“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
I love the family that God placed me in. We’re all unique with different talents and gifts and abilities. My daughter can find ANYTHING – I mean it. If it’s lost, she is your go-to gal. She finds money, jewelry, and even the DS that was missing for months at our house. She’s so observant to what is going on around her (not good when you’re trying to buy her a present and she’s along for the ride). Our oldest is great with facts and rules. He’s great keeping us on track, teaching his younger brother (in a calm and controlled way) what’s expected and then patiently guiding him a few times while our littlest gets to practice. My husband is very detail oriented and meticulous in all he does. I love that when he starts a project, it’s going to be fantastic when it’s finished because he has the expertise, knows where to look for answers if he needs some help, and takes his time to make sure it’s done right. I’m more of the multi-tasker. I can talk on the phone scheduling appointments, make cookie dough, fix lunches, start dinner, and help find the missing belt all without breaking a sweat. Our littlest loves to help. He will cut vegetables for soup, pour ingredients, move clothes from the washer to the dryer, and empty trashcans without being asked twice.
We’ve had a few issues lately, though, where people don’t necessarily want to take ownership for what is truly their responsibility. For some reason, our children have occasional amnesia when it comes to picking up after themselves, such as that stray banana peel that didn’t quite make it in the trash can, the granola bar wrapper wedged between the couch cushions, or the bowl that made it to the sink but stayed there all day.
I like to remind them that in order for our family to work well, we need to maintain a well-oiled machine mentality. After all, there’s no magic fairy that comes to our house after everyone’s asleep and cleans up after them. If everyone not only takes care of the tasks they’re responsible for, but actively looks around and asks themselves, “What can I do to help make life easier for someone else?” then our family will run much more smoothly. There’ll be less stress about missing accessories, less arguing about “It’s your turn to do the dishes, I did them last night,” and less trying to manipulate their way out of unpleasant chores.
I think that principle works well in other areas too. What about standing in the checkout at the grocery store and someone drops a glass bottle of juice, splashing it everywhere? Instead of thinking, “Wow – I’m glad that’s not me,” what about offering to go back and grab another bottle so the line will continue to move forward? At the office, instead of racing to get the prime parking spot, what if you parked further away, leaving the primo place for someone else? What about actively seeking ways to make life easier for your husband, your children, or your best friend?
Your challenge today is to start small. Find one thing you can do to help make life easier for whomever you are focusing on (husband, children, co-worker, best friend). Who knows? That smile on your face when you serve others might become contagious. I think you’ll agree with me that the feeling you receive is better than any magic fairy who might come clean after everyone falls asleep.