Thursday, November 29, 2012

Accepting service

A few days prior to Thanksgiving I was getting out of my car in our garage. Our neighbor, Laura, yelled, "Sandy!" I stopped to listen to what she was saying to me. She came up and told me (knowing that my mom is living with us now) that if I ever needed anything from the store she would be happy to get it for me. All I needed to do was ask. She is a sweetheart, and I can't tell you how that lifted my heart. It made me love and appreciate her all the more.

I am not used to being the one served, and it is never easy for me to say 'yes' to any act of service aimed in my direction. We tend to try to be self-sufficient, to be independent, and strong. We seem to think that if we 'need' someone we are weak. Perhaps we are, for the time being. It's humbling to have others look after you. I see that in my mom every day. She thanks me all the time for taking care of her, she feels badly that I do so much for her, that she can't do for herself. It is difficult for many of us to accept help, assistance, from others.

One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was when I was expecting Rach. I had a pinched nerve and sciatica. My foot was numb, and I could barely walk. I also had varicose veins really badly, and my heart was doing things it shouldn't be doing. I was put on bed rest for several months. We limped along by ourselves for awhile. Pat was staying home from church in order to take care of me. No one really knew what was going on (well, I told my VT, but that was as far as it went, I wasn't expecting any help though). Pat finally realized that he and the kids needed to be at church, that I would be okay on my own (since I was all week long while he was at work! ;) ) So, off they went to church.

The bishop stopped him and told him that he thought that we had moved. (I think we had missed 3 weeks by then) Pat assured him that we hadn't and told him about what was happening. The bishop asked if we needed any assistance, Pat said no.

The thing was, we did, our house was falling apart. I was unable to cook or clean (that was when Pat learned how to make fettuccine - easiest recipe in the world), and Pat was too busy with a full time job, taking a class three times a week at night to get his engineering license, plus studying, plus taking care of our three children. It just wasn't a pretty sight. We were falling apart at the seams.

So when he told me that the bishop offered to send help over I told him that next time he asked he needed to take him up on it. He balked at the thought, but then he conceded that as hard as he was trying to be mom, dad, breadwinner, etc. he just couldn't do everything! So, we decided that we would simply ask for three meals a week, just until Rachel arrived (two months later). Fortunately, the bishop did ask again, and the RS president came over to assess the situation, and to clean my kitchen...bless her heart. The compassionate service leader arranged for a few meals to be brought over, and for another sister to come over and do our laundry. They didn't come often, which was fine, it was so greatly appreciated...and much needed.

Since then I am more in tune with how sensitive others are to receive service. The lesson I learned from this was that those that serve need blessings in their lives also.

A few weeks ago I was talking to a dear friend and told her that my mom had moved in. She said, "Oh, Sandy!" and what she meant was, how will you handle this? I reassured her that we'd be fine. Then I told her that I know that I will get the blessings that I need in order to help my mom, and I know that I will.

I am so grateful for the times in my life where I have needed to accept the service of others, it has made me more sensitive to others and to my mom and her feelings of inadequacy. 

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