Helpful Burden

IMG_1407I’ve finally decided life is never boring whenever it involves myself. Lately, things have been happening that make me realize there are indeed some wierdly comical moments if only I’d pay attention. Last night, however, took the cake.

What’s been going on? “Normal” life stuff I guess. Moving a mattress like a gypsy; signing a new lease; finding my hub cap propped up on the side of a dirt road (bless you country boy;) locking myself out of my house; and driving my brother’s quirky Jeep around with a drivers door that hangs crooked and has stuffed in it my table, hope chest, childhood guitar, and other random treasures. It would be altogether gastly of me if I didn’t mention my brother drove three weeks and 35 hours with his neck crooked sideways to accommodate the table intruding into his driving space… just to bring these for me from Montana to Colorado.

Someone recently told me “Abigail, anyone who drives up to Cheyenne WY (an hour away) just to sit in a park most certainly takes advantage of the day. I don’t know many people like you.” I think I laughed out loud.

I’ve always thought of myself as a semi serious person, but would like to think I make the most of the days. Here it is, in fact, that I try all too often to cram in ten too many things for each day. Then frustration. Then realizing I’m kind of a little person with limited capacity… and then it makes more sense.

Lets back up a few weeks to the day I decided to clean house. I was preparing to move and needed to downsize stuff while at the same time realizing I had just upsized my mattress to a Queen. Time for a big girl bed. The old mattress had to go and, having some of those redneck Montana roots in me, strapped the thing onto the roof of my 2000 Toyota Camry. Just as I was about to pull out to the dump, a nagging thought told me I should check the landfill schedule. To my dismay, bold words across the front of the website indicated “restricted to 4 wheel vehicles.” Mud. I looked at my car. It would never pass for a 4 wheeler. Ugh!

Black Friday had me strapped up again, this time with even more junk in the car. As I was loading, a terrible wind kicked up. I determined to get rid of the bed, so quickly secured it with an extra rope and took off. As I pulled into the dump my heart sank. The green neon vest to greet me was in fact all too cheerful for that grim man sporting it and standing there waving me away like an intruder. Dump closed due to wind. “Are you kidding me?” I thought my face would stick in a permanent frown. Back toward the house for me. To top it off, it started raining and I felt like a half-drown gypsy slinking through town. I didn’t even care.

The next morning I really did make it to the dump. And this time with a whole lot more junk exploading in my back seat. I was so excited to actually be getting rid of this stuff, I flung it out as fast as I could. My behavior resulted in some sideways glances from the cowboys pulled in next to me. But I knew something they didn’t- third time’s the charm!

Mini reminder #1: God knew I had more junk to get rid of so it took all three tries to gather it up.

Ahhh… I actually made it to my new house, helped by some hard working, generous friends.

The setting was lovely. Country sunset, birds hanging out in my trees and the support of some of the coolest friends ever. Still, life couldn’t be that simple.

That first night, had me tucked into a lovely queen-sized bed, boxes all around me and… freezing. It was December 1st. My lease still wasn’t signed, the house cold, I had already been sick for three days, had to find Christmas presents, health insurance, a PO Box, and well frankly, plain overwhelmed. My tiny house above the garage had no separate thermostat. And so started the rounds that night of hot tea and heating up my rice bag. The next day, I asked for a heating solution and the landlord responded. Problem two solved.

Despite my rough first night, I hauled myself out of bed and up to my friend’s church across the border in Wyoming. That sermon hit me like a shower of roses in the winter. In fact, a week and a half later, I’m still talking about it.

Pastor Jeff preached on Matthew 11, “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Except he spelled out that the word “yoke,” in context, means a Rabi’s teaching or way. And “light” actually translates good and helpful. Walking with Jesus is meant to grow sweeter and make more and more sense with time because we experience an intimate teaching relationship each step of the way.  It’s not that he takes the burden away completely; but gives me His own which satisfies the craving of responsibility, relationship and tension of being ultimately too inadequate for the next burden.

As my week advanced and each day proved out of my control, I actually looked forward to my mornings and evenings of talking with Jesus about my roses and thorns. He hasn’t let me down yet.

Mini reminder #2: nothing is too small to bring to the Lord.

All of my above things to do have been solved in one way or another.

Okay let me finally tell you about “what took the cake” story. Yes, I locked myself out of my house.

My brother was on his way to pick up his fiancé at the airport. Bozeman, Montana to Denver, Colorado in record time. He hadn’t seen her in three months. I met him out at the highway to exchange vehicles- for the notorious quirky jeep. A hug and he was gone. High hopes to beat the airplane touchdown. It wasn’t until an hour later when I climbed my nineteen house steps I realized that that was about as far as I was going to get.

Both of my house keys were in the car my brother had… which was by now deep in Denver with two love birds and no thought of me or my situation. I wasn’t about to enlighten them.

Thankfully, a nice girlfriend of mine picked up the phone at 10:30pm and welcomed me over for the night. She and her roommate were such hospitable lifesavers.

The next day had me in full realization that it would be all but shy of 24 hours before I was able to go home. My situation went from shocking to comical when I discovered a temperamental jeep heater in the frosty morning, inadequate socks for the cold day, increasing angst by the crook in my neck to accommodate the table sticking into my driving space, and… two dead birds in the backseat. Yeah. My brother is a darn good hunter.

At this point, I thought it would be appropriate to cry. But I went instead and bought some warm boots; a kind of trade-off I decided.

I must wrap this up with saying the day has been full of mixed feelings.

And now, here I sit next to this fire, contemplating once again that my agendas are not always the accurate ones. I must say, God has made me more aware of how much it is okay for my attitude to be detached from my circumstance. As I walked through stores feeling a bit homeless, I was intrigued that no one else around me knew my situation. For all they knew, I woke up in my own bed, had a routine breakfast, kissed my mother goodbye and drove a Corvet into town. As I pondered this, I checked my temptation to be a grump toward my fellow shoppers. God gives us each a burden. But His is helpful to me. Learning from Him makes me grateful for today and better-equipped for the burden of tomorrow. Plus, I get to do it with friends.

Mini reminder #3: Im so glad I don’t go this way alone.

-A. Wiggins

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