The thing about women
…is that we often don’t mean what we say. Or say what we mean to. Which leads to not taking what other women say at face value. It’s part of our highly relational, complicated nature. It’s something that throws a major wrench in marital communication – at least in my experience. I’m guilty too often of agreeing to something that I didn’t really want to do but said was fine, or saying I didn’t care about something when actually I cared a lot.
Rylee recently heard me say I liked something and then asked me later if I really liked it. I tried to navigate my way through explaining the need for honesty and for respecting other people’s opinions about things. It’s a fine line and one that as it came out of my mouth made less sense than before.
So last night, as I headed to Costco with only one kids while the others were out with dad, I sent a text to a good friend who I know has been really sick all week with flu/migraine yucky stuff. I asked if I could pick anything up for her while I was there. I purchased all my things and didn’t hear from her. Audrey was starting to throw fits about the cart so even though she was in jammies, I let her out to walk around on the dirty concrete floor.
Then I checked my phone one last time and read this text:
Jiff crmy p-nut btr,
little cans of apple jce,
and hamburger buns.
R u sure u want to get all of this stuff for us its alot.
I chuckled a bit and asked the checker for another cart and ran back through the store to get her list. I guessed on what kind of cheese and which fruit snacks but had to call about the yogurt.
“Hi, it’s me I got Yoplait is that okay for yogurt?”
“Yes, but I’m just getting out of the bath, I was trying to gear up and not throw up long enough to go up the street to the grocery store for food for the kids and I’m just reading the text you sent-” (I’m thinking that’s funny because I already received a list!) “-the kids had my phone and they texted you back, I had no idea! I’m so sorry, I told them you must have the kids with them and that was too many things and-”
I interrupted and started laughing and told her I had it all in my cart already and I would drop it by in a bit. We laughed and laughed and hung up and I took tantrum throwing Audrey, bribed her with chocolate-covered pomegranates, bought my second cart of stuff and high tailed it out of there.
As I got in the car I was so amused and thought about it all the way to pick the kids up. When that text came, I was delighted, and honestly surprised that she would say yes and let me help in that way. I am the same way, much preferring to be the one giving the help than receiving. I’m growing and in the last 4 months I’ve had to accept more help than I can list because of the dual-kidney infection and losing Chris’ dad.
With small children it’s easy to feel like you can’t really do much to help people out but there is usually something small but significant that you actually can do. And getting the chance to bless something by grabbing groceries or dropping off a meal is as much a gift to me as it is to the person I’m doing it for.
My friends’ teenagers saw their really sick mom, their dad was working late and they needed food for lunches. So when they read my offer to get stuff, they didn’t filter it through the “does she really mean it or is she just offering to be nice?” filter that we as women tend to use too often. They took me at my word, say yes please help and allowed me the gift of blessing them.
How much easier would life be if we did this all the time!?
If when my husband says “Man you look hot!” I just said thank you and smiled instead of thinking about the 20 pounds more I should lose.
If when a friend offers to bring dinner and I’m not ‘that sick’, I just say yes and thank you and trust that she’ll be blessed in blessing me.
Chris and I had a great laugh thinking about how much my friends’ kids could have milked it, I could have been asked to bring candy bars, soda or chips and since they text in the same abbreviated fashion as their mama, I’d never have questioned it. I’d just have showed up with whatever they asked for. I told her they were good kids to just ask for what they needed and they must have said thank you to me ten times in the five minutes I was there.
Lessons I’m learning, it’s a constant thing isn’t it?