Such an easy word to spell, but why so difficult to say? Having grown up as the youngest sibling in my family (and in my husbands), I have had to privelidge of watching my older siblings and in laws raise 20 nieces and nephews right before my eyes. Some of them are young still, like mine, but a couple are in college with a handful more just on their heels. I must say, my older siblings have done FABULOUSLY with raising their kids. I have witnessed how to do things and how to patiently respond; what things to worry about and what to let go; balancing acts and most of all that things go by SO fast and make sure you just enjoy the moment, for it truly is fleeting. Needless to say, I felt pretty confident about my knowledge and preparedness going into parenting. Don't get me wrong, there were many things I was not prepared for and have learned a long the way. I have been stretched as a wife and a mom with each new addition, and have seen so much of my own sinfulness and inadequacy. However, despite these challenges, I have always somehow managed to juggle all the balls myself, with little help from friends, and occasional help from family. So when we brought Mia home, I anticipated change (and maybe got more than I bargained for:-) and transition, and a new level of busy but I didn't expect to have to ask for help consistently.
As of this year, I went back to teaching on a very part-time basis (teaching one class twice a week for 2 hours). The timing and all plus the way it worked out was truly a God thing. I have loved every minute and as far as I can tell, my little ones at home are still doing great and thriving, not really missing out on too much mommy time. However, to say that I am on a faith journey is an understatement. I am truly in over my head and I do NOT know what I would do without the friends in my life right now. Hear me in that I am not desperate or overwhelmed. On the contrary, I don't recall feeling this much peace in the midst of this much chaos ever in my life. Between two boys in two different schools on two different schedules, extra weekly dr. visits for one child, then two toddler girls at home and one more small child home half the time, and one teaching job, house work, a good marriage to tend to, a new health plan to implement and trying to relax and have fun and just enjoy my life and my family I can honestly say I have never in my life been this busy. But it is a good and necessary busy. But I have had to learn how to say one really difficult word. Help. God has been gracious to make it a little easier on me to ask in that he has introduced our family to another one (the McKinneys) who are at mine and Ben's new school. To say that I am blessed by the servant hearts they have is an understatement. Not just willing to take ALL of my kids when I need it, but asking to. We do trade off and I get to reciprocate the favors, but I'd have to say it isn't quite even. :-) Yet, as I have been in a constant state of receiving from these friends (and others) I find myself questioning whether or not I am supposed to be doing what I am doing. Then the Lord started to show me something. Our culture pushes on us the idea that if you can't manage it all, all by yourself, you must be doing something wrong. Self-sufficiency is glorified, and it just so happens that my flesh tends to fall in line with that. I really am dependent on others right now. Not in a "if you don't come through for me I am going to die right now" kind of way, but in a way where I truly see my NEED for others and for relationship with them. I am living the life I believe God is calling me to live and yet I am seeing that this life necessitates that others come along side me in this journey. I would be ignorant to think God isn't accomplishing other things through my dependency beyond the needs of our family being met, but at the same time, it is quite evident that He is teaching me something and shining a light on my pride. I love even this, though. I don't have time to tell you how many times the Lord has worked out things in my schedule that proved to be more than I could "plan" for. There have been many mornings that I have woken up with "more to do than I had time for" and though filled with some anxiety, watched the Lord work the details of my day out for me in ways that I just couldn't despite my best efforts. So, thank you Lord, for your faithfulness in the little things. Thank you to my sweet friends who have selflessly come along side us to walk with us and share some of the load. Hopefully, if you find yourself in over your head, yet sure you are walking into something you believe God has called you to, you can learn how to say a humbling little word that crosses my lips frequently. Help.