Saturday, December 3, 2011

Getting Our Feet Wet

What happens when women start bible study bonding and boot camping together? Well...we went from Superman/Bananas and Supergirl Planks in the early a.m. to Super Church Lady Disaster Controllers by night. One of our lovely ladies got her car stuck in a huge mud pit in "the parking lot" (it's really the large front yard of a house) Wednesday night and all during the study I could see her worrying about it as I was trying to figure out if I could give her a ride to her place and still make it home in time to tuck the kids in as promised.

Eventually our time together was over and after our final prayer I heard our leader say, "So let's go try to get that car moved". Whhhhaaatt? Wait a minute, what did she say? I don't have any galoshes or a change of clothes with me, but hey! (after a second of contemplation) I'm up for it. I wasn't sure about everyone else though. Would anyone be too concerned about ruining their shoes or not have faith we could get the job done? We had just finished talking about "getting our feet wet" during bible study...but muddy can be a different story... and I wondered who would participate and who might stand back and watch this muddy mayhem.

I was amazed as I saw everyone head on out, not a worry about shoes in their minds, and stomp right into that mud puddle and start pushing...and pushing...and pushing. With tires spinning and mud flying, women grunting with scrunched up faces and then laughing at the fun of being a bunch of dirty church girls (with new boot camping muscles), we got that stranded car right on out of that puddle. OK, fine...Pastor Brad jumped in at the last minute and helped us a bit. But what I took away from this tiny moment in time is something that I think I will be reflecting on for some days to come. My initial reaction was - I'm going to ruin my shoes...and I wonder about that. How many times in the past have I had a reaction (often my first instinct is to say "no") and chose to not participate in something, not say a nice word to a stranger, not help because I have places to be and then missed out on not only a fun memory, but being a blessing to someone else.

My shoes did get soaked through and through with mud, I did miss putting the kids to bed, and I keep finding remnants of my muddy escapades all through my house. Every time I see a smear of mud on a light switch or dirty brown droplets on the floor, I smile...because those 5 minutes were over way too fast. It was one of the highlights of my week. Women, new friends really, working together in a mud pit and giggling and having fun over something that started out as a dread. We turned it around.

That's the lesson I learned this week. Don't let fear make your first instinct be no. Don't let dread keep you from opportunities to help others. Don't be afraid... step out into the water and get your feet wet - and then watch the amazing things that can happen.

I know I've missed out on probably millions of opportunities to turn a single moment into something better.
How about you? Have you had a moment recently where you decided to offer the compliment to a stranger even though you felt silly doing so? Helped in a situation when you really didn't have time to help and really didn't feel like doing it?...Or have you done something nice without letting anyone know it was you who did it?

I love to hear these kinds of stories. Share with me! How did it turn out?


Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Last night as I waited for the older man at the Red Box seem to grown frustrated with the system, I thought about the waiting kids, the errands, the morning's car issues for a moment before excusing myself and skipping ahead to ask if he needed help. He smiled and apologized for taking so long but he simply didn't know how to use the machine.
And no one closer (who might have heard him) offered assistance. I wondered why.
He was so grateful. I'm sure he had been embarassed to admit that he didn't understand the machine. He thanked me for helping him and we parted ways.
I wondered if he repaid the kindness and even more I wonder if the people who stood and watched have had the opportunity to choice to help instead of simply standing by?!!
So great that you all jumped in without concern for yourselves and helped!

Mike said...

What a great story! I love helping random strangers and always stop on the trail if someone needs help changing a flat, needs directions, etc. Last summer when it was about 100 degrees, I came across a couple walking about a mile from any houses and they were out of water. I refilled their water bottle with mine and was on my way.

Julie said...

I love your story! You have an amazing way of writing and from what I can tell you are more then willing to jump in and help all the time. You are an amzing person!

ajh said...

I try to offer help when I see that it is needed and I do make a point of giving compliments. I'm not very good at receiving them though.

Katie @ Will Race for Carbs said...

That is a great story. I think moments like that are what make life great. Those unexpected times we often dread somehow turn out to be the ones we cherish the most. Love that you called yourselves "dirty church girls." Don't hear that everyday!

Kate said...

What an awesome story, Julie, on so many levels. Isn't it funny how we learn something in study and then get called on right away to put it into practice? God is a good teacher. :)

My son and I ran into some kids biking on the trail on a super hot day, and they didn't have any water, so I gave them my extra water bottle. I'd want someone else looking out for my kids in that situation. I'm pretty big on giving other people compliments, too. Not always so much on stepping out and offering assistance...I guess maybe I'm afraid of offending someone? Kind of silly, I guess.

Nikki Kendall said...

I really like this post...very wise

Lisa said...

great story!

Terzah said...

I love your story! And the picture--LOL. I hope your little girl feels better soon and you get some SLEEP.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

What a great story, thanks for sharing