The little tadpole wishes to tell everyone..."thanks for the love"!
So let me tell you about this past week. We had ten shows in a row. Ten is a big number. And by show number nine I was ready to be committed. Show ten I literally just cried out of sheer exhaustion. And day 12 of actual traveling included 4 hours of sleep Sunday night, an eight hour drive the next morning from Illinois to Atlanta, and then a flight home that night to Dallas. That's what I call a road warrior. And, I win double road warrior points now that I can pull the preggo card!
Then I was home for 36 beautiful hours.
What used to be just a plain little apartment looked like Disney World and Heaven wrapped up in one 900 square foot mecca. I even think there were moonbeams shining in the room and the angelic smell of chocolate chip cookies in the house as we walked in. My old, urban apartment has never captured my heart like it did in those first few moments. I cried just to see my closet. Such a good closet. Such a beautiful little apartment. Jeez...there's no place like home.
Anyways, I did something on this trip home that I have never truly done before.
I asked for help.
Real help. Not, "can you help me find the highway" or "could you please feed my cat one day" or "can you help me move this box," but more along the lines of, "can you please cook three meals for us and meet us at the airport because I am too tired to cook and we don't have time to drive to you and I just want to sleep."
And I have to admit it was painfully hard to ask for it; it was like selling my soul to the devil of sloth, pity, and guilt.
But Ryan and I have a great church family and great friends who want to serve us as we serve others and who want to bless us as we are used to bless others. They have told us so. They have asked us to tell them when they can help. They have offered. They are willing and able; but they are not mind readers.
That's where I had to step in and say, I need help. This is hard for me to do unless there is actual blood, a dead body, or a deadline I have horribly neglected (in which case I only coerce family members into helping me fix my mistakes). To ask for help myself, my general rule is that I need to be at least 75% incapacitated and incoherent or too drugged up to humbly refuse help. Because, really, what lazy schmuck just calls up her friends and says, "I need help. I am too tired to cook or drive can you please make me a homemade meal?"
But the truth is, true humility means getting to the place where you can admit weakness, exhaustion, and your need to rely on others. Admitting that we were made to be interdependent instead of stubborn loners means that we have come to grips with the way Jesus created and taught us to interact with one other. To live in community, care for one another, and carry each other's burdens... no matter how big or small.
So even though I felt guilty and lazy and wondered if everyone would question my motives, I finally thought to myself, "I am too tired to do it myself, we both need to rest, and we just need to be taken care of and poured into...and that is reason enough to ask for help."
Of course my friends met us at the airport with enough food to last for months. Flowers. Candles. Lotion. A journal. Cookie dough. And enough food to last for another few months. They went above and beyond to joyfully take care of us.
Then one of my best friends met me the next morning with our mail and a beautiful baby present and the biggest hug I had gotten in weeks.
And then this morning a friend picked us up at 6:15 am and brought us to the airport. And three friends have written to tell me they are praying for me today.
Wow. What would life be like without friends and community? What would the last 36 hours have been like without admitting I needed a little help and asking for it?
American Airlines is NOT my friend
Heaven only lasted for a few hours. Then I woke up at 5:30 am and sat on the runway for an hour before my first 7:40 am flight was cancelled. Switched planes to a 9:20 flight, taxied out, and then promptly returned to the gate because of "brake failure" and my second flight was cancelled. And finally at 11:00 am, six hours after I woke up, I got on a third flight that made it to our show tonight. I was squashed between to lovely, but very, very large people. Our thighs were rubbing against each other, their arms were taking up both armrests, and they were perspiring. I was terribly uncomfortable.
And I thought, "Man, today would normally totally suck and put me in a bad mood. But how can it? I just had the greatest day with so much love and care from my friends... so this four hour delay really isn't all that bad."
Because I asked for help, my one day at home was relaxing and renewing, and it even made today better. My attitude in the light of a terrible travel experience seemed much calmer and I think that was because I didn't waste my one day of rest on taking care of myself when others would gladly take care of me. And that started a vicious cycle of rest and happiness.
Just a reminder that while it is not always easy to swallow our pride, set aside our self-reliance and ask for help... it is sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves.