Since college God has been teaching me the massive blessing that comes with asking for help. So far during my adult life I have found the one of the best ways to strengthen relationships with others is to trust people enough to ask for help. Usually many people would like to help, to be apart of your life in a deeper way, but are waiting for that invite. Times in my life when I have been most lonely I have neglected to ask for or accept help.
God created us to need each other. He created us to rely on each other, and to be used by Him to be the answer to each other prayers. Offering to help and helping draws us into this part of God's plan for us. However often we do not know that we need help, or we don't want to be a burden so we don't ask. Rarely others think to offer because we assume that if that person needed help they would ask for it.
Since moving to Cambodia asking for help is pretty much the only reason we have friends. I mean how would you make friends if you didn't ask people for help? It is such a huge blessing!!! As we have asked, God has planted seeds of friendships that I hope last a very, very long time. I had to ask people for help with everything, and even now if I think I might know I still ask people, because I love the relational part of asking. The joy we all get from helping each other find something or seeing another succeed in what they are trying to do.
When I first thought about this blog post months ago, I was overwhelmed by the joy in asking for help. I had just left a friends' who had been teaching me to make better tortillas, and another friend had taken my girls for the morning. The tortillas were delicious and the time spent with that friend was even better, the girls had a fabulous morning with a new auntie, and enjoyed the change in our routine. I had a fun chat with our tuk tuk driver, and just loved how all these relationships came from asking people to help me with something I couldn't do on my own. This is a huge theme for me in my life. I have found that when I invite people to help me with something it deepens our relationship, it brings people and myself into deeper community.
I see moms on Facebook struggling with their kids, trying to do it all. I even see others offer help to the mom sturggling, and she turns it down. Why? Because we think we have to do it all. We don't. I often feel like I need to do it all too, but there has been so much joy for me asking for help and offering to help. You were never intended to do this life alone. God created us for community. For community to help in the raising of our children, to help make food that is a family favorite while living in a foreign land. We were created to share each other's burdens, if you are hiding those burdens no one can share them.
Sometimes asking for help is actually taking someone up on a dinner invitation, and listening or being listened to. Sometimes it is looking for anyone to help share the mom/wife/homeschool/human load with. Sometimes it is offering to help someone else because you need the deeper relationship and connection. Sometimes it is asking our spouse for help. (Yes sometimes we even try to hide it from them. Why?)
Living here in Cambodia I have found that asking for help builds huge bridges with my Cambodian friends and neighbors. Cambodians seem to like to help. Especially when I am out and about with my girls. I get to have more conversations with people, I get more advice on parenting here in Cambodia, I get relationships. The market is a favorite activity for the girls and me most weeks, and we have built some fun relationships, many from asking for help with my Khmer, or helping with their English, others from asking for help for how to pick good fruit I am not familiar with.
Chris and I actually make a point now to think of someone we could ask. God has blessed us with many friends here in Cambodia, and I can't help but think that some of them are from putting ourselves out there to ask for help, and being will to help when others need it.
Love the people in front of you. :) Love them enough to ask for help, and enough to offer help when you think they could use it. Who knows what kind of friendship could be waiting for you. :)
|Saturday morning coffee date, at a coffee shop we love, that a friend recommended.|
|Amirah the pizza chef at playgroup also recommended by people we asked for help from.|
|The other date picture. Amirah likes this one better.|
|The adorable Layla playing quietly during quiet time. Making this post possible.|