Saturday, December 20, 2008

Think Generous

Phew. I am all done doing housework. Three hours of scouring and scrubbing, spraying and wiping. Worked my buns off, and it looks great! I won't be enjoying the freshness, though, because it wasn't my house.

There's a woman in our church family struggling with post-partum depression. She and her hubby have six kids. She's maxed out. It's hard to think of how to help someone in her shoes.

Because I've been there, as have some of my friends, we knew right away. The hardest parts of coping with the day-to-day are cooking and cleaning. When you're emotionally drained, the last thing you can muster up the energy for is housekeeping.

So we rallied up a small group of gals (thanks for joining in Frieda, Lynne, and Lindsey), brought our cleaning supplies, gave the family some coupons for swimming and McDonald's, and set to work.

I don't tell you this story to "toot my own horn." I assure you, there are many opportunities I've had to bless others that I have not taken. Many friends and family whom I haven't helped in their time of need. This is just one small thing.

I tell you because it's such a small thing to make someone's life feel cope-able (I made that one up, do you like it?). As women, we see other women who are stressed out and overwhelmed all the time (sure, we often try to hide it from one another, but there comes a point when the truth starts to peek through). What do we do? How do we respond to the needs of our sisters? A ready-to-cook meal, a couple hours of babysitting, a few bags of groceries, a gift card for a meal out, a bouquet of flowers, an invitation for coffee or a play date, help with folding laundry, a big hug, a cleaning bee...just a few of the small things that hold BIG meaning.

I remember after Shea was born, Braeden came home on the school bus and his bus driver waves me over. He handed me two huge boxes. Unpacking them on my kitchen table, I found a freezer meal from each of his teachers and aides (total of five in that class) with recipes included, an adorable baby girl outfit, a stuffed toy for Braeden, and fancy hairbands for the girls. I had never before received the gift of food, and I was amazed. The way that blessed me and made life easier for me in those first weeks after a new baby - words cannot describe.

I want to be more in touch with the needs of the women around me. I want to really listen, so that I don't miss any more opportunities to make someone's day-to-day a bit easier. A little bit of my time can change the landscape of someone else's week (or month). How about you? I encourage you to try it - just once - and you'll be hooked. Come on, think generous!

The sad part of the story is, I still have to clean my own house on Monday. Sigh.


  1. This is an awesome way to help! I know that what saps the joy out of me is having to look at mess or unfolded laundry that I just can't seem to get to. My mil will fold my laundry when she visits and I love that my kids can actually do some work now. I feel less overwhelmed and would love to help another mom in this way also. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Rock on girl! Nothing better then some women in tune with God's love and ready to spread it.

    After such a horrible adjustment to motherhood, my heart overflows with compassion for tired mommies! It is a hard job!!!!

  3. So fun catching up with you here! My sister Rachel arranged help for me when I was on bedrest (yes, in hindsight, depressed, too!). It was the best gift anyone could have ever given me.


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