Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Can I get a little help around here?!

Have you ever seen the movie 28 Days? It's a Sandra Bullock movie where she plays the role of a recovering alcoholic who is sent to rehab for 28 days. I saw it a long time ago and don't remember a whole lot about it, but I do remember that her counselor at rehab made Sandra Bullock wear a sign around her neck that said, "Confront me if I don't ask for help"because her unwillingness to ask her help was the main reason she had wound up in so much trouble.

Probably the reason I remember that part of the movie was because I subconsciously realized that I need one of those signs.

Maybe you're the same way. Maybe you've got a bad case of "Do it myself" disease and you may have contracted it for a variety of reasons. The two-part reason I'm a carrier of the disease is because I don't want to inconvenience others by asking them to help shoulder my load, and I would (pridefully) like the world to think that I can shoulder my own load just fine.

And maybe most days I can. But there are times that I'm drowning and I never even let anyone know until after I've already found some solid footing again.

God has been teaching me this lesson in huge, techno-color ways this past month.


March was a bit of a doozy month for us. We moved and Andy traveled 3 times really close to the date that we moved. This was the first time (out of 6) we've ever moved that we haven't had either my mom or sister to help us "set up house". I'm not sure exactly what happened when God was creating me, by the visual/spacial part of my brain just never developed, thus decorating a house by myself is among the top 5 most overwhelming things I can imagine. On top of this, things are pretty intense (understatement) around South Bay right now due to Easter and moving into our new facility. Andy's been quite stressed at times and has had some health issues as a result.

Because I know Andy's already carrying a lot of stress from work, I don't want to add anymore to it when he comes home. So I try to pretend like I can manage everything around the house on my own. Sure, I can pack and unpack our house, update our finances each week, prepare our taxes, hang pictures, clean the house, register Caedmon for school, make home cooked meals, call our insurance company to figure out these medical bills, and look gorgeous every evening. Well, scratch the last one...I gave up on that.

But I was drowning and I didn't want to admit. Instead I started becoming more and more frustrated and, unknowingly, bitter.  One night Andy said to me, "Stacie, what is going on with you? You aren't acting like yourself. It feels like there's some kind of wall between us and you are treating me and the boys differently." Ouch. I didn't even realize that my frustration was being taken out on my family, but it was.

When I searched my heart a little to figure out why I was feeling frustrated, I realized that I felt like I needed help and Andy wasn't helping. When I explained it to Andy, he was so gracious. He honestly had no idea that I was overwhelmed (see, I'm pretty good at hiding it...thus the reason I need to wear that sign), but once I explained it he could totally understand how I would be feeling that way.

He said to me, "Stacie, you have got to let me know when you need help. It is not that I am unwilling to help or don't want to pull my weight around here. I just didn't know the pressure you were feeling or all that needed to get accomplished."

REALLY?! All I have to do is ask?
Yes. At least with my husband, it really is that simple.

So we talked it through, got a plan, and life has been running much more smoothly the past couple of weeks. Team effort, not flying solo.

I've got one more example I wanted to share, but this post is getting long so I'll save it for tomorrow. In the meantime, ASK SOMEONE FOR HELP!!! :-)

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