By Kandis Joubert
“UGH! I can’t do it!” Every time I hear my 4-year-old daughter claim this over herself, the coach in me dies a little inside. Why can’t she just ask me for help and see that it CAN be done? Then God reminds me of His humor in that the apple never falls far from the tree. This is probably how I make Him feel on the daily, as I try to rely on my own strength for too much, and then end up disappointed. So, every time my child says she can’t, I remind her to instead say, “I need help.” And man, is this a message for mamas.
Maybe you can relate to some of the thoughts I admittedly let creep into my own mind, and what God says about them:
- “I got it. I’m fine. I can handle this on my own.”
- Asking for help doesn’t mean we failed or that we can’t. It simply means we’re swallowing our pride to acknowledge that God ideally created us with a need for help. (Genesis 2:18)
- “I don’t want to be perceived as weak.”
- We all have weaknesses. We all have limits. We will fail sometimes. Nonetheless, God is strong, He is capable, and He loves to help us. As His children, we were not created to do it all and be completely self-sufficient, so refusing to acknowledge our weaknesses is counterproductive. Sometimes we must press into Jesus and receive His grace. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
- “I don’t want to be a burden to others by asking for help.”
- Good news: We all have different strengths, and I believe this is how God keeps us in communion with one another. Asking for help can actually bless others, because it gives those with the spiritual gifts of helping the opportunity to use their gifts for God’s glory. (Galatians 6:2)
Personally, I like to be busy. I thrive on structure, schedules, lists, accountability, and the need for time management. However, I’ve had to also acknowledge my limits and boundaries so that I can continue to be productive, and not tip the scale in the opposite direction of self-sabotage.
Since my dad passed away a little over a year ago, my mom stays with us on weekends to spend time with her family, and of course, her granddaughter. While she’s with us, she’s helping. For a while I kept telling her to stop doing my laundry and cleaning everything and just sit down and relax because she was giving me palpitations. “I don’t have you come over to do my housework, Mom. I got it.”
But God reminded me that helping is her gift. She helps and serves better than anyone I know, and she finds joy in it. So, instead of beating myself up over not getting to the laundry I needed to fold after working 50 or 60–hour weeks between my office across town, training clients in my home gym, and my late-night catch–up work on my laptop and studying, while sleeping what hours I still can, I let her help. God has her available to help us in this season for a purpose, and it gives me more quality time with my family on weekends, to be a mom myself.
If you’re a mom, you know there’s no hood like motherhood. While it can be exhausting, messy, frustrating, challenging, and downright terrifying, God calls it a high and important calling. (Psalm 127:3) However, too many of us try to wear our burnout as a badge of honor. “Busy” is almost as common a response as “fine” regarding how we’re doing. For too many of us, it’s like a default setting to isolate, pretend everything’s fine, and then explode at some inopportune time, when it would be so much easier to just ask for help.
So, here’s your confirmation if you needed it: It is okay to ask for help. It is okay to let people help you. And it is okay to spend time on yourself to better yourself, to ultimately fulfill your high and important calling as someone’s mom. And if your calling is to help, we so appreciate you.
Happy Mother’s Day.