Like I've mentioned before, I have always worked and so I have never really had much free time, unless you count the time I'm supposed to be sleeping (which right now, is very true, I have such a hard time sleeping!!).
I'm a very shy person, I don't go out of my way to meet people. that being said, when a clipboard comes around in Relief Society, I pass it on. I don't sign up to bring meals to people, I don't sign up to help clean, I don't sign up for anything. I used to tell myself that I wasn't signing up because I didn't have the time, I didn't know what my work schedule would be. Something along those lines.
Until I stopped working. I never realized how much goes on my church! There's book club every month (which I tried going to at the beginning of the year. . .only lasted a few months) there's enrichment activities every few months, there's super saturday's, there's ward activities, there's meals to take to families who are struggling, and all sorts of things!!
A few sunday's ago, as I'm listening to the lesson I get a clipboard with a sign up to help serve dinner for an anniversary dinner/open house for a couple in our ward (it was their 75th!! wow!!) and I was the last person to get it. Being the shy person I am, I just set in on the seat in front of me. The problem was, I couldn't help but keep looking at it. They only needed 3 people, on a friday night from about 6-8. One person had signed up, and it had been through the entire group of women.
It was taunting me! and I kept trying to make excuses, because I'm shy, and I get nervous around people I don't know, and I don't know alot of people in my ward. Then I thought of this: What if I need help from my ward at some point, and no one signs up? how would I feel? I would think, "well, I never signed up for anything, so I can't blame them". If I want blessings from God, then I need to serve my neighbors. And if no one signs up, then everything gets stuck on the presidency, and that's not fair.
I signed up, and I went and served food. and it was great. I felt great (after the fact, I was very nervous during the whole thing). two ladies from the presidency were there to help serve, myself and one other lady. The Relief Society President (who is the mother of the student body president my senior year. Very, very nice lady) told me that she couldn't believe I signed up because I'm a pregnant woman, and there's all these other old ladies sitting at home, and I should be the one sitting at home. That surprised me, but it was really funny at the same time.
Now, when clipboards come around, I sign up for all sorts of things! I never realized how much there was going on in my ward! Within these next two weeks, there's enrichment next wednesday, in which I need to bring an appetizer, I'm helping clean a house for a neighbor who is moving out, stake conference is this saturday and sunday, next saturday is the ward Christmas breakfast, and on friday there's a get together to say goodbye to some families that are moving out of the ward.
yeah, that's a busy two weeks! But I love it! I love being able to meet people in my ward and make new friends and make good use of my free time to serve others. Especially at this time of year. It really puts me into the Christmas spirit and after all, this is was living like this does.