One of the books I recently finished was Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I think it might have been a better fit in a different season of life, but I still enjoyed her spunky spirit, honesty, and vulnerability that came across so well in the audio-book version I listened too.
While I finished the book a couple weeks ago, suddenly a passage of it came to mind last Saturday night.
I was texting a friend about other stuff and mentioned how tired I was. It had been a good day, but a long one and body and brain were maxed out. She offered to drive over and do a simple task for me.
I turned her down.
It felt ridiculous. It felt dumb to let her stop what she was doing to come do something so simple for me. I couldn’t shake the thoughts of “Seriously, Bekah, just get up and do this task that literally will take less than a minute.”
She wanted to help. She wanted to serve me. She wanted to love me in this tangible way, even if it seemed silly to me.
But I said no.
Long story short, she came over anyway. (Because when you have friends that are like family, that’s just what you do for each other.) While I had already done the task, she showed up “just to give me a hug”. She lingered. She sat with me and simply was the friend I needed that night… the friend I almost missed out on because of my own stubbornness.
As she left, suddenly a section from that book popped into my mind. I didn’t process it too deeply the first time I heard it, having been framed in the context of motherhood. After this experience with my friend I realized that while I’m not a mother, the general concept still applies, especially in this current season I find myself in:
“Find a tribe of people who are in a similar walk of life as you are. Once you find them, be honest about where you are and what you’re struggling with. Learn to ask for help, and when someone offers help, accept it! Accept any and all help you can get and consider it a gift from God! I cannot tell you how many women ask me how I “do it all,” and when I tell them that I’ve learned to ask for help, they look at me as if I’m an alien.
“Like, help with what?”
For example, when your mother-in-law says she’ll come for the afternoon and entertain the kids, say, “Yes, please.” If your husband offers to fold the laundry (even when you don’t think he’s good at folding towels), say, “Yes, please.” If your girlfriend says she wants to bring you dinner but you feel bad that you’re putting her out, say, “Yes, please.” Or if your elementary school offers afternoon classes that will occupy your rambunctious boys for an additional hour and a half, say, “Yes, please.”
What can give you more time, more space, more freedom to find your center? Whatever it is, say, “Yes, please” to that!” – Rachel Hollis – Girl, Wash Your Face
When talking about self care and boundaries, we often talk about how the hardest but best thing to say is “no”. “No” to extra commitments. “No” to social engagements that aren’t fun for you. “No” to tasks and to-do list items.
Perhaps another favorite phrase should actually be: “Yes, please.”
I am WAY better at receiving help (and sometimes even asking for it!) than I used to be. I learned even more after my surgery in May when I had to depend on those around me for everything. However, it’s still easy for pride to slip in from time to time and I push away help in the process.
Just because I’m technically capable of doing something doesn’t mean help isn’t valuable. I may not NEED it, but perhaps help is a gift my friends (and ultimately, my God) want to give. So, my prayer is to be come more of a “Yes, please” person.
If someone volunteers to do something for me at work, I pray I will simply say, “Yes, please”.
If a friend offers to plan the details of an outing I initiated, I’ll ignore the nagging voice that nags: “You should be responsible for following through on this” and simply smile and say “Yes, please.”
If a family member or mentor or friend offers to spend time to talk and encourage me on a good day or a hard day or just any random day, I hope I’ll quickly say, “Yes, please.”
I’ve always found joy when others let me serve them. It baffles me that I can’t seem to remember the reverse is also true: maybe others find joy in serving me.
So, if my best friend wants to come put my groceries away or do my dishes or just stop by to give me a hug at 8:30 on a Saturday night because she loves me and wants to serve me… I pray next time I won’t turn her down, but instead will unlock the door and text back: “Yes, please!”