Our friend, accepting gifts.
I have been thinking back to another mothers meeting we had a year ago at our church. The moms meeting topics have really stuck with me, partially because I finalize plans and topics, but also because we have many great moments there where topics and discussion really hit home.
A year ago in October of 2014, we had a counselor come in and talk about time management. Right after her presentation we decided to do something special for a mom who found out a month prior that she had colon cancer. She is a very sweet lady and is the historian for our group. She is a very generous and kind person and I find her constantly in an encouraging mind set. When we found out she had cancer we were all in shock and were especially concerned because she had a 4 yr old son and 6 yr old daughter. So, I asked our assistant pastor, Fr. Servando to come join us at the meeting and pray over our beautiful friend. He was very glad to join us.
Before he did his prayers and blessing, I had decided to open up the moment with a few words about asking for help. The gist of it, was that sometimes as moms, we either forget to ask for help or think that we should not have to or that we should be able to "do it all." After all, we stay home all day, right? Or perhaps we do not want to burden someone else. It had struck me earlier that week as I thought about these things, that even Jesus asked for help or accepted help. During the feeding of 5000 people, Jesus turned to his apostles and asked if they had any food. Maybe he knew what he was going to do and maybe he needed something to multiply, but he still turned to them and asked. They also helped him collect the leftovers. The end result was a little bit of team work and allowing the apostles an opportunity to serve too. My next thought was Jesus accepting help from Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross. Maybe he could have done it himself because he is God, but the way it turned out shows a good example to us accepting help from others during struggles which does not indicate that we are week, but instead, courageous and part of a community where all take opportunities to serve each other.
Our friend mentioned that she often did not like to ask for help often, but she admitted that now she needed others. She would need meals, rides to chemo when her husband went back to work after taking off as much time as he could, someone to watch her children, support, encouragement, prayers, and lots of love. A care calendar was made and the community served her through her times of difficulty. Our friend, a year later, is now in remission.
In my own life, I have recently had to ask for or accept help in many ways with the birth of our 3rd child. I can no longer squeak by on chores and the older kids now have a few more responsibilities. I sometimes have asked Zac to help me make my own breakfast when we are trying to get out the door to school on time. One bigger example is my trips to the grocery store. I usually decline help out of the store with the cart, avoiding having someone push a cart that I am capable of pushing, getting out of small talk until we find our vehicle, and enjoying the extra exercise, but with our weekly cartload of groceries and a tired back from wearing Lincoln in the sling, I have had to say "yes please!"
I strongly dislike making mistakes and who doesn't? It is also often frustrating to not be able to do something ourselves especially opening the silly pickle jar! Or figuring out technology!! Or figuring out how to perfectly raise children!!! Who likes having their independence inhibited or taken away? Fortunately, it helps us to keep reaching out, keeps us talking, sets a good example for our kids to accept help and help, and keeps humans in communities. I'm not one who can survive without social interaction anyhow and I am pretty sure that "I am not alone" in that!
Kids working together and helping each other fill the bucket.
Zac helping the family with Sunday lunch.
Zac and cub scouts helping the school by cleaning up
Adelyn helping Mom to get ready by playing with the baby.
Adleyn helping mom to eat dinner while playing with the baby.
Lincoln coaching Dad on how to fix some computer problems. Well okay, not really.