Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Day Twelve

I think I have already written once or twice about similar subjects, but I am thankful today for being a part of a community.  A friend came over today to bring us a meal and help with a few chores, and we were talking about how grateful we are that we have so much help when we are in need.  It is very difficult for us both to ask for help.  I have noticed the past few weeks that when I humble myself and accept help in my tasks, I feel a great sense of relief.  I am unable to care for everything and everyone, and there is something freeing about admitting that and letting someone help me.  

I also know other friends who lament that they do not know very many people who will help them.  It is a sad testament to our society that we are so wrapped up in our own lives, we don't see the needs around us.  Or perhaps we feel overwhelmed by our own lives and do not feel able to reach out to someone else.  I include myself in this critique.  Being temporarily disabled has taught me many things; one of those is just what kind of help a mom in my situation needs, and how one person doing one or two little things lifts the burden enormously.

I am also reading a book called How People Grow.  One of the points the author makes in the beginning is that God's plan is for us not to be self-sufficient, but to need God and other people.  I usually try to be independent, to do for myself and to look strong and spiritual.  But that way does not lead to growth.  When I open up myself to my friends and to God, admitting my failures and weaknesses, I receive the grace of forgiveness and the means to growth.  I am trying hard to remember this lesson, though the fear is never far away.  Being open and humble about my life also leads to tighter and more rewarding friendships.  As we all share our stories, we can relate to each other on a level of authenticity.  Our stories are powerful, even the difficult ones.  

The challenge for me now is to continue that openness, to increase my understanding of how growth happens, and not to shy away from friends once they have seen my flaws.  I hope I can remember these lessons as my foot heals and I am physically strong once again.  I hope I can continue to build community around myself even when I feel better.

P.S. I think this post might be a little rambling, but I wanted to use it to sort out some of my thoughts today.  I hope it makes sense to you! 

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