Tag Archives: serving

So, what does it really mean to serve each other?

22 May

In reference to one of my last posts, in an effort to change my husband, I mentioned “taking pleasure in serving.” As a result to a comment I received, I have been pondering the meaning of the word, serve. Could the word mean different things to different people? I checked out the dictionary and found several synonyms: help, assist, work, foster, nurture…

A conversation came to my mind I had recently had with a very dear couple who have now been married for one year. I asked them what kind of advice they would have for someone who was about to be married. The first thing they mentioned was the importance of taking time to be set apart as a couple without the distractions that can so easily encumber. That advice resonated with me as Mark and I spent the first year of our married life in another state, away from home, away from both of our families. We truly did learn to depend on each other.

The second issue this couple spoke of was the great joy they took in serving each other. It was wonderful to see the smile on their faces as they described the competitive morning race to be the first to bring the other their morning coffee. They absolutely love to do things for each other! May that love continue for a lifetime!

Obviously serving will look different in each household. Some people are naturals at serving, while others simply love to be served. My husband and I serve in completely different ways, but even though it looks different, we are both serving. Not only do we serve each other in our marriage, but the entire family continually finds ways to serve the other. That is what being a family is all about!

A special thank you to my sweet hubby for always making me my first cup of morning coffee! Half the enjoyment of drinking it is knowing that it was made with love from him, especially for me!

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Lessons in Grace with Great Aunt (part 11)

16 Sep

Five Areas to Better Serve

Caring for others, whether it be small children, the sick, elderly… whoever is in need, is challenging and often all consuming.

It was our desire and choice to care for Great Aunt. It was a natural fit,  in that I was already home everyday caring for our own children, we both had some experience in the area, and had purchased a house that suited the situation.  Never-the-less, sometimes the task was overwhelming.  At times I found it affecting every other area of my life.

It was during a low ebb,  drained both physically and emotionally, that I pinpointed 5 areas to redirect my focus to better serve both Great Aunt and my family.

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1. Remember who I am serving

I was serving Great Aunt, but ultimately, I was serving God.  I could never do things well enough for Great Aunt and as a result, felt I was always striving, but never pleasing.  I learned to change my focus, no longer on her but beyond her.

2. Be a duck and let it roll

When accusations came, like in the stolen lipstick and undergarments experience, my first response was to defend myself.  Sometimes defense isn’t necessary, better to let the comments roll – like water droplets rolling off the back of a duck.

3. Speak with grace

Whether responding to Great Aunt or speaking about her to someone else, I determined to speak with grace. Not wanting my own words to resonate in my mind like sharp thistles , I considered how I would feel in her place.

4. Serve secretly

In the midst of Great Aunts complaints, I found myself attempting to “win points” by informing her of things I had done for her. As foolish as that sounds – even as I write now – it is pattern that I still can find myself in if not careful.  My goal was (and still needs to be) to serve quietly, humbly.

5. Serve joyfully

Attitudes from within my heart had a way of creeping out.  If I was discontented,  it was difficult to serve with joy. This point circles back to the first.  When I placed the focus on whom I was ultimately serving (taking it off of myself), the joy would return.

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Reading through my journals and finding these principles, again,

I was struck at how applicable they are to me today.

This is how I want to live.

This is how I want to serve.

growing a princess

6 Sep

We have a budding little princess in our house.  Her favorite color is pink.  She likes to make her bed in a “fancy” sort of way. Her preference would always be to have her hair done up with sparkly ribbons and bows, and the wider the dress spins, the better!

I love that she has this passion at her young age, but without direction, her passions could easily lead her into much trouble.

The True Princess, written by Angela Elwell Hunt, has become one of our favorite read aloud books.  Our little daughter loves it because it is about a princess, and I love it because it teaches the characteristics of a true princess.

The story opens as the “generous king” sets out on a journey, leaving his sweet daughter in the care of  her nanny.  “The king instructed Nana to put away the royal robes and crown of the princess and hide her away from the palace. ‘Remember,’ he said, ‘no one would expect a child of the king to be living as a servant.’ ” 

In the everyday life of common people, the little princess learns  to laugh at herself, care for her own needs,  serve rather than be served, and sing joyfully while working – lessons that will benefit her life and others forever.

I am thankful for a little girl that desires to go through the hard work and training to become a “true princess”.

My Lessons in Grace With “Great Aunt” (part 3)

3 May

Arriving home yesterday after being gone for several days, I had a bit of laundry to catch up on. (Let me clarify, this was not the children’s laundry! They had, of course, done theirs. ) I am speaking of Mark’s and my own.  After greeting the family with many hugs and kisses, I  began the washing process.  I am not sure at what point in life my love for laundry began, but I truly enjoy it! Years ago, I hung the cloth diapers out on the line and was impressed  at how the sun seemed to whiten them up.  As I was pinning up the clothes yesterday, my mind was drawn to fond memories with Great Aunt.

At the time she moved in with us, Great Aunt was able to get around pretty well.  Although she used a crutch, we weren’t sure if its purpose was to steady herself or a weapon of aggression! On  several occasions she would threateningly shake it at the children, while giving them a piece of her mind.  Sometimes it was well deserved and sometimes not.

Sharing the love of being outside, we were able to find enjoyable things to do together.  It was essential for her to be able to contribute in whatever way she could, so as I began to hang the laundry, Great Aunt naturally joined in.  Slowly, quietly hanging piece by piece, one clothes pin at a time.  All around us were the sweet sounds of children playing, birds chirping, and the wind softly blowing.  We chatted about life. She shared memories of her past. We dreamed of the future. They were precious times.

Although Great Aunt required much time and patience, she slowed me down in many positive ways.  Simple tasks that may have gone quickly on my own, were made more meaningful by methodically working together.  Being a person that loves lists, I can mistakingly take more joy in crossing out each item than fully embracing each task. Life isn’t about how much we’ve done or a long list of accomplishments.  It’s about relationships. Its about loving and serving. It’s about faith.

Maybe that’s one of the reasons I still love hanging laundry today.  It forces me to take time, breathe, think,  chat, and remember Great Aunt.