Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Servant's Heart Project

Something that is extremely important to my husband and I, is teaching our children to have a servant's heart.  We want them to grow up understanding the importance of helping others and experiencing the blessings that come from giving.  Since my oldest son (9 years old) is currently home schooled, some type of service project fit great with our end of the year schedule. We started a couple of weeks ago.  I mentioned the idea to him in the car one day on our way home.  He loves to help others but like most kids needs an adult to point him in the right direction.  I told him to think of someone he would like to help.  Since he has spent so much time at the cardiology clinic over the years (click here to read about some of his heart history), it did not surprise me that he chose to help kids with heart problems.  I helped him brainstorm for a little bit and he decided he wanted to help children while they are going through an echo cardiogram.  An echo cardiogram is basically a very detailed sonogram of the heart.  It can be quite the challenge to perform on little patients.  It can seem a bit scary, it takes awhile, and the patient has to be very still and quiet.  I can no longer count how many echos my son has had over the years; at times it was a piece of cake and other times it took a team of us to get him to cooperate. His most beloved stuffed animal is a turtle.  We bought it at the hospital gift shop during one of his surgeries.  This turtle has also had many echo cardiograms. :)  He decided small stuffed turtles would be the perfect gift for kiddos having echos.  He thought it would help distract them if they were fidgeting or having a hard time.  He spent the next couple of days researching the best size and priced turtle online.  He wanted something small for younger children and he had to stay within a specific budget. We called his most favorite nurse and asked her when would be the best time to bring the turtles to the clinic.  He wanted to give them directly to her and not leave them at the front desk. :) Today was the big day; the day he completed his Servant's Heart Project.  He was so excited.  With my help, he worked on the computer to print small tags for each turtle and a large tag for the basket.  He used green ribbon (his favorite color) to attach the tags to the turtles.  On each tag was a rhyme he came up with, "If you're scared and can't sit right, hold this tiny turtle tight."  He held the basket of turtles all the way to the hospital.  He could have placed it on the floor but I could tell he didn't want anything to happen to them.

When we got to the clinic, the nurses made such a big deal out of him and his delivery.  He had his picture taken and told the story of his project to several people.  He was fortunate enough to watch two small patients (who were having a very difficult time) receive his turtles.  He was beaming when he realized how much he helped those children.  He told the nurse he wants to refill the basket when it is empty.  He said, "Yep, this is not one of those one-time deals."  She asked him about the details, who should receive the turtles, what age, and so on.  They agreed the turtles would go to first time patients, those who are having a hard time sitting still, and patients receiving bad news.  The morning was absolutely priceless.
This is Paige, his all time favorite nurse.  They always talk about turtles during his appointments.

On our way out he talked and talked about how great it felt to help out.  He was so happy and my heart was bursting!
"Well done, good and faithful servant."  Matthew 25:21
This Bible verse reminds me of one of the most faithful servants, my grandfather (Warren Johnson).  He passed away a few years ago and our family misses him dearly.  Every time I think of a good servant of God, he comes to my mind.  Today, I got to see my grandfather's qualities in my son and it was beautiful.

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