"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, March 15, 2013

a tisket a tasket

Baskets.  I've always had an affinity for baskets and have many knocking around the house.  I love the texture of the weave.  I love the natural color.  I love that they serve a function (and a very important one in this house where we have STUFF).  I could go on but that's not where I'm going today.  Last weekend I found myself sharing with friends that I'm having a 'funny' moment in my life where my focus and ability seem impaired.  After decades of doing what needs doing and loving every minute of it I now can't seem to handle much.  I'll rephrase.  I'm handling much but I'm cruising on auto pilot.  Not the auto pilot that has you yawning and relaxing as you gently move from one place to the next but the auto pilot that is going faster than you are comfortable with and you are flying at a speed (it's still the same mph?) that leaves you dizzy when you stop.  What has this to do with baskets?  Well, in sharing with said friends I likened my load to what you can carry in a basket.  I feel tremendous guilt daily when I consider what I used to do (enjoy) when my olders were youngers.  We're only talking a couple of years ago here yet sometimes it seems forever.  Here comes the analogy.  Stick with me if you will.  :)

'Way back' in 2010 I carried a great big 'basket' filled with all the wonderful things that come with motherhood. There were family and friends, meetings, teen activities and then of course the constant whir of the younger girls.  There was planning and teaching and decorating and cooking and baking and gardening and telephoning and visiting.  I still do all of this but it used to be that it was easily balanced.  I  proudly carried my big basket everywhere with the greatest ease flexing my muscles all the while.  Over the last couple of years my basket has been shrinking.  Suddenly I find that the one I am choosing is itty-bitty.  I can only fit so many important things in my tiny basket and yet it feels... so much heavier!  Often I don't even want to carry it myself.. I want someone else to carry it for me!  This has been so strange.  So there you have it.  That's my analogy in a nutshell basket.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.    Mathew 11:28-30

Perhaps this means that some of what is in the basket doesn't need to be there at all.  Perhaps my load will be lighter when I put in only what should be in.  Perhaps I shouldn't proudly flex my muscles but allow Him to help me carry it.  I know all of this so why am I so stiff-necked?!

Blessings,  Debbie


  1. I DO follow your 'metaphor' post with great
    empathy...and very beautiful it was, too!
    I think it might be something quite common in Moms who have older/grown up kids...something to do with processing all you've been through when you were multi #tasking so much in former years? I don't know. But I do think this stage of life brings a serenity, if you let it.
    Just being there for your family is the best thing you can do...enjoy your new, slower pace!
    God blesses us at every stage with positive aspects.
    D do feel free to visit me at candlemascottage.blogspot.com, my other little faith ~ based blog. I'd love to see you there!
    Am going to follow yours, btw, which I think is lovely : )
    God bless,

  2. Debbie, I know I don't do anywhere near the things I use to do as a young[er] wife and mother, but He knows my heart. I have learned that while I don't compare myself to others, I can't compare myself to my younger self either, I am not the same. To me life is all about stages and while it's hard, I am learning to love the new me and the life I have now. I am not saying it's easy, it's not, I have spent most of my week on a couch resting as my body adjusts to issues with this aging thing,but I know I am not alone and neither are you! Love you my friend.

  3. And with it - what comes part of your basket articles - is a beautiful collection of wisdom, treasures dear, memories and things still challenging and unraveling.

    Things to be "proud" of, as it is all things to share as you show it (tell it) to the those who sit at your feet. The younger..

    The basket can't hold it ALL - only what it most dear and most important.

    love to you..

  4. I know exactly what you are talking about. Thanks for the encouraging verse.

  5. Yeah - I get it. It is funny, I had a couple of years when the girls were still in regular school where I was on auto-pilot in the way you describe...I began to wonder if I would ever find the way back to happy fullness - I have (but as you've noticed I still struggle - depression runs in my family and I think it impacts more than one imagines sometimes).

    Carry what you can and what God gives you and do not worry - we aren't to compare our burdens to others anywhooooo...

  6. Debbie, I don't know how old you are. (I'm on the verge of 50.) But I know exactly what you're describing, and I've been feeling the same sadness (not quite the right word) lately about my diminished capacity and just the SMALLNESS of my active life now, compared to ten, or even five, years ago. I used to work full time (teaching) have 4 kids at home, manage the house, be active in church and community. It was SO much. Perhaps the sheer volume of my commitments kept me going. But now I find myself scaling back, over and over. I tell myself it's the stage of my life, and shrug my shoulders and keep plodding. But it's a little sad.

  7. Such good thoughts from the others before me....I do believe in the "stages" of life. Between them lie "transitions" that are best navigated by not comparing the present with the past. Jesus said (my paraphrase of Matthew 6) to live one day at a time. Each day has enough "trouble" of its own...

    The best IS yet to come!!!!

  8. It is your age. In 7 years (from whichever time you began these feelings) you will feel much more stable! I am 55, and this started around the age of 48 for me. As small as a detail as it seems, it began with just rinsing out my bathtub...it just seemed such an effort for me to take that extra step after a bath, to rinse out the tub. I realized then, that I need to acquire more patience with myself (and others, I'm sure my family would add that..)
    Your family can gauge your changes more then you! THEN, you will start always being hot and realize you will never again need warm cozy winter sweaters!:)

  9. I think it's true - that you should only put in our baskets what SHOULD be there - not matter how 'big' or 'small' the basket may be!! And yes, let Him carry it for us!! (I need to remember this now so I can better handle it down the road!)

    Oh and those are some BEAUTIFUL baskets there!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. What a nice analogy. It is so true too. I have learned limitations. I think that is one good thing to learn. I am thankful for that verse because it does remind me of who needs to be carrying that load. If I think I am then I am of course, way out of line.
    By the way, great baskets!

  11. Debbie,

    I understand completely. I always use the plate vs platter analogy, but baskets work too. Your friend Andrea is right, we do need to be more patient with ourselves. Yesterday I was in tears from fatigue and the need to press on. In 9 days we are going to curl up on your sofa's in your living room and drink our coffee and nap :)



  12. I am often surprised at how reduced my energies are, both physical and mental. At the same time, it seems to require a new kind of energy to deal with the growing family. One metaphor I use is that of a wave: I feel as though I am riding the crest of a huge rolling wave and I don't know how to surf! Occasionally I get to rest on the sand for a day or two, but I never really recover before I am put on another wave. It's kinda fun, but definitely a new learning experience.

  13. "We" know all this, but why are "we" so stiff-necked, Debbie? Because we're so imperfect! It's so easy when things just glide along to think it's because we have the ability to be whatever - organized, talented, etc. - and maybe forget a little that God gives us these abilities. So, he takes it away and then we are reminded of what we really are. Dust and ashes. And what we are able to accomplish is due entirely to him.

    Of course, please don't think that *I* am any better at this life-thing than you are! oh no

  14. Great analogy. I know exactly how you feel. In the past couple of years, I've realized I don't want to do it all. And I can't. And there are times when I start to feel overwhelmed and think "I don't want all this responsibility." Especially at work, when there is a deadline looming. I come home and usually only can do enough to get to the next day. I don't have to carry the kids around to activities like I did before and don't know how I did it then. Some days I feel guilty that I don't do more, but then when I do too much, I get grumpy. Every day is definitely a balancing act. Have a wonderful weekend. Tammy

  15. Most women goes through what we call the change of life. It will pass and you will find your level. Pre-menopause by another name...
    It's a time when we have little control over our emotions and it strikes for no apparent reasons. The hormonal change
    and the rhythm of change in our roles as care giver when the kids grow up and leave the nest is a lot to process. It's a time when we need an understanding shoulder to lean on as it's not easy...

    Just know that you are not alone and you are not losing your mind, it will pass...

  16. I find my collection of baskets shrinking--I really need as much stuff as I used to. I don't think I can carry it all anymore either. Great post.
    thanks for your visit today.

  17. Beautiful word picture! I love that God gives each of us different baskets to carry, and sometimes we get to help each other carry those baskets :-)

  18. Been there done this, Debbie, my two cents..just go with the flow, and after a while everything will fall in place, things that I thought were utmost, just weren't anymore, God took me and my basket on another path, and it just keeps getting better and better. Great analogy!!and a great post, thanks for sharing.
    Much love, Sue

  19. I love a good basket, but I am very particular. And I know my energies and desire to do what I did when I was younger is much diminished and I am okay with that. I think I spend my time in much better ways than used to. The cute doggie in the picture made me smile.

  20. Debbie, you have hit the proverbial nail on the head...and your basket analogy is so good!

    Oh, the changes. When Ron began to feel his age a few years back, I didn't understand. I told him that he should stop talking about how old he was, as we still had a young child to raise. Then it hit me. Oops. I have had to eat my words. Diminished energy...aches and pains...frustration with not being able to keep up with everything.

    I have had to learn (actually, I continue to learn...over and over again) that God uses the different stages of our lives to accomplish different things in us and through us. I try not to feel sorry for my 11-year-old because I have less energy to do the things that I did with the older two or even the things I did with Kati (19). As a trade-off for a mother with boundless energy, Bekah has a mom who is more patient and, hopefully, wiser. So instead of bemoaning what I don't have and can't do, I try to focus on what I can, because obviously the Lord sent her to us at this time in our lives because He knew what we needed and what she would need. And that is true of us whether we have a young child at home or not. He will use us exactly where He has us!

    (Sorry to fill up your comment section...but I know exactly what you're talking about and I have so much to say! You see, I have given it some thought. And not just tonight. ~smile~ )

  21. This is such a good post! I get it but would not have been able to put it in such beautiful words. Thank you!

  22. Hi Debbie, well written! AND, our tasks and what is in those baskets do change don't they? I find that to be true as well! I KNOW I need to lighten the load in my basket...doing that is hard!

  23. What a lovely analogy. Motherhood has taught me more than every class I've ever taken put together! Relocating to New England has helped to 'clear our basket' so to speak, it has been a nice way to reset our family.

  24. It's astounding, that ever-shifting weight of our baskets - all of the subtle and obvious things that affect it. Different stages, ages, varying health, growing family, comittments, losses, gains...So very many nuances. Thank goodness you have so many different, beautiful baskets to choose from!

  25. What a great analogy! I'm still figuring out what I should put in my basket everyday. Some days it's a big basket and other days, not so big, but as long as I have a list in my basket, I'm good. It's okay to be a a different point in your life than you were a few years ago. Who knows what size basket you might be carrying in a few more years!


  26. I used to be able to shower, comb, dress and be out the door in 12 minutes. Now it takes me that long to think about the shower. The baskets shrink and so does our energy level and health. Yet the joy in living is ever increasing. So thankful for His joy!

  27. Hi Debbie! This is a thought-provoking post. I often feel guilt in my mothering journey...and sometimes I don't even know why! Lately, I've been finding it tricky to spread myself between my 11-year-old and my 1-year-old and the two in the middle. Sometimes I am in big kid mode and other times baby mode, and nobody gets a fair warning of which it's going to be that day. Oh, I do wish I would lean on Him more...I am so bull-headed and think I can do it all myself. Great post!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...