Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'd Rather Do It Myself--But I'll Accept the Help

Have you decided you're open to help? So many of us have a "I want to do it myself" attitude. It's like we're children who never grew up.

Now don't get me wrong. I'd still rather do it myself than need help, but since I've discovered I can't make it without assistance to do certain things, I've decided to enjoy the process.

Last week I spoke on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday--all in different cities! In the first place, I only drive locally due to the fatigue of MS on my muscles used to turn the wheel and push on the gas and brake. (The entire body fatigues out when I overuse one strong muscle that is taking over for the weak ones. I am incredibly grateful that I can drive even locally though, since I lost all ability to drive for two and a half years in the early 1980's.)

This means I needed a driver to even do these speaking/singing engagements. And my friend Lynda is indeed a helper extraordinaire because her spirit is all about meeting my needs! She drives with such ease we missed our first exit on Monday because we were chatting away! She removes my power chair from our van with skill after doing it many times. (I walk in our house balancing off furniture and walls and use my cool-aids for short distances, but prefer my power chair when I speak within driving distance--instead of flying somewhere--so I am more independent. There's that "I'd rather do it myself attitude again! GRIN)

Lynda hauls into each venue all we'll need, never griping or upset by less than ideal situations. And handling my book and CD sales after I've shared my program is a breeze for Lynda while I am autographing books and speaking to people.

When we arrive at our host's house Lynda thinks nothing of meeting my every "Would you please..." with a smile or she responds "I could do that in a while when I'm going out..." Because she's secure enough to suggest alternatives I never feel I should watch out for what I am asking Lynda to do. She just shows such a spirit of service I want to hug her!

And then there were our hosts, Cathy and Rick. Without being willing to have us for THREE nights in a row I wouldn't have accepted this tour of cities. And because they were such down home people, while trying to meet our every need, we felt totally comfortable for those days. Rick was the handy-man we needed for my power chair when the mushroom hand guide got out of place and he was always ready to meet other needs and Cathy worked deliciously with my "no salt" diet and perfectly with my "no scent" sheets, keeping me in just the shape I like to be in. We've made friendships we hope to renew later. (Rick and my husband Ray are both Marines who fought in Vietnam... once a Marine always a Marine.)

At each event helpers abounded and though I have my own way of doing things I've learned to do my best to go with the flow and accept their own ways of operating--that way we are all accommodated in the ebb and flow of give and take.

Yes, there is that pull to do it all myself still within me, but oh, the joy I experience from the help of others. And the blessing they receive in return for assisting me. It's a win-win situation.

To a week of letting others help us and blessing them with the joy of meeting our needs, or having the privilege to assist them!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

It All Depends On Your Outlook

Last week I promised to share with you various responses I had to my "The Good Life" TV interview that aired the week of January 4-12 (and beyond in re-runs according to continued feedback I am getting.)

Let me begin with Teresa. She called to say she really enjoyed the program and wanted to know about my "Soar Unafraid Ministries" because she wanted to assist me in any way she can. To say I was blessed is an understatement--because Teresa is only 33 years old and she has lived in the current nursing care facility for two years and another for four years before that due to the multiple sclerosis she battles. It touched me to tears to know her situation. But Teresa wasn't griping, just stating the facts. She told me how she had just learned to transfer from her bed to wheelchair on her own that very day as she is working to become stronger and live alone again.

Teresa didn't call to bring me down with her situation. Teresa called to tell me she wanted to minister with me. PAUSE. THINK DEEPLY.

Teresa had not one hint of "poor me" in her voice. She was excited to know she could minister with me through prayer. She was excited to be able to take that big step of transferring on her own.

I vowed then and there to help Teresa in any way I could. I called Steve from CTN who had taxied me here and there because he had told me he is a pastor. Come to find out their church is in the same town as Teresa's! Next time Teresa and I spoke she was going to their church if she found a ride. Please pray with me this all works out for her. Pray she is strengthened every day.

Moving on, I received several emails and calls from others who wanted to tell their stories and they wanted a word of encouragement, which I tried to give as best I could for their individual situations that were heart-breaking. But what I heard in return was something akin to bitterness creeping into their words about wanting to be close to God. I know how very hard it is not to go there when we're hurting. My journey to keep myself from doing so is shared in my memoir Soar Unafraid: Learning to Trust No Matter What.

I heard from others like Esther who has a sad story but she came right around to her life based in her belief that God Lives, and he will lead her on as she, too, works to improve her life and situation. She, too, asked what she could do for me!

When I told Teresa during our latest conversation that I was telling people about her precious attitude and outlook she responded, "It's only Christ in me. On my own I'd be very sad." How true that is for any of us! I know it is for me in all struggles that come my way. MS is hardly the only thing I deal with. When I asked an audience before whom I spoke last Friday, "How many of you have had something unexpected happen to you in this past year?" everyone raised a hand!

I hope these differing attitudes give you some interesting things to think about. A woman who recently signed up for my newsletter wrote after receiving the Freebies that come with it: "Your list is amazing and fun......causes one to 'recalculate.'" If you'd like to recalculate your life, go to my website and sign up--it's free!

Have a great week! (I'll be speaking Monday-Thursday next week so my post will be late again...)