I feel like over the past year or so God has really been teaching me a lot about what it means to be generous. It has started with a journey of being satisfied with all that God has blessed me with. For whatever reason, contentment doesn’t come easily to me. But I feel like to be truly generous we need to start from a place of recognizing all that we truly have. And that our stuff isn’t really OUR stuff, but all of it is just a blessing we need to share with others.
So as I have sat down for some self-examination, I realized that I don’t have that much trouble sacrificing my time to serve others. To some, that might be your most precious commodity, but to me, I feel like at this season in life I have some extra to spread around. So whether it is volunteering at school or church, or helping out a friend with her kids, or making meals for someone who just had surgery, I don’t really struggle with saying yes.
I have had people exclaim to me before that, “You serve in so many places!” and it always takes me by surprise. Because honestly, it is just what I know to do. Not because I am better or more holy than anyone else (because PLEASE, that is so far from any truth), but because serving others is part of my DNA. And when I realized that, I became very excited because it’s also what I hope so badly that I am instilling in our children.
I was raised by two very generous people. I saw generosity modeled in a million ways and it was frankly just the norm. Sometimes they involved us kids, but sometimes they didn’t. It didn’t really matter if we were involved in every little detail though, because the important part was, I just began to see serving others as a normal part of life. And it was in the smallest and simplest of ways.
I did have to make it my own at some point. As I think many of us do, I went through some very selfish years followed by some very overwhelmed years. But I remember having young babies and making meals for other new moms because it was such a life-saver for me. How could I possibly not pass on that blessing when all it meant was doubling a recipe and bringing it by someone’s house? I think if we get out of the habit of serving we get rusty and it stops coming naturally.
I say none of this to toot my own horn. The list of areas where I fall short is so freaking long it is exhausting. I say this because I hear so many moms struggling with entitled kids, wondering how to fix that and begin serving together. And here is my two cents: Let your kids see you serving. Not as a chore, not over the top, not necessarily in huge change-the-world kind of ways (although if you can, change the world!). Just let them see you serving simply throughout your day to day routine. And then be pleasantly surprised when they develop a servant’s heart. And then not so surprised when right after that they punch their sister on the nose. Because #reallife
How do you build service into the DNA of your family?