Since surgery day in early February, our family has been incredibly blessed by our church. Week after week we have been flooded with a helping hand for our 2-year-old son, home cooked meals, care given for my horses and goats, meal gift cards sent, and many messages of get-well-soon prayers. We are so grateful for every ounce of it….beyond words.
Receiving so much love at once like that was oddly hard to accept at first. They made all that food for us?! They didn’t need to go out of their way for that. I did nothing to deserve this. In fact, I hardly do enough for anyone in our church. Why can’t I be more selfless like them?
Have you ever felt guilty for receiving help? Do you refrain from asking for help for that reason, too?
Here is a short story on how I came to realize where my own guilt comes from:
Before surgery, I spent so much time spinning my wheels in burnout mode every day. I was a busybody who had a secret need to control my to-do list and take all productive matters into my own hands.
Don’t get me wrong: there is definite praise and ministry in my mundane home life. I have prioritized serving my husband’s and son’s spiritual health in many ways. I’m not perfect at it, but I haven’t been totally neglectful of God’s role for me as a wife, mother, and homemaker.
Stewardship is intentional. Being a busybody is selfish. It’s a slippery slope between the two sometimes. The guilt I felt derives from me realizing that I’m not being a dependently good steward of my time and energy lately…not enough to serve others in my own ways. Instead, I have all too often allowed my schedule to dictate my life. It has inhibited my ability and even my desire to go out of my way for even my own church family. When I was forced to stop walking, I stopped long enough to realize that I was overtired from refilling my coffee cup for busybody work without refilling my spiritual soul for the intentional service of others.
I will always strive to first serve my family well, but I don’t want to live out my Christianity with absolutely no time for anything or anyone else either. I want to create more abundant time and spaces to serve anyone within my reach and especially my church family. I also want my husband and son to witness me serving our neighbors because I want them to have a desire to do the same.
So, instead of allowing guilt to set itself in cold hard stone here, I am using our church’s recent Jesus-like selflessness to inspire me instead. If you’ve felt guilt lately over these same circumstances, this is my encouragement for you to do the same.
We don’t need to strive for perfection, set unrealistic expectations, or idolize the acts of good works. We can still set ourselves up for success though. My hope in this message is that we feel ignited to find even the simplest ways to reach out to others. Send that text message you’ve been meaning to send. Show up to that small group meet-up next week. Mail a handwritten card to someone who could really use thoughtfulness like that. Bring a coffee to the tired mama you noticed last week during church service. Call and ask about someone’s life lately and just empathize with them. Something so simple for you might mean the world to them at that moment.
These are the simple moments we under-utilize amongst our crazy schedules, and these are the spaces that can make room for more discipleship opportunities.