving Him by serving others.


Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing this Kim. This topic has been on my mind lately and reading your talk is a perfect reminder that selflessness leads to true happiness.

Janae said...

What a great talk Kim. It was fun to hear you describe your family. It was great to read your thoughts. I hope things are going well for you in your new place.

michiganbliss said...

needed to hear this today. Beautiful talk.

Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing your talk. (I was out in the lobby with my 18 month old during sacrament meeting, so it was nice "hearing" at least one talk today, heh) I love the way you write. And while I am curious about your current trial (only to see if it's similar to mine), I don't need to know to wish you the best! Things always work out in the end. There are good talks last Conference about trials too.

Amy and Josh said...

Love Your talk Kim!! I going to cut an paste those amazing qoutes:) I am So jealous that they have you in their ward-miss you.

DisabilityDiva said...

Love getting to know you better and Have I Done Any Good...I think that is you trying to bring a piece of good to the world!

Alli Easley said...

Love it, Kim. You're an inspiration to me

Alli Easley said...

Kim, loved this. You are an inspiration to me Love your guts.