Tag Archive: burden


V*A*C*A*T*I*O*N!!!!!!

Sunset on the beach

Sunset on the beach

Vacation.  That word conjures up a myriad of feelings, memories, and emotional responses for many of us like no other word in the English language, or any other language for that matter, I suppose.  Most of us take vacations after laboring for a period of time at a variety of different jobs, careers, or personal endeavors and at a point at which we think we can no longer stand the pressure of the daily grind, we manage to break away for awhile to enjoy time to ourselves.

Usually, vacations connote a time of rest, relaxation, travel, perhaps to exotic and  little known places, a time to acquaint ourselves with some of the wonders of the world in which we live.  Snorkeling in some fabulous ocean waters in the Caribbean, sitting on the beach sipping your favorite liquid while watching the sun set off in the distance.  Or, maybe slipping, sliding, skiing down the slopes of a snowy mountain is more your style.  Then, of course, there’s always hiking, sky diving, hot air ballooning, camping and a whole array of other vacation options one might indulge in.

We spend much time in the planning of our various journeys, saving money, applying for credit cards (which, if they are used, often means we’ll spend the next three years to pay them off!), purchasing clothes appropriate for our trip, and maybe even buying new and upgraded luggage to carry it all.

Or, maybe we travel to local places, spend time with family and friends we haven’t seen in a long time.  But for those of us who don’t have the funds or the desire to travel, staying at home is one of the best ways to “vacay”.  We often relax, work on projects around our homes, go out to eat, go shopping, or take care of things we just don’t have time or opportunity to take care of during the week after week after month after month merry-go-round that we are on the rest of the year.

Yup, that's how I feel!

Yup, that’s how I feel!

And this is where I find myself today.  The older I get, the more I value my times of vacation, wishing I could stay home permanently.  Oh, I know it probably would get boring after awhile, and, knowing me, I am better off to be around people.  But, truth be told, I am a hermit I think, deep down inside anyway, and being at home, enjoying doing much of nothing, is very appealing.  Oh, of course there is always laundry, housework, dishes to wash, etc., but it would be nice to enjoy months or years off with nothing that absolutely requires my attention for 8 to 10 hours every single day.

Maybe this is a “senior” moment I’m having or just a build up of something that’s been going on for years, but I sometimes wonder if I’m the only one who feels this way.  I haven’t worked too many years, well, maybe 30 something, but I think because of circumstances beyond my control years ago, I was thrust into the work environment and maybe now I want to go back to where I feel I should have been to begin with?  Home.  Hmmm….something to ponder.  Then again, maybe I’m just feeling it’s time for a change?

What I do know is that God has my back, He knows who I am, how I got to this point and He has a plan for every day of my life.  He is good, faithful and full of mercy.  When I am tired, exhausted in spirit, soul and body, or lazy and don’t want to continue, He gives me strength and desire to do what He’s called me to do, whatever that might be.  But in the meantime, this week, He’s given me some time to rest and relax, and for that I am very, very grateful.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest.  [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]  Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.  For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.  Matthew 11:28-30  Amplified Version

This question will probably find its way to my roommate’s tombstone one day — per his request, comedian that he is — but in the meantime it serves to ask you, my readers, if you’ve ever felt like you’ve had the weight of the world on your head and shoulders? If so, how did it get there and why do you let it stay?

Do your problems feel like a pile of rocks on your head?

Oftentimes we don’t even realize that we have this heavy burden on us until we are so weighed down with guilt, feelings of responsibility, concern, emotional involvement, etc. that our health and mental stability are in jeopardy. By the time we become aware our health is suffering, we are so involved in the problem and so sure there is no way out, that the weight becomes heavier and heavier till we snap and experience a nervous breakdown of sorts.  All too often, this scenario is where self-medicating with drugs, legal or illegal, and alcohol comes into play for some people.  Or, if we are truly fortunate, we finally realize we cannot handle the situation all on our own and we courageously seek help, either thru counseling, prayer, or other resources.

How did the problem get this bad? For me, it started innocently enough. I was trying to help my daughter and her family start over. Without involving too many specifics, let’s just say that for the first few years, life in my chaotic world wasn’t too bad and we all got along pretty well. By all, I mean all nineof us…in my small three bedroom house. But that aside, within a reasonably short period of time, it became obvious that the kids were getting bigger, needing more space and freedom to have friends over, etc. and personalities were not as willing to work together as in the beginning. Mine included.  I must admit that I bare part of the responsibility for the strife and tension during those years.

Tension and strife take a toll on your health!

We all began to feel the tension too, but I was holding on hoping things would work out so that we’d all be one happy family. As time and circumstances drug on, I felt more and more taken advantage of, but still could not open my mouth to calmly state my position without getting hostility from them. The older the kids got, the less respect they had for me and, to be quite honest, the feeling was mutual.

I dearly love all of them, but for a period of time, I really didn’t like any of them at all. The guilt I felt was enormous, and the anger (it’s not like me to be angry) that I felt inside was absolutely amazing to me. I was thinking things, well, you don’t want to know what I was thinking and it’s not uplifting to repeat those things!! But, let’s just say I was not myself.

I finally realized I was becoming emotionally compromised and I needed help to cope with this situation. In the nick of time, a dear friend of mine called me, out of the blue.  Although we have not talked since this time, her phone call saved my emotional life!  She sensed that my family was “sucking” the life out of me and I needed to make some changes in order to find myself again. Well, it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but I needed to hear it!

It still took several months to really feel confident in my decision to make those changes, which involved my family finally moving out on their own, but once those changes were made, I began to come back to myself. The weight began to lift, the guilt, sense of responsibility for the success of my family, all of that slowly was removed from me. And, the best part, my peace returned. There is nothing in this world that can compare to God’s peace. Once you know it, you don’t ever want to lose it!  Believe me.

Although I am really sorry things within my family turned into a “black hole” for awhile, God has a way of turning even the worst looking scenarios into something that will give Him the Glory!  As I continue to submit to His Word and His Will, I know that He’ll bring us all into that “due time” where He can exalt us.

1 Peter 5 has a lot of good info about how we’re supposed to act, but in verses 6 and 7 it says:  “Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”   The Amplified Version  (underlining mine, for emphasis)

How peaceful is this?

I would encourage you to read the whole chapter, but this gets across the idea that you can have confidence in the Lord with all of life’s issues because He’s your loving Daddy and He has your best interest at heart.  He will take care of you!

So, if you’ve got a rock, or a pile of rocks, sitting on your head,  and you think there’s no way out of your mess, trust Him and determine to make some changes in your life.  Recognize your part in the problem, repent (or turn around and go the other direction), and trust God to see you through till the end!  You’ll be surprised how peaceful you’ll feel!

 

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