It is so easy to get caught up in all of the struggles in life and allow them to bear down upon you. What isn’t easy, at least for me, is asking for help. I don’t know why, but I have a tendency of accepting whatever life throws at me and I try to make the best of it. I like to think that my husband and I can conquer whatever obstacles we face. For some reason, asking for help has always been a matter of pride to me, as if it makes me weak and appear helpless.
Well, the past few months have been a struggle for us. We’ve had a lot of things break down, things that are difficult to do without. But we’ve made do the best we can. My dryer broke down, no big deal. It’s summer, we live out in the country, we can hang the clothes on the line outside. That is until the humidity grows so high that nothing dries outside. So we resorted to hanging the clothes up in the house during the nights, hoping the fans will dry them for the morning. Am I sounding pathetic yet?
My husband has been nursing our lawn mower because the starter (or whatever it is) went out on it. Well, we’ve lived most of the summer in a drought so there hasn’t been much need to mow, until now. Now the thing refuses to start. Is it pathetic yet?
The simple fact is, we have so many other things we have to spend our money on that when it comes to spending money on something that isn’t absolutely necessary, it makes you want to forget those problems even exist and pretend they’re no big deal.
Well, today my parents came to visit and brought with them gifts. They brought parts for our lawn mower, a dryer, and rotors for the brakes on my car (another problem we chose to ignore). They didn’t tell us what they were doing because they knew I would argue with them. They are struggling just like most the other people in this world are in this economy. I went through such a range of emotions that I feel ashamed to even confess to them. I was angry because I didn’t want to be in the position of needing the things. I was angry because I knew my parents could have used the money they work so hard to earn to pay for other things. I can’t tell you how relieved and thankful I am. Most of all I am completely humbled by my parent’s ever present generosity. When I tell them thank you for anything they do for me their first and only response is that they wish they could do more. All along I’m the one wishing I could do more for them for everything they have done for me.
I’m going to get a little more pathetic here and bring up something that I wrote in Knightingale. Sadly enough, my main character, Samantha, shares far too many of my own qualities, whether they be good or bad. In one of the conversations she was having with David, the other main character, he told her, “If you cannot accept the small things, then you cannot accept the big things coming your way.”
I knew that was a powerful statement when I wrote it, but I didn’t realize how much it pertained to me. Pride has prevented me from accepting a lot of good things in my life for what they really are. I really wish I could accept a gift without immediately thinking what I “need” to do to repay the person(s). It’s not that repaying the person is bad, it’s the way my mind processes the acceptance of gifts. We’ve all heard the saying “it’s the thought behind the gift that counts”. Well I can tell you that it’s the thought behind the acceptance that counts as well.
I am still completely blown away by what my parents did today. They will never know how much I appreciate it. Perhaps this is one of those “God Lessons”. Either way, from this point forward I’m going to stop worrying about owing people, and simply focus on what I can do for people. I don’t expect to be repaid for anything I do. But I know that my attitude towards acceptance is one of those instances where actions speak louder than words. If I accept a gift as a debt then everyone will assume that I expect them to accept my gifts as a debt to me. If this is God speaking to me, then I want Him to know that I have understood the lesson, now I’m going to work on applying that lesson in my life.