I love Acts of Service–that is what I grew up providing and that is how I found acceptance and love from my Mom. Twisted and not quite right but still. I was valued by the quality of the “service” that I provided. So I work really hard to please by doing. So since my childhood experience was distorted it has taken me a very long time to fully understand what the Acts of Service really is . . . as an adult who has worked through some issues.
An Act of Service is serving God by serving others. The service will be different for different people. My wonderful husband brings me coffee on Saturday morning. The only morning that I have to lounge until around 7!!! I joyfully give my mother-in-law food rubs, that she loves.
For my kids I have provided Acts of Service since their very first moments but as they get older I do different special things for my different kids. I want my kids to know that I serve God by serving them–that is actually a “house rule”. So these are some of the ways that I offer acts of service to my children (and the other children that I work with):
- Help them complete and assignment or a chore. My son is now responsible for loading and unloading the dishwasher–but sometimes either my husband or I will help him as we talk through homework or a life lesson.
- I fill the water bottles each day for the kids–so they know that they will start out with a full water bottle and they will need to refill. Because I did the first part–they gladly refill. That makes my life easier.
- My oldest daughter washes and dries the clothes (a blessing to me) and I sort, fold and have the kids put away their clothes. They know we are moving to the point where they do their own laundry so they acknowledge this gift.
- Making their favorite cake on their birthday, and their favorite dinner, and getting them balloons. They are very grateful for the splurge.
- Tying shoes, stopping what I’m doing to find a toy . . .
- When I go to the library I look for a book they might like.
- I sit and listen when they play their music–I give them 100% attention. Stopping and giving them center stage is a way to let them know you value their playing.
- Getting up early to cook the cinnamon rolls.
- Making a bubble bath and then reading to the kids while they are in the tub.
- I try to make time for each kid each day and connect in some way, double checking backpacks together, or in homeschooling reading the instructions when I don’t really need to.
It was hard to come up with Acts of Service for kids–it is much easier to show my husband . . .
- Putting a book on his Kindle without him asking me.
- Putting a new app on his phone .
- Putting an almond croissant in his lunch box.
- Sending him a text telling him how much he means to me.
- Picking up his dry-cleaning when I know he is having a busy week–even though it is out of my way.
- Making his favorite dinner and using his favorite plate (we have a few from his Grandma).
- Starting the shower for him in the morning.
- Giving him a foot rub without him asking.
- Make sure the house is not crazy when he walks in each night.
- Creating a loving home that is his refuge (that’s my favorite thing!).
Be Blessed as you discover your own ways to show love through acts of service.