Saturday, April 4, 2015

Smelling the Roses

Have you ever had a moment that just put your life into perspective? Not necessarily a bad situation, just one that made you realize how incredibly blessed you are? A couple of weeks ago I had one of those moments.  Before I can get into that moment, however, I have to rewind back to February.

Within Indiana FFA there is an Executive Committee. This committee is made up of all the District Presidents, the Section Directors, the State Band and Chorus Presidents, as well as the State Officers. To kick off FFA Week (a week celebrating FFA and agriculture) this year, that committee decided that it would be awesome to do a community service project.  After much deliberation they settled upon helping at Circle City Relief.  I had no idea as to what Circle City Relief was, so I did a little bit of research. I found that Circle City is a Non-Profit, Christian Organization that serves lunch to the less fortunate in downtown Indy every Sunday. The description was enough to get me excited for our excursion, but I wasn't nearly prepared for what this group was all about. When we arrived, we learned they are about so much more than serving food. Not only do the volunteers hand out pizza, soups, drinks, as well as other varieties of food, but they do so every single Sunday afternoon regardless of the weather. The day we were there was testimony to that with the cold temperatures, wind, and sleet that mother nature dealt us.  Outside of this aspect, the organization also offers clothing and bikes to those in need. This all sounds great, but what I really loved was how the volunteers genuinely wanted to get to know the individuals who came through. The group who leads the activities has been doing so for last 5 years and the relationships, as well as the rapport, that they've built with the members of the community is absolutely amazing.

After hearing a little bit about Circle City, I’m sure you can see why some of us fell in love with it. We fell so in love with it, in fact, that the girls and I have gone back since then.  The last time we were able to go was the first Sunday that it really began to feel like spring. The sun was shining and the air was just warm enough for you to really want to shed your heavy winter jacket.  When we arrived, we all scattered in different directions depending on where we were needed. Brittany helped serve soup and got to know people as they passed her. Dakota and I were on ‘Doughnut Duty’ which consisted of passing out boxes of donuts….that is until we ran out. Once that happened we began mingling and just talking to those who were there. Miss Lindsey was drawn to the group of little kids who were there. She told them stories, chased them around the parking lot, and at the end of the day just loved on them. Seeing each of my sisters in an element that they loved so much warmed my heart. And that’s when I had one of those perspective moments.

Not only were each of us so happy to be there, but so was everyone else. There were some individuals there who truly only had a tent to live in, but you never would have guessed it. They had smiles on their faces, a kind word to say, and they were the first to say how blessed they were. Being able to enjoy the company of those individuals for three hours was the highlight of my entire week.
A lot of times I forget about all the blessings in my life because I’m so caught up in figuring out how to finish what’s next on my list. For example, I’m so focused about getting everything ready for college that I forget to thank my parents for all they've done to help me get to the point where college is an option. Or I forget to tell my teammates just how much I appreciate them because I've gotten so used to them being around. It makes me think of the cliché phrase “Take time to stop and smell the roses”.  Most people laugh when they hear this quote, but I think there’s a lot of truth to it. A majority of society has a lot going on in their day and things get pushed to the back of their plate or even forgotten. More often than not it’s realizing what all they’re blessed with.

Being there, in that moment, simply talking to some seriously cheerful people reminded me of everything I’m blessed with; everything from my family, to the opportunity to be there that day. Those three hours of fellowship served as my time to stop and smell the roses.

Especially with it being the Easter season, I realize just how blessed I am. Unfortunately I shouldn't just remember my blessings around holidays. A tip to myself, and to you, remember your blessings and take the time to stop and smell the roses in your life.

Incredibly blessed,
Kathleen Jacobs
Indiana FFA State Treasurer 

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