** Warning: This post started in my head as a cute story about my kids but ended up "on paper" as a preachy sermon type blog post...I think working for a pastor has gone to my head, all of a sudden I feel I can preach!
I pray a lot about parenting. I just want to do the best possible job with the kids God has blessed me with. Lately, God has been showing me what it means to truly be a servant; to serve Him and serve others. As I examined my life, I realize that I have lived a pretty selfish life. In the past I have been greedy with my time and talents and have either been blind to people's needs or just plain lazy. There are so many places to serve in the church and yet many people who attend feel that their time is too precious to "waste" on other people.
I don't want to live like that anymore but even more, I don't want my kids to live like that. Life is so much more meaningful and fulfilling when I live it selflessly instead of selfishly. I find that when I use my time serving others, I am much happier. I am in awe of a certain family at my church who has raised all of their children with this selfless spirit. Their first instinct is to always help others. Their kids have all been raised in the church and although not all are adults yet, they all are in love with Jesus. My biggest prayer right now is that my children will fall deeply in love with Jesus and will walk with Him their entire lives. So, this particular family inspires me and gives me hope in the midst of a dark world. But, I think a big part of why these parents have been so successful with their kids is because they taught their kids the value of serving others. At church, they are the first to volunteer for everything and are the most reliable people. They are so committed to each of their ministries and just desire to use their gifts to serve the Lord.
I want my kids to experience the joy of serving the Lord like those kids have. I want them to see that it truly is better to give than receive. I want them to understand the value of using their time to serve others. This starts with me and my husband. We have to step up and be the example. Now, I constantly look for opportunities to teach my kids this lesson. This weekend, Crossroads (my church) provided a great opportunity to do this. They needed help screwing light bulbs on and fluffing the branches of our 50 ft. Christmas tree! It was a BIG job which required lots of people. My husband and I and the kids jumped in on the assembly line and explained to the kids that we all needed to "help!" We all had a wonderful time "helping," meeting new people, building community with those around us, and just laughing together. I was so blessed by one young girl, whose job it was to transfer the finished branches. She was so sweet, allowing Noah and Maia "help" her carry the finished branches to their correct spot. They really felt like they were helping and did not want to leave.
If you're a mom, I encourage you to look for ways to serve others with your kids this week. It is such a bonding experience but it is also a valuable lesson to teach our kids. Let's be people who go against the grain; instead of making our children into selfish people who think the world revolves around them, let's make them into selfless fulfilled adults who regard others as more important than themselves.
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but to the interests of others." Phillippians 2:3