One of the neat things my church does is that we are all assigned 4 or so women to go and visit and share something uplifting. It is called “Visiting Teaching.” What’s pretty cool about it is that by the end of the month, almost everyone in our church is visited and given something to hopefully boost their spirits. It’s also a great way to see if they are in need of anything.
Each month we are given a topic and some quotes, and asked to pray about the women we visit and think about what they may be in need of hearing. This quote REALLY stood out to me and I feel like the concept stretches to everyone, regardless of their religion. So I thought I would share:
Do you struggle with this too? I hear a friend talking about how she is so overwhelmed with having to do X, Y, and Z. So I always ask, “Well is there anything I can help with?” And I swear, it seems to be a natural human response to say, “No, I’m fine,” when we aren’t. I refuse help ALL the time when I really need it.
Earlier this year I was struggling with depression. I couldn’t get out of bed. Friends knew about this and asked if they could help, but how can you say, “Yes, can you come over, pick up my kids, and take them for a few hours while I get some sleep?” You don’t know if you are asking them to do MORE than what they wanted. That’s why one of the best things to do is to just offer something specific (or, if you don’t think it would offend — and tread carefully here! — just do it). So if someone is talking about how overwhelmed they are you can say, “Would it be all right with you if I brought by some dinner tonight? I know we’ll have extra.” “May I take your kids to the park for a few hours? I know mine would love the social interaction.” Picking something specific could help instead of an open-ended question.
One of the sweetest things ever done for me was by my Visiting Teacher. I was really overwhelmed and she came by to share her monthly message. But she said, “Hey, while I am here, do you mind if we sit and fold some of your laundry? It would be nice to have something to do while we chat, plus we could get something done.” Now, mind you, I made sure my front rooms where she would visit were spotless–so it wasn’t like she saw a mess and thought, “Oh gross, let’s take care of this!” She just said, “EVERYONE has laundry that needs to be folded. And please, one of the best things you can do as a friend is giving someone the opportunity to serve you.” Although I hesitated, she insisted. And when she left, I had all laundry folded.
So my baby challenge for myself, and I hope you will take it with me, is to earnestly LOOK for opportunities to serve and JUMP in. Let me know how it goes!
(P.S. Feel free to print up the image above and hand it to some friends for inspiration)