Anything I can do?

Have you ever said or heard the phrase, “is there anything i can do?”  Do you think it’s just a question people are taught to ask when they don’t know what to say, but the answer should always be “I’m ok.”  That’s how I operate most of the time.  For some reason, when I say “Is there anything I can do?” I mean it.  I wish the person would actually tell me something that would help them.  BUT, when someone asks me the question, I assume they don’t mean it.  I assume they are expecting me to say “I’m ok.”  But what if I’m not ok?  What if there is a long list of something you can do, and it would really bless me and make our friendship stronger?  So, now I am beginnig to say…. “Acutally… yes.”   I’m getting quite good at this!  And you know what?  I’m a lot less stressed these days and I have closer friendships than I used to.   Here are some examples:

  1. We have an event called “open cabins” on Easter day.  It is where people open up their cabins with treats and the whole crew (400 people) can come around and see the cabins and have some snacks.  Work was a bit crazy around this time, and I wasn’t sure if I could pull off open cabins.  However, it is something I really enjoy and since most cabins are really small, a family cabin is a great cabin to participate in this event.  Two of my friends asked if I was participating, and I told them that I have been too busy to cook.  Then, I said, “I’ll open my cabin if you will do the cooking.”  They agreed!! All I did was straightened up the cabin and enjoyed Easter with my family.  They did all the cooking (which they actually enjoy doing).  And we all enjoyed open cabins!
  2. One of my other friends baked BJ’s birthday cake, while I had a very busy day at work.  It was delicious and a stress free party!
  3. Sunday was Brian’s birthday, and I was trying to find something to do to let him know how much we love him.  He is so good at showing our family how much he loves us.  My friend asked me the other day “if there was anything she could do to ease the pressure.”  Those were her exact words.  I had a lot of things I needed to do, but I still wanted to bake Brian a chocolate cake.  So, I said, “do you like to bake?”  She baked a yummy chocolate cake!

I used to be allergic to asking for help, but I’m realizing not only is it good for my stress level, but it opens up a new realm of relationships.  I am significantly closer to each of these friends now, it is something about their willingness to use their gifts to bless my family that bumps our relationship up many notches.  Community living…  my friend Tom said “it’s a nice way of saying ‘tight quarters and limited personal space’”  But it definitely has it’s perks as long as I’m willing to lay down my pride and ask for help.  (and obviously help others too).