Greetings from Shanon's House of Compassion,
The months of January and February have been very busy. We had a full house for most of the month of January. We have had guests from Leighton, Tuscumbia, Muscle Shoals, Florence, Albertville, Alabama and also guests from Florida and Texas.
The last Day of December around 9:00 p.m. there was a knock at the back door. It was a former guest who had stayed with us a few times while his wife was in the hospital with treatments for cancer. He told us that his father-in-law had been in an accident and wanted to know if there was a room for his mother-in-law and her three daughters. They came over later that night. This was such a sweet family and their hearts were so heavy. They told us about what a good man their Dad was and how all the people he had help through the years were now coming to help them. Sometimes I find myself being like Martha in the Bible, always busy in the kitchen instead of a "Mary", but God always sends me gentle reminders of where I should be and this was the case the next morning. When we walked into the kitchen, one of the daughters was in the den with her Bible opened up. She had not been able to sleep so she got up and read her Bible most of the night. We let breakfast preparations wait. We talked about how God's word is so comforting and how it always fits whatever we are going through. Many times at Shanon's House Johnny and I just listen to those hurting. This daughter wanted to talk about her dad. When her Mother got up she stood at the sink with tears in her eyes and told me about her husband, and how they had been childhood sweethearts. They had been married for 49 years. She was very appreciative of Shanon's House. She told me "Just being able to sleep last night will help me face whatever comes to us today. It's just one less thing we have to worry about." Later that day on the 1st of January, the son-in-law came back to tell me his father-in-law had passed away. His father-in-law had been very healthy and just went out in his truck to ride around the farm. The son-in-law said "this is just a reminder to all of us, we should always be ready." Every time we have guests who lose a loved one it always makes us aware of how precious life is and how we should never take a day for granted.
We have had several mothers with newborns in NICU, One mother came with her husband and mother. When she arrived she was crying. This happens with most new mothers. This guest had just left the hospital without her baby and her husband was leaving to go back to work. It was a very emotional time. We told her she wasn't the first to feel like this and reassured her that her baby was getting the best care. We enjoyed her and her mother so much. They stayed with us about three weeks and when they were able to take their baby home she hugged us and she was crying and I was teary eyed. She said "I came here crying and I'm leaving crying." In a note she wrote." I can't thank you enough for allowing Shanon's House to be my home away from home while my baby was in the hospital. Shanon's House has been such a blessing to us."
We had a mother of quadruplets stay with us this month. All the babies were around 2lbs. When the mother and grandmother arrived they knew the other guests. It was like a family reunion, lots of hugs and catching up with each other. It's so interesting to me how our guests enjoy interacting with each other. Several times we would all gather in the den at the end of the day and catch up on how everyone was doing.
As I've said before we are constantly learning. One lesson I learned this month was the lesson of letting others help. Cleaning house is something I have always liked to do by myself. I tell the guests, "You take care of the sick ones and I'll take care of the house." The grandmother of the quadruplets wanted to help clean. I assured her that she didn't have to help. I changed my mind when she said "Mrs. Christy, this is how I say thank you to you and Mr. Johnny and your Church. You are giving my daughter something I could not give her and I am very appreciative of Shanon's House." So I smiled and handed her the mop and sat down and had another cup of coffee.
I have often said how so many of our guests become like family. We were reminded of this when we started out on Christmas day to go to be with our daughter in Tuscaloosa. The snow had started and we were afraid we wouldn't be able to make the trip. We remembered that one of our former guests was a State Trooper. Johnny called him and he told us what roads were open and we needed to leave immediately. When we arrived in Tuscaloosa Johnny sent him a text to tell him we had made it safely and to say thank you. He also said "It's so nice to have a State Trooper in the family." Our former guest replied "You are so welcome, brother."
This month we enjoyed the second grade class at Mayfair coming to Shanon's House. They had used their money to buy children's books for us to give to parents who have children at home. We appreciate so much teachers and parents who are teaching their children to give back to others.
One sweet compliment came from three sisters from Florida. They were referred to us by a member at Mayfair. They were here to be with their brother who was having surgery. When they came to tell us goodbye they said "We've never felt so special before." I thought about this after they left. What made them feel special? I realized it was so many of you. One sister in Christ brought over a casserole they ate one night. Another sister in Christ brought delicious muffins for breakfast one morning. They were so impressed with the beautiful house and everything they needed, someone had supplied. All of you who have helped in any way have been a part of making people feel special. Johnny and I could not do this work without the Lord's help and your help and support. We are grateful to all of you and feel blessed to work with all of you.
Christy and Johnny