Don’t carry more than you need

Remember when you could just get in the car and go anywhere?
I could take the keys, wallet, and (now phone) and go.

Then children came. All of a sudden just getting out the door required diapers, a change of clothes (in case his got soiled), another change of clothes (in case the weather changed), blankets, wet ones, toys, car seat, sun hat, sun screen….Then as they got older, I added snacks, water, maybe even a little toilet for those long trips when facilities weren’t easily accessible. The kitchen sink was the only thing I didn’t bring! Fifteen minutes was the least amount of time just to get in the car.

Going to the grocery store was a major excursion.

When we went to the snow to sled ride, there would be extra hats and mittens to remember and snow pants and boots to dig out of storage.
We’d pass cars and vans pulled off the road. Mexicans would be dressed in t-shirts, shorts and even flip-flops playing with total abandonment in the snow. Did they not know they were going to get wet, cold and miserable? How could they come so ill-prepared?
Yet after our trip, all the extra clothes, now wet from snow, must be dried and returned to storage for another time.
We were prepared. By being prepared, the boys stayed warm, could sled longer, and enjoy their time.
Nothing seemed an emergency. A diaper change wasn’t a catastrophe—because I had extra diapers, and even clothes.
By being prepared, we could enjoy our time.

Some of my “preparedness” reminds me of a children’s book. One animal was asked to go for a walk with another animal friend. Before he could leave his house, he had gathered an umbrella and mud boots in case it rained, a sun hat, sunscreen, and flip-flops in case it was sunny, a jacket in case it was cold—the list went on. He had a mound by the door that he could not carry. (That was one of my tests before marrying my husband—can he carry all my junk!)

The friend admonished him to leave behind his things and enjoy the walk.

After years of making sure I had enough water and snacks, I remember the freedom when I realized everyone could bring their own water and certainly could last until lunch without a snack.
Sometimes being too prepared hinders what you are meant to enjoy.

Isaiah 46:1b says, “The things that you carry are burdensome. A load for the weary beast.”
By over-preparing, we can think we control things.
Our things hinder us from depending upon God or even seeing Him.  
You have seen many things, but you do not observe them; Your ears are open but none hears. Isaiah 42:20.

Traveling can be a major ordeal. As we have lugged everything through airports, I’d tell myself, “Next time I won’t bring so much.” I am weighed down by stuff. 
Now, with baggage charges, it becomes expedient that one bag holds all that I need. It lightens the load. I carry less.

The things that you carry are burdensome.
Sometimes the things aren’t things.
I recently stopped drinking Pepsi. I didn’t like how it controlled me. I spent a lot of time and money making sure I had some. 
It was a burden.
Sometimes my burden is my thoughts. I dwell on my hurts. Or fixing things I have no control over. Or problems I don’t have answers.
That weigh me down.

My husband and I have been de-cluttering on a bigger scale the last year or so. Renting a dumpster helped.
Sentimental things I clung to for years. 
Keeping things for the boys, then finding they didn’t even want them.
Burdens, instead of blessings.

By purging things, the remaining things become more treasured.  
Things in storage were used or given away. 

What burdens do you hold that keep you from living the life God wants you to live?
We can’t have what God offers, because our hands are too full of stuff we won’t let go.

Abraham left his family and moved to a land he did not know. How would you prepare?
Would it take so long to gather up all your stuff that you could never leave?

“What if I need it?” plagues everything I should throw out or let go.
I doubt God’s provision.
Burdens. Not blessings.

Remember the hope chests and heavy furniture thrown off their covered wagons on the trail West?
The weight kept them from getting where they wanted to go.
Their oxen could only carry what they needed.
Their needs were more selective when their wants were focused.

Don’t carry more than you need.
Let go and Let God.
Your burden will be lifted and you will see God’s amazing provision of today.

Displaying all 2 comments

Wise words and helpful thoughts! Thank you!

You are so very right! Last year I went on a de-cluttering spree and it helped so much. Still have more to do, but my mind set changed to what can I get rid of or would benefit others, rather than what do I want to keep. Especially things in storage, which one may not see for years! Yet the true weight we too often carry is in our minds, as you said. Sometimes that is harder to give up, but we have to trust God or be overwhelmed. Thanks Sonya, always enjoy your articles.

I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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