There’s a game I always lose.
It’s that dreaded purse game. You know the one where you’re at some ladies event and they hand you a list of crazy insane items you get points for if you’re carrying them in your purse.
Items like…. Cell phone, wallet, gum/mint, keys. Those are easy scores… but then there are some obscure items setting the winners apart from the losers. Items like… a receipt from a year ago, a used tissue, toothpick or a curling iron!
And you think to yourself, “Who would carry all that extra weight around with them?”
But there’s some Mary Poppins kind of lady out there who wins and I wonder to myself…”Wow! She carries a lot of extra weight every day.”
If you ask the winner of the purse game why they carry so much their answers may vary.
- I just stuff it all in there and then forget it’s there.
- You never know when you’re going to need these things. “Always be prepared” is my philosophy.
- I just need a bigger purse!
I might lose at the purse game because I like my bags organized and not overloaded. But what about other areas of my life?
We carry extra weight in the areas of expectations from others, guilt, fears and even our own feelings of inadequacy or measuring up. We take on weights of activities, duties and plate spinning schedules that keep us going in circles.
- I just stuff it all in my schedule… and then forget where I’m going next.
- There are just so many things I want to do and they’re all good things.
- I just need more time!
These can be heavy weights we load ourselves down with each day. This is weight our loving God never desired for us to carry.
“Come to me, all of you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIRV)
He calls us to a place of unburdening. He invites us to come and dump out the contents of our lives before Him. He lovingly helps us sort through the extras that weigh us down… those things that make our life heavy and burdensome.
How can we unload extra weight from our lives?
- Unpack the contents – We can’t unload what we don’t know we have. Sometimes things fall to the bottom and we forget how they add extra weight because we’ve been carrying them for so long. Unpacking helps us evaluate all we are carrying. Action step: Write out the full family schedule and evaluate where all the time and energy are going.
- Sort the important – Important life goals can get lost in the shuffle of the everyday and soon get buried under the weight of the urgent. (Quiet time with God, family time, relationship building, ministry/career goals) Action step: Place the important back in the place of priority where they are easily accessible and used often.
- Get rid of what is no longer needed – After evaluating what is important, remove the extra in your life. (Those things no longer needed or what doesn’t move you closer to the important places in your life. Action step: Delegate responsibilities. Slim down the schedule by cutting out the unimportant.
- Carry only what is necessary – This takes wisdom and evaluation. What is needed for today? What is going to serve/help you accomplish the purpose laid out for you today and your goals for the future? Action step: Lay out your goals for personal, family, career/ministry and keep the focus on what is taking you closer to those goals.
We always look at summer as a “lighter time” of year. Lighter clothing, lighter schedules and lighter days. Heck, I even carry a lighter purse in the summer.
Let’s use this time to lighten the loads we carry with the steps listed above. It can make our time more effective and our lives richer and fuller.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” ~ Matthew 11:28 (The Message)
Jump right in….
- What are ways you lighten your load?
- What are things you need to unpack, delegate, or stop carrying all together?
- How are you going to lighten your load?