"Busy......I'm just too busy." seems to be the response (or something like it) the majority of us reply. What makes us so busy? What makes us too hectic to help a friend?
There have been moments in my life where the hustle and bustle of life consumed me. The chaos overwhelming. Especially, if you are a young mother working full-time. Between work and family you have no extra time to 'help' those not close to your immediate family unit. I know, I've been there.
"That which does not kill you makes you stronger." I've heard that many times. In some ways it is true. I'm not dead yet at 43. I couldn't have done it on my own. If I singularly relied on my own devices, I would have been buried long ago, or in a mental institution. But, you see, I had a slow cooker. One of the few appliances that actually does make your life easier. Throw all the ingredients in the pot at sunrise and by sundown your meal is done, and you didn't even have to stir. I suppose if you really needed to stir, you could have. My point is, I needed help.
I have been a working mom for 11 years now and let me tell you the beginning was tough. There were moments in the early hours of daybreak before work, when I looked at my children sleeping and I touched their little heads and gently kissed their foreheads and cried, because I knew that I wouldn't be seeing them again until supper time. That thought alone made me sick inside, and there were days that I couldn't go to work due to the overwhelming guilt at leaving my children, and I was just leaving them with my husband .... I didn't have daycare.
" It's okay. I can handle it." my husband murmured and lay back against the pillow.
"She has a fever... she's crying?" there I stood at the doorway of our bedroom with my boots and coat on at 5:30 am and my beloved was not moving to get out of bed to take care of his child. If I didn't leave within the next 5 minutes I was going to be late for my commuter train into the city. He eventually did get out of bed.
"I'm the one that should be looking after her!" I sobbed, in the rain, as I ran to catch the train. The guilt eating a huge hole inside of me. Men don't have the compassionate instincts a female does. They weren't born with it...WE WERE! How dare I leave? But, I did, because a two income family is the norm now a days. We need two incomes just to survive. Either my husband got a second job or I continued to work. No other options were available. How does a working Mom survive? God, family, friends, and a slow cooker!
A relationship with God filled me with the daily strength I needed. Fellowship with family and friends secured that relationship and provided a sanctuary to express emotions in a safe environment and well, I've already explained the attributes of a slow cooker. All of the above have been invaluable to my health and sanity.
“I’m doing the Alpha course at my home. Come for coffee this Thursday?” my neighbour Krista persuaded. “Kids welcome.” My eldest daughter had already started school, but I still had 3 year old at home.
“I’ll let you know.” I replied. Just that morning I had ripped up a ‘Our Daily Bread’ leaflet and thrown it away; angry at the idiot who put my name on their mailing list. “Christianity? Been there, done that,” Was my attitude. Only dim-witted human beings believe in such things. Then I read:“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” I read this quote from Albert Einstein and I literally felt a slap in the face. I was a mediocre mind. What had I just done to that leaflet? What was I feeling about Christians for crying out loud? The following day I accepted the coffee invitation. I dared myself that I wouldn’t get brain washed by these Christians. I wasn’t going to be a mediocre mind either. That was 5 years ago and the beginning of our coffee group and I never looked back.
Our coffee group started with inner reflections to help ourselves, to lift each other up after a "busy" week. This year we changed the direction a little bit. Not inner but outer reflections. To give back to the community. To help and strengthen others. To make this world a little bit better.
" I tell you the truth, whoever believes in me will do the same things that I do. Those who believe will do even greater things than these......"