I’m terrible at asking for help. Terrible. Sam looks at me with such frustration as I am holding a baby, stirring something on the stove, and answering Bud’s really important questions about “whaa happen to dinosawrs Mama??”. And within t-minus 5 minutes fast forward to me spilling something and stomping my foot and yelling out some lame version of a curse word now that Bud is repeating everything – “GODBLESSIT” “SON OF BEESHWOOD” “SHIZZER”… to name a few. Sam stares at me and through “I told you so” eyes, says: “I’m here to help you, you should let me.”
I’m not sure when this happened. Maybe it was when he deployed for 10.5 months and I got used to doing things on my own? Or maybe it’s been my downfall for much longer. But regardless, it’s been my MO for quite some time.
I thought ‘help’ was a four letter word. But here I am, fresh from putting my 4 month old down for his morning nap without a meltdown from being up too long because he had to come along on a joy ride to drop big brother off at preschool. He got his own “wind down” time because my amazing, selfless neighbor/friend Mel offered to take Bud to school with her kids on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
At first I shuddered at this suggestion and then I think it was clear to everyone in the drop off as I looked like Medusa trying to sheepdog Bud into the classroom while doing ridiculous dance moves and shaking various toys in my baby’s face trying to get him to stay awake so he doesn’t fall asleep in the carseat so he can get some actual good rest in his crib (hilarious) that I needed a break. Mel sent me a text a couple of Tuesday mornings ago and all it said was, “I’m picking Bud up at 8:50, don’t argue.”
I texted Sam and told him that Mel was helping and I felt humiliated. Why in the world did I feel humiliated?! Maybe it’s because I felt the need to save face or pretend I’m supermom, or deep down I think that needing help is a sign of weakness.
I sent an email to my mother in law who is selflessly coming to visit next week to lend an extra set of hands warning her about the state of my house and I told her that the messiness of my heart is reflected in the messiness of my carpets. I found myself apologizing to her that my life wasn’t perfect. Shameful.
Well, you know what my new resolution is?
2014 will be the year of rejoicing in my weaknesses because that’s when my Rescuer shows up with the biggest floatation devices that would put water parks out of business.
Rejoicing in my weaknesses quiets the Pride ever so gently enough so that I’m given permission to huddle under the wing of my Lord and whisper through soft cries, “My Shield. My Refuge. My Hiding Place.”
It’s no longer about faking strength. It’s about living in the reality that He knows the amount of strength I need to get through the day and when I accept help and admit weakness, I’m pointing to Him. I’m pointing to the fact that He is my help yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Help is no longer a four letter word but is a word of beauty. It allows people to come into our lives and be the help. It shows that I am not a one-woman show. I need my God, my community, and HELP. I hope I can pay Mel back in some way, especially since she juggles twice as much as the average mom. But until then, I’m grateful for her grace for me as a friend. I’m grateful for her help and the lesson it’s taught me that accepting help doesn’t mean I’ve failed, it means that I’m not an unrealistic, grotesque version of perfect. It shows that on this side of Heaven, I still need a Rescuer – don’t we all?