Friday, February 4, 2011

How Am I Ever Going To Acquire A Servant's Heart?

I've always been envious of those who happily serve others. Wives and mothers who get joy out of serving their families, catering to their husband's needs and the needs of their children. Happy homemakers who feel a sense of accomplishment. Folks who happily serve on school and church committees. Those who volunteer their time to others out of the sheer joy of being in service to another.
When I served on a church committee, it was more a sense of obligation rather than service, and I would sit in the meetings willing for the time to fly by so I could be in the comforts of my own home. Or I would get annoyed at someone droning on and on in the meeting about what I felt was nonsense. I care more about my own needs than the needs of others.
When I served on fund-raising committees at schools, I never felt a sense of accomplishment, I just felt like, "Oh, hurry up and get this over with!"

The only volunteering I enjoyed was working with children. They were a lot of fun, I laughed a lot, I loved them and they loved me. But that entailed me getting something out of it. Certainly not a servant's heart there.

I never feel that wonderful sense of love and service. I try to, but most of what I do, I just do out of a sense of obligation or guilt. I've prayed about it. I want to have a servant's heart, but I just don't get that sense of happiness or fulfillment that others feel and talk about.
And so far in my life, I've only known one other person who feels the same way I do. We just don't get it. I don't feel like we're cold-hearted people, but maybe we are.

We both get annoyed if we are trying to be of service to someone and things don't go smoothly. We don't mind whatever the chore may be, but we mind that a one-step chore becomes a ten-step chore due to things going awry (for example: trying to bake a dinner to take to a family in need, but everything goes wrong such as a carton of eggs falling on the floor and every single egg breaks, or the dinner burns to a crisp; or in trying to help someone paint their house and you knock over the whole can of paint onto their carpet), we end up saying to ourselves and to God, "What is this???? All I'm trying to do is help someone out here. Why all the roadblocks?"
She and I are more like 'grumbling servants'. And we both agree that we are all-too-ready to throw in the towel.

I wish I was the type of person who could say, "Okay, God, for whatever reason all those eggs were supposed to break, and that dinner was supposed to burn, and I was supposed to knock the paint over." I wish I was the type of person who felt there was some deep lesson I was supposed to learn. I'm not that type of person. If there was a lesson to be learned, it went sailing way over my head.
And, really, my feeling is, sometimes broken eggs are just broken eggs, and sometimes paint spilled is nothing more than paint spilled. And it's all very irritating. And there is no sense of a servant's heart in irritation.

"It's all in your attitude", or so I've been told. But I don't feel that I go into any mission with a negative attitude, in fact, I think my attitude is somewhat rational, I don't think I have high expectations, and yet, I still feel disappointed with the outcome (not feeling good about having done something in the service of another). What's wrong with me? Why don't I feel good doing something for somebody else? Does everything I do have to benefit me before I feel good about it? I'm not getting any younger. I'm running out of time. How am I ever going to acquire a servant's heart?


  1. EILEEN-
    oh my - I feel your self-angst. Breathe.....First, there is NO such thing as true altruism - every one does whatever it is they are doing because it fills some need in then - EVERY volunteer, every servant is getting something out of the service - it makes sense to that person and is need satisfying. Second, in 'service' it is important we, the servers, let go of the outcomes. The service is in the act of doing, and not so much on how well or successful. There is way more to this thought process than I am writing - but you get the gist, right?
    Love you
    p.s. and the service you are providing by the wonderful, loving world you are creating for Jayden and Mia and your family is of great, great value and will impact the world forever.

  2. I have been trying to comment on this post Eileen and it is hard as it baffles are a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, niece and friend. You provide a safe haven for your family, walk Jayden to school, support his mother and all of your children, cook, clean and provide meals for Ray and all your family. You share your home, your pool and you decorate your home that pleasures everyone not just have vacationed in Disneyland with your family, it wouldn't of been the same without you. I don't think you realize just how special you are to everyone who knows you, even us in blogland. I think you do very much in service to others and I for one am so proud to call you friend. Love you....Hugs

  3. Bernie said it PERFECTLY. You give and give and give everyday of your life. I think it must be the humble part of you thinking you aren't doing enough.

  4. First of all YOU ARE NOT running out of time. You have been busy a majority of your life serving your family and still are!
    Most volunteers that I know of are empty nesters, which you are not and senior citizens.
    Another key word you used was try. Every time you try. Stop trying. If you stop trying, God will fit you with a person or a cause that will hit you and make you say "I have to do something!".
    I myself plan on doing volunteer work but right now I can't. Soon enough however I will be alone and you can bet that I'll be delivering meals, visiting nursing homes or hospital volunteer work.
    Remember the Bible also states that there is a time for everything. Love Di ♥

  5. I'm feel the same as's hard to understand your reasoning, I don't think you are being fair to yourself, Eileen and are quilty of being a harsh judge of your motives and wrong in repremanding yourself for wanting and appreciating the personal pleasure of doing things for others.

    Maybe doing a random act of kindness anonymously would give you a sense of doing good (being a sevant) without benefitting from even a thank you!

  6. Hi Eileen,
    I am laughing. Certainly, not at you, but at your dilemma. More than anyone else I know, you have a Servant Heart, it is just as natural for you as breathing. You can not try to breath, you just do it all the time. Relax Friend, and just keep breathing in and out. You are doing fine and I am sure God is smiling!!!
    (((HUGS))) T

  7. Eileen... Do you know how special you are! You are very special to me...and I wish that you could embrace that, knowing that who you are, what you do for others (like me)...such tremendous gifts you have....You have gifts from God that you use every day, and I am thankful to have you as a friend and to know that you are such a blessed wife, mother, and Umma. Those are MORE than jewels in your crown. You continue to be YOU. You apparently don't know how many people you touch with your loving ways, your smile, your selfless love.
    I aspire to be more like you. Truly!

  8. Wow! I missed something didn't I? SERVANT? My goodness just reading your blog is serving me! I loved this post...I found myself in so much of it. Hmm I better not lie...I found myself in all of it. I think there are a lot more women out there that feel the very same way. I wish I could do my whole 20's 30' and 40's over! I feel like I cheated my children...but ya know what, we did what we could do at the time and even today, we do what we can at the time given. If I had a million dollars it wouldn't last a day because I would probably hurry and buy every thing I ever wanted selfishly and then take care of everyone else in my life to make sure they were I would be broke....Now what is wrong with this picture? LOL Eileen, you are so NORMAL...I think...LOL love you and hugs and smiles...