Project Advent II, Day 22: Helping the Mullins


You may remember a week and a half ago, I asked for your help with today's project.  My original goal was to find somebody who needed a number of household repairs and tasks done, and to help them out with that.  It turns out that finding somebody for that was much harder than I had anticipated!  But earlier this week, my wife's cousin Chad called me with a suggestion.

Chad owns a few rental homes, and told me the story of Mr. and Mrs. Mullins, who live in one of them.  They're a retired couple on a fixed income, and he has battled with cancer for the last several years.  They believed it to be in remission, but it has returned.  Mrs. Mullins has some back trouble, which makes it difficult for her to do certain things around the home.  Chad told me that they've always kept the place really nice, and have always been fantastic tenants.  The home is in good repair, but their health troubles have made certain cleaning tasks really difficult for them.

The project took on a different direction.  Instead of repairs, we'd be doing cleaning.  This morning, Chad and his daughter Halle met us at the Mullins' home, both of us armed with cleaning supplies.  A few minutes later, my friend Amy Johnston showed up with her three daughters (and one of their boyfriends, too!).  The next hour and a half was a whirlwind of Swiffers, bleach wipes, magic erasers, mops, Windex, and dust cloths.  Chad and Halle worked outside to tidy up the yard some.  Amy and I focused on the kitchen, scrubbing down the cabinet fronts and counter tops.  Blake and one of Amy's daughters took turns on the Swiffer, while another of her girls cleaned the glass in the front door.  Amy's oldest daughter and her boyfriend cleaned the bathroom until it shone.

And you know?  I really have to brag on all of our kids today.  All of them just got out of school for the Christmas holiday yesterday, and they've got their whole break ahead of them.  It's a Saturday morning.  There's a million things they could be doing, but instead of doing any of those things, they are with us in the home of somebody they don't know, doing a great job of cleaning.  I was so proud of them all, I thought I would burst.

I was dusting the many family photos that hung in the Mullins' living room, and Mr. Mullins came in and said, "Careful, now!  Those are my trophies."  And as he said it, he stopped to look at a picture of his grandkids and his whole face was covered with a smile.

While we were wrapping up, Chad's wife Heather arrived with a trunkload of groceries for the Mullins.  We unloaded them and put them away, and Mr. Mullins told us that he had never had anybody do this much for him before.  Chad thanked him for giving all of us the chance to bless him today.

Today wasn't the project that I had imagined, but it ended up being something even better.  Merry Christmas, Mr. and Mrs. Mullins!

Affirmation Project:  I was surrounded by so much generosity today.  Chad, who set this up, and who has done other things to help the Mullins.  Heather, who shopped for them.  Amy and her kids, who gave their time to come and help us out.  My friend Ann, who didn't feel well enough to join us today, but who contributed a gift card for groceries.  My mom, who overwhelmed me with an unexpected act of kindness.  Thank you, everybody.


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