Friday, July 2, 2010

Mrs. Fix-It

I am a fixer.  A peace-maker.  A problem-solver.

I am also opinionated.  I like to jump in, brainstorm, help, pull from my own experiences and dispense advice as needed.

People like me have to be careful.  

For one thing, it is easy to get wrapped up, worried, and drug-down by taking on troubles of too many.

It is also easy to offend or push away those who may not necessarily need or want help and advice.

I've found myself in a lonely boat full of unwanted help a lot lately.

I have a full two years and beyond of experience as the parent of a 'sick kid'.  I know a little about a lot when it comes to hospital stays, medical equipment, ER visits, diagnoses, and medications.  But I certainly don't have the market cornered there.  Sadly, there are hundreds of thousands of parents who have similar experiences.  And every time a family receives a diagnosis, or a child makes a first-time visit to the ER, those families begin their own personal journeys, meeting their own new friends and fellow travelers.  

I am a homeschooler.  I have a little knowledge and opinions galore on materials and methods and philosophies and beyond.  But guess what?  So does every other homeschooler.  And while it is nice to sit and visit and compare notes and exchange stories, fellow homeschooling parents don't always need or want to hear how and why I do things.

I have been married for almost 10 years.  Sure, that's nothing like 20 or 30 or 50, but I have learned a little bit in our 10 years.  Things I feel are important.  Things I would love to share with other couples.  But there isn't exactly a line of women outside my door waiting for my marriage advice.

My point is, I have been learning over and over again that people generally ought to want your help before you start handing it out.  Otherwise, you may find those around you offended, and yourself feeling rebuffed and frustrated that you don't seem to be changing anything.  Ask me how I know.  

But I have also learned this: There is one place where my help is always needed.  There is one place where I am truly the one and only expert.  You know where I am going with this, don't you?  

It is in my own home, as wife to my husband, and mother to my children.  As long as I am living, no one else can minister to them like I can.  And the more I spread myself thin trying to solve the problems of the world around me, the more I neglect those closest.  Those that need me the most.  Those that want my attention like none other.

I don't want to become so inflated and so busy trying to 'save the world,' that I neglect those that mean the world to me.

All those needs I see around me?  Until I am asked for more, the best I can and should and will do for them is to pray.  Beyond that, my time, my attention, and my efforts are best served by the beautiful people I see, and hear, and touch every day.  And that is my greatest goal.


Lisa said...

Wise words from a wise woman.

Cindy said...

Very wise, very wise. My own mother was very head strong, opininated and wanted to tell me what to do all of the time. Out of respect, I would not challenge her. I ended up being estranged from her for several years while I 'found myself'. We both learned. Even now at 80, she still prefaces her opinions to me with 'May I give some advice?'

The Lockwood Family ♥ said...


Suzanne said...

Ouch. Like, really, did you write this to me? Completely. I actually spent a day recently on the verge of crying because 2 friends that I really would love to help, don't want my help. I feel so lonely. Without friends, without mentors, without. And a different, also wise, friend talked me down and reminded me of all the same words you just wrote.