Showing Gratitude Through Serving - Reading List

Showing Gratitude Through Serving

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

November always inspires me.  The internet explodes with thankful social media posts and articles about how to show your gratitude everyday.  How could I not be feel inspired to step up in some way and show my thankfulness in action?  

And then the calendar fills up with the events and service projects and school meetings, and on and on....

Perspective matters in serving

It never fails that stress follows as so many keep on sharing their daily thankful posts and gratitude lists.  I have to remind myself that there are different times to really dig in and serve, and there are seasons when we can find small things to do that leave amazing ripples in society. 

I'm sharing a favorite post from a couple of years ago, that still holds true as my season of motherhood demands attention that other seasons do not. I hope you enjoy it!

Before I became a mom, for that matter before I got married, I enjoyed going out into the community and serving.  I spent years serving in my local children’s hospital, every Saturday morning, I would go in and rock the babies who parents couldn’t be there. It felt good to help, I didn’t mind having to give up the late night Friday events to help out.

And I also have many fond memories of going on mission trips across the country (I have to admit I haven’t taken an out of the country trip…) and serving others in need.

Then I got married, and had kids. And well my time suddenly was always full of daily responsibilities.  I started to long for amazing ways to serve, wishing I had taken advantage of the time before I was a mom and a wife.

Luckily my eyes were opened recently – there are plenty of ways to serve in my local community. Ways to serve that my little boys can help me with. Ways they can even learn that serving needs to be on our to-do list even when our responsibilities seem to be more important.

So here is what we’ve started doing – looking for chances to serve.

Actively looking.

Granted my church does a great job of displaying such opportunities on a regular basis. I just have to make the effort to clear my calendar.

As a result, we’ve made dinners for local single moms who are working long hours. My boys love making cookies, and I love being able to give them away (save myself from the calories).

And since cooking seems to be something I can easily add into our lives, we make meals for families who have new babies – there is a great joy that comes from seeing a weary mama’s face light up when she receives a home-cooked meal with a yummy dessert and special treat for breakfast the next morning. The relief she feels in knowing she will be able to take a break from that one responsibility is worth any of the extra effort we put forth.

God is at work everywhere

Now I know these sounds like minor things. Little nothings. Especially when we think about what other people go through… but still serving those that are close by to us seem the perfect way to show that God is at work everywhere. Not just in poverty stricken areas and third world countries. God is at work everywhere, always. And that is the truth I want my boys to learn as we do small acts of service.

So while we still put together shoe-boxes for Operation Christmas Child, and save up money to donate to Destiny Rescue, as a mom trying to raise men who serve the Father the little acts of service allow me to show how faithful God is at working out all things. We just have to look for it.

Sure there will be times when we read about moms and women who are serving as missionaries in communities that are in desperate need for food and water and we feel like we are not serving well. There might even be moments when we feel like we are doing nothing, not a single thing, to help others. You see I know this is true, because I have felt that way. But the truth is, I just have to let go of the worry of what I’m not doing, and look for something close to my home that shows where God is at work, and do what I can in that place. And I know, you can do the same.

What season of life are you?  How can you add in a little extra service this holiday season? Do you have a favorite way to serve?  I love to hear new ideas!

Marissa on Reading List

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