A Season to Serve
A Season to Serve
By Christina Rivas
September is a month filled with mixed emotions for parents whose kids are beginning a new school year. For some of us, however, we can only dream of the day we will have children of our own to put through school. It is easy to feel left out and discouraged when it seems like everyone else has Facebook posts and Twitter feeds of their adorable, smiling children all dressed up for their first day of school.
Take heart: This is a season in your life that will one day pass and God wants to use you to further His Kingdom right now. You have a unique opportunity to serve others that is not often afforded to families raising children. I know because I’m in this season too. Below are five tips to help you make the most of this season of your life.
1. Dive into God’s Word, fall in love with Jesus all over again, and ask Him where He wants to use you. Instead of rushing children to and from school, watching them during soccer practice and helping with homework, you can spend your time working on your relationship with God. You can read and meditate on God’s Word, pray for the people in your life, spend more time with others, read a book by a Christian author, lead or participate in a Bible study, and tune into the Holy Spirit and what He has to say to you and do through you.
2. Concentrate on serving your spouse, strengthening your marriage, and keeping Jesus at the center of your relationship. You don’t have to divide your time between your children’s needs and your spouse’s needs. You can focus on being a Proverbs 31 wife for your husband. If your husband is not deployed, you two have a little more room for spontaneity in your lives. You have more opportunities to enjoy each other’s company and to have a date night without worrying about a babysitter. If your husband is deployed, you can prepare a special care package for him, pray everyday for him and his buddies, and take care of things at home so he can concentrate on his job over there. Whether your husband is deployed or not, you can always look for opportunities to encourage him and help him obey and serve the Lord.
3. Develop hobbies that will make you feel good about yourself, utilize your spiritual gifts, and encourage others in their walk with the Lord. Chances are that you either have a hobby or can identify a new hobby to develop and exercise your talents. Hobbies are fun; they alleviate stress, pressure, and anxiety. God created every person with unique spiritual gifts. If you have already identified yours, then ask God to show you how to use them. If you have never identified your spiritual gifts then ask God to clearly point them out to you. Your spiritual gifts should always be used for the benefit of others in service to God as often as the Holy Spirit puts it on your heart.
4. Seek out opportunities to volunteer your time at a nearby school, nonprofit organization, your church or elsewhere in your community. You may not have children of your own but you can teach Sunday school, help out in a school classroom, coach a sport, or tutor a child. You can still be an influence in children’s lives. Parents need and appreciate the support other people give their children. Also, nonprofit organizations often have a hard time making ends meet and they welcome new volunteers. Your local nonprofit would be thrilled to have you give your time to help fulfill its mission. In the local newspaper you can read about fundraising walks and runs, food drives and other ways to make a difference in the community where God has planted you.
5. Offer to babysit. Parents can easily get worn out and frazzled trying to raise their children and meet their needs. It’s a rewarding and exhausting task that never ends. For parents, it can be difficult making time for each other, let alone for themselves. Single parents have an even more challenging time. Your family members and friends would be ecstatic if you could give them a day or night off. You can bless them tremendously just by watching their children and in turn you will be blessed in immeasurable ways.
God knows the desires of your heart. Contrary to the lies of Satan, God has not forgotten you nor is He punishing you. God has a beautiful plan and purpose for your life and He has a hope and future for you. Someday you and I will look back on this difficult season in our lives and be thankful for the lessons God is teaching us and the opportunities He has uniquely provided for us to serve, honor, glorify and praise Him!
Christina Rivas is a Navy wife of seven years currently living in Erie, PA with her husband Mark who has spent the last 12 years as a hospital corpsman. Christina and Mark are both from San Diego, CA and enjoy blooming wherever God plants them. Christina currently writes a faith-based blog, which you can follow at faithfull4him.wordpress.com and is also a regular contributor to ChristianBlessings, which you can also follow at ptl2010.wordpress.com.