I recently read an Ensign article about what one family did during a period of unemployment. I read it with interest, because we were still in our summer of no paycheck, and I always like to see if there is something I'm missing frugality-wise.
But the thing that struck me most was not something this family did to save money, it was something they felt they needed to do in order for the Lord to bless them in their trial: Serve.
"We also agreed that we should continue to put the Lord first in other ways, diligently serving in our Church callings and serving others around us."They stepped up their commitment to their callings, they looked for opportunities to serve people around them, and they even joined the ward choir.
So, Joel and I decided to do the same. One of the things that ended up happening was a wonderful relationship with the current set of missionaries, as Joel went out with them quite a bit. He was pretty much always available to help them, so help them he did. And I know we were blessed for it.
I know I tried to give more thought and prayer to my Young Women preparations, too. Hard to do when there is only one of her (hard to make it interesting for her, that is), but I felt happy with the things I was able to do.
Which is why I cried and cried last week when I got released. I got put in immediately after I moved here a year ago, and so it was unexpected. But in a branch as small as ours, when people move in or out the entire organization has to be shuffled. Tomorrow I start my first day as the counselor in the Primary Presidency (there are only the two of us). I'm excited, I've never really served in Primary, other than a stint as the Primary Music Leader when Bria was a baby.
Anyway, the point is, serving wherever we are needed really does bring us blessings. Which is why our family theme for this school year is going to have a lot to do with that. (Hint: The title of this post is our theme for the year.) Sometimes I feel like we haven't taught our children very well when it comes to serving others without receiving something in return. Maybe it's just the way the world is nowadays, but I want my children to always be able to look outside of themselves and find ways to help other people and make their lives easier.
Which means I'm going to have to continue to step it up myself.
Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad
and made someone feel glad?
If not I have failed indeed.
Has anyone's burden been lighter today
because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary
been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansions above.
Doing good is a pleasure
A joy beyond measure
A blessing of duty and love.