Category Archives: servitude

the thursday thirty, issue sixteen.

this year, i’ve decided to focus on the word servitude. it’s a concept that entails sacrifice and selflessness, two of many things that i desire to improve upon daily. this week, i quickly jotted down 30 ways to act out servitude in my everyday experiences – and i was amazed at how swiftly they entered my mind and flowed out of the pen! i’m hoping to do each of these things several times over in the coming months and years.

  • volunteer to organize donations at a local charity’s headquarters: places such as goodwill, the salvation army, and various food banks receive numerous contributions daily. all of these items – clothing, canned goods, books, ect. – must be sorted through and organized by someone. their staff are likely swamped as it is, so why not take a few hours to do something for them? the next time you take your own used items to donate, offer to help the person on duty with getting things where they need to be.
  • stay late after an event to clean up: setting up for and tearing down for an event can be such an arduous task. we often never even see those responsible for this job at get-togethers, special church events, or shows. set aside time to stay after other guests have left to help clean or move equipment/furniture back to their respective spots. you’ll bless someone immensely!
  • open doors for strangers: whether they acknowledge your simple gesture or not, it will make an impact on their day.
  • give up something for a period of time, & use the  money you would have spent on it for a cause you’re passionate about: blood:water mission promotes a fast of sorts called forty days of water, in which one can give up purchasing drinks other than H20 – and, in turn, donate the money they would have spent to providing wells to communities in africa. clever, huh? you can do this with almost any luxury, and make a huge difference to the cause of your choice.
  • make ‘chemo kits’ for patients: just last night at church, one of my sweet friends asked if she could assemple a chemo kit for my mom’s upcoming treatments. her sorority made one for one of their sister’s battling cancer several years back, and it did wonders for her experience. you can compile kits with some of these ‘ingredients’ and give them to a loved one in treatment, or even provide them for patients across the nation.
  • pay for the car behind you at the drive-thru: many of us have heard of this random act of kindness being performed, but have you ever considered doing it yourself? i rarely use fast food drive-thru’s, but it wouldn’t hurt to make an out-of-character stop every once in awhile. :)
  • cook for the homeless: free this saturday morning? contact your local homeless shelter or soup kitchen to see if they need volunteers to cook and serve breakfast to the homeless and needy families in the area. i betchya they would love your help!
  • get involved with a behind-the-scenes ministry at your church: it takes an army to run my church’s experiences each week, and there are so many areas that require volunteers’ skills and time that i’m probably not even aware of. i serve in two such realms, and it’s a blessing to do things from a step back. try it.
  • keep granola bars, bottles of water, pocket-sized Bibles with cash inside, & toiletry kits in your car to give to the homeless: we’ve all undoubtedly pulled up to a red light where someone is asking for money, or passed someone who we know is in need of the most basic things. by keeping these practical items in your car at all times, you’ll never have an excuse to look away and drive on.
  • sponsor a child through compassion: my mom and i have been involved with compassion international for many years now, and have watched our sponsored child – vilma, from guatemala – blossom into a beautiful young woman. for $38 per month, a life can be changed forever. compassion serves children worldwide, releasing them from their spiritual, economic, and physical poverty, while also enabling them to become responsible and fulfilled adults – all the while sharing the love of Christ.
  • take meals to families during an illness/hospital stint, after a new baby has arrived, or after a death has occurred: i cannot tell you how vital this practical service is during such a chaotic and often difficult time. having one less thing to worry about, like preparing a meal, can be such a relief.
  • send a care package: do you know someone who’s away from the comforts of home – whether they’re in college, serving overseas with the military, or working at a summer camp? compile a care package with their favorite things or other goodies they’ll need, and send that baby on.
  • organize a baby shower for a single mom: an unexpected or crisis pregnancy can be a breeding ground for shame, worry, and even sadness – but it doesn’t have to be that way. find a crisis pregnancy center in your city (such as all things baby in the edmond/oklahoma city area) and get involved with throwing baby showers for these new mama’s. show them love and joy.
  • give that good parking spot to someone else
  • write a note to someone: words of affirmation are such a precious gift.
  • let someone go first: again, this is such a simple gesture, but it can speak volumes for itself.
  • start a small group & feed His flock: feel gifted in the area of small-group or devotional leadership? put those gifts to use! feed others spiritually, and allow yourself to be refreshed in the process.
  • clean someone’s house while you’re already there to babysit or housesit: this extra act of service will make the parents’/owners’ life a little easier when they return home – even if they never realize what you’ve done!
  • prayerwalk: take a walk through your neighborhood or around your town and prayerwalk for needs you sense. bring your small group or friends along too!
  • ding dong ditch: around the holidays, assemble gift baskets of food and cookware to leave on the doorsteps of homes you know are in need of some help. ding dong ditch, and have a getaway car waiting. :)
  • clean up a public area regularly: take care of our environment, and one another.
  • take clothes to your kids’ school: your school counselor will likely know of some students who are in need of new clothes, and would love to have gently used outfits to discreetly give to them.
  • use your talents to bless those living in a retirement home: can you sing? do you enjoy doing crafts or playing games? can you do hair or nails? use whatever skills you have at a retirement home, and spend time with folks who need attention.
  • ask your kids’ teachers what supplies they need for their classrooms: if you have the means, inquire from your children’s teachers what they need most and provide that for them. it will be such a huge help to these everyday heroes.
  • take extra helpings from a meal to one of your neighbors
  • run errands for a sick co-worker: after one of my sister’s sweet colleagues was diagnosed with breast cancer, all of the ladies at the office rallied around april to provide for her most basic needs during recovery and treatment. clean a friend’s house, or run to the store, bank, or pharmacy for someone when they’re in need.
  • pick up the slack for someone
  • surprise someone with a drink or snack: who doesn’t love a happy hour drink from sonic?!  find out what your friends’ or co-workers’ favorite drinks/snacks are, and bring them something for no reason.
  • tip generously
  • just  take care of someone: we need each other.
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just one.

several of y’all have selected one word to meditate on – a term which will influence your everyday actions and the not-so-simple ones alike, a thought or goal to strive toward – in the first year of this brand new decade. i’ve combed through blog posts and tweets about the concept, surprised and inspired by your chosen words.

got me thinkin’.

out of the thousands of words in my language, which one will adequately convey what i want for myself in 2010?

servitude.

i want to reflect on servitude and allow it to spur me to act differently this year. serving others, serving the least of these, and in turn serving Christ as His bride. the textbook definition of servitude is vitally important to this year as well: a condition in which one lacks liberty, especially to determine one’s cause of action or way of life. while i certainly bear responsibility for which paths cruise down and what i choose to do with His provisions, i’ve also got to learn how to relinquish my white-knuckled grip on my dear and often selfish desires and visions. hmph. this is going to be quite the experiment, y’all.

within the words we speak are life and death. a grouping of letters and sounds has power. let’s speak life this year, to ourselves and to one another. speak life into your plans and to your family, speak life over the most terrifying and sorrowful situations in your world. speak life into the next 365 days. what one word do you want to characterize your 2010?

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