On Not Tying Up Heavy Burdens

The cheerful mother and chipper daughter who had started out the morning on a Costco run were no where to be found.  We were both tired.  I think Audrey was teething, and I had a horrible sore throat.  We were in that awful hungry-but-not-quite-lunchtime zone.

To make things worse, Whole Foods did not have the two items I had stopped, specifically, to buy.  Audrey was confused about why I had told her she was going to walk, when instead I ended up carrying her and pushing her in the cart.

As I strapped her in her car seat for the third time that morning she began to fuss, ever so slightly.  I don’t remember what exactly went down, but I was far from patient.  I’m pretty sure I snapped at her to stop crying.  I just didn’t want to deal with her tears.

In the midst of the frustration this verse came to mind:

“They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.” (Matthew 23:4)

As you will remember, these words were Jesus’ description of the Pharisees, but in that moment in the Whole Foods parking lot, I think they were for me too.

Why did I require obedience in a little thing (“stop fussing!”) when instead compassion was needed?  Had I already forgotten how just a few minutes before my little two-year-old had told me she wanted to go home to Boston?  Why did I have no understanding for her fatigue, her sore teeth, and her emotional confusion?  Why did I tie up a heavy burden of obedience on her little back, without lifting a finger to help?

I know why: because I’m a sinful mother desperately in need of the grace of the Spirit to lovingly parent my little girl.  Because I need (and have!) a Savior who doesn’t tie up needless burdens on my back.  When He calls me to obey, He gives me the strength to do it.  May I give the same grace to my little girl.

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4 thoughts on “On Not Tying Up Heavy Burdens

  1. Thank you for sharing what God placed on your heart!! I know exactly how you feel and I have those times with Mae too! She is a wonderful joy but I sometimes have to take a time out and tend to her needs even during times of frustration. I needed to hear this! You are a wonderful and honest mom and I am glad to have your encouragement! It’s an answer to prayer!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, April! Yes, I think that one of the hardest things about being a mom is trying to keep meeting needs even when your emotions are frustrated. Blessings to you today!

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