Hard to Ask

I knew there would be hard days to blog on this topic this month. I’m blogging about Bringing Balance Amongst the Boxes as a widowed mom of four kids moved into a new home with new routines and new challenges. But when I started a week ago, I was feeling optimistic. I imagined most of the posts would focus on organizing and juggling schedules as I tried to make this house a home. Most will be.

But I also wanted to be transparent. And this has not been a good couple of days.

Whether caused by our cloudy skies or the fact that one of my children is struggling, my emotions are raw. As I tried to shake the melancholy, I came to a realization: it’s getting harder to ask for help.

The catalyst for that realization was a microwave. My realtors had convinced me to leave my old one with my old house. Upon moving in, I was unsure of whether to buy an over-the-stove one or a counter one. My friend Kellie lent me one until I could decide. It’s been a six weeks. I need to buy one.

My friend Jenny sells them. I texted her and discovered a fantastic sale was this week. I asked her what installation costs were–$150. Gulp. I’d hoped to spend around that on the microwave. My heart sank a bit—Kraig could have installed it. But I do not know enough about electrical wiring to even try. There goes the extra counter space, I thought.

Jenny texted, “Do you know anyone who could install it for you?”

That question took me a while to answer. Yes, I could think of about four guys in the periphery of my life who might have this skill. But they are husbands and fathers with their own “honey-do” lists and busy lives of juggling work and home. The thought of asking them made me feel small. I have received so much help already. At what point do I become, “My needy friend Jenn” to the people in my life?

I arrived at Bible study with my small group and shared this concern with Amanda. She told me she understood—it must be hard to ask for help now, so long from his death. Chelsea and Kottie agreed. It was kind. No one suggested that I should stop asking. There was only understanding and thoughtful looks as they tried to think of who could help.

I left Bible study and came home to sew, resigned to a counter top microwave. And then God stepped in. Isn’t it always amazing when that happens?

I received a call from the owner of the company my realtors worked for. I had answered her “tell us how we did” letter with a two-page, detailed letter of my own. I was honest that my realtors did not do an exemplary job. They had done mediocre at best and terrible at times. She was mortified. The fact that she called spoke to her character. She asked for more details and apologized several times. She offered to refund a small fee I had paid her office and expressed her frustration she couldn’t do more.

Then she asked how my new home was going. I told her it was going good. For some reason, I shared that I was having the normal homeowner problems like getting a new microwave installed. I told her it was more costly than I planned but that’s part of being a homeowner—unexpected things like that. She offered to pay to have it installed. I cried.

God keeps taking care of things for me when I can’t figure out how to care for them myself. Sometimes He gives me inspiration on how to do it, sometimes friends step up, and sometimes, like this, help comes from unexpected places.

The skies are still overcast and my mood still low. Now I can attribute that to not knowing how to help one of my kids. But I have seen once again God dancing into my journey. I bought a microwave today. It will be installed next week and I can give Kellie’s back and reclaim some of my counter.

I will continue to wrestle with how to become a DIYer in my new home. I will continue to put one foot in front of the other even when it is hard. I will wrestle with how and when to ask for help because I cannot do this alone. I don’t think it’s an accident that I keep encountering Tenth Avenue North’s new song, “No Man is an Island.” I pray God helps me have courage when I need to ask and wisdom when I need to figure it out.


3 thoughts on “Hard to Ask

  1. Linda Caroline says:

    thank you for this encouragement. I’m also a widow mom of 4 kids & moved my kids cross country to live closer to their Dad’s family. I had so much expectations of “offered” help, but I usually have to ask & it’s just not the same. I had struggles like cleaning the leaves out of the gutter in fall. I thought when my brother in law did their house, he’d offer to do mine. And it’s so humbling to have to ask. Of course, when I did, they were glad to help. But it’s just not the same as when they give without the asking…. sigh… I’m right there with you & I get it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Linda, good for you keeping the connection with their Dad’s family. I know how hard that can be without him there anymore. Let me encourage you to find a good church home and make connections that can support you there too. James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress….” May God provide when you just don’t know how. PS – I forgot to add, I’m so sorry for your loss.

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