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#This post is part of #LightTheWorld, Day 5 “Heal The Sick”. Thank you to Mormon.org for the chance to work with them!
If you follow me on social media, you have probably seen some of my posts about our struggles with infertility, endometriosis, polyps, pelvic congestion syndrome (varicose veins in the pelvis), and ovarian cysts the past few years. I’ve had cysts since I was a teenager and seem to have developed endometriosis after having my first baby. It’s been rough, especially because I just had my fifth surgery in two years. When the doctor told me a little over a month ago that surgery was necessary in order to try another fertility procedure, it didn’t phase me in the least. Been there, done that, right?
But I definitely still needed help. However, like so many other women, I have a really hard time asking for help. The ailments I struggle with can sometimes affect me on a daily basis and it’s a struggle to do normal, every day “mom” things. I’ll lay in bed and think, “Man, I wish I could just go to the grocery store without wanting to die” or feel guilt for not being there for my kids the way that I want to be. It’s been such a trial.
On the other hand, being on the receiving end of help and service has been a blessing. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how grateful I am to have experienced the love and thoughtfulness of family, friends,, and neighbors. Just knowing that people are praying for us gives me a boost of strength and courage.
The Lord Jesus Christ performed miracles and great acts of service for those who were sick. One of my favorite stories is found in the Gospel of John:
“When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked…”
Not only did the Lord heal this man but he performed a simple of act of service by first noticing someone who most didn’t spare even a glance. The Lord notices all of us, He knows our struggles, and He is constantly helping us along.
Since I’ve been on the receiving end quite a bit lately, I thought it would be helpful to share some ways that you can help a mom who is feeling under the weather. It’s an easy thing for me to write as it’s from my perspective!
These are things that you can just do without even asking. I have a hard time thinking of ways people can help when I’m directly asked. For example, I didn’t respond to a neighbor’s request for ideas when I had my surgery for three days! I hated asking for help but ultimately knew we needed it. I had some who just text or messaged me and said, “I’m coming over to take your kids for awhile” or “we have a dinner for you!”. Somehow, these amazing people were able to tap into my brain and give us what we needed without being asked.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- The most simple thing you can do is to show support. This may seem easy but it’s not difficult to get swamped with life and forget to offer some words of encouragement or love with a text, email, or phone call. Just knowing that people were praying for me made all the difference.
- Offer to help with their kids. This was one of my biggest concerns. My boys have so much energy and it doesn’t always gel with trying to recover. Especially if I’m trying to sleep! I had family, friends, and neighbors take my kids for sleepovers and playdates. It helped knowing the kids were having fun and I was able to get the rest I needed. If you’re able to help with carpools to school or taking them to activities, that is a great help too!
- Clean! This one was hard for me. I don’t like the idea of people coming in to clean my house. I think it’s because I’m embarrassed about what they may think of me. But this time around, my sister-in-law insisted on coming over to clean. And it was AMAZING! She left our kitchen sparkling and a meal in the oven. Sometimes you have to persistent!
- Plan a nice visit. Depending on the person, this can be a chat or, if it were me, hanging out watching a favorite chick flick and having some fun. It’s nice to forget the pain and misery you feel and companionship, especially from a girlfriend, is sometimes the perfect medicine.
- And finally, the one I appreciate the most, MEALS! There is nothing better than answering the door at dinnertime and having a meal ready for my family. Another idea is to buy freezer meals that can be pulled out when the fresh meals stop coming and recovery is still happening. I had a neighbor do this for us and I used the meals several times the week after surgery.
And when it comes to dropping off a meal, it doesn’t have to be without a little frill. To make it fun, use these fun printables designed by Laura at PinkCakePlate.com. All you need to do is print them off and cut them out. Get your kids involved! You can find disposable pans at the dollar store that come with lids too! Pack it up in a cute grocery bag and you’re good to go.
It’s such a sweet surprise for any mom, whether she’s dealing with a chronic illness, recovering from a procedure, going through a rough time, or just had a new baby.
Light the World for the holidays and be someone’s angel! There are some other great ideas over at Sugardoodle.net.