Don't you just love this picture? My sister took it at my kids' birthday party last year and it has stuck with me. When I see it, there's just something that says to me, "We're going to make this happen by doing it together."
Isn't that so like life? I read this amazing post over at Momastery today (see here) and it went straight to my heart. Women helping women. Women being warriors for the people around us who need a little help. I love that image.
A few months after I'd had Linc, there was a day when Sara (my sister) came over to see me. She walked in and asked how I was doing. I half-smiled and said, "Okay." Then I started shaking and crying because I really wasn't okay. She hugged me and said, "Go upstairs. I've got this." So I went upstairs and Sara washed my dishes and watched my kids. She probably didn't realize it at the time, but she was my warrior that day. Sometimes that's what it looks like. Yesterday I went shopping for skirts and blouses and can openers and skillets for a single mom and her daughter, both of whom are visually impaired. Because that's what that mom needs from me. Not so much really. Just something to say, like that picture above, "We're going to make this happen by doing it together."
All we can do is help where we can. We can only help within the scope of what we have. But we can look around outside our immediate picture (or even within it) and see where someone needs us to be their warrior. Like that day when I was overwhelmed, it might just mean a hug and much-needed break. Or it might mean helping out another mom who needs you to care about her.
Women coming alongside other women and caring. I love that. I want to be willing. When I think of the kind of woman I want to be, I don't think about someone who's super fashion conscious or who wears name-brand clothes. I think of what Ash will see when she looks at me--and then I have a clear picture of what's important to me. (Lincoln too, but I'm talking about as a woman here and how I want my daughter to see me.) I think it's hard for girls today. Our society puts expectations on us regarding how we should look and what should matter to us. But for those of us who are moms, especially, we have to have a healthy understanding of who we are and what really matters, so we can pass that on to those beautiful girls watching us.
Be willing. Be observant. Be a woman of substance. When my daughter was born (and also when my son was born), I had friends give me boxes of clothing that their kids had outgrown. Those other moms probably don't even realize how much that blessed me, but gosh, it did so much. I didn't have any family living near me. But someone cared enough to share what they had with me. It means a lot. After I had Linc, my cousin sent me a little jacket that her son had outgrown. Linc wears it every day and that gift made me so feel cared for. I grew up going to a very small church where everyone knew everyone and we were more like family. And we met each other's needs in practical ways. Like the time our washer and dryer went out and the church provided new ones. Or the time we moved and probably every member of the church was at our house helping. Have you ever moved and had to scramble to find people to help? Those can be tough days. Jeff always tells me that you know who your friends are the day you have to move.
Life looks different for me and my own family now. But I believe in creating community where you are. You know why this is a good thing? Because when I'm weak and can't reach out (and I have definitely had those days), those relationships around me are in tune enough to reach for me and help me. But when I'm strong, I want to be that woman who's willing to reach out and help her sister warriors.
Like the picture above, I want to have a heart that leads me by saying, "We can make this happen together."