It's nothing personal, I'm sure your friends are very nice too. In fact, until yesterday I might not have been willing to make the claim that we, in fact, have the nicest friends out there, but where I was already pretty certain, I am now sure.
See, being our friend can be a bit risky. Our nearest family is at least 10 hours away so unless the inevitable crisis's of life happen to fall on one of the 4 weeks each year when we have family in town, one of our friends is probably going to get a phone call.
For instance, if I wake up in the middle of the night with the stomach flu when my husband is away for a week, you might get a phone call that goes something like this:
Me: "Can you keep your phone by your bed, that way, in case I'm too sick to care for my child I can call you, potentially expose you (and your whole family) to this bug and let you care for my child while I go to the doctor? Thanks." Friendship with us = risk. And if I really like you, you might get this call more than once (lucky you Lindsay!)
Other help our friends have heaped on us have included: A couple (Vince and Trudi!) who raked every leaf from our gigantic maple tree while we were in FL for six months (that's about 30 mega lawn bags full, btw), a neighbor (Jay!) who plowed our driveway that entire time (even if it was just an inch of snow because he wanted the house to look "lived in"), friends who rocked my colicky baby so I could get a break (Both Jen's and Lindsay again!), neighbors who loan their truck every time we need to haul something home from lowes, and men from church who helped us get our home ready (in a way that involved carpentry skills!) for a now-mobile baby when we returned from FL.
I'm sure I am missing some big things and that list doesn't even include all the random acts of kindness like bringing in our mail for us or taking our garbage cans up the driveway just in case we weren't home or handing us a hunk of salmon from a fishing recent fishing trip.
Many of these people volunteered to do these things, not because they are close friends, but because they want to be Christ's hands and feet in this world and over the past two years, our family has needed a lot of helping hands and people willing to step out. We could not be more thankful.
Yesterday though, I was once again overwhelmed by the willingness of others to give. Imagine this (if you can).
Friends of ours had offered to give us a load of manure from their farm to fill our recently built garden bed. We could even transport it in their farm truck, we just needed to load it, haul it and unload it. With my pain issues, I knew I wasn't going to be much help, but it was a big job and I felt like my husband could really use a helping hand. He couldn't bring himself to ask for help shoveling manure though, but was fine with me doing so : )
So I decided to call our friends Chris and Maureen. Chris will probably forever regret telling us he grew up on a farm. Here's a synopsis of the day:
Me: "Hey Maureen, so I know you and I have been wanting to catch up, so I was wondering if you were free this afternoon and *cough* couldChrishelpDavidshovelmanure *cough* while we hang out?
Maureen: "Sure we'll be right over."
Me: "Really? Wow, thank you, thank you, thank you."
Chris (to David, as they were on their way): "We were just trying to figure out what to do with our afternoon when you called! It's such a nice day, I wanted to spend some time outside."
David: "This is your idea of how to spend a nice day outdoors?"
Chris (after all the manure was shoveled): That was great, I feel so productive!"
Me: "Have a warm brownie...after you wash your hands..."
You read that correctly, not only did our friends come over, on short notice, to help up move poop, they got a brownie in return. Nicest. Friends. Ever. However, if you think you can beat that story, I'd love to hear it : )