Thursday, January 27, 2011


I've been thinking about "serving" lately;  the reasons I serve others, what service looks like, how to teach the character trait of serving others to my kids. Sometimes I serve others out of obligation - it's my job as a mom and wife.  Other places in my life, like volunteering at the kids' schools, it's because I want to involve myself in a community or a project to help get a task done.  When I serve at church, I do it to give back from the gifts that God has given to me.  Overall, I want every place that I serve to have the same motivation  - to bring glory to God.  To gratefully offer myself back to Him by serving others;  To love Him by loving others. The hiccup comes when I expect perfection out of myself or compare myself too other people; this either causes me not to serve (because I'm not good enough) or causes me to serve with a grumpy heart because I'm suffering from comparison-itis.

This morning, Michael was in a serving mood.  He asked me what he could do to help me.  (He really did!) At the time I was in the kitchen so I told him that he could help me with empty the dish washer.  With a happy heart, he began taking dishes out of the dishwasher, putting away the things he could reach, handing me the things he couldn't.  Next he asked for another job - I had a basket of clothes in the living room and told him that he could help me fold those.  My sweet little guy went in there and folded the clothes.  

Michael asked me for help along the way, but he did the majority of it all on his own.  His motivation was to help me and to please me.  It wasn't perfect, it wasn't exactly how I do it, but his service came from a pure place in his little heart.  When I noticed the pile of daddy's white t-shirts that were stacked and folded by Michael's little hands, I was struck by the similarities of what I do to what Michael had done.  I was reminded of how often I do things that don't look perfect, but that God still accepts them.  God put in my mind the thought that He delights in my efforts to please Him and to help spread His love here on earth with the ways that I serve Him.  Even though I often do things wrong or imperfectly, He loves me and receives my feeble attempts of service.  At times, I'm too pushy, too controlling, too intent on fixing the problem, too much in general - yet God never "re-folds" my offering.  He might show me how to do it differently, but He always accepts me just the way I am.  I don't have to be perfect.  I don't have to serve in the same way as anyone else.  All He needs is my willing heart and He will do the perfecting.