No, I’m not talking about stealing tangible gifts that people give to you in a box. I’m talking about taking away the gift of letting others help us. My wonderful, wise Aunt Pat first said this to me last summer after I broke my right wrist ( I’m right-handed). I was stressing with questions such as: How was I supposed to take care of my daughter, who was still in diapers? How could I cook? How could I do any normal task with my non-dominate hand? My Aunt Pat explained to me that it’s a ‘gift’ for her when other women, family, friends, etc. call and ask if she can do something. Her advice to me, “Don’t steal that gift from others.”
As I thought about it, I realized that she was dead on. I do feel that it’s a gift when my own friends call, so why had I assumed that they felt differently? Why had I assumed that my friends & family would feel burdened or obligated by my asking for help? I think I was afraid that they might think I was less of a woman/wife/mother because I couldn’t do it on my own, which is just silly when I actually type that out. I mean, I wouldn’t feel burdened or look down on my girlfriend at all if one of them called and asked if I could do her dishes, laundry, bathrooms or whatever was needed due to a broken bone, adjusting to a new baby, the flu, a death in the family, etc. I would jump at the chance! I would actually respect her more for having the strength (guts) to ask. I would feel like she handed me a rare gift that was wrapped so delicately that I didn’t want to rip the paper.
So, I started taking my friends up on their offers to help when I needed it. It became a beautiful experience that I’m so thankful I didn’t miss. They felt they had something to offer and I felt honored and blessed by their tangible love for me and my family. I had friends that stocked my fridge, cleaned the floors, scrubbed the bathrooms (this was humbling), and even had my mentor, who loves to do laundry, came and did ours! One of my hair stylist friends, offered to do a washing and style for free and I totally took her up on that one! (that’s the only reason my hair looks nicely briaded in the photo lol)
It is very humbling to ask for help. I try to remind myself how much joy it would bring me to have a friend call me when she needed it. I would absolutely love it!
So, the next time you are sick, have a new baby, have surgery or maybe you’re just behind on daily tasks and need some help, call a friend. Hand out that rare gift and allow your friends’ hearts to be filled with joy just by helping you. It really is more of a blessing to give then to receive as Jesus himself said in Acts 20:35. So give and allow others to give, too.