- Peace for Shawn and I, for Kyle and Miranda and Braden and Connor, for our parents and siblings and nieces and nephews and inner circle friends watching and hurting as we go through this
- that God would keep soft our children's hearts toward Him through all the emotions of this hard journey
- strength and stamina; physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually
- that the cancer shrinks to gone, gone, gone!
- gentle side effects to this second round of chemo
- family unity, harmony, love, strength, joy, happiness
- anything else you feel God puts on your heart

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Accepting help.

So here is what I just figured out: I suck at accepting help.

Well, I knew that already.  People have been asking how they can help, right down to the specific help they want to give, for years.  Years.  And I just keep saying "thanks, I'm good". 

I'm actually quite good at asking for help and live on the theory "it doesn't hurt to ask"... but help in my home?!?!?  NO. FREAKING. WAY. EVER. THANK YOU.  In fact, my sister came and did dishes here once when I was bowled under by life and I still recall the significance of that day vividly: I let her do my dirty work, the work I had failed to get to.  Hmmmm, failed.  I hate failure in myself on an achievable project...yet I am very gracious towards others who may not achieve what they set to do.  Thoughts for another day.  Today: accepting the help of others

Disclaimer: Before you get the wrong idea, my house is actually quite lovely, no need to call the hoarding intervention show, there aren't sticky messes at every step... but, there's stuff and projects yet to tackle. Always.

For years I didn't want help in my personal space because:
1.) I was embarrassed that my house was that crazy disorganized or messy or untidy or piled with stuff in every corner
2.) It was too much work to contemplate organizing a helper to get a job done... heck, if I could get the 'organized' part down pat, the project would have been done already, right?
3.) I really like to GIVE help and so was just busying myself doing that
4.) Accepting help is to give up control over WHEN the project would be completed, and apparently, I am a bit of a control-freak

What the heck?  Seriously, so lame.  People have different gifts and abilities, we receive joy in different types of acts of service.  For me, the joy is in connecting people, time spent, working with/for not-for-profits, coordinating volunteers (ooooooh, love that!)... especially for a big event. 

This morning I was sitting on the toilet seat, waiting for the shower to heat up, crying because two dear friends were coming to clean.  I trust these women with my life.  I value them.  They know my heart.  They would not even bat an eyelash at the piles of wrong-size clothes spilling from their once-neatly stacked piles.  These women have seen me ugly cry, what's a little dust bunny or two among friends?  Nothing.   So why the heck was I crying.   ???  Part of it is that permitting the help was permitting these people in to my very own personal 'personal space'.   I love having people over and my desire for human interaction has always outranked my guilty conscience at not living in a magazine-perfect home.    Part of it is the reality of preparing for this long haul eviction of cancer: accepting help means maybe I am really sick and I'm not ready for that reality.

The week before my diagnosis there was no indication that I might have cancer but I had this random (God-paving-the-way) thought... yes, go ahead and laugh... "I can't have cancer, my house isn't clean enough!" 

Ya.  Dumbest. Statement. Ever.  And I think I didn't actually say "cancer" out loud, just in my head... in the ouloud version of my statement, alone in the car, I said, "I can't be sick, and have people come over, my house isn't organized, there are piles of paperwork and stacks of children's art, and bags of Halloween candies, and stuff and the clothes I didn't get to MCC (charity) yet!"

Nerd.  In fact, after being told the diagnosis everything was such a blur for all of us that no one would have noticed a dust bunny with fangs sitting on the coffee table!

So, this morning, I stepped into the shower and took a breath and turned the corner on allowing people in.  Not just into my life, my heart, sharing a glimpse of my deepest dreams and the inner-est recesses of my soul.  My heart is on my sleeve (meaning I share my emotions and thoughts pretty freely)... the harder thing for me is actually letting helpers into my house to clean or organize, into my bedroom even!

And I vowed to be gracious to the dear ones coming to intervene on my behalf in the war on dust bunnies and dirty toilets.  I hope I was gracious enough.  The lovely truth is that these two beautiful women do know me so well that they did acknowledge the big step this was.  And I am, yet again, so grateful for the help.

I'm sure cancer is going to strip away a few useless layers that I have been carrying around for too long.  I'm sure cancer is going to take me on an adventure that I never could have dreamed of, would never have wanted to.  It's all in recognizing silver linings... right?!  

Yes, I have cancer and that totally sucks big time.  Yes, I have to learn to willingly accept help... any help... even letting the people I care deepest about to come into my house and see me in my ugly-cried-out state and every dusty corner of this ivory tower I was hiding out in. 

Ivory towers are loveliest if you let people in. 

Moral of the story: Who can you let in today?  The person who keeps offering to bring you a coffee?  The child that offers to fold towels for you?  The teen who keeps asking if he can get the mail?   LET THEM.  What about God?  If you think about it, same thing.  God doesn't care if you are messy, made bad choices, have piles of stuff still to deal with.  He just loves you.  Jesus, come into my life.  Help me. Lead me.  Guide me. Direct me.  Amen. 

I shouldn't rob someone's joy just because I am stuck in my worry about letting someone see the dust bunnies.

Whoa.  Turned into a sermon.  All I'm saying is this: Kristin, let people help you.  It's good to accept blessings.  It is silly to turn blessings away.

Thank YOU for blessing me today... I love each of you dearly, though I may not even know you. 


  1. I love to gift people with acts of service. I certainly hope you will let me come and do your laundry, or clean or pick up your bread and milk for the week! Anything! If not, I'll come over and do it anyhow (armed with one of those tenacious sisters of yours) :)
    Look forward to blessing you as you fight this sickness with all the energy you possible can!

  2. We are a lot alike on this subject, I have a hard time accepting help. You are a giver by nature... You would literally give the shirt off your back to anyone in need. You have blessed many over and over!!
    Everyone has a gift, let people give you their gift this time :)

  3. I'm right there with you on this one. Although I've been getting better at accepting help over the last few years.

    What a blessing for you that you have such kind & thoughtful people around you that are so willing to jump in and help out in spite of your resistance. God knew what He was doing when He brought these friends into your life. :)

  4. I had it explained to me this way once by my Mamma...

    You know that feeling of joy and satisfaction that you get when you help others? That you've done a good thing.... That starts in your heart and slowly spreads to warm your whole body.... By letting others help, you are sharing this wonderful experience with your friends and giving them the gift of warmth. Let them help. Help them feel good about themselves. It's a hard concept, I know, but you'll get there. Xoxo


  5. Kristin, I remember one day you wanted to come over and just hang out while I did my daily stuff in my sewing room. You did and were content to just sit on a chair in the corner and be there with me. I remember thinking "she wants to hang out in MY chaos??" But I realized that it was more than that, it was the friends, the conversation, the together time, and the surroundings didn't matter. If I can EVER come and sit on a chair in the corner and be with you, PLEASE say the word. I might even wash a dish or two... you never know

  6. Wow, Kristen, so strong. Prayers are with you.

  7. Ahhhh! You are EXACTLY like ME! Last year for my birthday, four of my dear friends gave me a coupon for my birthday for them to come over and hand me my favorite Starbucks drink and clean/organize my house while I relaxed...I said thank-you so much and then I went home and CRIED! It is still sitting in my drawer unused! Thanx for blogging...I LOVE YOU

  8. You have always been the giver, the doer, the helper, and now others have the opportunity to GIVE and DO and BLESS...
    If there was an opportunity to help in any capacity, you have always been the first in line. Watching your friends help you or leave you little notes, text you, and hold you in your weak moments is not only a blessing for you, but a blessing for Kori and I and the rest of our families. We love you so much and know that when you are back on your feet, you will be the first in line AGAIN to bless others!

  9. Oh my gosh! With all you're going through and you're teaching me a lesson! That sounds so familiar...
    God bless you Kristin. You & your family are in my prayers.


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