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Give – Day 6 – Parenting: the ultimate selfless service

“The one thing about being a parent is the ability to be selfless: To give up the things you want and need for the benefit of someone else.” – Danny McBride

Ever wonder why being a parent is one of the most fulfilling (and the most challenging) things anyone will ever do?

Because the entire thing – if done with real intent and not neglect – is a daily gift of selfless service.

It’s so constant in fact that we can forget that we are immersed in selfless service.

It becomes like the water to a fish in the ocean – they don’t even notice it.

And it can feel extremely thankless at times…especially for mothers who are more naturally selfless than us fathers.

I agree with Mahatma Ghandi when he said: “Man can never be a woman’s equal in the spirit of selfless service with which nature has endowed her.”

You women have been given a special gift – by nature you are so selfless and loving it is awe-inspiring to me.

This is a month to celebrate that gift, let your light shine, and find deep joy in the free gift of your loving service.

If you are not a parent, this message still applies to you – you can selflessly serve any child and find deep fulfillment and meaning as you become an influential, beloved person in a child’s life.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is just one example of an organization making it possible for anyone to make an impact in a child’s life. (www.bbbs.org)

Otherwise, what about the young children in your extended family or community?

The Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen (an amazing example of a servant) once said in reply to a compliment on his parenting: “Christine and I haven’t raised our children. A whole community of selfless Christians has contributed to helping them become faithful, competent adults.”

And that is true for all children – they are influenced by so many more people than just their parents.

So, today is for all children, and what all of us can do to serve them.

What child will you selflessly serve today?

I realize that for most of you parents this will be a non-stop thing whether you want to think about it or not, and sometimes this can be your heaviest burden

…Something which you see no end in sight to.

The constant cleaning, the laundry, the running around, the cooking…a seemingly never-ending thankless, monotonous duty.

But…today, what can you do to get into the spirit of selfless service for these precious souls?

What can you do extra special to break the rut of routine in your service to a child today?

Maybe it’s just being fully present and engaged in whatever THEY are interested in for 20-30 minutes?

Maybe it’s taking them on a special outing today.

Maybe it’s just asking them what they would love to do with you and doing it…today, instead of putting it off for some other time.

Regardless of what it is, I challenge you to write down one thing you will do of special significance for a child in your life.

This doesn’t have to be some elaborate, lavish gift or excursion either. Anything meaningful and loving to them will suffice.

Sometimes the smallest things can have the biggest meaning in people’s lives.

You don’t need to make a big deal or a show of it either…it’s just a matter of caring and serving today, from the heart.

It can be anything you normally do also, but this time thought out and done with an extra dose of love.

Just write down one way you will selflessly serve a child today (or all your children if you want).

Then do it with a remembrance of the gift this child is in your life.

The opportunity to serve a child regularly is likely one of the greatest gifts you will ever discover…

…don’t let the routine and challenge of life blind you to the beautiful opportunity for meaningful giving from the heart that is right in front of you.

Give – Day 7 – Rest from daily messages

You won’t hear from me tomorrow, but don’t give up on Selfless Service!

Every day is a good day to give your life in selfless service to others.

Days off from your regular duties are often the BEST days to serve because you have so much more time available.

Make Today Amazing!