Receiving help

We’ve had a rough week. My husband was in an accident a week ago Friday, and does not have the use of his hands (or, more specifically- some of his fingers). He has nerve damage, and apparently that is slow in healing.

Lately our normal routine has sort of gone out the window. Mark is home and needs a lot of extra care (for most of the week, I had to feed him, give him each drink of water, help him with blankets and pillows and medicines and brushing his teeth, shaving (after the stitches came out), bathing, getting dressed… all of that. Not to mention the extra jobs he normally does around the house that I’ve been doing (taking out the garbage, the recycling, and most of the yardwork). Oh, and on Saturday I tried to fix a leaky faucet in our bathtub while Mark instructed me over my shoulder. I had to climb into the wall in our basement first to turn off the cold water. When I fixed the faucet and went back to the basement to turn the water back on, that valve began leaking. So now we have no cold water in our tub upstairs and our sink downstairs. Great. Anyway… all that to say that it’s been a bit extra in addition to my three little ones who, ya’ know, also need care! I am weary. My house is a mess, we’ve eaten fast food WAY too many times this week, and my laundry is piling up. Any clean clothes left in our house are in hampers, waiting to be folded.

Yesterday morning, I put our youngest down for his morning nap and readied our two oldest to take to church. Mark was staying home. We were running late and I was impatient, irritable and snappy, so much so that on the way to church I had to apologize and ask my children to forgive me.

After church, a number of people came over to ask about Mark- How is he doing? Is he getting any better? How are you doing? And then this question: What can we do for you? Yikes. I don’t like this one. A man in our small group approached me and said, “My wife will be calling you later this afternoon to see how we can help with food and the kids, but I’m asking you now: ‘What can I do for you this week?’” (Now, this man happens to be very handy, and instantly in my mind I thought of our plumbing problem.) But, my response is standard. “Oh, thank you, but we’re okay. Thank you so much for offering.” He was even persistent. Very. And here’s me: “We’re fine, really. Thank you, though. It is so kind of you to offer. If anything comes up, I’ll let you know.” Now, even I realize the ridiculousness of this response: “If anything comes up…?!” As if something hasn’t already come up. (Like, my husband’s hands being immobile, for instance!) Why do I say this?

As we inched closer to the doors exiting the sanctuary, another offer: “Can we bring you some meals?” I recall all the 99-cent hamburgers we’ve been eating all week and you can imagine my response: I say, “Oh, no. We’re fine. Thank you so much. We’re really doing okay.”

And then, once more (we’re in the foyer, now) my dad asks, “Stacy, how are you doing? Can we do anything for you today? Does your lawn need mowing? I can send your little brother up.” (They live right down the street). And I say, “Oh, no. I’ll do that today (I will??). Thanks, though.” And we hustled out to the van, lest any other kind soul offer their services.

As I drove home, trying to decide if I should pick up hamburgers on the way home or stick to PB & J for about the 50th time this week, I wonder, “Am I CRAZY? Why on earth do I say those things? Seriously- what is my problem?” I’ve been pondering it ever since. This really is a fault of mine: I am not good at receiving help. Maybe (okay, probably) it’s my pride. I want to be independent and take care of it myself. I don’t want to be needy and have to rely or depend on anyone. I want to be self-sufficient. And isn’t that just what the Bible says? No.

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes of the body as a unit, made up of many parts. He writes, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”

So me saying “No, we’re okay”, is really me saying, “I don’t need you”. And that is contrary to God’s calling for us to be body made up of many parts. And is it possible that me saying no is standing in the way of God’s design and desire for others to love and serve? These people in our church who offered to help us this morning were being obedient to God’s word.

Jesus, after washing the feet of his disciples, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:14-14).

Dear children, let us not love with words of tongue but with action and in truth. (1 John 3:18)

In humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

I desire so much to be this kind of a person to others: to consider others better than myself, to love in action and in truth. To wash the feet of others. To use the gifts God has given me to serve others. So why do I refuse this very same thing in others? Lord, may I adhere to your word and your ways.


Mark and I discussed this when I came home and we agreed to make some changes. We called my dad and said, “We actually will take you up on your offer, if it’s still available.” And my little brother just finished mowing our lawn. What a blessing indeed! I just sent him out the door with a hug and his payment: a huge Rice Crispy treat and a Coke. And Mark said he’d be calling that guy from our small group about our plumbing problem...

1 comment:

  1. May. 22, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Michelle
    My goodness, girl, you need a drink of water!!! No one will know you are thirsty unless you say so!! I am so glad that you decided to allow others the priviledge of helping you out! You are so quick to come to aid of others...and I know it gives others joy to lend YOU a hand this time! Think of God SENDING these people your way on a can bless them by allowing them to answer His call!! Love you...and wish WE were there to mow your yard!

    May. 22, 2006 - What a great post!
    Posted by Sandi
    I have been in a very similar place a few times. Needing help but not wanting to admit it. Thanks for the reminder and great example.

    P.S. I have found my way here from Preschoolers and Peace. I usually just lurk but couldn't resist posting this time. Praying for Mark's recovery and your family.


    May. 22, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Rebeca
    I think we all struggle with wanting to be super-woman! But you are right- it's pride. We need to allow god to work in our own hearts and let others be blessed by helping us out. I've had this struggle too- like after I've given birth and my husband is waiting on me- I always feel bad asking him to do more for me!
    I'm glad that you have so many caring and helpful peole around!
    Bless you, and your family!


    May. 22, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Ali
    Hi Stacy,

    I am Ali, Michelle's sister-in-law, and have been checking your blog regularly since Michelle got me hooked on the whole blog thing. Anyways, after a phone call to Michelle after your first post about Mark to find out if that was your husband or Amy's because I was a little confused I have been praying for your family. I pray for quick healing and rest for you. I know you to be a kind and generous person as Michelle often sings your praises and know that people genuinely want to help you and even when its hard you need to accept that help with a joyful heart. Blessing to you and yours,


    May. 23, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Rebeca
    Hi Stacy,
    Thanks so much for checking in on me, especially when you have so much going on yourself. We're fine, things have just been busy. My husband was in Portland for training last week and we went to visit him, and then this weekend was full as well. So, the dust is settling at last!
    I finally posted something last night and hope to have a chance to post this afternoon during nap time!
    Praying for you and your husband's full recovery.


    May. 23, 2006 - Can I throw out..
    Posted by Dana
    one more encouragement. If it brings peace to your husband to know his wife is getting help - say YES! At a time when my husband could be of little help due to outside circumstances, he was thrilled when people stepped up to help me. I had meals coming, a boy came to help with the lawn and a friend and I tag teamed cleaning the house every other week. And you'll be able to bless him with a calmness and confidence that all is OK.
    Still praying! :)


    May. 24, 2006 - I like comments so much!
    Posted by reformingmama
    Thank you...

    Michelle- Well, I wish you were here, too (but not to mow my yard!!!) Just to sit and have a long, uninterrupted, face to face talk with some tasty guacamole & chips to snack on and then some ice cream later! :) I sure love you, my friend!

    Sandi- Welcome! I'm so glad you left a comment! And you are so sweet to be praying for Mark's recovery. Thank you ever so much! (ps- Do you have a blog?)

    Rebeca- You are so kind. Thank you for your concern and prayers. It's amazing how humbling it has been, these past couple of days, to let others serve me (the new me!)... it is difficult for me but such an incredible blessing. It makes me feel so loved by God- their care for me an extension of His care-and that's a good thing! Blessings to you and yours!

    Ali- I'm so glad you left a comment! (Did Michelle tell you I tried to leave a comment on your blog but couldn't? :() Thank you for your prayers for Mark; we so appreciate it. Also, sorry it was confusing to you (the whole Amy-Stacy who's who? question). I've wondered if that might be confusing. I wonder how we could make it less so...? Any ideas?

    Dana- Yes, you can throw out that encouragement! It's a good one! :) I read your comment out loud to Mark and he vigorously nodded- he agrees! :) So do I... thank you. I am getting better, truly. We had that guy from our small group come and help with the plumbing, we had Mark's brother over to help some more with the plumbing, my sister-in-law came over to clean my kitchen today (!!!) (and I let her!!!!!), my mom offered to take the kids for a bit this morning so I could have a break (and I took one!)... See? I'm growing in this! :) It's been a good week! :)

    Thank you all again for commenting...


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