Friday, March 25, 2011

Looking Outside of Ourselves

Last Wednesday I decided to pack my two younger kids into the jogging stroller while my oldest was at our co-op preschool. I haven't really used this stroller since my third babe was born since it's a two-seater and we are over capacity. I started out my run and was immediately dying! A heavy stroller plus two chubba toddlers=pain for the momma. I've mentioned that my run starts with tons of hills...yeah, it's rough. But I got to the flatter part of the run and because of how hard the beginning was I suddenly felt so much stronger. It made me think about some of my first races. I was always training with the jogging stroller in those days. When the time came for my first race and I didn't have the stroller to push, I felt so good! My run seemed like a total breeze.

All of this got me thinking about trials. I am of the belief that when we are in the midst of trials, the very best thing we can do for ourselves is to find someone else to focus on/carry/push. But it's sometimes so hard to do, right? We get so caught up in how hard things are for us and forget to look around. BUT if we do then we will find that our own trial seems so much easier. Not that their trial is necessarily more difficult than ours, but that the act of looking outside of ourselves can somehow miraculously lighten our own load.

Here's a little personal story about that:

When I was 19 years old and in college, I was in a leadership position for my church. The college that I went to was Ricks College in Rexburg, ID. It was awesome, but that's beside the point. It was also super cold and snowy and dreary come February, which is exactly the point of this story. I was told when I was called to this position that the ladies in my care would suddenly be having a lot of problems come February; mostly because of the dreary weather, but that they would feel very sincerely distraught. I was told to just be aware of that and to help them put their problems in perspective. Well, come February I felt like the door to my shared bedroom was a revolving door of issues. Poor women, all struggling with something different. I wanted so much to help them and would think about what I could say or do to pull them out of their depression. Then I remembered the February warning and realized that what everyone (myself included) needed was to SERVE. So we planned activities around this idea and got several of the ladies involved in adopting a grandparent at the local nursing center. I immediately noticed a difference. I gave that advice individually to some of those who were really struggling - find someone to serve. I no longer had knocks or notes on my door constantly...just a trickle. I shouldn't have been surprised by the dramatic difference, but I was.

I wish that I remembered to do this more often; sometimes it takes me a while. Sometimes I spend several weeks in Poor Me Land before I pull my head out and decide to reach out. There is something miraculous about service. It gives you enough of a boost to pull you out of sadness. I really believe in the power of service!

If you feel so inclined, share a time when service has worked to help you through a tough time.

1 comment:

  1. This is something I definitely needed right now! This past year, with Jeff being unemployed I have done pretty good at focusing on others and helping them. It's something that I realized a while back in another big trial in my life, and truly is the best way to get through hard things. But the past week or so I have been having poor me sessions, just out of frustrations on things I can't give my family. So it is a great reminder to look around and help others!!

    I also wanted to add that I have found when you are serving others, there are going to be people who are going to serve you, and in return you get taken care of as well! With the burden unemployment brings, we have been blessed with amazing friends who have stepped in and financially helped us in things or had amazing blessings that happen to help lighten that financial burden! So it becomes a cycle and the more you do and step outside of your poor me sessions, the more you get in return!