Friday, July 17, 2009

What Helps

It is hard for me to imagine why people want to read this stuff. It seems to me that my lamentations would get tiresome pretty quickly if you weren’t me. Actually, I’m pretty tired of them myself.

So I’ll try for something with a spark of hopefulness.

Here are some things that help me. I wouldn’t say they always make me happy, but they keep me in the boat with my lifejacket on.

  • Talking. Lots and lots of talking. This is hard for me because I am Capable! Competent! Dignified and reserved (repressed?)! I fear being needy or whiny.

  • Writing. I seem to be one of those strange birds who, in most contexts, communicate feelings more fully and freely in writing than in face-to-face conversation. That’s how the blog came to be. I didn’t imagine many people would actually read it.

  • Leaving the house. Fear of human interaction and lethargy are serious problems. Most things seem better once I’m out the door.

  • Leaving town. This is the best. Going out of town, preferably without my children, gives my heart a rest. My stress and sadness have a geographic location.

  • Noticing God’s grace. I am apt to feel God has turned away from us. There are so many things I think He should be doing that He is not. I’ve offered my list, but you know how that goes. If I think to look, there is always a sign that He is caring for us. Yesterday was a magnificently crummy day, but my husband and I both received particular notes of encouragement from special folks. Thank You, God.

  • Respite care for my kids. I love ‘em, but they are selfish little people. Empathy for Mom is precious but short-lived. Some days start out looking impossible, and then I remember my friend is coming to watch the kids for the morning and instantly I feel like I’ll make it through the day.


  1. Totally with you on using writing to gather one's thoughts and present them in a rational line of thinking, rather than just running one's mouth when the instinct is screaming that something should or shouldn't be done. :)

    As far as respite from the kids, that's common sense. I think people stuffed them in a backyard back in the olden days... ;)

  2. You know, a break from the kids was not common sense for me. It took a lot of coaching to make me feel ok about that. I was in tears when I called my friend to ask for her help with them.

  3. I love your honesty about the kids. I love mine like crazy (and I lost two children, so I really, really appreciate what a gift they are), but dear Lord we need a break from them. I'm very blessed to be closer to home in my husband's 2nd call and have retired parents taking them off our hands now and again. I miss them, but am so happy to have a little peace while they're gone. Please don't be afraid to continue asking people to help with the kids. I had to learn at the Seminary that when you deny someone's gift, offer of help, etc., you deny them a blessing. We do have to sort of teach ourselves to be good receivers so others can feel like they're making a difference when they help us. I think I'm convinced that people who offer to help REALLY want to help, and you're helping them when you let them. OK, I'll leave the sermonizing to our husbands. You are a blessing in case you haven't been told lately.

  4. You dear woman. I am so thankful for your kindness.

    Writing this blog is kind of me asking for help, I guess. I used to forget to check my e-mail, now I'm here several times a day to soak up the encouragement.


Thanks for using this space to share your encouraging words.