went to the post office recently, to mail a package to my daughter.
It was Columbus Day, so the post office was closed. Mostly. There’s
one of those machine doohickeys that walks you through the cost and
printing process, so I eventually was able to drop the package in the
I turned around, a couple of women were waiting their turn, and a
men’s wallet was on the counter. No one claimed it. I wandered
around to the few folks checking their post office boxes. They
didn’t claim it either. So, after waiting a few minutes, I
peeked at the driver’s license, and drove home with the wallet.
this fellow is a Facebook member. I wrote him a note, filling him in,
gave my cell phone number, and waited for him to call. About 45
seconds later, he called. I assured him I hadn’t rifled through
his wallet. (I don’t even do that kind of stuff to my
children.) But I said that I’d be happy to meet him and return
to the post office I went. What a darling young man! He was so
grateful, and happily went on his way. End of story. Kind of.
is why I tell the story: I drove out of that parking lot so full of
sunshine that I thought I may burst for a moment. It made my day. It
quickened my step and blessed me throughout the rest of Monday,
October 13th, 2014.
a simple thing. Not a big deal. Yet, such a sweet reward in my heart.
It made me, once again, realize, how giving is not even aptly
named. We can’t give without getting something
greater in return.
clearly, I see that this whole see-saw of service is a learning curve
for a better way of living. A beautiful joy filled way of growing
joy. Of lifting burdens. Of sharing good stuff.
time I have the opportunity to offer something to someone else, my
heart smiles. Whether or not they even know it’s me (anonymous
service is often the best and most fun), I am better for it.
is not amazing service like the widow’s crucible of oil or
“last” of her meal. Mine is certainly not, in any way,
like our Savior’s examples — over and over — of
offering to and for others. But I recognize the brilliance of why we
have the opportunity to help one another.
I have remembered President Spencer W. Kimball’s words, “God
does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through
another person that he meets our needs” (Teachings
of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball
, 82). Many is the time I’ve had quiet prayers answered
by another person. Powerfully, I have learned that I am watched over.
times past, when the children were young, making those sneaky runs to
neighbor’s houses with goodies, or making the annual trip at
Christmas time to the homeless shelter, I have the sweet memories of
watching the excitement of my babies as they helped another person.
gave me a double blessing — my own joy, as well as the layer
that comes as a mom knowing her children are feeling theirs. Does
that make sense?
of us have times when we need to depend on others for help. When it
is given freely, kindly, joyfully, we feel it. When it comes with any
kind of “price tag” — and some of you understand —
we feel that, too. I’d rather have no help than the kind that
doesn’t feel real and heartfelt.
that’s prideful on my part. Or maybe it’s a sensitivity
to the core reason for giving and receiving. A desire to be more like
Christ, and have us all pitch in — just “because”
and with happiness and kindness. Doesn’t that sound like the
best way to live?
all things be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14)
I suppose, is my thought for today. There is love all around. It
seems to be in the frequency of the air waves, if we tune in. We can
enjoy the heck out of our days, doing little things for other folks.
There is joy to be had in finding small ways to offer kindness.
“Small things with great love,” as Mother Teresa said.
experience at the post office was another simple reminder to me of
this simple principle. It’s a wonderful one. There is much
goodness in it.
Vickey Pahnke Taylor is a wife, mom, grandmother, teacher, author, and songwriter. Her
undergraduate study at BYU was musical theater. She has a Masters degree in interpersonal
A Billboard award-winning songwriter with hundreds of songs to her credit, she uses music as a
teaching tool. But her favorite way to use music has been to sing to her children. You should
hear the family's rousing versions of "Happy Birthday"!
In addition to three solo albums in the LDS market, she co-wrote "Women at the Well" with
Kenneth Cope and "My Beloved Christ: with Randy Kartchner. She is co-writer of the theme
song for Utah's Make-A-Wish foundation, the song for the Special Olympics program, and
EFY's theme song.
She writes for several online magazines and columns, and has authored several books. Her
website, www.goodnessmatters.com, is her way of continuing to grow goodness in the world,
pointing people gently toward Christ and eternal principles of truth.
She has spoken for the Church's various Youth and Family programs for 25 years. She and her
husband Dean have eight children and four grandchildren. She adores being a wife, mom and
grandmother. She loves flowers, brownies, cooking Italian and Southern foods, the ocean, and
laughing every chance she gets.
Vickey was baptized a member of the Church as a teenager in Virginia. She serves as gospel
doctrine teacher in her ward, and Dean serves on their stake high council.