Putting Others First

My little “Mini-Me”… Oh my!  She looks like me and acts like me too. It’s actual comical.  I get her!  Totally!  I know what she thinks and why she does the things she does and how she feels and I get frustrated sometimes.  Other times, I have to laugh!  She keeps me on my toes to say the least.  She needs me!  If I’m sitting she wants on my lap.  If I’m busy she wants me to stop what I’m doing and play.  

Unfortunately, I have a hard time putting others before myself.  This most likely stems back to my mom dying when I was 17, me moving 6 times in a year and ending up owning a condo and living by myself at age 18.  I was already independent in spirit but now, now I had to be. I had to take care of myself. 

Fast forward to these days of our lives and I have a gorgeous wonderful family that’s totally from God.  Trouble is, I would find myself rolling my eyes with a quiet sigh when I had to stop what I was doing to help one of them. I truly didn’t mean to. It’s something I’m working on.  I want to take delight in them and put them first. This is my heart’s desire. 

As usual, my precious little miss has stopped me in my tracks. I’ve always said that God gave her to me to slow me down. (She’s never, ever, ever in a hurry!) 

This time, she pulled a muscle in the back of her neck. Now, at first I was concerned that she was faking.  She’s a great actress. She can cry on the spot, laugh on the spot, speak with a British accent, and is very animated.  But, after the real crocodile tears began to drop and she asked to lay in my bed, I knew this was real. The poor thing is on day 2 in my bed alternating ice and heat and pain cream.  

It’s work for me. In fact, it was a burden yesterday. She cried so much she gave me a headache. I had other things to do. I’m a busy girl!  I had to stop and stop and stop.  I had to adjust her pillow and get her food and drink and cover her up and rub cream on her neck and get her ice packs and get her a heating pad and find children’s Motrin…

It was finally bed time and… She wanted me. I wanted sleep. She wanted me. I wanted sleep.  My amazing hubby reminded me that she needed to be babied this time. She needed her mama and her daddy and we needed to give her what she needed. So, I laid in the bed until 1am wide awake because she fussed and squealed every time she rolled over or moved and she ground her teath.  I was tired. My hubby wound up on the couch. 

I realize very much, that this situation is very minor to many of you readers who have been caretakers of very sick children or family members with cancer.  Maybe you’re a nurse and you work for Hospice or you work hard taking care of wounds and wiping tears and behinds.  Maybe you care for and Medicate your child or your elderly parent at home and you’re just exhausted.  We all have a different path. Being a caretaker at any degree just isn’t easy. It’s exhausting whether for a day or a year or a lifetime. It’s putting others first and sometimes we just don’t want to do that.

Here’s what I can promise you.  The patient can feel if they’re loved or if they’re a hindurance.  The other thing I can promise you is no matter how long or to what degree your caretaking falls under, our great God finds delight in you for your service.  Let us take delight in our duty to love others and put them and their needs before our own. 

Today, I’ve only sighed with a resounding “what baby?” Once or twice rather than all day. I’ve taken the time to read to her and talk to her and lay with her.  I’ve taken delight in these moments because soon she’ll be well and she’ll be running around like normal and these moments will be gone.  Life will be normal. I’ll get sleep and the laundry will still be waiting for me, no worries there. 

I encourage you today to put others first. Even if you’re not taking care of anyone, you can chose not to cut someone off in traffic, just let them pass.  You can let someone go before you in line. You can pick up some dessert and take it to your office for everyone to share. You can buy the coffee for the guy behind you.  You can smile when you don’t feel like it and you can offer a hug to someone who needs one. 

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