**You probably expected an “Ode to Moms’, instead you’re getting an ‘Ode to Achy Muscles’. No accident. Women, moms, aunties, grandmoms, friends – carry some heavy loads.
We, women, are often listeners, planners, workers, cleaners, healers (‘kiss it & make it better’ sound familiar?), counselors for the soul, caring ones to the needy, fixers and doers to a myriad of life’s stuff. So, to you – women who care for others in their midst – this one’s for you!…
Think back, what responsibilities have you shouldered the weight of that was beyond your strength, physically or emotionally?
Several years ago, I took on one such burden – in my case, it was two huge 10 foot by 6 foot strawberry beds on our property.
I am allergic to strawberries, and, yet, I spend hours bending over these weed prone strawberry patches – hand picking and pulling out the weeds that hide between the plants, often requiring I dig my hand shovel deep down, half a foot below the soil following the thick weed root, beneath the barely rooted, strawberries with their web of runner roots, which I must take care not to dislodge.
All this for a berry I don’t like, can’t eat, and am allergic to.
So, one day when I was particularly fed up with looking at the weeds filling these beds, I decided to get rid of ‘em.
I donned my serious garden gear (nylon pants, garden boots, thick gloves, and, even, a garden hat) and I took a sturdy shovel and I began digging below the masses of tangled strawberry plants and weeds, and throwing them, along with a substantial amount of dirt, into a large pile behind me. By the time half the plants were dug up that pile was probably four feet high, by eight feet wide.
Two days later, my left jaw was feeling rather peculiar, and I had numbness down my left arm, with some tingling in my left hand and fingers. I live on an island, and my little nurse brain started screaming …
‘Get to the mainland! You’re having a heart attack!’
I raced in my car to the ferry, called my husband with the news “I may be having a heart attack!”. “Call 911!”, was his concerned and, somewhat uncharacteristically, angry response. “I can’t have a heart attack on the island. I need mainland medical care.” You can imagine his response to that! I probably shouldn’t have called him with my ‘news’.
Anyway, I made it to my mainland walk in clinic one mile from the ferry dock, and was promptly seen by a calm physician who asked me “Have you done any excessive exercise recently?”
“Oh, yeah, I forgot about that.”
My somewhat older 53 year old body is attached to a somewhat older, 53 year old brain, which somehow…forgot about that!
An obvious aside (AKA: medical advice): 53 year old bodies that aren’t regularly exercised probably should not attempt manual removal of 120 square feet of strawberry beds. Not smart.
Sometimes in life, we all try to carry something beyond our physical or emotional limits.
Heavy stuff! Burdens, not designed for our weakened frames. Loads beyond our weight limits. Things like – carrying the worries for our childrens’ futures, or trying to manage a relational problem or work problem for our child or spouse. We try to fix things.
Taking on burdens that aren’t ours to bear. Worrying – storing up- borrowing thoughts and concerns about a circumstance beyond my control. Or, about a person, or a situation, that I can’t change.
Burden bearing. Carrying the weight of a problem. That’s what gives us our aching muscles and achy hearts.
We were not made to be burden bearers. Our bodies and our hearts can’t bear the load, it exceeds their weight limit. So, what do we do with our burdens?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
In God’s design and plan for heavy load bearing, God does the carrying – all the needed weight lifting, and, our job is trusting. To do this we must let go of our tight grip on life’s handle, let go of our ‘fix it’ buttons, our desire to control and manage our lives, and and believe that He can do all that He promises, and more.
“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”
With This in Mind, I Offer A Word of Blessing to Those Who Care for Others….
- May your load be lightened, and your heart be strengthened with grace by the Only One who knows the burdens you carry and the Only One who is strong enough and wise enough to bear your load of cares.
- May you experience His peace as you learn to let go of the outcomes, the control, the desire to fix or perfect anothers life; and, instead leave it in His lap of love.
- May you receive His grace even in your missteps or mistakes, for any harm you’ve done – He offers forgiveness and His covering.
- To those who care for others – know He cares for you – intimately, deeply, above and beyond all you can imagine. May you rest in His care, this day.