Growing up, my mom would frequently make meals for families in need. Whenever she did this, we would always have pizza. Now, to normal children this would probably be a wonderful treat but I was a strange child and really didn’t like pizza. I would much rather eat the amazing home cooked meal she was making for the other family and was so frustrated when she would pack it up so we could wisk it off to someone else and I was stuck eating greasy slabs of cardboard.
I put on a smile when she had us hand over the meal, but inside I was wishing that we had brought them the pizza instead. I vowed NEVER to put my own children through this torture! Later, I realized what a valuable lesson she was teaching and how it has really helped me to be aware of the needs of other people.
Service has such amazing affects on the family. A few weeks ago our church had a worldwide day of service where we were supposed to all serve in some way. We chose to help build an outdoor classroom at a middle school with other families from our church. Not only did it feel good to serve, it was so much fun. I loved watching all of the families help their children work on small projects to help move things along. In the end, it definitely took a lot longer to do things with so many little hands, but the benefit of what so many kids learned that day was so worth it. My mom had a quote that went in a circle and said,
“Love who you serve who you love who you serve who you love…”
I have found this to be so true. Whenever I serve someone, I can’t help but love them, and the people that I want to serve the most are the people that I love. Service helps people look outside of themselves and see the bigger picture. It helps children to feel grateful for what they have, and provides an opportunity to actively teach them a great virtue without necessarily saying anything. Everyone feels good after they serve others.
There are definitely benefits to serving people in your family, but my family challenge is to SERVE AS A FAMILY someone else who is in need. It can be small like dropping off cookies or picking up trash to big things like helping to build a habitat for humanity house but I promise you will not regret it. A great way to look for service opportunities in your area is to look on the United Way website here. You could also go look up a local nursing home. Many times if you call ahead you can go visit will an elderly person who is lonely, which is actually SO much fun!
Tell us what you’ve done as a family to serve others?
“Man’s greatest happiness comes from losing himself for the good of others.” David O. Mckay