Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Kind of Service

I volunteered a lot in college. I helped two people learn to read. I was also a mentor for a program like the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization for years. I also volunteered at a Domestic Violence Shelter. I dabbled here and there as much as could.

Since I have had kids, I haven't had the time to volunteer like I used to. I am in a preschool PTA and I have put my time in on the board. I have spent countless hours working on various committees. I have also served on the board for our preschool. I know other people call this volunteering. It is one type of volunteering but I do it more for me that the organization. It keeps me sane.

I sat through a sermon a couple of months ago. One of our co-pastors was talking about the Good Samaritin. I started to think about how I used to volunteer and then I started to feel guilty that I wasn't more help to the world. Why can't I be less selfish? Why can't I be more like Mother Teresa?

But his message was amazing. So amazing that I just have to share it. It haunts me daily. He said that you don't have to go downtown to the food kitchens. You don't have to go to another country to help others. You don't have to move mountains. It is great if you do. But, we miss opportunities all around us to serve.

The need is everywhere around you. Someone you know is lonely. Someone you know has someone dying in their family. Someone you know has cancer. Someone you know needs to talk. Someone you know could use a dinner. Someone you know might be struggling financially. Someone you know is depressed. Someone you know just had a baby and needs some help. He said you could do everything God wants you to right where you are. You don't have to save the world. Just take care of the people around you.

As I sat there, I made a promise to myself. I would no longer just have good intentions. Any time there was an intention, I would follow through with it. To keep this promise, I make HUGE NOTES on my refrigerator. I don't allow myself to take them down until I take care of it. The note drives me crazy enough that it really motivates me to follow through.

Are you good at following through on your intentions? I am getting better. In fact, I have a huge note on my counter right now to make someone some cookies. That, I can do.

12 comments:

Krystyn said...

I think I'm at the intentions stage, but I don't know how good I am at following through. I'm getting better and making myself commit.

Great message.

OHmommy said...

Great message Indy. So very true and something we don't think about on an everyday basis.

Someone you know really needs to have a girls night. I'm not talking about it, I'm just saying.....

Someone Being Me said...

I used to do a lot of volunteering in college. After college I worked at a non-profit as a volunteer coordinator. But even during that time I always felt inadequate. I have a tendency to put my foot in my mouth or something equally dumb. I know it is just my own insecurity but I think a lot of people feel like they can't really help or they don't know what to say. I try to remind myself how I feel when others help me. Good for you reaching out there.

enthalpymama said...

A good reminder for all we do (and sometimes don't do).

And, I'll second Ohmommy's comment.

Jessica said...

I love the note idea as that would work for me too...

Anonymous said...

Girlfriend, you are an AMAZING woman! You do so much and yet you still want to give some more. You Rock! More people need to be like you. ;o)

Stephanie said...

Definitely have the same things going on in my life, too. We attend a congregation of about 300 and there's always someone needing dinner, shut ins needing to visit. We even have a visitation group that meets every other week to go see people. They LOVE it. Especially when you bring children. We haven't gone much since we started having children, but it's nice when we do. The self-fulfillment in it all is wonderful, too. Not only do you brighten someone's day with a little gesture, but you FEEL good about it, too!

Poltzie said...

This is a great post, thanks for the reminder!!

Susan said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. What a great message! I think we all need to hear this every so often to remind us of the little things we can do to make a difference. I am going to make a list tonight!

Lindsay said...

I am the queen of good intentions, really. It's just SO hard to follow through with all I have in my head....with two little ones who need my attention ALL day long. I need to be better - thanks for showing me it can be done and that people really don't think you're nuts for doing good things!! :-)

Rhea said...

What a great message and the refrigerator is a good place for reminder notes like that.

I know a bunch of moms who joined the Junior League and had to do tons of community service...while their children were little, so they spend all this time volunteering while someone else watches their kids...

it made no sense to me.

Lisa said...

So true! Sometimes it's the little things that count....and make a big difference in lives. Today this old lady in Target came up & started chatting with me about Lulu's hair. I realized that she just was lonely & desperate to talk. I gave up on my rush through Target & talked for five minutes. Nothing imparticular, but you could tell she felt much better.
Great post, Indy!

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