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Monday, August 5, 2013

To Serve, To Love

I'm going to keep it real.  Ready?

I have bad days.  I have bad days, and then I have really bad days.  I have days of anger, dissatisfaction, and grief.  I have days of wanting to give my kids away at a garage sale; days of hiding in bathrooms and sobbing on toilets.  I know about gray skies, flat tires, bad hair, and dog poop on shoes.

On this blog, I talk a lot about finding joy in the every day--about seeing the good around you and celebrating the sweet moments.  I'm a proponent of joy.  I'm a major investor in the joy market.  I have joy real estate.  I have joy tattooed on my butt!  (Not really.)

But I am here to tell you...and I will be the first to tell you...that "finding the joy" can be really, really, really, really hard to do.

I have bad days.  I have days when I say, "I'm done!  I don't want the diastasis recti and the maternity belt and the gestational diabetes and the laundry and the grimy toilets and the sensory processing disorders and the language delays and the errands and the fights and the tantrums and the incessant fatigue and...and...and..."

Today was one of those days.

And while I'm being so candid, I will tell you this...  When the days are dark and my spirits are low, it is really, really, really, really hard for me to ask for help.  Isn't that silly?  And isn't that the way we are, as women?  It is difficult for us to ask for help, especially when we need it the most.

Which is precisely why God sends people to us; guardian angels disguised as kindly neighbors, wise friends, and a sweet sister-in-law.  Camille.

While hiding in the bathroom this morning, and texting her my woes, she sent the following:  "Please let me come down and bring lunch for the kids.  Let me entertain the kids in the basement while you take a nap upstairs.  Don't say no!  I already packed the Pack N' Play and foot spa in the car!  I am being so serious.  Let me come hang out today and give you a little break!  I am already loading up!  Suck it up and let me do this!"

That was how I came to spend the afternoon with Camille and my charming nieces and nephew.  The kids ate Happy Meals and played with their new Smurfs toys.  I got to squish and pinch and squeeze my deliciously chubby eleven-month-old niece.  Camille and I sat contentedly on my sofas and talked and talked.  It was heaven.

I earnestly hope we remember to take care of each other, as women in the world, as sisters in our roles.  Elaine L. Jack said, "Reach out to each other.  Hands often speak as voices can't.  A warm embrace conveys volumes.  A laugh together unites us.  A moment of sharing refreshes our souls.  We cannot always lift the burden of one who is troubled, but we can lift her so she can bear it well."  I hope we always remember to lift one another.

Camille extended an act of kindness and compassion to me by giving me her time and attention, for which I am most grateful.  She served me.  She didn't take no for an answer!  She saw my need and found a way to fulfill it. 

And I found joy again. 



  1. Awesome sister in law! and I know just what you mean about it being hard to ask for what you need!

  2. This is exactly what I needed right now.... I'm actually crying reading this. I'm exactly the same way. When it gets really, really, REALLY bad for me, I kind of fall off the planet, and no way in heck am I asking for help. Thank you for being real, and your sis in law is amazing. I'll keep you in my prayers. Hugs and Love from PA <3

  3. I heart you so much, little lady! My favorite cries are the big huge sobby kind that happen in the shower. So "cleansing"...hee! If you ever need someone to hold your hand while you get that Joy tattoo on your bum, I'll be there!

  4. You have "joy tattooed on your butt"...LOL. Thanks for being real! Visits from friends always lift my spirits too.

  5. this made me cry. i love you. and i loved this post. your sil is beautiful. and ohmygoodness, your niece...i can't take it.
    aleisha, you are so amazing...i miss you. did you know that? i loved our voice notes...i'll be getting back to yours...proably from in the bath and probably at some crazy vampire hour. you're always in my thoughts and prayers, beautiful friend! xoxox

  6. Camille is the greatest. I love her too. She has the best listening ear. Sorry to hear about your rough day. I feel like that too. I'm too afraid to ask for help when I really need it. I feel like I'm always being a burden on someone when I do need help. That's a life lesson that is sometimes hard to learn. Love you Aleisha!

  7. Oh how beautiful that God provided in your time of need. It reminds me of a post I wrote about that very thing... I want to share it with you!!

    I am SO glad I stopped by from PYHO. You are an amazingly geniunne and faithful woman!! Such a blessing to meet you. :)

  8. Isn't it fantastic that someone can take some time and just be there for you and change your whole outlook on the day. I'm glad your day turned around.

  9. Why is it so much easier to give service than take it? That's a life lesson we all must learn, I think.

    "but we can lift her so she can bear it well." That wisdom is priceless.


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