Anxiously Engaged

This post is from Kiley. A kind-hearted, thoughtful person who loves to make people happy.

I came to a sudden realization this past Sunday. I live to serve. That is where I find my true happiness.

And, it shows.

Last month, I had eight huge projects simultaneously on my plate, all of which were very service-oriented—involving PTA functions, primary lessons, cub scouts, and parties to celebrate both birthdays and babies.

This month, the count is right around ten, depending on how you classify things.

It might be an understatement to say that I am overwhelmed with service.

And, when I consider all this service, I am simultaneously filled with both satisfaction and guilt.

Yes, I am serving. But am I serving in the best way? Dallin H. Oaks counsels that "we should remember that it is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best."

Then, what is the best way to serve?

Although I could answer that question quite readily if someone were to pose it in a Sunday School class, it takes a lot more effort to know the right answer for me—and to gain a testimony of it with such strength that I can follow the beliefs of my heart.

While reading talks from the most recent General Conference, I came across a wonderful message along the same lines that spoke to my soul. By M. Russell Ballard, his words are centered on the commandment to "love thy neighbor as thyself." He expounds, "Imagine what good we can do in the world if we all join together, united as followers of Christ, anxiously and busily responding to the needs of others and serving those around us—our families, our friends, our neighbors, our fellow citizens."

I re-read that same passage a few times to grasp the entire meaning, and then suddenly and deeply was touched by one seemingly insignificant part of the sentence’s structure: in his list of groups to serve, the first to be mentioned is our families.

First and foremost, we should be serving in our families.

And in that moment, the spirit added such strength to that thought—so touching that it cannot be described in words.

My family should be the center of my service. Yes, it is good to serve our friends & neighbors, in the PTA, and especially in church callings.

But it is best to be serving my family.

This afternoon, I took a break from my projects for an hour to be just a mom. And oh, how I loved it. Even while writing this post, I’ve paused several times to talk to my children, to read a book, to change a diaper, and play with Legos.

This testimony is taking hold, and I will continue onward. And in my quest, I’m sure I will stumble and fall. But, now I know. In my family is where I should be focusing my service. Because, only with my dear, sweet, wonderful family can I find true happiness.

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