the Motherload

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[muhth -er-lohd]: jackpot; big winnings (thank you Urban Dictionary)

Ex: Finding a cave full of rubies. Discovering a warehouse full of craft brews (that one is for you honey!). Unearthing a complete collection of ancient scriptures.

A motherload is a humongous amount of something good. And it implies the delight in the experience of finding that good something.

So, tell me. Why does my mother's load sometimes feel more like I'm buried in a human-sized pile of poopy underwear and overwhelmed in the to-do's? It's not really about the poop or the to-do's. Maybe it's more the worries and the fears? I don't know. I thought I was managing those so well. But somehow too often the stress outweighs and suffocates the joy.

How can I stop feeling buried in the one thing I always wanted? To be a mother. Why do I feel so burdened and anxious and stressed?

Simple. I have added burdens that God does not ask me to carry. I have given myself a heavy yoke of self-inflicted rules and expectations and to-do's. That's what the Pharisees did. They burdened the people with oppressive extra commands and boxes to check.

But Jesus...

Jesus longs for us:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened. And I will give rest for your souls. Take my yoke on you and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. My yoke is easy and my load is not hard to carry.”

Matthew 11:28-30

His commands are not burdensome (1 John 5). His load is not hard to carry. So, I simply must be carrying the wrong load...or trying to, at least.

Yes, I still need to change the wet bed sheets and clean up the dog puke and sweep the crumbs, again. But I have been in seasons where I did those things with a grateful, worshipful heart. So I know it's possible. If I'm tempted to blame my stress on those things, it wouldn't be honest.

The circumstances are not what's weighing me down. It's my thinking.

It's the pressure and expectations I have put on myself that aren't meant for me to carry.

So, today, I think I will begin by coming to the Lord. I'm gonna ask Him what loads are not mine to carry.

Lord, what do I need to move to my not-mine-to-do list? I've been setting my mind on stresses of politics and world grievances and the sad emptiness I see in so many countenances. I've also added on so many unreasonable expectations on the home front. Set me free. I need your gentleness, your kindness, your rest. I am deeply and dangerously tired. And I miss you.

I need your rest and I need to remember. The sweet sound of the girls giggling in the back room together. The spring breeze through the windows. The promise of green growing up in the garden. The way my littlest one rises with the hope of chocolate and cheers for it all day long, “coc-oh-let!” The way my oldest sticks her tongue out when she receives a gift. The way their curls loop around my fingers. The way the dog moon walks in the yard. The sense of eureka when they figure out a new thing. The way I get to snuggle them in for a hug. These things are my mother load. These things bring me joy and strength. Lord, thank you for each blessing. Help me set my heart on whatever is pure and beautiful. Amen.