Saturday, November 5, 2011

The gift of A Servant's Heart~

Do you have someone in your life that you would consider having a servant's heart? Do have the privilege of knowing someone who just likes doing things for others out of the kindness of their heart, over and over again?

Everyone usually takes time out of their lives to help friends in need, or a family member who is asking for their assistance, but having a servants heart is a totally different thing. It's one of the many spiritual gifts that God bestows upon His people. Having a servant's heart means is when someone is able to reach out and meet the needs of others with compassion and understanding, even when the person they are helping cannot see or understand that they need assistance or even ask for the help.

It's an uncanny ability to be so in tuned with others in your life, that you know and sense what they need even though they may not even know it themselves or have the presence of mind to ask for help. I've known only a few people like that in my lifetime, but one of them I've admired for years is my sister-in-law Linda.

She's been on my heart lately, because she lost her Dad this past week, after a long struggle with Alzheimer's and only about 6 months ago or so, she suddenly lost her Mom. This gracious lady has lost both of her parents in a very short time. Linda was close with both her parents, but kinda like me, she lived apart from them for quite a few years and wasn't able to be part of their daily lives as much as I'm sure she wanted to, I'm sure. My heart aches for her and I am praying for her as she and my brother go to lay her Dad to rest.

                                                         My brother Mike and his sweet, sweet wife, Linda

Linda has been occupying many of my thoughts this week as I've been reflecting and admiring the gracious way she lives her life. Linda, without a doubt, has a servant's heart. She is always doing things for other people that she loves. I'm not talking about a few little things, (although she does all those too) I'm talking about the daily things that are desperately needed to help a family live their lives in comfort.

I have been so very blessed to have all of my family living so close by my folks, and both of my brothers and their families have been very attentive to my parents needs over the years. It's been so comforting for me to know that all of them are near each other, especially as my parents have transitioned into this final era of their lives. Mom and Dad have been so fortunate and their lives have been greatly enriched by having their sons, daughter-in-law's and many of their grandchildren and great grandchildren near by.

                                        The Beagle Family at my birthday dinner 10/4/ 09 in TN. (Linda is on the far left.)

But Linda is in a league of her own. She has had and continues to have amazing devotion to my parents. She has gone above and beyond the call of duty, so many times, in so many ways, for so many years, I can't even count them. She's paid bills, done taxes, made meals, cleaned their house, mopped their floors, done their laundry, sewed buttons and snaps on my Dad's shirts and all of the other million little things that they needed done. She has made beautifully handmade elaborate window treatments and matching pillows and bedspreads for my folks bedrooms. She handled much of all the medicare and medicaid issues for both of my parents. She's hosted many, many family celebrations throughout the years with style. The bottom line is that Linda has treated my parents like they were her own parents. What a blessing that has been for them and for all of us, too.

When it was time to sell Mom and Dad's house and necessarily have both of them move into the nursing home, thankfully my sister-in-law Debra is in the real estate business,so she handled the sale. That was a total God-thing, but taking care of cleaning out the house and it's contents, cleaning it, having it totally redone and ready to sell again, having garage sales and being responsible for everything connected with all of that mostly belonged to my brother Mike and again, to sweet Linda. She is the detail lady. And she doesn't miss anything, believe me. She just dove right in and got the job done. That's how she is, she's a do-er. She never complains, she just does, and does, and does. She's one of those totally competent, totally organized people that I am so jealous of!

I wanted to write all this down because as I've thought about all the things she's done for our entire family  over the years, I'm overwhelmed when I think about the hours and hours that this unbelievably strong woman has devoted to the welfare of others. She is probably the most selfless person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Of course, she spends countless hours taking care of her husband and children and grandchildren with the same astonishing attentiveness. I hope they appreciate every thing she does for them, cause she does a lot! Sometimes we become so accustomed to things, we just expect them to always be that way. But my prayer is that they remember what a gift she has given them and continues to give them each day and tell her what a true treasure she is.

Linda just always seems to know what you need, sometimes, even before you know it yourself. That's why I think she is blessed with a servant's heart. She's a rather quiet lady and doesn't wear her faith on her sleeve,  but rather, she shows the love of Jesus in everything she does to help others get through their own lives with dignity and grace.

So, thank you Linda for everything you do for all of us, every day. We don't say it enough. You are our special family angel, sent from the Lord on High, doing His work for His Kingdom.

May the Lord comfort you during this difficult time right now. We're there with you in prayer and please don't forget how very much we love you and appreciate all your many, many kindnesses. It's your turn to lean on us for a change. God Bless you, Sis. Here's a great verse for the way you live each day:

My verse for today is from 1 Peter 5:2

"Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve"

My prayer for today:

Dear Lord God:

Thank you for our dear sweet Linda. Thank you for all the many kindnesses she has shown to our family. Please be with her today Lord, as she lays her Dad to rest. Surround her with your loving arms of comfort. Help her and her sisters and family to feel the love and prayers that envelope them.

She does so much for so many Lord. Help her to take this time to mourn and remember the life of her Dad with her family. Give her the strength she needs in the coming days and months. Help her to rest in your Arms.

I ask this in your precious Name,

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