Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On Being Blessed and Blessing Others

I disappeared again.
If it's not one thing, it's another.
A few weeks ago it was Lilly's broken foot, Davy's respiratory virus and long, sleepless nights for me.
Last week I threw out my back.
It was pretty bad.
Like I could hardly walk bad.
Like take 3 ibuprofen and they don't do a thing for the pain.  
(I rarely take ibuprofen and when I do, I take 1)
Like compare the pain to childbirth and wish I could have the epidurals now that I didn't have then.
But despite all that badness, it was good too.

(on the couch icing, surrounded by my brood)

It was good for the kids.
They had to step up and be there for me, and for our family.
James carried Davy for me.
William brought me my ice pack.
When I couldn't stand the dirt on the floor any longer, James swept.
And since he isn't the best at sweeping yet, William then brought me my socks so I wouldn't have to feel the crumbs on my feet.
He also put them on me.
I couldn't bend over.
Lilly rubbed lotion on my legs after a hot shower.
Again, no bending.
It was humbling.
But they were needed.
And it feels good to be needed.
They worked together, didn't argue and made some long days easier for me.

They missed out on our home school field day and swimming lessons.
They were disappointed by that.
But I said, "I need you here."
And they were sad, but they understood.
At the end of the day, when they told Daddy how they stayed home to help me, they felt good about their sacrifice.
It is good to give our kids a chance to sacrifice something.

It was good for me too.
I was ministered to.
I had to ask for help.
I had to admit weakness.
Those are 2 things I don't like to do.
But when I did, I was blessed.

The first day, a friend offered to bring lunch.
She stopped by to let her boys play with my kids and that made my kids so happy.
Someone else brought diapers, because I didn't realize I was out until I put Davy in the last one.
Another friend brought pizza for dinner.
(Yes, more friends bearing pizza just when I need it.  I am blessed indeed.)

And the next day, when I needed to go to the chiropractor, I put out a call for babysitting help.
I didn't want to.
When you have 4 kids, it is hard to ask for someone to watch them all.
4 kids is a lot of kids.
Trust me.  I know.
I have only left all 4 with someone once.
(My mom and dad watched them for a couple hours while we were on vacation, so Aaron and I could go to dinner alone.  It was bliss and my parents are rock stars.)
It's kind of a big deal for me.
In fact, the night before, as I lay on the couch icing my back and not able to get up without wincing and gasping in pain, I tried to explain to Aaron why I couldn't just call people to ask for help.
"You don't understand," I told him.
"Then I'll just call people and ask them," he said.  "People want to help you, Greta."
"No, Aaron.  Don't do that.  I'll take care of it myself."
I wouldn't let him help me either.
Oh when will I ever learn?

Poor Aaron.
He knows my reluctance to ask anyone for help and it kind of drives him crazy.
In fact, we ended the night mad at one another because of it.
It was awesome.
But the next morning, when I almost couldn't move, I knew I had to ask.
And friends called right away and said, "I'll watch your kids."
Like it was nothing.
The friend who came over and watched them said, "go get yourself a coffee when you're done."
I did.
I enjoyed an almond latte, and came home walking almost normal.
And I felt good.

Far more than feeling physically good, I felt emotionally and spiritually good.
I felt good because I had been blessed by others stepping in to help me in a time of need.
"Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2)
The first day I hurt my back, a wise friend emailed me and said, "Greta, ask for help.  Let someone bring you dinner. By letting people help you, you will bless them as they bless you."
That is so true.

I think of what my kids learned as they saw our friends step in to help us.
Someone showing up with diapers, pizza, and coming over to watch them when I couldn't.
They saw people bearing our burdens.
And now when we have a friend in need, we will be all the more willing to step in and help.
Because we know how good it feels.
And we want to share that.
Go bless someone today.
And be blessed yourself.

Love from,


Terrie said...

So true! And I am happy you are feeling better! We missed your posts, I bet everyone else would watch your kids for you while you got caught up on your blogging. :)

hennymats said...

Oh now I get what you meant with your last mail! Sorry, been to busy and confused to understand. Glad you feel better!

Oh and agree with Terrie :)

Anyone else here reading this: click over to Apartment Therapy's The Homies to vote for Greta!


Katie @ minivan diva said...

While I don't love that you hurt your back, I do love how everyone pulled together to help their mama.