“If you want to change the world, change the world around you.” Not sure where I picked up this quote but I have always liked it. Doing service is my little way of serving God and giving back for all that I have been given. It is not hard and actually fairly simple. I try to make it a point each day to do God’s service. Along with gratitude in your heart service comes naturally. What I mean by service is doing things for others selflessly out of the kindness of your heart.
In the words of Jesus himself in the bible, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” And “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In keeping with this message I have found that there are many personal rewards and strengths gained when you make it a point to serve others. I know, I know, many of you may be saying. ”I work all day and then come home to take care of the kids, how can I find time to go out and help other people? I have enough to take care in front of me.” Well, guess what? That’s it! You are right! And that’s what I have found that doing service first starts right in front of you. An act of service may simply be to put your planner aside and take some uninterrupted time playing with the kids even though you have a million things to do. It may be not rushing bath, books, and bedtime, but instead savoring the moments and being fully present.
I look at my roles in my personal life and go from there. I am a wife, mom, sister, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, aunt, daughter, granddaughter, friend, etc. I then ask myself daily “How can I be and do the best in the roles I have been given in my life?” and “Who can I do service for today?” I first look into my little circle or my roles and start there. Surely someone could use a phone call and in my extended family someone is always pregnant or with newborn so a home cooked meal dropped off “out of the blue” is very much appreciated. I try to remember to send cards on birthdays with a personal message because everyone loves getting a card in the mail! It’s that simple! Right in front of you are a million opportunities to do service.
Remember: The purest service is to help others and to seek the welfare of others without the expectation of reward. Keep the idea of service in your mind on a daily basis and you will find yourself opening doors for someone, striking up a conversation in line with a stranger, or instead of just saying “thank-you” add an extra “and I hope you have a wonderful day!” These are all easy ways to do service. It may not seem like it, but you are being a light to someone else in this world. As you incorporate this idea more into your life you will seek ways you can serve and if you look deeper at the lives of loved ones you will see where you can serve and do God’s work. You can start with your spouse, co-workers, kids, sisters/brothers, parents, and friends. Ask yourself who needs a hug? Who needs time to talk? Who needs someone to listen? Who needs a favor? A babysitter? A pep talk? A friend? Support? Some days you may only have time for a phone call. Other days you may have more time to lend a helping hand. Just make it a point to do something everyday. That is the whole idea of service.
I try to teach my kids to have this as a mind-set and we are always looking for ways to serve others. Some ideas might include having your kids scribble a picture for a family member who is not feeling well or making a homemade gift basket. We try to encourage and teach them by saying “if you were sick wouldn’t it be nice for someone to do this for you.” We believe this idea of service is important and teaches our kids to be thoughtful, and respectful of others. Once you and your children start looking for opportunities to serve others, you will find hundreds right in front of you!
As you become more comfortable with the ideas of service you can extend yourself more and reach out to others with confidence. It is proven that helping others has a significant impact on our happiness. It actually is hardwired in all of us to help others. It brings you good feelings, heightened self-esteem, strengthened confidence, and makes you see your life in a more positive way. I hope this last essential has encouraged you to do something different and open your eyes to service. Use your count me healthy Golden Grace bracelet to count your acts of service you do each week.