Hey, my friend. Welcome back to Let’s Encourage One Another.
About six weeks ago, we adopted a puppy. But here’s the deal: we weren’t necessarily planning for it, so when we brought the dog home, we had a lot of changes we needed to make.
And I’ve had to learn to ask for help when I need it. I’ve had to learn to recognize when something isn’t working and then do something to fix it.
And so I want to tell you: It’s okay to have help. Not just when you’re going through a major crisis, but all the time. We need help! And we need to be willing to find that help, to ask for that help.
Yet all too often, we feel guilty or like a failure because we do. Or maybe we feel like we are burdening others because we’re asking for what we feel is too much.
I want to help with that.
Because, my friend, getting help doesn’t always necessarily mean going to someone else in person. There are some other ways to get support you may not even think about.
Today, I’m going to give you three specific ways you can get help, and I’m going to share a bunch of examples of how I have gotten help in the past—or am getting help right now.
As I do, I want you to consider where you might need some help in this season of your life. Today, even. Are you ready?
One of the biggest things I am learning right now is that even though I am responsible for a lot of stuff, it doesn’t mean that I have to be the one to do it. I can ask someone else to get it finished for me.
This looks like asking kids to do chores around the house. Both kids have age-appropriate tasks they can do to keep our house clean and tidy. Things like helping with laundry or doing the dishes or giving the dogs baths.
But even outside of the house, I can delegate a task to someone else. You might think this only works if you’re in some sort of supervisory position, but I want you to think outside the box.
How might you let someone else handle getting a task done?
Let me give you some more examples.
First, when I was a single mom, I tried to mow grass on my own, but with a two-year-old underfoot, it was really hard! I asked around and found a student in my community who came to mow for me at a really reasonable rate.
Second, part of my volunteer work at church is posting our sermon notes on our website. This is something I plan on training my daughter to do so she can take care of it. She’ll get to learn some website skills and I still make sure it’s getting finished.
Third, this school year, I get the opportunity to have an intern working with me. I’m so excited! While I get to provide her with some training, I also get the chance to have her do some work on my behalf. She’ll help lighten my load on some things so I can focus on others.
Delegating responsibilities might look like hiring someone to come clean your house, or having your husband or a grandparent take your child to their sports practice, or letting a neighbor kid walk your dog.
It might also look like having a friend from church come and sit with your aging parent who needs care and supervision. Or asking someone from your Bible study to lead a week or two, or even to take care of the snacks or play hostess, so you can focus on leading the discussion.
It’s okay to have help. Get some of the help you need by delegating responsibilities.
Use Resources That Do the Heavy Lifting For You
A second way to have help is by finding resources that do some of the heavy lifting for you. Let me give you a few examples to show you what I mean.
I have been grabbing salad kits at the store instead of making my own salads. Why? Because it’s quick and easy. To tell you the truth, I’m not a big eater. There are times I have to remind myself to eat. So to have a salad kit I can just grab and toss together quickly saves me the time and energy it takes to come up with what to eat and then fixing it.
You could do the same thing with family meals. I know not everyone is a fan of frozen meals, but they have definitely rescued our supper a few times.
Again, this doesn’t have to be focused on meals or food prep.
Our Sunday school classes have started meeting up again after a summer break, and I teach one of the adult classes. Last year, I did a lot of prep work on my own, reading different commentaries or studies, digging into word studies, and writing my own notes to teach from.
Right now, I’ve decided that kind of prep is too much for me. So I’ve picked a commentary to serve as the foundation of my teaching. I can still add my own personal insights or questions into it, but the commentary will be doing the heavy lifting for me.
I’ve done the same thing with homeschool. With my daughter now being in middle school, she has some work she does independently while I’m working with our little guy, who is now in kindergarten. I don’t have to sit there and look over her shoulder. I made sure to choose work she could understand and do on her own. It’s simple. It’s straightforward.
Sometimes it’s something to read or a workbook page to fill out, sometimes it’s a video to watch or flashcards to review. And if she does have any questions, she can ask me when it’s her turn to sit down with me for the work we do together. I’m still overseeing her education; I’m just not doing all the work on my own.
What kind of resources can you think of that will do some of that heavy lifting for you?
A meal planning service? Automating delivery for regularly used items in your home? Using a financial software to automatically track where you’re spending your money?
Find a Resource to Teach You How to Do Something
So you can delegate responsibilities to get some help, and you can also find resources to do some of the heavy lifting for you.
Another thing you can do is to find resources to help you learn how to do something.
When I first bought my house, I wish I would have had something to teach me about things I needed to do for my home. I had no idea I needed to remove the hose from the outdoor faucet for winter, or anything about furnace filters, or scheduling maintenance for the air conditioner, or how to clean a gas stove. Instead, I often learned the hard way.
You don’t have to do that. If there’s a skill you need to learn to care for your home or car, you could find some videos or a coach or someone to walk you through all of that.
If you’ve just been diagnosed with a medical condition, you could hire a health coach or nutritionist or physical therapist to help you understand how to better take care of yourself.
Sometimes, it’s good to ask a friend. “Hey, you’re a really good gardener, and I want to plant a vegetable garden this year. Can you give me some pointers?”
Maybe you’re a new Bible study teacher. You felt that nudge from God and you raised your hand to volunteer. But you’ve never taught the Bible before to other people. Maybe you find a book that walks you through some basic steps, or you listen to a podcast that focuses on Bible study or leading a small group.
When we did our nature study last year for homeschool, we focused on identifying different types of flowers. But you know what? I didn’t know different types of flowers any more than my daughter did.
So I got some nature study videos from someone who knows about flowers and my daughter and I watched them together. The lady showed us a flower, then showed us the different parts of it and what characterized it as being part of a certain flower family. I learned a lot from her—and her love for nature was so contagious!
What Kind of Help Do You Need Right Now?
So there are three ideas for getting the help you need in this season of your life.
- Delegate some of your responsibilities.
- Use resources to do some of the heavy lifting for you.
- Use resources to teach you how to do something.
Take a moment and ask yourself, “Where am I feeling overwhelmed or stressed? Which one of these three might be a good fit for helping with that?”
And then—here’s the hard part—get the help!
Ask someone to teach you how to do something.
Order that Bible study or book.
Make a chore chart so everyone at home knows what they can be doing to help.
Sign up for a class.
Hire a coach.
Automate that grocery order.
What is it for you? I’d love to hear. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and remember, my name is spelled K-A-R-I. Tell me what help you need and what you plan to do to get it.
And if you’d like help learning how to write about past hurt, grief, or trauma, I hope you won’t hesitate to reach out to me or join the Journal Gently program. That is one area I feel really passionate about, and I want to help as many women as possible give their hurt to Jesus and let Him start to bring some healing and joy back into their lives. You can learn more at lovedoesthat.org/journalgently.
Okay, my friend, that is all for today. Until next time, let’s encourage one another.
- Episode 11: How to Ask for Help When You Need It
- Episode 60: When Seasons Change and You Have to Make Adjustments
- Episode 103: 6 Strategies to Manage Overwhelm, Stress, and Change
Learn more and register for Journal Gently, an 8-week program designed to help you use writing as a way to process hurt, grief, and trauma with God.