How to Help

Life May 8, 2019

“Let me know if I can do anything for you.”

How many times have you said that and meant it? I know I have – too many times to count.

How many times has that person come back to you in their time of need and told you exactly what you can do and how to help? Mmmm…probably close to zero times.

Last night I posted a little note on my instagram stories. It was sort of an admission of feeling overwhelmed and at the same time a blanket apology to anyone I hadn’t texted/emailed/called back lately. After posting the story, I got a few DMs from people who were feeling the same way, plus a few thanks for admitting I do not in fact have it all together all the time. (Um, hi I never ever ever have it all together. Like, ever.)

So today I’m sitting at my husband’s desk (I’ve taken over his office because, you know, he lives in RENO right now), and I’m paying bills and wrestling with our health insurance company, when all of a sudden my phone dings.

It’s my friend Leslie. She lives down the street and our kids stomp up and down the block taking turns playing at our house and theirs…or at least they did before sports intervened and our lives got so dang busy. Now we’re lucky if we see each other a couple times a month. 

Leslie had seen my instagram story, and because her husband travels for work, she understands my crazy life better than most. And instead of saying, “I know you’re overwhelmed, let me know if there’s anything I can do,” she texted me with a concrete offer. 

“Send the kids down after school to play and I’ll feed them an early dinner.”

BAM.

Just like that.

My kids had practice, her kids had practice, this wasn’t a free night scheduled a month in advance. This was an act of love when I needed it. Right now. She met a need I never would have asked for and in a wholly practical way.

I want to love like that. In real, tangible, right-now ways. 

I don’t have a big wrap-up to this post. I scratched it out on notebook paper at my daughter’s practice because I didn’t want to forget how her act of kindness made me feel. I needed to write it down as both a reminder that I am loved and a challenge to love better.

The next time I’m tempted to say, “Let me know if there is anything I can do,” I hope I stop myself and simply show up. Right then. Meeting whatever need is in front of me. 

I hope this inspires you to do the same.

 

***

I wanted to add a little edit here to acknowledge the ridiculous amount of help I get from my parents on a regular basis. They drive the kids to practice, make them dinner, coordinate their schedules with mine to make sure everything gets done, drive us to and from the airport, stock our fridge when we get home, take care of Hobbs…the list goes on and on and on and on. I am forever grateful for the way they love us.

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