Monday, April 30, 2012

How do you define service?

So, I was at the Geneva Heights Family History Library last night. I have been our wards Family History Consultant for 8 years now. (I think I have almost beat the Stake President).
I volunteer there on the 2nd, 4th and 5th Sundays. I love it! I started off with a a couple of hundred names in my family history, now I have 3,000. That is a good chunk of names.
Anyway, the last 2 Sundays I have been working on indexing. Last Sunday, I indexed part of the 1940 census (as an aside, one of the easiest I have ever indexed). Last night, I indexed World War II draft registration cards. That was fun. I registered a whole bunch of Chinese men who were living in the United States. Sorry, I digress.
A young lady came in wanting to get started on her Family History. She was looking for a connection for her great grandmother. She was trying to find out if the record she had was the right lady. Well, we found out it wasn't. Then, we found several records that were and that listed additional siblings (she didn't know about) and her great great grandmother lived next door so, we were able to get a jump start on the next generation for her. All thanks to the Census records.
Now, a person could obviously see that this is service. It made me feel great to help her. She was so excited that this could be the person  they have been looking for.
I started thinking about service. i do service everyday. Not formally but, every meal I make, every diaper I change, every item I pick up is service.
I don't look at my day to day life as doing service. I think of it more like my job. I felt so much joy, as I usually do, when I provided her with some service. I should be feeling that same joy at home if I look at my life as a service mission.Have you ever heard anyone talk about their mission like this,"gosh! i couldn't believe of the laundry i had to do for those people!" "if i have to change one more diaper for this family, I am going to scream."? of course not, i could go clean someone elses house all day long and feel a profound sense of joy and fulfillment but, why don't I feel that way at home all the time?
I think it is because I have been looking at my life in the wrong way.
I look at the repetitiveness and the routine of it and loose sight of the valuable service I am performing each and every day.
It doesn't have to be a grand gesture. It just has to be done with love. I can manage that. Because, there is certainly no one in this world I love more than my family.
So don't look at your responsibilities as a chore or obligation. Look at them as a chance to service those that you love the most.
I know it isn't easy when there is whining, arguing and fighting but if your fmaily begins to see the joy you have in serving them, I believe there attitudes  while chnage. Your home life will become what we all desire, a heaven on earth. Where you can be peaceful and relaxed and enjoy the fleeting time of raising your family.
It will become the refuge from the trials that beset us. So, find joy in your service. Find joy in your life. When we work on these concepts a step at a time, we will feel the Lord's presence even more in our lives. You can do this. One step at a time.

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