(click title to listen)
When half spent was our night last night we were trying to soothe a screaming three year old.
How is it that these kids can seem so grown up and so baby, all at the same time? We wanted to bounce and rock him back to sleep, but he’s so heavy we could hardly do this for very long.
With the birth of each of our four children, we have a renewed sense of how good it is that they start off small, giving our arm muscles time to grow into this new exercise routine called parenting. Adoptive/foster parents of older babies have a special burden and had better weight lift as part of their preparation!
Now this boy is three. He cradles his own toys and dolls, and often wants to “hup” (help) us with dishes, sweeping, and – though it never works out quite right – he is sure that he can haul a bag of groceries. Yesterday he was quite determined to assist us in moving a large dresser up a flight of stairs. I couldn’t see him and asked where he was… “Moovin’ the dwessew!” And indeed, the dresser was wiggling as he pushed with all his might.
“Carry one another’s burdens…”
A baby doesn’t lighten your load. He increases it. A three year old doesn’t realistically help all that much. As far as we’ve experienced, a ten year old doesn’t lighten your load necessarily either.
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
As I’m navigating the daily burdens in this season in which I find myself, I’ve been playing around mentally with being less of a task master, less of a micromanager, and more accepting of the possibility that perhaps I don’t have to force our life to work out a certain way. Just perhaps God cares enough to help things fall in place as they are supposed to.
One day as I expressed to Nathan some heaviness in my soul about tracking important things to do as they came to my mind, Nathan suggested that as each thought occurred to me, I say to God, “And You can have this one too… And this one… And this one…”
It is a practice I encourage.
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you.”
Simultaneously, in this Christmas season, we are celebrating the physical burden of a child being born and the spiritual/emotional burden-lifting that said child eventually provides.
On this Christmas Eve-ning, may you sense a lightening of a burden, a lessening of a challenge, the transfer of weight from your own being onto the One who “saves us and lightens every load.”
“Lo! How a Rose E’er Blooming”
Traditional German carol, ES IST EIN ROS, which first appeared in print in 1599. Tune and text were revised by Michael Praetorius in the 16th or 17th century. (source: Psalter Hymnal Handbook via hymnary.org) This arrangement by Mark Hayes.
Lo! How a Rose e’er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming
As men of old have sung.
It came, a Flow’ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.
Isaiah ‘twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright
She bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.
This Flow’r, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness ev’rywhere.
True man, yet very God
From sin and death He saves us
And lightens ev’ry load.
This article was originally written in 2018 for Nathan and Naomi’s weekly emails that feature a song they recorded and some words about it. Both last year and this year there were many nights up with aforementioned youngest child Manny. Short for Emanuel…God with us.
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