I ended yesterday’s post with a promise of a “double edition” in order to catch up. But here it is, late Monday night, and I’m barely scribbling out part 2 of yesterday’s post. My default as an entrenched people-pleaser is to seek to make everyone in my life happy, and a really effective way to do this is to meet their needs. You’ve had a new baby and need a meal? I’ll be there. You need me to watch your kids for a few hours? Sure. You’ve got a problem and need to talk it out? Call me anytime. And the thing is – I really mean it. I really do want to be able to meet the needs I see. I know how wonderful it is to receive meal after meal after meal in the stage of new babies. Many friends have given me respite along the way by providing childcare when I desperately needed some time and space away from the demands of mothering. Family and friends who listen when I’m spewing out my heart ease my burdens by bearing it alongside me.
The trouble comes when I forget my limits and I overextend what my energy, life stage, and personality has the capacity to carry. And herein lies one of the hidden blessings of finding out we were going to be having twins: we knew that we would not be able to handle it alone. My husband and I often joke that we are both so stubborn that God knew it would take two newborns at once to bring us to our knees.
This is where we went when overwhelmed with the reality of twins: to our God who bears every burden. And how did he answer? Through providing a village of family and friends who did amazing things to carry us through the difficult twin pregnancy and especially the first 4 months of having twins:
- brought us meals three times a week
- cleaned our house weekly
- arranged a “Care Calendar” to facilitate all the volunteers
- went grocery shopping for us
- shopped at Bed, Bath, & Beyond and Target for me
- assembled cribs, made curtains for the nursery, hung pictures, sorted through the baby stuff I needed (or not), washed baby clothes
- partnered with us on home rehab projects: bathroom remodeling, painting, and crown molding to name a few
- drove 3+ hours to IKEA in DC/Northern VA traffic and brought back a wardrobe for the twins’ room (I’m looking at you, Matt & Emma)
- brought lunch to me during the 10 weeks I was on bed rest (spoiler alert)
- listened, prayed, showered us with love and gifts for the babies-to-be
- showed up to rock and feed the girls while a sleep-deprived mama slept or showered or if it was a *really* productive day, went to the grocery store
The oft-quoted, “God will never give you more than you can handle!” is actually (a) not true and (b) not in the Bible at all.
God gave us much, much more than we could handle by giving us twins, precisely so that we would begin to learn to lean on the help that was surrounding us – that we’d learn to live in the “village” in which God placed us.
A crucial part of being part of a vibrant village-like community is the ability to ask for and receive help, not only the ability to give help. And for this, I am thankful for the gift of God giving us more than we could handle by gifting us with twins.
If you want to continue to follow along, subscribe to my blog or like my Facebook page “Hidden Glory” to get updates. For the month of October, I’m participating in “Write31Days” and my series is “31 Days of Parenting Twins.”