THE FIRST TIME I SAW THIS WOMAN,
WHAT IS SHE CARRYING IN HER BEAUTIFUL CARPET BAG?
Soft jingling silver spoons.
Words on paper with her swirling handwriting.
Pictures reminding her of those who traveled before her, to give her strength for her own steps.
Pieces from the landscape she left behind. She left so much behind.
The longer I look at the woman and her bag, the less it matters that I know what she is carrying.
It’s the strength she carries in her face that stops me dead in my tracks.
Bright. Authentic. Beautiful. Just like her bag.
At this very moment in this painting, she arrives.
Can you imagine this woman’s grit? Her elegance? Her strength to move the mountains before her?
We all have those mountains, right?
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we’re asked to carry certain things to move the work of the kingdom forward.
We hear a lot about hastening the work, right? Does this weigh heavy on your heart? Think no more of carrying this heaviness.
Let me give you 3 things to carry along your sojourn that will lighten your load, starting today:
- Carry a journal. Take a journal to church. Look for symbols and images of God’s love every day. The shade of a beautiful tree. A quiet front porch. Getting yogurt with a friend you can trust. Sharing your heart with a sister. These simple things are worthy of putting in your journal. Is your heart lonely? You’ll never be lonely with words as your traveling companion. Words will fill you up and lift your heart. Is your summer boring? Go buy a journal. Get some fun markers. Grab some washi tape. Find some fun images to paste on the pages. Don’t just record “Here’s what I did today…..” Let the journal carry the things you’re learning. The big things, medium things, and the small things. Let the journal carry your doubts, as well as your beliefs. Put the questions you have for God on the pages. Let the journal carry the quotes you love. Being a teenager can get messy at times, so remember, your journal is not about the product but about the process. Exploration is messy. Don’t worry about spelling and grammar. Just let the pages unfold your heart.
- Carry the Spirit. Here’s something to try. Just try it once this week. As you kneel in morning prayer, tell heaven about your “desire” to have His Spirit to be with you. This will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. It works. It really works. If heaven hears your “desire” and plea, heaven will stay close by and accompany you throughout your day. All of this goes back to your baptismal covenants. Reach back and remember so you can have His Spirit to be with you.
- Carry Faith. On Sunday, I heard a young woman tell her story about leaving her teenage life to serve in the mission field with her parents who were called to be Mission Presidents. She ached to be back home with her friends until she realized the Lord wanted her to do more than endure. She carries this quote in her heart about faith. “Faith is the art of holding on to things in spite of your changing moods and circumstances.” –C.S. Lewis
I stand in great reverence for the faith women of Jesus Christ carry. The one thing we have in common is that we’re all doing our best and we’re constantly looking up for ways to carry His light.
How about if I give you something to write about in your new journal (wink wink)? Here it is:
WHAT THINGS ARE YOU CARRYING?
WHAT IS CARRYING YOU?
Knot the thread to your story by letting your pen carry you.
Write it. Pray it. Ponder it. Share it.
Give it 10 minutes on a page.
Write it to remember. That’s why we write—To remember what we’ve learned along this sacred sojourn we’re all traveling.
I’m excited to do more journaling with you at the RubyGirl Retreat.
**Art by Minerva Teichert “Pioneers”