Quick Solution: Stop focusing on yourself and find ONE kind thing you can do for someone else and the rest will be history.
And now… for the REST of the story! (As Paul Harvey would have put it… :)
I roll over and discover that the 6-year-old forgot to put her pull-up on and had peed said stranger’s bed.
My Internet and phone weren’t working, because the tin roof of the strange trailer house in which we were sleeping blocked all phone access.
I was wearing the same clothes as the day before and had little sleep due to young cousins chasing each other around, hyped up after watching X-Men 2, slamming the bathroom door and talking half the night.
I think you get the picture. And it wasn’t good.
You see… yesterday, we were visiting some friends about an hour and a half south of San Antonio and my sister had to run my niece to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Last minute, it was set up for all of the rest of us to crash at my sister’s friend “Laura’s” house.
So this morning, I was way out of my element waking up in a stranger’s home with ELEVEN kids (my five and 6 of my sister’s 7) and no adult family reinforcement.
When I got up, I LITERALLY started to PANIC.
I threw some flip flops off and stumbled out the door in order to get cell phone service and immediately called my sister, throwing a “Michelle-sized” tantrum in the process.
I was getting behind on work, felt nasty dirty, had to tell this lady that my daughter had peed her bed, everyone else was asleep and my baby was begging for food (I didn’t have any), and in my mind, I saw EVERYTHING crashing around me.
I griped to my sister and then went back inside the trailer-house with the grumpiest and most negative attitude possible, knowing that I somehow had to hide the negativity from our hostess whom I had literally met 15 minutes before crashing in her daughter’s bed the night before.
Can you see where this was all going??? It was NOT good. I HAD to pull myself out of the negativity, or I KNEW I would regret it later.
When I went back inside, I decided to make an effort to change my nasty attitude and started with something small… I offered to help make breakfast.
While serving the eleven kids I brought, in addition to the hostess’s two kiddos, and sipping on a nice hot cup of joe provided by our gracious host, my attitude slowly began to change.
I began to see how gracious our hostess was to take us in last minute. How SWEET her daughter was to give up her bed. How GENEROUS she was to feed TWELVE people breakfast (6 of them strangers) and then on top of it, make sure that I had a morning cup of coffee.
And now… sitting here, working outside next to a fiery burn trough this morning… I’m actually pretty appalled at my own thoughts the night before, when I had pulled up to this home and was immediately thrown into a negative attitude when I actually saw where we’d be staying.
You see… I, Michelle Hillaert, was raised in a trailer-house in Texas. A double-wide to be exact. I have 9 sisters, and there were 8 of us at a time in that double-wide with my parents. For a time, I even shared one of the three rooms with four of my sisters.
We had NOTHING, but somehow my parent’s always found ways to give to those around us. Their door was always open, and they were always willing to help someone in need.
Memories of having had the PRIVILEGE (or so she would say…) of pushing these kiddos mama, my older sister, Eileen, in the wagon… racing across the yard.
Swimming in a trough that my dad brought back from the grain elevator in which he worked. Making volcanoes in the sand-box. Sliding down a muddy path…
Ahhh the memories… and there was always DIRT. LOTS of dirt. I used to love getting dirty. (Sometimes I still do! LOL) After playing outside all day, you could run a drip of water down my leg, and when it reached the bottom, it would be a drip of mud.
And so now I sit here… with a MUCH better attitude. Memories flooding… gratitude flowing. And it ALL started with ONE positive action.
I’m VERY grateful for Laura. The lady who welcomed us into her home at 10:30 at night without a second thought. Fed us a yummy breakfast, and made sure that I had Internet access in order to get my work done.
Now, I’m going to take this lesson… LEARN from Laura’s generosity… and be GRATEFUL that we had the opportunity to stay here.
Okay… I’ve got to run. There’s a bunch of MUD and some little girls who need a little reinforcement over there. I’m going to let go of the fear of getting dirty… PLAY in the mud… and LIVE FEARLESSLY!!!!
Let the PLAYTIME BEGIN.