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Getting Out Of The Way

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I had a very generous offer last week from my mother-in-law to pay for a once a month maid service that caught me completely off guard, and left me feeling awkward.

A few weeks before that I had a generous offer from my mom to help me start up my Cookie Lee business, which also left me feeling awkward.

Last week two friends offered to come over and helpย me clean and organize my house before our trip home, awkward again.

I don’t like HELP. I like HELPING, but I don’t like RECEIVING the help. I like to be the one that gives it and never needs it.ย  The last few weeks have been a huge lesson to me in being on the receiving end of help. I started wondering why I felt uncomfortable. Why was it awkward for me? Why did I physically feel ILL at the thought of someone helping me? Why did I feel like their initial offers weren’t sincere? Why did I feel like they thought less of me becaue they were offering help?

Yes, all of those insane thoughts went through my mind with each of the offers I mentioned before.

I twittered a thought I had at 1 in the morning while laying in bed about this…. accepting help makes me feel like I’ve just stamped FAILURE across my forehead.Clearly I wasn’t good enough at something, so I needed help. Clearly I couldn’t do something on my own, so I needed help.ย  Clearly I was incompetent, so I needed help. You see the pattern??

It might also have to do with my perfectionistic tendencies. Yes I said perfectionist. If you know me, you know I’m unorganized and messy. That’s because if I can’t do something PERFECTLY and have it STAY PERFECT, I don’t want to do it at all. So I don’t. And then I’m frustrated and overwhelmed. And need help. ๐Ÿ˜‰

A lot of my doubts about the sincerity of these offers is indicitive of my own doubts about myself. Really I’m not WORTH the time or money someone is putting out to help me, so why would their offer be sincere? Really it’s MY OWN fault that I am in the predicament I am in, so I should be responsible and take care of it myself…. so again, not worthy of a sincere offer. Really they’re just being nice and hoping I say no….which I usually do at first. Part of that is me testing the waters to see if they really mean it. Not fair at all of me, but it is my natural reflex. I hate that part about me. (I hate admitting this here too) I am very gun shy about taking someone up on an offer when they give it….something I am trying to work on.

One thing my mom said when she was insisting I take her offer was that it was more for her than it was for me. My mother-in-law said it was a blessing to them to help in this way. My friends said they love to organize and clean and it was FUN for them. (can you imagine?! haha!)

I am learning that in the same way I experience JOY when helping others, they do to. If I decline their offers I am keeping them from doing what God has put on their hearts to do. Keeping them from experiencing the joy that comes from helping others. Keeping them from doing what God commands us to do….lift eachother up. Iย wouldย also be missing out on the learning experience God is walking me through because of their generosity. I am having to examine myself a bit more and deal with these insecurities and unrealistic expectations of myself to go through life on my own, without help, in whatever form.

Now, who am I to stand in God’s way?


7 responses »

  1. This is so great, sweet girl! And I SO understand. I big part of me, all my life, thought people were just being kind when they complimented me, loved me, wanted to be my friend. Believing I was worth all of those things was just too hard to take in. After getting sick and needing help more than being able to give it, I finally had to step back and realize that that life is all about being willing to give AND receive. Opening my hands to others while clenching it when they want to give back isn’t love, and it isn’t having a servant’s heart. Being a servant means being open to what God needs from us, even if it puts us in a position that we’re not used to.

    I hope you get used to this. I hope you feel the love people are showing you, because the more you let them fill you up, the more you’ll be able to fill up others in return. God’s no dummy… He’s got that figured out. ๐Ÿ™‚

    love you.

    [and like the new look!]

  2. [ I like green ๐Ÿ˜† ]

    It is VERY hard to accept help and generosity of any kind for me. It’s that unworthy feeling. However, I guess I’d rather be this way than the opposite. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ haha! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I remember learning somewhere once that we are still serving (God’s will) when we accept help from others…’s a two way street.

    love you too! (and your reply got me all teary, dang it!)

  3. First, I’m glad this wasn’t here forever or I’d feel really bad. I haven’t checked your blog in a few weeks I think. I figured all the important stuff was in Twitter or FB.

    Hugs Bran! You know I understand your feelings about the house and perfectionist and over whelming stress. I don’t always know how to deal with this either. However I don’t have offers of helping flying at me either….

    I’m glad you’ve seen the other side of this and that you’re learning to accept it. I’m so sorry you’ve had so many things thrown at you lately…

    And I’m sorry we are so busy because I feel like we are losing touch a bit. I guess our babies couldn’t stay babies forever and we both had to get out of our pj’s and move on with our lives.

    Hugs my friend! As always I wish I were there with you to help you out and to lean on each other.


    We are not losing touch…we just haven’t been able to talk much the last week or so…. and that happens from time to time, you know that.

    And yes it was easier to talk more when they were all still tiny, but even still, we make time when we can. And I totally got sidetracked this morning and didn’t even get them outside until a bit ago. haha!

    I’m sure I’ve got food or coffee or something like that around the house waiting for me that has gotten cold b/c I’ve forgotten about it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    In 8 years we haven’t lost touch and it’s not happening now so CHILL! ๐Ÿ˜†

  5. So Bran – have you ever thought if others feel the way you do when you are the one offering to help them? how stupid do you think they are being by not accepting your offer? – do you even give them the choice to? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    ALL of us are brought up believing it is better to Give than to receive – but how can it be – who can we give TO if no-one is willing to receive it? – the river of love gets blocked up and ‘dammed’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

    ‘Tis better to receive a gift given lovingly than to , for pride’s sake, refuse it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Now, who am I to stand in Godโ€™s way?

    Exactly! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Keep up the learning, Muffin. And spreading it around as you go.


  6. Pingback: I’m going your way « MY DAO DAYS

  7. Been on both sides of this one. Tough to receive help, but love to give it. I went through a very dark time where I just stopped caring about everything. Things got overwhelming because I too am a perfectionist and if I can’t do something all the way and keep it clean I don’t want to do it at all. (One of my BIGGEST pet peeves about myself!) My housework suffered tremendously. And I had a couple times where my sisters came over and helped me “get back on track” and I couldn’t help but feel inadequate, weak, and like I had failed. In the long run I was thankful for their help and it was necessary whether I “saw” it at the time or not. And I too have a heart for helping others. I would have been there in a heartbeat to help you with your house. I could spend endless hours organizing for someone. I love it. I’m so glad you let them help you out. So much good comes out of that.

    On the flip side I also remember many points in my life where I was drowning and no one reached out to help me. That’s an emptiness I can’t describe. So knowing how that feels, helps me to truly appreciate when people do see a need of mine and reach out. But like you mentioned, it’s a two way street.

    I consider myself a Recovering Perfectionist. I’m a work in progress. Now its all about balance and perspective for me. Perspective in not cleaning the house for ME anymore but doing as a way to be an obedient Christ follower, a BIG way to show love to my husband, and setting a better example for my son. Balance is seeing when I’m about to get off track, and 1) identifying the root problem instead of putting blame where it doesn’t belong, 2) getting my self back on track before it’s completely out of hand like before.

    Hope you are still moving forward in this area. Much love.

    Love you lady.


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