Monday, January 2, 2017

One Word: Selfless

If there's one quality I admire most about my husband it is his selfless personality.  He's always been the type of guy who would give you the shirt off his back, the last piece of pie, or whatever he has that you might want or need.  No surprise he eagerly joined the volunteer fire department at 18 and has served in multiple capacities for the past 30 some odd years.

Though many might look at someone on the side of the road and think to themselves they should stop, he's one who almost always will.  If he hears of someone in need, he's there to lend a hand, giving up his day off or working through hours he should be sleeping before his night shift.  Often in his side business, he has gone on a job knowing the client couldn't afford to pay and didn't expect it.

Selfishness is a characteristic I've always struggled with.  While I enjoying serving and helping others, I am also cautious and stingy with my time, sometimes to a fault.  Though family should come first, I often calculate how help can be carved around whatever I have to spare, instead of just plunging in messy regardless of the time I have.  An introvert, I enjoy "me time" as well and look forward to unplugging and relaxing in the comfort of my home.

Perhaps it is my birth order, or growing up with sisters who took my things without asking.  Or because I'm stubborn and possess all the qualities of a Capricorn.  And maybe it is just an area that God hasn't fully polished yet, but one I feel him tugging on for me to focus this year.

Service.  Selflessness.  He is more, I am less.  Having a servant's heart.  These words and phrases have floated through my mind the past several days, as I've prayerfully considered the One Word for 2017.  I've wavered back and forth and landed on the one that encompasses all.

One can serve without fully giving, or even having the right attitude.  But truly being selfless means putting your own needs aside.  It means serving without calculation.


adjective  self·less \ˈsel-fləs\

concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one's own; unselfish.

self-sacrificing, self-denying; considerate, compassionate, kind, noble, generous,  
ungrudging, charitable, benevolent, openhanded

While it is a word I often use to describe my husband, it is also a symbol of Jesus himself.  If my desire in my one word for the year is to become better, to improve myself, what other model should I seek?

3 In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves. 4 Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too.  Philippians 2:3-4

I know it won't be easy, old habits die hard.  It's only day 2 and I've already missed opportunities to serve others before myself.  But I did finish off New Year's Day in service, out my comfort zone and the warm comforts of my bed.

Our church joined hundreds of others across Kentucky by having the word of God read aloud beginning midnight NYE until the entire Bible is read.  I signed up for the late shift last night and was the last to read.  Just a few chapters to an empty parking lot but my prayer is that in an apartment or home surrounding this effort, someone will hear just the needed words in God's perfect timing.
Settling in for the night, I pondered upon the blessings of the day, in gratitude and hopes for such simple, beautiful days to fill all of 2017.

Beginning and ending in worship and prayer.  Lunch out with mom and my guys.  Visits and sweet baby snuggles.  Putting away Christmas with as much spirit as we set it out. Reflections on the past 365 days and lessons learned.  Anticipation for the ones ahead.  And dinner at home, full of tradition for the new year.

I'm ready for a year of serving others, selflessly.  And learning much along the way.

Prayers for a blessed 2017 for each of you!  If you choose a #oneword for the year, I'd love to hear it about it below.


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