I travel in a pretty repetitive circle as a stay-at-home mom: the school, the preschool, church, grocery stores and lately, the dentist and orthodontist. In the last forty-eight hours, I’ve hit every one of those places (except for the orthodontist, but he’s in the same building as the dentist, so that totally counts). There’s an almost palpable tension in the air and I wouldn’t call it excitement. And it’s a far cry from anything I’d label as ‘joy’.
No. It’s the slump of a woman’s shoulders, as she stares at her smartphone … her furrowed brow as she pushes her overloaded cart through the crowded store aisles… her frown as she undoubtedly ponders how she’ll pull it all off this week. While the magazines in the waiting room counsel me on how to have a ‘perfect’ Thanksgiving, followed closely by a Norman Rockwell-like Christmas extravaganza that my family will talk about for years to come, I felt the pressure to live up to these ridiculous expectations intensify.
Overwhelmed before I’d barely even started my day, I transported the first-born from the dentist to school, came home and fixed a second cup of coffee and settled on the couch to watch a few minutes of the Today show. Hoda and Kathie Lee were listing the destinations most traveled to this week as people made an effort to escape their families.
Perhaps they were joking. Even Kathie Lee noted that this was the time of year that we should be thankful for our family and the many blessings in our lives. Why were people jetting off to exotic climates and sunny locales instead of gathering with people that were supposed to mean the most to them?
A friend prayed for the needs of our congregation yesterday at church, noting that this week we, as messy sinners, would gather with other messy sinners and that would undoubtedly lead to struggles and conflict. I get it. We’re a broken, fallen people trying to make our way in this crazy, hectic, complicated season.
Determined to procrastinate my to-do list yet a little longer, I surfed through my Facebook news feed and finished my coffee. There was the usual amusing quotes, adorable pictures, funny tidbits, etc. But the heartache was real and plainly shared, too. The struggles and challenges many in my life are facing seem heavy, too heavy to carry alone.
Then I saw this verse, posted by my husband. I was so touched by this encouraging word from Isaiah. In fact, I loved it so much, I paired it with a beautiful picture and blasted it all over social media. The word of the Lord is timeless, applicable in any season and meant to draw our focus back to him.
I hope, in the midst of your Thanksgiving preparations, your coming and going, and even in your burden-bearing, that you these words lighten your load just a bit.
Photo credit: Tony Shertila via Compfight and image design made possible by Canva.