Sometimes We Need to be Carried

Sometimes we need to be carried. Just ask the little bird who’s hitchin’ a ride on the back of the pronghorn above—a sight we witnessed over ten years ago on our trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone.

Maybe the little guy was tired from a long flight through the mountains or possibly he wasn’t feeling well. Maybe that was the best spot in the meadow to catch a refreshing breeze. Whatever the reason, he decided to use someone else’s strength for a bit.

I wonder if any of us need to be carried today, need to use someone else’s strength for a little while. Maybe we need friends praying for us. Maybe we are overwhelmed with life right now and could use some help with certain tasks or responsibilities. Or perhaps we simply need a listening ear. I find all of this to be true from time to time in my role as caregiver right now.

Let’s not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for and accept help. Sometimes we need a little encouragement.  Sometimes we need some extra strength. And yes, sometimes we need to be carried.

“Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus.” Luke 5:18 NIV

*Do you have a burden I can help carry through prayer?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo

Run to Our Daily God

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” Psalm 68:19 NIV

Some people see God as a far-off, detached-from-their lives God. They think he’s someone they can only turn to in a crisis or call on when they’re faced with some other major need. The verse above blows that theory right out of the water, though, doesn’t it?

Yes, indeed, we have a daily God. A God who promises to bear our burdens each and every day. And the size of the burdens is not specified. Nowhere does scripture tell us we can only bring the crushing burdens to God.

In fact, the Apostle Peter tells us to cast all our cares and anxieties on the Lord because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). The Apostle Paul also instructs us to turn to the Lord for everything: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NIV)

So are we availing ourselves of the help God has for us each day, the help that scripture exhorts and encourages us to rely on? Or do we turn to him only when the big stuff hits? Our answers may be determined partly by how we see God. Do we believe he is our loving heavenly Father who cares about everything that concerns us?

I sometimes forget to call on God for help or direction when life is swirling all about me, but most of the time I take my burdens to him—even when I don’t think to do it immediately. He is my source of peace and strength and provision. I can’t imagine going through life without him as my strong tower and refuge.

Next time we’re faced with a burden, let’s not try to carry it on our own. Let’s run to our Savior and our God. Our daily God.

“Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.” Psalm 71:3 NIV

*What burdens do you try to carry on your own?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early May. Sign-up is FREE! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by Vince Alongi, Creative Commons License

Wedding Planning Advice: Give Yourself the Gift of Easy

Mother of the Bride, if you’re like I was while in wedding planning mode, you’re all about saving a dollar or two (or ten!) every chance you get, right? Your mental calculator runs non-stop, causing you to continually feel the pressure of mounting expenses. You begin to look for every way you can to save a little money. But you know what? Sometimes it’s not worth it.

My first time around the MOB block, I decided we should forgo the pre-cut tulle circles we wanted to use for making the favors—little bags of chocolate candies tied with pretty ribbon. In an attempt to save some dollars, I decided we could cut our own circles of tulle.

Big mistake. At a time when both the bride and I had more to do than we had time, we had to push ourselves even more. Yes, believe it or not, the tulle circle-cutting fairies did not show up at nighttime to cut the circles for us.

My decision to cut costs ended up costing us in other ways—in time, in stress, and in weariness. The dollars saved were definitely not worth it.

Learn from my mistake, dear MOB. Carefully weigh all the costs before making more work for yourself or the bride. Sometimes the best thing you can do is give yourself the gift of easy.

*You might also like to read A Simple Wedding Expense TipMothers of the Bride Need Prayer, and Gather Photos Early for Wedding Day Slide Show.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by FutUnBeidlCreative Commons License

Find Rest in God’s Promise of a Haven

“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” Psalm 107:29-30 NIV

Storms are inevitable part of our lives. Why? Simple—we’re not in heaven yet.

Jesus, in fact, warned us of storms. He told his disciples, “‘In this world you will have trouble.’”(John 16:33 NIV) But in that same verse he also told them that in him we may have peace and that he has already overcome the world. In other words, he promised that he is bigger than the storms that come barreling into our lives.

The words of Jesus have certainly proved true in my life. Time and again, God has stilled the storms that have assaulted me. He hushed the waves that threatened me.

Even when I felt as if I might drown not long ago while in the midst of a very private and nearly unbearable season of life, God strengthened me until the storm’s fury subsided. He held me up until he calmed the angry sea of waves around me.

And just as the Psalmist stated, after the winds and waves lost their steam, God led me to the haven I needed, a haven of peace and relief. And he has continued to surround me with peace. He’s wrapped me in comfort and led me along a path of forgiveness. He’s graciously given what I’ve needed.

But even though God has faithfully carried me through all the storms of my life and ministered to me in their aftermath, I still haven’t reached the point where I welcome them. I’m not sure any of us do.

We can reach the point, though, where we don’t fear storms so much, where we know our God is bigger. We can reach a point where we trust him in the midst of a storm. A point where we’re at rest—at rest in his promise of a haven.

“The LORD replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 NIV

*When did the Lord last lead you to a haven?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, comes out tomorrow. Sign-up is FREE! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo (Coulter Bay area of Grand Teton National Park)