Welcoming Amy Sullivan and her Insights on Serving Others

Once in awhile I find contentment that comes from just doing what God has given me to do. Even if it's small.  ... but sometimes I get caught up in the pursuit though, and clamor for tasks... "What should I DO, God?!

I welcome my friend Amy Sullivan 
to share her perspective on that place of searching for the next act of service... 

I love this woman. Real,  to the point and a woman of action, Amy continuously spurs me on to greater... life. love. action.  
(...it's scary how similarly we think sometimes. (Psst! Amy! Stop telling everyone my innermost thoughts!!)  

Thanks so much Amy, for sharing your own journey and challenging me on mine.

Ideas on Serving Others and Three Things We Need to Quit

I used to think and rethink ways to live a life of love. I agonized over my self-absorbed life and poured over service opportunities.

Then, I sat.

I refused occasions to serve others.  I’m busy. I don’t know them. I don’t have a heart for that. Not good.

Then, I tried to change, and I accepted every prospect to serve others. Sure, pile on something else. I want to know everyone. I have a heart for all.  Equally, not good.

However, somewhere between doing nothing and doing everything, I’ve come to see true service begins when we quit doing these three things:

1. Quit serving with an idea of what service looks like. 
I want to help, and I want to help in cool and dramatic ways.

I see the husband and wife traveling to Ethiopia to adopt another child, and I think what a way to serve, to literally take in orphans.

I read about the sweet family of five working at an orphanage for girls in Thailand, and I think what a way to serve, to rescue defenseless girls from the snares of sex trafficking.

Then, I picture myself doing quiet things, boring things, and I cop a teeny attitude. You want me to bring in a coat for the local shelter? Blah, boring.

The truth: True service comes when serving is no longer fun or exciting.

2. Quit treating life as an endless checklist. 
I desire to accomplish, but my hurry-up-and-do-it-attitude often trumps the needs around me.

My schedule dictates my mood.

I multitask, but few things receive my full attention.

I drive quickly by the new neighbor, again.

The truth: True service comes when we take the time to notice the needs of those around us.

3. Quit trying to make a difference. 
I want results, and a sense of significance.

It’s easy to invest in people or projects that are succeeding. Once, I volunteered with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. My little sister’s family was mean and unappreciative, and my little sister was demanding. I felt used, and often thought of myself as a free babysitter.

Why couldn’t these people just appreciate the fact that I was trying to spend quality time with their daughter?

The truth: True service comes when you don’t see results, but you do it because you know that’s what God is asking from you.

Question for you: Is there something you need to quit doing as you think of serving others?

For more insight, challenge and inspiration, stop by Amy's place!



From The Heart Online said...

Amy, you move me. I especially get "I used to think and rethink ways to live a life of love... [and] somewhere between doing nothing and doing everything..."

I needed this. Here's to 'quitting' to truly begin :)

Thank you my friend.

journeytoepiphany said...

Amy is everywhere lately! This is another fabulous post. I've been at both ends of the spectrum...doing too little with the right heart, and doing too much with the wrong heart. Oh that I would serve the way my Savior did and does.

Amy Sullivan said...

Hey, Ladies,

Thanks for the sweet comments. The idea for this post actually came from a book called "Death By Suburb". It's a few years old, but the author talks about all kinds of myths we buy into, and these very things which sometimes sound good (like making a difference) actually distract us from obeying God. Really good. The kind of book that you have to read in bits and pieces because there are so many good things.

Love your hearts. Both of you.

amandatdodson said...

This is good stuff! Sometimes I feel like my serving is so puny compared to others who are doing big things for Christ ... but you're right, it's about being obedient to what God's called us to do. Thanks for this reminder!

joy said...

Amy darling -- I need to quit filling my calendar so I have time to look around and notice needs. Joy

Cindy Bultema said...

Amy, you inspire me in a thousand different ways. Thanks for sharing your journey and the lessons you are learning along the way. You make me think, really think...and I am blessed and grateful.
Thanks, too, for the book recommendation. I'm going to add it to my "want to read" list.
Cindy :)

Amy Sullivan said...

Thanks for dropping by. Puny is a good word to describe how I feel about my service sometimes, but I guess it isn't puny to God.

Amy Sullivan said...

I went through the exact same calendar filling. Then, I realized I wasn't interested or invested or (and this is even bigger!) asked by God to do all the things I was filling my days with.

Always good to see you, friend.

lori said...

Amy, this is really good. I don't know how I missed it, but you are so right about all of these. Giving and serving isn't always like we think it will be, and I love that you point out the truth here of what serving can feel like.


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