Happy New Year! It’s out with the old and in with the new, right? I would hope that isn’t the case, at least when it comes to service to others. I don’t know about you, but in the month of December, we were all gung-ho on the “Light The World” initiative. If you haven’t heard of it, it was an advent style “service calendar.” Every day had a different focus and a different way to serve in the community and our families. So many people around me were participating and really feeling the spirit of the holiday. So I propose that instead of throwing 2017 to the curb, let’s at least continue to “light the world” each day in 2018.
The “Light The World” calendar was all ideas for Christ-centered service. What is Christ-centered service? I think it is service in the Savior’s way. Serving others with the charitable love that Jesus had. Serving when it is inconvenient. Serving without bias or judgment. Serving people in an emotional, temporal, and spiritual way.
When we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are serving our Heavenly Father (Mosiah 2:17). I know from personal experience that service not only blesses the recipients, but when I am serving, I am blessed in numerous ways.
One day, very recently, I was deep in the “trenches of motherhood.” With young children who need so much from me, and a husband who works long hours, I was ”down and out,” ridden with anxiety, worry, sadness, and exhaustion. I am sad to admit that I let that overcome me for a couple days. I would call my husband, who was at work and literally couldn’t do anything to help me, and cry and complain and whine. What a lovely wife I was! I woke up after a couple days of this and prayed to my Heavenly Father to please comfort me and give me a reprieve from my sadness. The answer I got was not what I wanted. I clearly heard Him telling me, “Get up, and get to work.” I took this as a gentle rebuke from a loving Father that I need to get lost in the work of service. So that’s exactly what I did. I served women in my ward. I texted women who I knew needed a pick-me-up. I took a treat to an older woman who I knew was lonely. My acts of service were not grand gestures. In fact, they were very easy and quick. I even dragged my kids along to serve with me. After every visit, or chat with a friend, I felt happier. I felt like I was being used as the Lord’s tool. It was a very real and tangible healing that took place. I didn’t feel alone anymore. I had connected with the ladies that I talked to. I know it helped me more than it helped them.
That is a very small story to illustrate a very real and true principle: the Lord blesses us when we serve. I truly believe “service saves.” It saves the giver and the receiver. The Lord wants us to help His children, and He is our perfect example.
I have created a monthly service calendar. Just like the “Light The World” initiative, this is a way to focus on a different aspect of service each month. A great way to use these ideas is to implement them into a family home evening or a monthly service project. You can do something small or something big. My hope is that this helps you keep service at the forefront of your mind throughout the year! Click the link below, and print!
Monthly Service Calendar