I grew up loving to serve those around me more than anything else in the world. My parents taught us by example to help the neighbors with projects, take dinner to those who were sick, and share the bounties from our garden with friends. It always brought me so much joy to join my dad on a walk down the street and notice how many people he stopped to talk to, just to let them know someone cared. I spent my high school years on committees and in clubs whose core focus was service and it brought me much satisfaction. Even during my college years all of my extracurricular activities were centered on giving to others. Once I became a mom, I struggled to serve on the same level I had become accustomed to. I used the excuse (and I truly believed it) that I didn't have as many opportunities to serve. Soon, my lack of service turned to apathy, and eventually selfishness until I was drowning in an ocean created by my own self-centeredness. I felt that my cup was always empty so I had nothing left to give to others. Many times over the years I have stopped to reevaluate myself and wonder where the “real” Shelly went. The girl who loved service more than anything else. As I started to question my own happiness and ability to love others, I realized that I had become so consumed with my own circumstances that I had done a 180 degree turn until I was only worried about myself. Many of my actions towards my children, husband, and neighbors were out of duty and necessity, not love. I had developed what I like to call and “inward mindset.” I only focused on what was best for me, and even when I did something for someone else my motives were often not pure.
After many prayers and searching for myself I cam to the painful conclusion that I wasn’t really missing the opportunities to serve, I was lacking the outward mindset and desire to serve, and that was something that I had control over. I needed to replace my selfish it's-all-about-me goggles with “Godly Goggles.”
When wearing these goggles I view other people around me as God would see them. I see them as people with fears, hopes, dreams, feelings, desires, imperfections and strengths. When I look at them with my Godly Goggles I see them for who God created them to be and I see their heart. I am filled with understanding and love for them and wonder what I can do that would be best for them without any thought of what’s in it for me. Once I started putting my Godly Goggles on more often I was bombarded with ample opportunities to serve His children which filled my cup to overflowing so there was more than enough to share.
I soon found that while the service I rendered when wearing my Godly Goggles was often the answer to someone's prayer, it was also an answer to my own.
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