I have been struggling with this question in my mind for awhile now. Of course, I have this blog as a platform that reaches many people every day. But, God wants me to do so much more. I have seen the ads in my local newspapers seeking Girl Scout leaders and local high school mentors, but somehow have been slow to action.
After all, like many other women, I am a busy at home with my family, community events, my job away from home, staying healthy and so much more…What else would God have me to do? Well apparently, he wants me to do more.
Being of service is not a chore, it is a gift and it requires less time than you think. What are you naturally good at? Are you good at motivating other people?. Is there a special dish that you make like no other? A gift of service does not have to be grand either. You may have a gift for making people feel good by offering genuine compliments. Maybe you have been told that you give the best hugs…I don’t know, but the thing is, you do. You know because this gift is such a part of you that ever since you can remember, people have been telling you….fill in the blanks here.
Here are eight small surprising ways to be of service. I am not talking about your typical soup kitchen, mentoring type of gigs either.
Style a Head of Hair
I am not sure about you but, washing and styling my daughter’s hair is a challenge. Fortunately, I am up to the challenge but there are many parents that are not. It may be a situation of a lack of time or lack of knowledge on the parent’s part. Many heads of hair, varying ethnic hair textures, single parenting, and the rise of mixed race adoptions may all be to blame for parents waving the proverbial white flag. But, the reason is not important at all. Just help a parent out!
The gift of childcare is such a beautiful thing and not surprisingly appreciated by many. Don’t ever deny what a date night, a “mommy day away” or just free child care can do for someone. Some churches even have nurseries where you can volunteer your time once a month. Yay!!!
A Good Meal
One of the things that make us human is that we all have to eat. It is a basic human necessity. Bless someone with a home cooked meal… or maybe not. While a home cooked meal is great I (and many other hungry people) am not opposed to meals that were cooked in a commercial kitchen. New parents or not so new, the bereaved, new neighbors and people that have been affected by illness are all examples of people that will be appreciative of a warm meal.
One of the blessings of being a home owner is that yard work is part of the package. Snow removal, weeding, mowing the lawn, pruning, and planting can be quite tedious. If you know someone that is going through a tough time financially, emotionally or otherwise, this is a great area to be of service, so get your yard tools ready!
Give Your Time
Visiting others while they are in the hospital is a great idea but, your gift of service does not even have to be on such a grand scale. Visit with an elderly neighbor that may be living alone, invite a new co-worker to lunch or invite a new mom out for a much needed coffee and adult conversation.
Be a Host
Our homes are one of our most valued treasures. Consider opening your home to host an event for someone else. Book clubs, study groups, recipes swaps, bible studies and baby showers are great places to start. You will save someone else money since there will be no need to rent a space and, opening your home to others is a great responsibility so, you will “save” others the headache and who does not love that?
Donate Your Clothing
When I had my daughter 2 years ago, friends and others were so freely giving of clothes and other items that they were no longer using. I am so grateful. While the Goodwill and Salvation Army are places to donate clothing on a larger scale, a simple approach would be to prepare some clothes that your kids are no longer using and bless someone with them.
A word to the wise: Only donate items that are in good condition and stain free. Make sure that the clothing is washed before giving and that the recipient is receptive to the idea of receiving “second chance items”. Remember, everyone may not be so happy about receiving items that have already been used.
Give of Your Talents
Were you on the dance team in high school? Is pageantry or public speaking a natural part of who you are? Then consider showing the younger generation how by way of coaching or mentorship. The time commitment ( if organized on your own), could be as little or as much that you and mentee decides (with parent approval of course).
So, what are you doing in your church, in your community, in this world to be of service to others? Are you ignoring that voice that is calling you to do something bigger or greater? Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to make an impact in the lives of strangers. Your kids are watching even when you think that they aren’t. They are yearning for examples of not only how to be a good parent and person, but how to be a great citizen. Are you giving of your time, talents and treasures? We all have the chance to do something bigger and greater. The questions are: What is it and are you willing to take the time to do it?
Crystal and Comp