Thursday, January 22, 2009

Serving Others As A Gift

Joy can be a gift.

Doing things for others can be our gift to them.

Specifically doing things for family.

Arrived home today from all day work meetings. Kids had been at home with friends. Dh had been at home, too, but busy with his things-to-do.

The house was strewn with dart guns. Foam darts. Civilization card games. Laundry not started Leftover food. Dirty dishes. Someone had baked and the utensils were in the sink....

I took a deep breath. I got a drink of water. Greg made me a cup of tea. I said hi to dh and the younger kids and their friends.

And I didn't nag. Woo hoo! A milestone!

I remembered how nice it is to do things for others. How nice it is to serve others. How nice it is to be the recipient of such service.

I began picking up.Tidying up. Praying for those I love. And, because I have great kids, some of them and one of their friends jumped in to help with some of the work, too.

Dh and I had a talk, as well, this afternoon. I remembered that modelling joy is important. That I can choose joy over grumpiness or anger or sarcasm and resentment.

Maybe we get so caught up in our lives that we forget to be happy with who we have. Notice I said who and not what. I am talking about my family. My dh and kids. Being happy that I have a family to clean up after, to offer me advice, to offer me constructive criticism.

It is in the giving and serving and the listening that I grow. That the family, too, grows.

One thing I got from one of the unschooling lists years ago was to be grateful for the people for whom I am cleaning up . Pray for the kids as I pick up foam darts from guns, strewn all around the house ( like now!!). Think something nice about dh when I am folding laundry.

Doing this makes me feel more positive. Sometimes it is harder to do this than other times. Sometimes, I find it hard to pray instead of being resentful.

When I am doing it well, though, I am more at peace and I find the kids end up helping more, too. Dh and the kids go with the positive attitude and this helps all of us.

I am no saint, for sure, but I am working on applying unschooling to other areas of my life.

I get knocked down but I get up again, They're never gonna keep me down! Tub-Thumping by Chumbawumba.... Love that song. And I fall down, I get angry, I don 't do so well at saying yes. But I get back up again and try. Try to serve with joy.

Like today.

The rewards are great.

One mum said it well ~ Really, I think it’s better to have a dirty house and minimally prepared food than to have filth in the air from guilt, manipulation, and griping.

Or - G.K. Chesterton on Gratitude - I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder...When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. It has given me a lot to contemplate, esp re doing things for others without wanting acknowledgement. I see that this exercise in selflessness has taught you a lot, and thanks be to God, that is great, but it begs the question: what has it taught others, e.g. your children and dh? Sorry, but just had to ask!BLV

Leonie said...

Good question..the danger is that the giver could become a doormat. But then anyone who knows me knows that I am anything but! Maybe the giver also needs a strong sense of self?

But back to the question. What does this attivuted, of giving and sacrifice as a gift, of not getting cross but cleaning and picking up after and listening without self defence, what does this teach dh and kids?

On one level, I don't know. :-) But the positive atmopshere has to be worth something. lol! I know I I can really only work on myself and hope this rubs off onto others...I’m not very good at changing others but I do think example can be a powerful change agent. So, perhaps, it teaches love and, by example, service?

yulitasolis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie said...

Wise words...wise thoughts...wisest have spoken louder than any words ever can and reminded us about the power of 'example'...just like the Lord's example should be in our own lives....Thank u for the reminder! Big Hug!