Why We Want to Be There for Others

I am about to slide into bed, when I hear my son wandering the house.

The clock says he should have been asleep awhile ago.

I find him in the living room.

“I can’t get to sleep,” he moans. “I have been trying to for an hour and a half.”

“Did you try and lie still? Quiet your mind? Relax with . . .?”

“I’ve tried everything,” he moans.

I inwardly groan. I am tired myself. I know I would be asleep the moment my head sinks into the pillow, but . . . life calls.

“Come on,” I say, “I’ll help you.”

I follow his lanky body, taller than me now, back into his bedroom. I tuck him back into bed and sit on the edge of his bed, my hand resting on his leg.

“Breathe slowly,” I say, trying to calm my voice to soothing. “Release the stress with each exhale. Feel your body sink into your mattress.”

I drone on. My voice becoming a little softer. A little quieter.

His breath become longer. Slower. His body begins to let go.

Slowly I raise my hand until it is hovering in the air barely above his body. I used to do this when he was an infant. Ever so slowly raise my hand off his body and then hover it there to make sure he didn’t stir awake.

He remains asleep. I tiptoe out of the room. Mission accomplished.

As my head sinks into my pillow, I instantly relax.

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.We like being needed and being there for others.

 

I know you are like me. You want to help those around you. Love them well. Solve their problems.

Often it is not convenient. But you do it. Because you are concerned about the small and large stuff that concerns those we love.

You see your daughter’s sad face and ask her what’s wrong.

Your son asks you to tie his shoes, and you do.

You dog seems lethargic, and you wonder what is wrong.

You are in the middle of making dinner and your sister needs to talk. You pause to be there for her.

Your husband needs a favor, and you come through for him.

A friend loses a parent, and you hug her and take her dinner.

Your child has a hard time falling asleep, and you talk him to sleep. Or hum him into dream land.

All these things communicate you love them. Are concerned about them and their life. Care about them and their life direction.

Big and small, you want to be there for them. And what you do for them is important.

You encourage them. Cheer them on. Listen. Hand out advice. Squeeze hugs on their bodies.

You want to be involved in their lives. Know their problems. Be asked to help.

Yes, we sometimes get tired of being there. Of helping. Of sacrificing to do the right thing. Of caring so much. Of trying to solve problems and find solutions.

The last thing I wanted to do the night I found my son wandering around sleepless in our house, was help him. I was tired myself. Craving the covers over my tired body. But then as I am helping him, soothing him to sleep, I felt honored to be asked. Trusted to help. And that was a good feeling.

Let’s think about the opposite?

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.What if we were not needed?

 

Imagine if those we loved did not include us? Involve us?

Your husband tells us that he lost his job three months ago, but no worries, he has since found a new one. Sure, it was a stressful time and a lot of worry, but that is now past. He did not want to worry you.

Your son tells you that he asked someone else to teach him to tie his shoes because he didn’t want to bother you.

Your daughter tells her that she lost the spelling competition at school. She was sad for a while, but a friend helped her with her sadness. She knew you had other more pressing problems to deal with.

Your pet visits the neighbor’s when sick, so you don’t expend extra energy on them.

Your neighbor doesn’t tell you that her mother died until a year later. This way she can say she is past the grieving stage and doesn’t need to hamper your schedule.

Your sister lets you know she had a problem, but only after she has thought of a solution. Better yet, even implemented the solution and found success. She knew you were busy and wanted to conserve your energy for more important things.

Would we want to find out that those around us didn’t need our help? Our encouragement. Our listening ear and love? Our problem-solving abilities?

Our soothing voice to put them to sleep?

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.We were made to be there for others, by someone who is there for us.

 

We want to be needed. To be called on. To be informed and kept in the loop.

We don’t want to know after the fact.

Yet sometimes we do this to God.

We think he is to busy to be concerned with our life. Our situation. Our problems.

We think he has more important things to do, than listen to us. Or help us.

And yet, he wants to concern himself with us. To keep those lines of communication open between us. To know what is going on in our life and heart.

As a friend, parent, sibling, and co-worker we want to be needed. To be involved.

We were made in God’s image. And just like him, we want to help. Be needed. Solve problems. Come along side.

God, as our heavenly father, doesn’t want us solving the problem, getting over our hurt, and getting support elsewhere and then coming to him whole and unneedy. No, just like we delight in helping those around us, he delights in helping us.

And unlike us, he never runs out of energy, solutions, patience, love, and all those other things. We can only help so much, but he can help forever.

Remember:

1. No concern, problem, issue, hurt, worry, triumph, blessing, or thought is to little or big to share with him.

2. He cares about us more than we can imagine. His heart breaks for us and explodes in pride for us.

3. He is besides us every step of the way, just waiting for us to put our hand in his. Waiting for us to include him in our life.

4. He is not intimidated by our messes, and ultimately uses them to our advantage and his glory.

5. He sees us and what we are becoming. He knows us better than we know our self and nothing we do or say surprises him.

6. He wants only the best for; works all things ultimately for our good.

So, share the good, bad, and ugly with him. Trust him. Make him your best friend. Keep him in the loop.

And next time you can’t sleep, ask him to talk you to sleep. Because he will.

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: Tell about a time you were there for someone or they were there for you.

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed. #relationships #kindness to others

Stay at Home Moms are Working Moms


Stay at home moms are often more valuable and necessary than they think they are. Working Women. That seems obvious, doesn’t it?

Yet how many women count themselves as a working woman?

Especially if they are not employed by a company and earning a take-home-and-bank paycheck?

They are in the dentist filling out address lines and checking boxes to indicate they have no life- threatening health problem and that they haven’t had a recent mental breakdown. They then come across the question – employment.

They pause and wonder what to write.

They may decide to leave it blank and instead check that they haven’t passed a kidney stone in the last year.

And yet, I know countless working women. 

Who is cleaning the house? Making dinner? Filling out permission sheets and checking that homework is completed? Who is washing clothes and taking a sick dog to the vet? Who is volunteering at the library, the food bank, and leading a girl scout troop? Who is making a meal for the new mother at church, inviting neighbors to dinner, and leading a bible study? Who is coordinating their parent’s health care and hosting family dinners?

This is all work. Necessary and important work.

The world would collapse without mothers reminding their children to eat their vegetables, brush their teeth, and tie their shoes; if women quit reminding their mates to take their vitamins, send their mom a birthday card, and oh yes, Tuesday is trash day; or if women quit volunteering their evenings and not-so-spare hours, countless volunteer organizations and projects would fold up and close.

You may not receive a paycheck every month, paid vacations, job evaluations (unless you count such comments as, “this has too much salt,” as mini job evaluations), sick days, pre-set work breaks, and the most important kicker of all – a start and stop time, but that doesn’t mean you don’t do valuable necessary work that is as important as other work.

I am writing for The Better Mom this week. Please continue reading at The Better Mom for the rest of the article.

Stay at home moms are often more valuable and necessary than they give themselves credit for. May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: How do you undermine your worth as a mom or woman?

Stay at home moms are often more valuable and necessary than they think they are.

Ten Things I Learned from Purging My House

 

Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.Who doesn’t like a tidy, clutter free, organized house?

My hand is in the air. And I bet yours is too.

Well I’ve been organizing and purging stuff from my house and it feels wonderful.

It also is looking better. Not always in the open and living spaces, but behind cupboard and closet doors. Book shelves.

And that is a good feeling. To open a closet door and see more of the white shelves. To pull open a bathroom drawer and see everything in one quick glance.

I started in my bathroom. That place where shampoo, body products, hair accessories, and beauty stuff accumulate. One large garbage sack later, all items left were just necessary products and nothing had an expired date.

Ironic how we think one day I may just wear that shade of lipstick. Years pass, and that day never comes.

Sorting, processing, throwing out and reorganizing our house is a lot like doing the same to our life. Not everything you come across is all bad and needs to go, nor is everything all good and needs to stay.

Somethings have served their purpose and now can be passed onto someone else (baby things). Somethings are expired (that jar of bright blue polish I never got around to wearing). Somethings you still need, and may always need (kitchen dishes), and somethings were only for a season (card making supplies).

10 things I learned from decluttering my house, plus decluttering tips:

 

1. We like to collect stuff. Get a few people living under the same roof and pretty soon that stuff is tasking up all available spaces, drawers, and horizontal surfaces. It is easier to bring stuff in than toss stuff out. So, don’t delay to long.  The longer we wait to organize and purge, the more stuff we will have to go through.

2. Life is about stages. And it seems each stage needs new and different equipment. What a baby needs are far different from what a teen needs. What a runner needs are not the same as a swimmer. Every stage and interest needs different stuff. When we have lots of stages and ages we need more stuff. But as time goes on, we can get rid of stuff from stages that have been outgrown or moved past.

3. Memories get attached to and tied up in our stuff. It is hard to see a box of baby clothes the kids wore and not walk down memory lane. I was surprised about how many good memories I came across as I was purging. Even silly stuff, like a can of sunscreen from a few years ago that we had taken on a trip conjured up some snapshot moments of that trip.

Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.4. A little bit of purging here and there makes a big dent. Occasionally I spent most of the day organizing and sorting and tossing, like the day I tackled my office. But even that day had interruptions and pauses, including a trip to drop a kid off, running errands, and visiting for an hour or two with a friend. Other days I had ten minutes and sorted through one drawer. An hour and a half turned into a bathroom purge. Half an hour translated into organizing a book-case. Over time, all add up to a lighter and more organized house.

5. Tastes change over time. That octagonal set of dishes I bought before I was married, the ones I haven’t used in years, well my tastes have changed. And that is alright. Get rid of things you no longer use, that no longer speak to you, or compliment your current tastes.

6. Hobbies and interests fall by the side. I have lots of card making supplies. Stamps, embossing powders, stickers, fancy paper, edging scissors, and pens of every color. But the last time I pulled all the stuff out to make cards in the last ten years was to make cards with some friends. I no longer have that desire anymore and am spending my crafting time doing other things. And that is all right. For years my daughter and I used those supplies. I had stamping birthday parties for her, and craft nights for her friends. But that stage is gone. Now someone else can use them. Don’t keep things you are no longer interested in or will do only every ten years. Pass the blessing along to others.

7. There is a reason we hold onto things. Maybe we were poor growing up. Maybe things represent security. Maybe we want to be prepared for anything or every possible situation. Maybe our stuff holds memories and we are holding onto those memories. Maybe we think we may become poor again and won’t be able to buy another, so we keep one and a spare. Maybe we are to overwhelmed to even tackle a small project. Maybe we hear our mother’s voice, or someone else’s and believe a lie about us or our stuff.

As I was cleaning, I thought about my reasons for keeping things. Like most things, it was a complicated reason of several things. First, I was poor growing up. I needed to keep and take of what I had because I wasn’t getting more. (I still have mechanical pencils that still work from my college days.) Back in my twenties, there was not a Walmart on nearly ever corner where you could buy things at a reasonable price. My first set of dishes and silverware were expensive. Now I can go to Walmart and buy a set of dishes for 4 for $20.00. I sometimes forget this and keep things I don’t really like or want, forgetting I can buy a new one at a reasonable price and in many more options than years ago. I grew up not wasting or getting rid of the one item, so I do better donating things to a charity, rather than tossing them.

As I am purging and sorting, I remind myself that I am no longer poor. That I can afford to replace items I don’t like or want. And that I don’t need to keep items I don’t like or want anymore. These truths help me be more ruthless. The truth is that most things are replaceable if I accidentally throw away something I may want in the future. (That unused punch bowl.)

As for things with memories, like that prom dress you wore in high school and still have and will never wear again, take a picture and toss the item. Now you can revisit those memories anytime you want.

Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.8. Things wear out and need to be replaced. Those sheets that are twenty years old and worn to 10-thread count need to be tossed. In fact, most linens have a life of less than 10 years. One lady, whose kids I used to babysit as a teen, had a wonderful idea. “Every ten years everyone needs a new wedding shower because all their items from their first one are now worn out and need replacing.” Nine years after my wedding the truth of her comment was reality. As you toss items, make a list of the items you need to replace. (You just may need to throw yourself your own shower!)

9. We need to toss out the old to make room for the new. To keep our houses from bulging, toss out something old so the new fits in. This works in our closet, drawers, and bookshelves. It also works in our lives. Get rid of the old lies and believe the truth. Get rid of those t-shirts from 15 years ago and get some that fit and look better. It is better to have fewer things that work, that we enjoy, that bring us happiness, and that we use, than a houseful of things we don’t.

Ask yourself: Does it serve a purpose? Does it remind me of memories? (Maybe you can take a picture and toss the item.) Is it something I use regularly enough to keep? If not, can I buy a new one or rent one if I latter need it? Does this create peace for me (like artwork) and make my place prettier? Do I really need this? Why am I holding onto this?

10. You will find surprises. Things you thought were lost will resurface. Things you didn’t even know you had, will be discovered. And things you had hidden and forgot about will be found. In a coffee table drawer, I found an unopened bar of chocolate that I had hidden about 6 years ago. Along with the novel I was reading at the time. Keep a sense of humor and wonder.

Purging and sorting our accumulated stuff within our spaces can be a happy walk down memory lane. It can also be hard and sad. It can be confronting the past and our beliefs in our self and life. It can be a surprise and a laugh.

Like in every other area of life, give yourself grace.

This is not a competition.

Our stuff does not determine our worth or our day.

No shame or guilt allowed. We are learning more about our self and our past through our accumulated stuff. And in the process, we are changing and becoming new people.

Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 

PS. Want to see your clutter in a new light? And get a chuckle? Read Kathi Lipp’s post, Why Clutter is Like Every Bad Boyfriend You Ever Had


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: What have you learned through de-cluttering?

Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.