This past weekend, Scott and I spent a day in the city. It was fun and very special. Not just because of the things we did, but because of the things we learned, together.
Scott surprised me with an afternoon pottery class. As you may know by now, I’m spending more time these days doing things with my hands and my imagination. Such as writing, sewing, cooking, home making, etc. So, of course, I was more than thrilled to reenact the Demi Moore/Patrick Swayze pottery scene and make some beautiful pottery pieces with my husband!
First off, little did I know, but making pottery is so unbelievably difficult! I am either left or right handed in any given activity. So, whenever I try something for the first time, I need to figure out which hand to use.
Our experience with the pottery wheel went NOTHING like the movie. It was more like… “Wait a minute…how do I? “What am I doing wrong?” “This hurts my hands” “Why can’t I get this one to…” “What the?” “Oh man, is that gonna come out of my jeans?” “How did THAT happen?” “I hate this.” “Why did you take me here?”
Just before I was ready to give up, I decided to just ask the teacher for a little extra help.
When she first came over to my wheel she looked at my piece of ART (which apparently looked more like a piece of crap…literally.) She said, “Oh. Ok. Uh, well that’s just…ok, interesting.”
I decided to spare her the gracious approach. “It’s ok. You don’t need to do that. I realize it’s awful. Can you help me?”
She was extremely patient and helpful. We experimented with the wheel, turning it both clockwise and counterclockwise until I felt comfortable learning which hand to use. As a result, I was able to master one semi-lopsided bowl. Not bad, after five attempts, anyway.
It was worth asking for help.
Later that day, Scott took me to a Malaysian restaurant. I had never eaten Malaysian food before. Our server was very kind and helpful. I asked for his advice on what to order. It paid off, because we LOVED everything he suggested. After he showed an interest in our opinion of the food, I decided to ask more about it…
“So, are you Malaysian?” (Ok, stop laughing at me.)
“I have never eaten Malaysian food before.” Trying to come off intelligent. “I could taste the curry and the coconut flavors. So, are these flavors, particularly, what make Malaysian food unique from other Asian cuisine?”
“Oh. Wow. And, um…is Malaysia near India?” (Here is when Scott cocked his head to the side as if to say, “Really Rach?”
“Ooops. I know. It’s closer to Thailand. I remember!”
“I was only asking because I was curious about the curry….” (Pause…. pause…) “Malaysian food tastes to me like Indian and Asian together.”
“Sure. But, curry is not just a spice in India.”
“Ah, yes. I see.”
Ok, here I did feel a little more like an airhead in asking my questions. However, I genuinely believe our server appreciated my interest.
Our last stop was at the Philadelphia Home Show at the Convention Center. Here you can visit hundreds of displays and venders for everything pertaining to House and Home…and more, actually. There was one booth, an Amish Display, in which 3 gentlemen were showcasing beautifully made modular sheds and garages. Scott struck up a conversation regarding a potential garage for The House on High Street. When I was able to get a word in, I asked them a few questions about being Amish. (No, I didn’t ask if they were friends with Vanilla Ice.) Ijust asked a few questions about what it is like to live each day without computers and TV. I was curious. And, they were so interesting!
Looking back on our day in the city, it was these few encounters with people in which I ASKED questions that made the day more meaningful…spontaneous…and fun!
For most of my life, I was afraid to ask. For help. For answers. For clarity. For understanding. For support. For something I needed. I’m not sure exactly, why. But, I seriously did forego opportunities to ask…more often than ASKING!
I have a feeling I am not alone in this. Why are we afraid to ask?
Perhaps, we were once embarrassed at school by our teacher upon asking a stupid question. Maybe we are just naturally inhibited upon exposing our underbelly…our weakness…our dependency…our ignorance. It certainly doesn’t feel good when you ask for something and you are turned down, rejected, laughed at, or ignored.
Are you afraid to ask? Like asking your supervisor for better clarification on a project…Or, asking your boss for some much-needed flexibility…How about asking your spouse or loved one to explain why there is distance between the two of you…Maybe you need to ask someone to help you understand more about something…more about…them? Or, maybe there is something from your past that to this day, you still seek answers…
I believe if we care about ourselves and if we care about others…we can choose to ASK.
- When someone says something sarcastic or vague…I ASK, “What do you mean by that?”
- When someone offers information about something personal, I ASK a question or two to indicate that I am interested in learning about them.
- When Scott becomes indifferent, I ASK him to share what is on his mind.
- If I meet someone from a different culture, background, faith, profession…whatever…I ASK questions so that I can broaden my understanding of the world around me.
- When I am lost, confused, or just stuck… I ASK for help.
- In scenarios in which someone shares information that I may not agree with, I will ask questions to better understand this person’s position.
- When someone asks or expects something from me, I ASK for clarity. Questions like, “What did you have in mind? How many hours do you need me for? What kind of outcome do you have in mind?
I ask people questions in order to improve my relationships and my impact in the world around me. But, I don’t just ask PEOPLE…
Sometimes, I ASK God.
* I ask Him why my body literally wages war with the mechanism of a normal female reproductive cycle.
* I ask Him what plan He has for me since I am not a mom.
* I ask Him for strength.
* I ask Him for forgiveness.
* I ask Him for help.
* I ask Him for understanding in why I suffer and struggle sometimes.
* I ask Him for understanding in why my loved ones suffer and struggle sometimes.
I get most of my questions answered in God’s word. Jesus promises in Luke 11:10, For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
God’s ultimate objective, is for you to know Him and spend eternity with Him. You can find the most important answers in God’s Word.
As far as the day-to-day trials and tribulations in this world, I certainly don’t have the answers. In fact, just today, I was ASKING God to remind me WHY I am often so run-down, tired, and feeling physically sick. I was quickly reminded of how easy it is to write…even when I am tired. It comes easily for me (this kind of writing, anyway)…it feels like I am just talking to a friend.
LE Woman is my platform to share how God is working in my life in spite of my circumstances. I believe this is God’s plan for me, right now. I absolutely LOVE sharing my heart, my experiences, my imperfections, my humor, my air headed-ness, my spiritual journey, my unpredictable life…The House on High Street. I may not have it all figured out…but I will KEEP ASKING.
Life is hard…but it is so much better if and when WE ASK. Try it.