Friday, August 19, 2016

just some thoughts (and a picture)

An email from a cousin:

Hey Janae!  I am doing a blog post on ways to support, love, serve those who have chronic health problems. I know for a lot of people this is really difficult, and many are not sure what to say or do. They don't want to say the wrong thing but they care. 

I emailed her back with:

Some ways family and friends have helped us:
-          Countless meals (including freezer meals)
-          Grocery shopping
-          Laundry
-          Carpools
-          Visits
-          Girls Night Out (movie, a concert, roasting marshmallows over a campfire, etc)
-          When my youngest daughter was 3-4 years old, a friend took her for two hours every Friday so I could take a nap.
-          Different friends help me with hair and makeup and a friend comes to my house to cut my hair.
-          If I am planning a party or get together, friends make it happen.

(I will add: take me to the temple, take me to plant nurseries, plant the plants, make a birthday cake for my kids, go on walks with me, help me organize my house, help make grape juice from our grapes, help with home and yard improvement projects, read a talk for me in church, include my kids in outings, pick up a slurpee... Everyday there is something.) 

That is a ridiculously short list compared to the amount of help I received.  The kindness of others has been a huge blessing to my family.


Continuing my thoughts here.... (Parts of this are a repeat of what I emailed.)

The other day in church a twelve year old boy was sharing his testimony. One of the things this boy talked about was how even if someone is different from you, you should still be nice to them.

It made me think about how I treat people.  Why do I sometimes feel uncomfortable around someone who is “different” OR someone who is experiencing a difficult trial?  Why am I hesitant to talk to them?  Perhaps I am worried how they will react if I say something.  Will they be upset? Will they think I’m nosey? 

I find myself on this side, knowing someone who is going through a hard time with their physical health, or depression, a concern with their child, difficulties in their marriage, grieving the loss of a child/parent/sibling, losing a job, etc. I want to do something yet I don’t always know what to say or do.

Sometimes it isn’t my place to be involved, yet there are the times the person’s face keeps resurfacing in my thoughts.

When you get that “feeling” to check on a person it might seem random and out-of-the-blue, but God is giving you a nudge towards someone who needs you.  I know that God is aware of each one us and it is through the actions of others He sends help.  Your gesture can be as easy as sending a text, an email, a handwritten note or a treat. Call them on the phone or stop by and say “Hi”.

It might seem like a small thing, but it will mean a great deal to the individual knowing someone is aware of them and cares.  From the kindness of others I know that this is true.

The other part to this was “Why might I feel uncomfortable around someone who is different?”

For me, I probably just don’t know what to say to them. 

Here is a situation for the purpose of comparison I have found myself in:

If you are trying to talk to someone who speaks a foreign language the conversation often doesn’t go far.  You ask how they are doing and other simple questions.  After a while you have both exhausted your limited similar vocabulary, the pauses in conversation are a bit too frequent and you awkwardly part ways.  You genuinely like the other person, but the very important aspect of communication is difficult and frustrating. In the future when you see that individual, you both smile and say hello and perhaps ask how the other is doing, but that’s about it. 

In the past I have been-there-done-that from both sides.

If you are talking with me and you don’t know what I said, just tell me and I will repeat it.  No big deal.  This is much better than you nodding your head and pretending to understand me when you don’t.

One thing I DON’T like is when I ask a certain 14 year old boy to do something and HE PRETENDS TO NOT understand me. Hmmm… But THAT would probably happen even if I had clear speech.

Back to the topic.  It's a two-way road.  There are times when I am stand-offish and do not make it easy when someone is trying to talk to me.  Developing and showing genuine interest in others is something I certainly can try to be better at. 

I love this 14 year old boy, even when he acts 14.  If you don't know what I mean than you probably aren't a parent of a teenager.  (Thank you Mary for the picture.)