a lesson in losing the weight

Have you ever been to the point where you just feel spent? Like you have nothing left to offer? That there’s something weighing you down but you don’t know how to lose the weight?

I’m in that place.

This gnawing exhaustion crept up on me yesterday afternoon and continued into the evening.  I went through the regular motions … made dinner, picked up the house, oversaw piano practice, jammied the kids. Audrey was particularly playful and distracted during pj time and while she ran off, I laid my head down on her floor and had a conversation in my heart that went a little like this:

What is going on with me? Why do I feel so … hmmm … how do I feel?

Tired? Not exactly. I mean, I’m always up for a nap, but I’m not sure that would solve it.

Spent? Sort of. It has been a busy day, but that’s not quite it either. Hmmm…

Then a word was spoken to my heart:


The exhaustion I was feeling wasn’t just a physical tiredness. It is a heaviness of my soul.

I feel weary.

Weary because No 2 is in a back-talking phase and I don’t like it.

Weary because my two-year-old is an embarrassing disaster on errands.

Weary because she and her brother have eczema that keeps getting worse.

Weary because those few gained pounds from Maui aren’t coming off.

Weary because minutes after mopping the floors, they are dirty again.

Weary because the boys have cavities.

Weary because this great project we’re working on is taking forever to finish.

Weary because I’m a total failure when it comes to menu planning.

I hate to even admit these things because they are so insignificant in the scheme of things. A five-year-old in our community just had a brain tumor removed and here I am feeling exhausted because my floors are dirty. I am well aware that there are more pressing issues in this world to be weary about.

But I think that is precisely my problem.

There are bigger things to worry about and more important issues to talk to God about and so all of these pesky little worries just sit on my shoulders – waiting for me to fix them. They are insignificant, but when piled up, they get heavy. And burdensome. So when I just go about my days carrying these burdens, no wonder I’m feeling worn out.

I realize with all of these little problems, that when it comes down to it, I don’t have a solution for them. They are beyond my abilities, my understanding, my determination.

And I like solving things. Fixing things. Having everything smooth and fresh and peaceful.

A few days ago I popped in an old Psalty cd we haven’t listed to in a while. It’s one of my childhood favorites.

Ironically, these are the lyrics to one of the songs:

I will cast all my cares upon You.

I’ll lay all of my burdens down at your feet.

And anytime I don’t know what to do

I will cast all my cares upon You.

It is one of those elementary truths that somehow I have forgotten.

The Lord says we can and should share all of our burdens with him {which means tell him about them! Talk them through. Humble ourselves enough to recognize that we can not solve them all on our own}.

Not just the big stuff {financial pressure, brain tumors, infertility}

but the little stuff too {cavities, potty training, meal planning}.

Why He offers to take all of these burdens I will never fully understand. But I am so grateful that He gives us this promise:

The whole chapter of Isaiah 40 is great. Here is my favorite part:

We can get so busy in our day-to-day activities and there are lots of little hiccups throughout our days. Most resolve themselves, but sometimes they don’t.

Let my momentary weariness be a reminder to you to talk to God about your hiccups.

If you have worries {big or small} that you can’t handle the burden of any longer, I’m right there with you.

Don’t carry them alone.

You may not have instant answers or disappearing troubles, but I can assure you, you will have peace.

Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.

It’s truly the easiest form of weight-loss.

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168 Responses to a lesson in losing the weight

  1. Liz May 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    I have been mulling this over in my own head/heart for the past week and came across your blog for the first time tonight. Funny thing…that exact same Psalty song had popped into my head the other day as I was going through my own list of “worries”. I started singing it and well, I was just reminded of God’s goodness. Good post. I’ll be back. :-)

  2. Tami May 16, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    Amazing!!! So well put .. I plan on adding that to my reading list as a reminder thank you so much for sharing your heart and speaking such truth..

  3. Lynn S May 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    I know exactly how you feel. It is hard to remember God’s promises when we are hurting, grieving, or going through a very difficult trial but all we have to do is read the Bible and pray – He will always be there with us. Thanks for reminding me of His promise.

  4. Jenny May 18, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Don’t we all have these days, weeks, months… it’s hard “doing it all!”…One thing that might make your life easier in the meal planning dept. is emeals.com – I subscribe to the portion control menu and make 2-3 meals from it a week. My kids are 3 and under and we all eat together. the meals are healthy and balanced and most of the time easy. Hope it helps :)

  5. Karli May 18, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    Thank you, I needed to hear this. I have been feeling the same way, but I couldn’t put to words what I felt. I love reading your blog, I love how personal you get. Thank you again!

  6. Kim Rowell May 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    I read this post when I was at work and couldn’t comment then, but have thought of it often since then. I’m older than you are, and my children are older, and I can confidently tell you that your feelings are normal. I am so proud of the way you turned – to the Lord for comfort and guidance. Your maturity will get you through these feelings and times and will lead you to a fuller relationship with Him. God bless you, and may He give you all comfort and peace.

  7. Lisa May 20, 2012 at 5:45 am #

    I came upon your post the other night and I had to come back to read it again. I, too, have been feeling “tired”. But it wasn’t just “tired” and I couldn’t put my foot on it. But after reading your post, I know what it is – I am weary too! Weary of all the little burdens as you described. And although mine are different, I completely understand. Thank you for putting it into such a way that was so clear to me. Love your blog!

  8. Summer Wilda May 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    I am only just getting to emails because I understand exactly how you are feeling! Thank you for being an answer to my prayer by letting me know that I am not the only one. Also for reminding me where to place those burdens. :)

    FYI – the only thing that worked for our families eczema is a lotion by Melaleuca called Renew. Best. stuff. ever!

    Love your blog! The honesty, the cute, the just being you, and the faith you share! You are an inspiration!

  9. Susan May 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    Just found this buried in a pile of emails and I want to say, it is just poignant and beautiful. All of us have been there, are there, or on our way to there – but guaranteed every single one of us experience this. I have all adult children, but you know what? Today I am “there” because of them and the great big problems that kids YOUR age are dealing with. And the answer is the same: “Cast all our cares upon Him, because ONLY He can give us rest.” 1 Peter 5:7 Great post.

  10. Jessica May 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    Emily, thanks for this sweet post. I have a tiny piece of practical advice regarding meal planning that I share with friends who are in the same boat: it’s Everyday Food. It’s a tiny digest put together by Martha Stewart Kitchens that is really approachable and found at the grocery store (although an annual subscription is, like $13). They have great, seasonally focused recipes and also have a couple of cooking with kids features from time to time. I promise I’m not endorsed or anything, just a big fan! It’s been around for nearly ten years and I have every issue. Ok, maybe I’m a crazed fan. :)

    Thanks again for sharing this.

  11. Anne Meyers May 24, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    If your children are suffering from eczema try Celadon Road products. We make laundry detergent, lotion, cleaning products, and more that are 100% natural. Many of our products were created specifically with eczema in mind.

  12. kelley May 25, 2012 at 4:28 am #

    Truly, Emily, I am made for tragedy or celebration. Give me one or the other and my focus is back and I feel like I can do anything. But the Lord has shown me that it is in the day to day that He really carves the flesh off. It is in what some would call the mundane ,sand-in-the-shoe stuff that I am caused to bury my head in his chest. But He reminds me that everyday the sun rises at His command. Everyday. And He enables it to do it, as well as keeps the planets in the same tracks for thousands of years etc. You get the idea.
    He showed me how He treated His beloved but stiff necked people in the desert. “Set it up! make camp. Worship me. Follow the rules. Go to sleep. Wake up! Break it down. Hit the road. Set it up again.” In the day-in day-out of following Him, not knowing if they could settle in, even for a day, He taught them to be solely dependent on Him. To be prepared to follow His command and His pillar and His cloud without fail or question (though it took a long time). It is not surprising that that we too are worn down in the day-in day-out, and that it pleases Him to allow that, so we can find our moment to moment rest and joy and power to “do it again” in Him alone. Be encouraged. He is only drawing you close. And besides, you can’t be able to menu plan TOO, or we might be tempted to be jealous of you, since you’re pretty incredible already :) It’s our weakness He is strong, Praise Him for it in the moment.

  13. tina May 27, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    Beth Moore’s recent blog post may be timely for you if you’re still needing to “throw your burdens” on the Lord. If you’re short on time, skip to where she quotes Charles Spurgeon’s devotional on this scripture. It’s WORTH reading, for sure. She shares afterward: we each are invited individually to throw our burdens on the Lord & he will sustain each, according to the notes in her Bible. It’s a great post. Read it here: http://blog.lproof.org/2012/05/throw-your-burden.html

  14. genevieve June 3, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    Oh, Emily, you are so dear! I just googled “chalkboard walls” and found myself here. Imagine that! :)

    This is a very touching post. Oh, yes, how we all relate…

    I just wanted you to know (more to clear my conscience than to insist you adhere to any advice) that my children have experienced profound healing from both dental caries and severe eczema through an all round diet change (and the grace of God!) In addition to eating whole local foods etc., we added cod liver oil, pastured butter and butter oil and many new foods high in live cultures and hosts of busy probiotics. I am amazed at the correlation between stomach and skin/bones/hormones… Everything!

    You know how it is when you have good news? It’s hard not to share! :)

    What I’m not saying is that my advice is the only advice, or even the best. I just love to see the burden of chronic skin or stomach issues lifted. But I agree with you: our savior is the answer! I thank him for your example of glorifying him in your weeknesses as well as your joys. How exemplary!

    This has been “my” verse this year: 2nd Corinthians 12:9. Maybe you’ve been enjoying it too. <3 the apostle Paul!

  15. Jessica @ Dear Emmeline June 5, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    A friend shared this on Facebook and I popped over to read it. Thanks so much for sharing. I think I’ve been in this funk for the better part of the last three years (when my first was born). It is so easy when you are busy and issues seem small and minor to just dismiss them and/or try to handle them on our own. Yup, bad idea. It all just piles up and becomes so draining/overwhelming. I need to constantly remind myself that I can do all things through him who gives me strength. So wonderful to know that WE don’t have to do it all in fact he tells us to come to him and let him carry our burdens. Now I just need to get out of the way and let go of the “control” I think I have!

  16. Laurie June 5, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    This is one of the best blog posts I’ve read in a long time. What a wonderful reminder, and a beautiful way to validate the heaviness that those “little” burdens can impose. It’s good to put our issues in perspective, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the problems of others don’t negate the things that matter to you. And I do believe that God cares about what matters to us and what’s weighing on our heart. I feel so blessed that our God is big enough and strong enough to carry our heavy burdens as if they were the feathers in your lovely graphic. Thanks for this beautiful reminder of His support and for your bravery in sharing your feelings. I pray your kids eczema gets better. I suffered badly from it as a child, but have rarely been bothered by it after I reached puberty.

  17. Kathy February 14, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    I do want you to know how much I appreciate your willingness to share your–old fashioned word here–testimony. How many and how much it encourages others you most likely will never know but you are planting seeds and giving strength to others. How wonderful that you have chosen to use this method to reach out. You help me every day with your sweet spirit!


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