A girl in our ward has been texting me throughout this month trying to come over and visit. Each time I was truly busy or otherwise too tired for company. I repeatedly said I would call when we could do it, could we schedule a time a little later. Finally, over the weekend when we were out of town she kept persisting that she come over. Turns out she is my visiting teacher (a fact she neglected to mention but more likely, she mentioned a few months ago and I forgot) and was trying to visit before the end of the month which was a few days away. I said, "fine come over on Tues at 10".
They were out of town and so yesterday asked if she could come over later in the day. Now, we had just gotten home from a fun but busy weekend and Madelyn was so fussy yesterday I barely had time to eat and after a few unsuccessful trips to the grocery store (M can't stand her carseat and being in the car) I resorted to living off peanut M&M's and yogurt.
"I don't have time for this!" I said to myself. "Why is she pushing this? She is so concerned about getting her visiting teaching done rather than the person she's visiting."
So I politely said we did not have time today but would be happy to schedule a visit for the next month. She replied that she was going to have dinner near us and could she please just stop by for a few minutes.
Now, you know me. I'm a nice girl. Always have been. But if someone pushes me, I back off. The walls go up and I retreat. It gets my goad and I'm more determined NOT to do what you want me to do. So at any other time I'd relent and say "yeah, the apartment is a mess but come on by." But at this point I was viciously waving the white flag and scrambling up the hill in full retreat.
I said, "I'm starting to feel really pressured now, I have no family here helping me out yada yada so please believe me when I say I don't have time. They will count it for this month since you have so valiantly tried to visit." Not the meanest thing, I'm not confrontational, but bold enough to show her I meant business, please leave me alone for a while, I'm very busy.
Today, M and I make it to Walmart and have a great shop. She starts waking up on the way to the car, just enough time for me to get us home and unloaded and she can eat.
I load us and the groceries up and try to start the car. Nothing.
It happened to Aaron a few times and he just re-closed all the doors and it started right up. Well for the next 45-60 minutes I carry M between the store to cool off and the car closing the doors and trying to start it back up again here and there. Sometimes the lights come on, other times they don't but it never turns over or makes a sound. I resort to asking strangers if they can jump us. Someone has to take pity on a girl with her 2 month old baby in the 100 degree heat. Right?!
At this Walmart, it is not uncommon for women to walk around asking for change in exchange for a lollipop or a homemade card. They come right up to your car and as your loading groceries etc beg for money.
Whether people thought I was using the "my car won't start" ruse to then open the door to ask for money or what, no one had cables in their car.
I decided I had to walk the mile or two home with M in her front pack, carrying the frozen perishables then come back for the rest later. Suddenly I get a text.
It's her. My visiting teacher I've so desperately tried to avoid.
I can help you it read.
My heart thudded and suddenly I felt GRATITUDE. Gratitude for her perseverance, willingness to fulfill her VT obligations and to not leave cranky old socially backwards me alone.
'Do you live close?' I asked
"In the community right next to you" meaning, right around the corner from Walmart!
"Can you possibly come give us a jump?" I asked.
"We're getting ready now, hang tight I'll be right there."
She and her husband and baby son come give us a jump. She holds M while I work on the car and offers me a cinnamon bear. I lied and said I liked them and took the proffered bear. It was delicious.
They followed us home to be sure we got there and I texted her, thanking her for her kindness.
She responded saying:
"I'm sorry about pressuring you I should not have done that. It is not about doing an assignment it is about being a friend and friends do not make things harder but understand that sometimes the most helpful thing to do is give space and not add to already stressful moments."
Or help buy ones groceries so they are not living on peanut M&Ms. Just joking. She couldn't know. But I was really touched.
ANYWAY, I judged someone incorrectly and tried to be a super woman not willing to accept the help offered from others. Imagine if I had sent a really scathing message to her yesterday when I was so cranky! Then I really would have had mud on my face. And M too since she is by extension my mini-me. And no one likes mud on baby's faces.
I'm happy for this lesson in that I think we'll be friends now. We have a play date set up for next week. And I had the chance to see God work through someone else to meet my needs.
GRATITUDE has been my word for the month and boy, did it really hit home right at the end here. Check.