Friday, November 18, 2011

Who is Carrying Your Load?

I was on my afternoon wog (walk/jog) when I passed the bus stop. Elementary kids hopped off the bus to waiting moms. It seems there was an unwritten rule; hand mom the backpack and she’ll carry the load home. Whether the families headed to a car or were walking up the street, moms and children were doing the “hand off”.

Being the momma of four, I spent many moments being a pack mule. It all begins when we have babies. These tiny creatures need “stuff” that they aren’t equipped to carry so we load up the diaper bags. I see young mommies juggling carrier seats and other necessities which are later exchanged for toy totes, school bags and sports bags. As kids grow their loads get bigger, and by high school their backpacks are stuffed with heavy books and projects. Mothering during the teen years might not mean we're physically carrying their loads but we often do it mentally.

Have you been hauling around a bunch of stuff? (And I’m not just talking about diapers, sippy cups and lunch bags…) It starts innocently at the nursery drop-off and continues through the school years. You notice that other moms seem to have it more “together”. She didn’t forget the change of clothes and extra pacifier. Her child isn’t clingy and doesn’t struggle in reading. We start questioning whether or not we are doing a good job at this mothering thing. We want our kids to be the cutest, the brightest, the one who recites all their ABC’s. We compare... Our loads start feeling heavier.

As mommas, we’re required to carry our own loads most of the time. We strain and huff and puff and wish our Mommas were there to reach over and grab our “stuff”.

We don’t have to do this parenting thing on our own. We can hand over our “stuff” to the one who created us and let Him share what we’re carrying. He knows our children and our situation and equips us with the strength we need to handle each day. He loves us just the way we are and reminds us to love our little ones unconditionally too.

I’ve really wanted a massage lately. When I’m stressed I feel the tension building in my lower back and shoulders and my husband isn’t here to rub out my knots. I hear the news about my daughter’s friends getting their college acceptance letters while we wait. I imagine being back in Illinois this winter without my dear friends. I wake up during the night with way too many things on my mind and can’t get back to sleep.

In Matthew 11:28
Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

I prepare to do the “ hand off” and set my backpack of burdens at the feet of the cross. I breathe. I pray. I remember I’m not carrying this alone.

Lessons Learned:
I really should start lifting weights, it’s good to be married to a muscular guy with manners (very handy at the airport) and God will gladly carry our heavy stuff without even a groan…

How about you? Are you doing the “hand off”?

In His Grip, Jane

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