My friend Rosalyn doesn’t know I’m writing about this today, but she did something for Jamie and me almost two years ago that I’ll always remember.
We moved to Arizona in March of 2014 when Hadley was four months old, and shortly after our move I found myself struggling in every sense of the word. I missed my family (who used to only be 2.5 hours away), I missed my friends, and I missed the life we’d grown so proud of in Tennessee. I was feeling less than motivated to plug into our new town knowing that we were only going to live there for six months, so to say that I was lonely would be an understatement. Looking back, I’ve never struggled so hard with an adjustment as I did with our move to Arizona.
Rosalyn is a friend that I graduated high school with that also temporarily lived in our new city, and though she and I hadn’t spoken in eight years, we quickly made plans to get together and catch up. She casually mentioned several times that she loved babies and would be more than happy to babysit so that Jamie and I could have a date night, and though I knew her intentions were genuine, I never found the motivation to take her up on her offer. I had only left Hadley a handful of times, so planning time away from her wasn’t something I was eager to do.
One random Thursday I got a text from Rosalyn asking if she and her husband could come over to my house at 5:30 p.m. the next day to watch Hadley so that Jamie and I could go on a little Friday night dinner date. Without thinking twice, I said yes, because she made it so easy to do so. She not only offered to come to my house, but she offered an exact date and exact time. She took the guesswork out of it for me and made it very clear by making a specific offer that we wouldn’t be inconveniencing her and her husband in any way.
My closest family and friends know that I often have a very hard time asking others for favors or accepting their acts of kindness, so the odds are high that I never would have asked Rosalyn to inconvenience herself and give up her Friday night to watch my baby, even though she’d thrown the general offer out there more than once.
Friday rolled around, and Rosalyn offered to come over a little early so that I could have alone time to do my hair and makeup. We ordered pizza for them, and Jamie and I were out the door for one the best dates nights we’ve had since we became parents. She texted me pictures the whole time we were gone, and by 9 p.m. we were more than ready to get home to our baby. She was such a happy girl, and we knew that she was so well cared for.
What Rosalyn and her husband did for us that night may not have been any big deal for them, but it was for us. She had no idea that I was struggling so hard with all of the change in my life, and time away with Jamie was exactly what I didn’t know I needed.
We’ve all said the phrase “Please let me know if there’s anything I can do” to our family and friends during a difficult time, but Rosalyn indirectly taught me that it can be so much more meaningful to offer an act of service that’s much more specific.
I’ve since had other friends and family members make similarly very intentional offers to help us out in times of need, and I feel like I’ve noticed them much more and perhaps even taken them up on their offers more frequently because I don’t feel like I’m being as much of a burden if an act of service is someone else’s idea.
I believe there are a limitless number of ways to be more intentional with our acts of service for others. From bringing meals, to offering childcare, to spending quality time with a visit, the list goes on and on.
1.) Tell me about a time that someone did an intentional act of service for you! I’d love to get a great list of examples going.