Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Healthy Dose of Humble Pie

I find myself truly humbled tonight at the goodness of people, and what's funny about that is that I thought I already knew how good people could be. But I. was. wrong. Today's sampling of the pure kindness of those I know has left me feeling overwhelmed with gratitude. (I also knew I'd get back to being grateful!)

I had a few errands to run this morning (read: returning maternity shirt that DID NOT fit) and when I returned home, there was a message on my machine from the amazing Catherine (who I'd link but she's private.) Anyhoo, the message said that she'd been thinking of me and wanted to bring me dinner tonight. And like all good over-achievers, my instinct was to immediately call her and tell her that while I appreciated her offer, I was fine. But when I made the call, I found myself saying "why yes, that would be lovely." And she said that she appreciated that I didn't put up a fight because she was going to do it anyway and this made the whole thing so much nicer.

After our call, I headed to a friend's house who made the most yummy lunch of all time, and when I returned home again, I had another message, this time from Rochelle. (See previous post.) And her message was all clever and sneaky and said "Hey Karen, I'm stopping by your house around 4:45 and wanted to make sure you'd be home. Thanks!"

Now, I may not be the smartest tool in the shed but even I understood that one.

I immediately called Rochelle back and told her that it felt completely insane to be receiving service from her and she basically said "well, too bad." So I told her that I completely appreciated her efforts but that I was already being spoiled by Catherine for the evening. And she said, "well, now you have dinner for tomorrow." And she hung up.

Here's the thing: I think I'm pretty decent at lending a helping hand. No, scratch that. I'm pretty decent at offering to lend a helping hand. But how often do I just show up, good deed already done, to lighten the load of somebody else? Both of these women have tremendously busy lives and have recently faced trials that I can't even comprehend. But at the end of the day, they realized that they could help me and so they did it. End of story. It was such a powerful lesson to me. I know that I have offered help to both of them before, but have I actually done anything to really help them? And while an offer of help is wonderful, actual help is so much more, well, helpful.

This isn't said to make everyone who has offered me help over the past few weeks feel silly. I am among the luckiest in that I know I can call on a huge support system if and when I need it. But this was so powerful to me and I'm so thankful for the lesson.

In the words of Hannah, once this baby has "been borned," my goal is to seek out ways to help others and to just do it. No asking, no offering, just find a need and fill it. Their generosity touched me deeply and I can't wait to give that to others.

Rochelle and Catherine, my cup runneth over.
I cannot thank you enough.

(And I'll be calling you both for some recipes. My children were in Heaven!)


Tharker said...

Such a beautiful lesson from two beautiful women.

I too am really good at offering to help, but need to be better at just doing it.

I am so happy that these two wonderful women took such great care of you tonight.

Sara said...

It is wonderful when people can just listen to their instincts and the spirit and find ways to serve others. What an amazing blessing these two women are. I to am trying to be better at not just offering help but also doing something.

lindsay>boo said...

Rochelle and Catherine are absolutely amazing! I don't think they even realize how great they are and how many people they've affected. They've been such huge examples to me and I feel like I am constantly learning from them.

Jan said...

Two solid examples in your life of what true compassion is. What a blessing. I love how their example has rubbed off on you to desire to do better. I know that you are already, but I love people who inspire us. I have a friend that I just have to think about, and just the thought of her, makes me want to be better. Glad you treasure them.

Marilyn said...

Karen, thanks for sharing this. I think there are a few lessons in this that I will learn from. Thanks.

Sarah said...

That's a lesson I need to learn, following through on offers to help. I really do mean them when I'm offering, but you know excuses come up or life just gets busy. But you're right, if we just see a need and fill it, that's what counts.

Kelly said...

That is AWESOME! It's easy to forget that even the smallest gesture to help someone can brighten their mood and make their day. Those ladies seem like amazing individuals and I'm envious of your strong support group and frienships!

Movie Queen said...

I so need to be better at this. I'm the same way. I offer--and I absolutely mean it--but I am such a chicken at just doing it. I have this ridiculous fear that it won't be wanted or people will think I'm weird. I know. Ridiculous. Thanks for this post. It's just what I needed to get over my worries and just DO IT!