I grew up hearing women say, “I’m plumb give out.”
Their grammar was flawed, but their meaning was clear.
These women were tired.
Mostly, they were tired from giving, so “give out” was an appropriate description of how they felt.
The women in my young world gave a lot.
They gave shampoos and birthday parties.
They gave advice. They gave benefit suppers and bridal showers.
They gave spankings and pats on the back.
They gave medicine to kids who pasted both hands over their mouths and planted their faces in couch cushions.
They gave spit baths to kids heading off to school.
They gave a care and a flying flip. They gave a hoot.
They gave manicures and pedicures to kids who curled their fingers and wrinkled their toes.
They gave lectures and shoelace-tying lessons.
They gave answers to endless questions.
They gave birth.
Women gave their word and never went back on it.
They gave instructions that were often ignored.
They gave stern looks and warm smiles.
They gave homework help and hot breakfasts.
They gave rides and gave permission.
Women gave hugs and kisses and warm hand squeezes.
They gave comfort, confidence, and courage.
They gave in, but they never gave up.
From the time they woke up to the time they went to sleep, they were called upon to give.
Is it any wonder they were plumb give out?
Women in today’s world still give.
And their giving involves more than the use of their heads and their hands. It engages their hearts.
In every act of giving, a woman gives away part of herself.
The tiredness that results is more than physical exhaustion. It is soul-deep and felt with every breath.
I can’t speak for every woman.
But I speak for many.
If you have a giving woman in your life, offer her these things: rest, aloneness, some time when no demands are made on her.
Give her a chance to be herself by herself.
Allow her to commune with God and become whole again.
Giving is her life, but she can’t give if she is plumb give out.