We’re in the middle of a big move.
My little family is pulling up our roots (my roots anyway) in California, loading up a moving van and driving a bit north and a bit east, eventually landing in a tiny Rocky Mountain town (my husband’s roots).
You may remember that my husband is a Marine–a job that requires extended periods of time in a combat zone. We’ve done the deployment thing before… and it’s time to start over. In about six weeks, my beloved will be heading to Afghanistan for 13 months. It will be long, and it will be hard, but we’ve experienced enough of God’s sufficient grace to know that we’ll get through it.
Which brings us to this move. We have about a week until we haul ourselves and all of our belongings into the mountains, where the boys and I will have the opportunity to be near John’s family for the next year and a half. I love the mountains, I love the snow (which we’ll have more often than not, living at over 10,000 ft. elevation!) and I love my parents-in-love. While I’m not at all looking forward to leaving the people and places we love here in California, when it comes to living in Colorado, I’m basically, in a word, thrilled.
But the moving part? The sea of cardboard boxes? The Everest of packing paper? Not so much.
Combined with John’s extremely long pre-deployment training hours and me still just as busy as ever caring for our little people, I was beginning to freak out get a bit overwhelmed.
Until the knock at my door last week that brought me a blessing. Two of them, actually. A pair of sweet fifteen year old girls with smiles on their faces and hearts eager to just… help.
They fed the boys lunch. They read books. They played with toys. They made cupcakes and let my three year old crack the eggs. They cleaned up messes and wiped hands and faces. They raced up and down the stairs, running for tape and permanent markers, blankies and stuffed Pooh Bears.
I packed boxes. I checked off a long list of phone calls. I wrote about ten urgent emails. I packed more boxes. I sorted through paperwork. I organized and threw out old craft supplies. I folded laundry. I packed MORE boxes.
We had long conversations about life and struggles during nap time. We packed up all the books from our last two bookshelves. We stacked boxes and labeled them. They helped me figure out what to keep and what to toss. We did a lot of laughing.
I could have kept them for days.
These girls aren’t perfect. They didn’t step straight from a nineteenth century story book. They’re normal fifteen year old girls living in 2010, complete with texts messages ringing in every few minutes. They like to laugh and they deal with the same everyday issues every other young lady faces. I’d even guess they might not always be quite as eager to wipe faces and play with Legos in their own homes.
But they both have hearts that love Jesus and are quick to do whatever needed to be a blessing. They shared their hearts with me that day and I saw beauty and maturity in that glimpse. God is at work in these girls’ lives. They put themselves aside for a day in January and sweetly gave their time and energy to a busy mom of two little boys.
When I was a teenager, I made a trip to visit some friends in Texas, splitting my time between two sisters who were each married with active little ones and only lived a short distance apart. In preparing to head out there, my young self was anticipating being busy making meals and cleaning the house so these young moms would have some free time to spend with their children.
What I didn’t expect was the reality of mothers needing time to catch up with all the million and ten other things that never get done because they do spend most of their time playing and cuddling and feeding and changing and training their busy tiny people. While I did make a few meals and bake a couple desserts and do a bit of shopping and mop some floors and change several diapers, I spent the majority of my time playing and cuddling and feeding and changing the children. It freed the mothers to get caught up on other important things and feel a little more rested.
I consider myself very blessed to be surrounded by willing mother’s helpers. I’ve had several here in San Diego. When I get to Colorado, I know of two other young ladies who are just as sweet and just as eager to help (also YLCF readers, incidentally!).
But I know not every mother of little ones is in the same situation. Perhaps you know of one such mother. Maybe she’s busy and weary, waiting for a single young lady to step forward and offer a few hours of time so she can catch up. Perhaps she’s overwhelmed with a move or a new baby or a husband’s busy schedule–or maybe she would just like to take a nap or make dinner with two hands! She could be wishing, right now, that there was someone who could spend a few hours playing with her little ones and maybe vacuum the living room carpet.
And maybe you are just the girl for the job!
I’ve been given a gift with these various young women. Mothers, don’t afraid to accept help, and young women, don’t be afraid to offer it! Get out there and get helping!