Helping hands

Letting someone help you isn't always easy, nor is it always helpful, but it's definitely essential, not only for you, but for them. In the same way that children must learn to take care of themselves through trial and error (even if their clean up work makes your clean up harder), likewise when you accept help, you may actually give someone joy in serving; they receive an opportunity to shine and grow their strengths in ways they wouldn't otherwise be able to do.
I recently watched my friends two children for just over an hour, to give her a little break. While it wasn't a ton of help on paper, I definitely loved being able to be the one giving help rather than always receiving it. Plus, we you always try to do everything yourself, it is easy to get a big head.
During our recent ten-day trip to Texas, I was constantly on call with my kids. Being on the road had its ups and downs, but by the last few days, I was starting to feel pretty good about my ability to travel with little ones. We had unpacked and re-packed six different times by day seven. We even stayed in one hotel for just an hour nap when we found out a larger space was available across the street (in which case I didn't let any child under the covers to avoid the cleaning fee). The kids were pros at sleeping now!

One morning I had all three kids quietly eating by themselves in a hotel breakfast area without any high chairs! I was able to go get my coffee around the corner and come back to sweet obedience. But it goes without saying, "pride comes before a fall," and in my case, it was a literal fall. When I attempted the same strategy the next morning, something inside my gut told me to take Levi with me. He was a little too fidgety, and Silas was a little too interested in the lobby television that morning. No sooner had I grabbed my paper cup around the corner that a bloodcurdling scream echoed throughout the entire hotel. Little Levi had fallen out of his chair and decided to make the biggest scene on the planet. He was absolutely fine, both physically and emotionally, but I, on the other hand, was embarrassed beyond belief. I had just been asked by a man and his wife if I needed any help to which I politely responded, "Oh I'm fine, I'm used to this." It was that same man and his wife who ran to save my middle child. Talk about a punch to the gut. I just wish it had been me that had fallen instead of little Levi.
There's no shame in accepting help, even if you don't think you need it. Sometimes it is simply for your own humility sake, or the sake of your children's.
We were able to take some vacation time before Matthew's conference and stopped by a few of our favorite reality television locations:

While these pit stops meant nothing to the kids, I was in hog heaven. Plus, it's no coincidence that The Magnolia Silos was also discussing the topic of "confidence." As Joanna Gaines explained, "we're not talking about the strut-your-bikini-on-the-beach variety. We're diving deep into a quiet kind of confidence that allows us to live our lives bravely, unfettered by popular opinion or nagging fears." In her recent journal, she opened up about a time she was unable to perform all her daily responsibilities because of a back injury, and at this particular time, she realized that when she stepped back and let others do the problem solving, "[they] came alive as they were given space and encouragement to really go after it without [her] standing over their shoulder." This is another real reason to let go of control and let others help. There are always times when we have to step up and do ALL the work ourselves, so when a time comes when someone wants to take something out of your hands, as long as that something isn't what brings you to life, let them. It may very well help them discover a strength they never knew they possessed.
All in all, it was a great trip. I just wished I'd been able to get some pictures of the boys with their cousins, but a little bug on my nephew's part kept us apart quite a bit.

Whenever this happened for more than five minutes...

This happened.

A pit stop in Memphis meant Roman got to meet my BFF's new baby boy, John.

Papa came out from San Diego to see all his grandsons in one place!

After being grandpa doctor for one nephew, he took his other ones to their first baseball game!

Since Papa is a baseball player himself, this meant the world to him!

The Frisco Texas Rough Riders had a great stadium!

Thanks to Aunt Nicole, we got to stay in Fort Worth and see these awesome "Water Gardens."

And splash grounds!

Fountains were a little too much for little Levi, so he stuck the the rock area. 

Forth Worth cattle run was a favorite stop!

And when daddy had to work, we just looked for acorns and sewer drains. I love boys!

This sweet face was a sweet traveler! He's changing daily!
So thankful we could travel, but so thankful for a home to come back to at the end of it!

~Helpful Buster