Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Power of Showing Up

My husband, Jim, and I are a couple of “show-uppers.” We show up to just about everything and anything we are invited to, are expected to be to and even lots of places where no one thought we would be there. Life happens, of course. Sometimes we are double-booked, out of town, ill or a few times, just plain forget. Nevertheless, generally speaking, we show up. So do a lot of other people. I can’t help but notice a pattern, however. It seems in any given circle, it is pretty much the same people that show up.

The same teachers show up at afterschool events or meetings, the same people show up at ward temple day, welfare assignments, service projects, Eagle projects and Courts of Honor, convert baptisms and wedding receptions, particularly those that are really too far away (but the “show-uppers” will come anyway). They show up at kids’ performances (often when they are not even related), graduation parties, baby and bridal showers and more.

We are also “stay late and help clean-uppers.” Oh yeah, I married into a large bunch of stay late and help out folks. If we are at a wedding reception of someone we don’t even know that well and we happen to get there as it is ending, I can guarantee that the Abneys are not going home until the last table has been stripped of its cloth and decorations, the last chair has been stacked and the floor swept, if not mopped.

Am I bragging? No… just making an observation. It takes a big chunk out of your life to be a “show-upper.” Yet, I know from experience, that when we have an event, a talk to give or any other number of things that may involve others and we look out to see “so-and-so” and we KNEW they would be there… because they always “show up” and we knew we could count on them, there is something so sweet that washes over us. Everyone has fun, gets the work done, cheers the drama student or band member, finishes the Eagle project, does the temple work, supports the new church member, the new grad, the new bride or the new mom or whatever the event may be. Everyone is also enriched, either for having given or received. Everyone becomes closer, bonds of family and friends are strengthened. In this there is real, tangible power… something that adds to your own framework and rounds out the empty spots, fills in the gaps, brings out the smiles and creates value, love and blessings. Yep, I have a lot of gratitude for those who “show-up” and I’m proud to be counted among them because the blessings are a two-way street. It’s impossible to bless the lives of someone else without blessing your own life. You just have to “show-up.”

10 comments:

Amy said...

I agree...I have always loved that about the Abney family! Great blog!

Taylor said...

Great observation! I never really thought about it, but it is always the same group "showing up." My parents showed be example the importance of showing up - I am glad they did because it has enriched my life!

Stacie Robinson said...

That made me laugh, because you guys always do 'show up' and help 'clean up'! Gotta love the Abneys!!!

Lori Bottomley said...

I love this Stephanie. Made me think about how the show uppers are probably the people who show up for themselves in life as well. No excuses, just show up and do it. Life happens and so you show up and dig in. No complaining, whining or pouting...just show up and do what needs doing. LOVE IT!

Rene Allen said...

How right you are. My husband has always been the first there and last to leave. I've been trained over the years that this is a wonderful demonstration of his devotion to serving his Heavenly Father. It's a good example of enduring to the end. I feel like we're in good company!

Durfee Family said...

Great post! And so true! It's great to know the Abneys! Thanks for the great example you set!

LennyHarp said...

You are what you write.!! I am sorry i did not show up the other day.

Stephanie Abney said...

But, Lenny, you DID show up!!! Early!!! Even though you couldn't be at the event you came and brought an amazing gift for Benny in your beautifully crafted flute. It was really sweet of you. You are so awesome and I can't wait to watch the DVD you brought ~ didn't have time to watch it with Matt's family but they will be back in town again for their turn to see it.

You have been a CONSTANT friend... in my book, you "show up" BIG TIME!!! Love to you and yours!
Stephanie

sassy red said...

True post Mom! I almost feel guilty now if I don't stay and help clean up some church meeting or get to gether:)

JoAnn Arnold said...

You are so totally right. It's also the same people to accept the responsibilities to take care of everything needed to be taken care of, proving the saying true: "If you need something done, ask someone who is already busy."

Enjoyed your post.