Each year for the past few years I have chosen a word to be my focus or theme for the year. It is my big goal, my main focus and what I try to prioritize in all my decisions during the year. In the past my theme words have been things like shine, bloom, balance and gratitude.
This year my focus word is “serve”. I want to focus on serving God, serving my purpose and serving others more. Specifically I want to be more of a servant leader with my Tupperware team members, my customers and hosts. I have been praying daily for God to help me be more of a servant and to respond from a place of service. When I’m dealing with a frustrating situation I want to be able to remind myself to reply from the desire to serve the person (or people) I am dealing with. That is easier said than done some days.
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
On New Year’s Day I had a situation arise that at first annoyed me to be “bothered” with something like that on a holiday. As soon as I thought to myself “seriously, it’s a holiday!”, it was like the Holy Spirit smacked me upside the head and said “Is this not what you have been praying and asking for, more opportunities to serve and to always come from a place of service with others? Well here you go!” Ahhh… Yes, yes I have. Forgive me, Lord, forgive me. I’m failing on day 1 already, oh boy!
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” 1 Peter 4:10
I was quickly reminded that serving isn’t about us, our time schedule or what is convenient. Serving is more than just giving a few dollars to a charity or donating clothes or volunteering when we can carve out the time for it. It doesn’t necessarily require material possessions or money. There are many ways to serve others.
Serving is a mindset, an attitude, a conscious choice to put the needs, welfare and well being of others before our own. Serving is about lifting the person up that you are interacting with and leaving them feeling better than when they first interacted with you.
There are chances to serve everywhere around us, because we are surrounded by people. People who need to know that they are loved, that there is hope, that they are valid, worthwhile and appreciated. It may not be convenient, it may not be scheduled into our planners, it may not be with the people and places and in the time frame that we expect.
I’m already learning lessons about serving in the first couple days of the year. I cannot wait to see what the rest of 2014 holds as I continue to focus on serving. Something tells me it is going to be an interesting year!
What about you? Do you have a focus word for 2014? Is being more of a servant or servant leader one of your priorities this year too? I would love if you would share in the comments below.
(heart graphic via freedigitalphotos.net)