Tuesday, April 21, 2015

When the helper needs help

I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted. Last night we shared a joy and a struggle at small group--I hate that it was easier to think of a struggle than a joy. I get frustrated that my house is dirty, the laundry is never done, that I feel weak and powerless against the raging, strong-will of my 3 year old daughter. I can't fulfill the needs of my husband and my family. I'm sick and cannot seem to get enough sleep. The meals aren't planned, I can't keep up with my work. Life is real, I am exhausted.

Some girl friends and I were talking the other day about missing the village. You know, 'It takes a village to raise a child.' When it's time for me to do laundry, make a meal, get the shopping done, or clean my home I miss the village. Imagine with me for a moment: your only job today is to do the laundry for 20 people. That's all. Your children are being cared for, someone else is tending to the shopping, cleaning, and cooking.  I'd take that gig in a heartbeat.

But here's the thing: In our modern world we can witness the village, heck we can tell you what the village is eating, where they've traveled, and what they are doing with their time today, but we are not a part of the village. We are not contributing to their day, and they are not contributing to ours. Instead we are comparing our lives to one another--adding things we 'need' so we can look like our Facebook friends, so our homes can look like pictures on Pinterest. I don't look nice today and there is nothing in my home that even remotely resembles a pin from my For The Home board.

So, what do we do when the helper needs help? (Yes, I refer to myself as the helper in my marriage. I was created to work alongside my husband. Yes, I believe we each have specific roles in our marriage. I'm not saying it's easy.)  And here's my struggle today. In a world where women can have it all, how do we get it all done? How do I work to provide part of our income, raise our children, clean our home, do our laundry, cook our meals, get enough sleep, have sex with my husband, put his needs before my own, stay fit and healthy, and remain sane? The answer: I am going to do it with other helpers.

What?!? No, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength?!?!" Well, yes--but here's the thing. He doesn't promise super human strength so we can do it all on our own. He promises His strength. His strength softens my heart towards the needs of others, His strength humbles me so I can ask for help, His strength calms me and enables me to rest.

I am going to call on other helpers. I'm going to create a village. Yeah, the logistics will be crazy and it will feel different. But I'm willing to give it a go. I'm willing to help others and I'm ready to ask for help. I'd like to be done with feeling exhausted. I don't want to do it all, and I don't think God intended for me to do it all by myself.

I am going to create a Facebook group for my friends and I. I hope that we will post our needs and help each other. I will gladly watch a friend's children for a few hours in exchange for them watching mine. I will gladly provide childcare in exchange for meals, or do laundry in exchange for someone running my errands.

Let's get back together. Let's be a village.

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