How to help

Recently, my friend Adele emailed with a great question, so I thought I'd post it here for everyone else to chime in with their own suggestions:

We have a lady in our church whose husband was just deployed to Ir*q. She has three little boys 5 and under. They are newer to our church (they moved to this area not that long ago). I was wondering what things would be really helpful or encouraging to her.

I think her parents are in the area, but I don't know about any other family. I told her yesterday to let us know if she needs anything (including a man's help with something around the house), but I know sometimes people don't feel comfortable asking.

Do you have any ideas - especially thinking of someone with boys?
Well, as far as my own {limited} experience goes, I'd say you're probably right about her being uncomfortable asking for help. I know I felt that way last time my airman was away.

The biggest help to me was our church, so you are definitely on the right track.

Many times, I would wake up/come home and the work was just done -- without asking, without warning. Mowing the lawn, weed-eating the edges, shoveling snow; I never once had to ask. It was such a blessing and a great relief, as I was too embarrassed to ask for help with what I felt I should be able to do myself.

There were also several ladies that had me over and that helped ease the loneliness. Sherry would always ask how I was doing, and I knew she genuinely cared (I knew this because she backed it up with sweets LOL); Jenny and Lindsay would alternate every week and had me over for dinner with their families; my SIL Jessica would email me to see how I was doing and offered plenty of sisterly love; my best friend and sisterchick was, of course, always available.

Point being: there were many that offered the usual "call if you need anything" platitude, but there were even more that proved their sincerity with a plan of action. I really think that is what made the difference for me.

Ask me again in a few months, and I'll let you know if I have more to add to this post...

Any suggestions you ladies have to offer?


Sherry said...

I would definitely see if you can babysit for her so she can have some relaxing time for herself or even just to be able to go grocery shopping. See if she needs some help around the house with fixing things, mowing lawn, raking leaves, etc. of whatever her husband usually does. You could also prepare a meal for her, so she can have a night off from the kitchen or just some cookies. So many say to let them know if I needed anything, but when I did call and ask they weren't behind those words not my church friends though. :D Send a card of encouragement to let them know you are praying for them. Call every week or so. Hope this helps! :D

Laura said...

Sorry, haven't been through a deployment yet, so I don't know what it's like. We've been through countless TDY's, so I would definitely suggest just watching the kids for her. That would be a huge blessing!!

Tori said...

Can't say I can relate at all and I don't really have any good ideas, but my heart goes out to her and her sacrifice for the love of country.

Hope you'll post these ideas, that'll be a great resource for anyone dealing with people in the same situation.

Have a great day!

Deborah said...

Hello...this is off topic, but please click on the kjv icon or visit my blog for new blogroll info. thanks~~~Deb

BrittLeigh said...

I just married my sweetheart on the 30th of August. Already he's gone for a 2-week training period, and we have a few more such periods to look forward to in the near future before he's deployed to Iraq for a year beginning in February. So, coming from current experience, I would say the things that help the most is to stay busy. It's so hard sometimes, because when he's away I find that the things that I have to accomplish are crossed off my list far too soon. When that happened this time, I then drove 10 hours straight to go stay with my sister and be a nanny. Staying busy and helping others is the most fulfilling thing for me.

As far as what helps the most from others.... My sister and her family's hospitality to me has been an incredible blessing. Another friend invited me over to go for a walk and spend time getting to talk and catch up. Others who are too far away to do such things have sent me emails and ecards and... while they touch me so much they make me cry and miss Andy all the more, they truly bless my heart.

Okay, so... somebody needs to start a support group for military wives :).

Thanks for sharing this post. It hits home to me a LOT.

((HUGS)) to all you military sweethearts.

Tori said...

Hey Girl,
I've just been over at your Recipezaar page and you have some really good recipes marks. I saved the Brownie recipe because it's so hard to find a good homemade brownie.

Thanks alot!!