Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Burden Bearers

Last night I had trouble falling asleep. All day yesterday I had trouble turning my brain off. You see, I have this theory. {You might think I'm crazy}

My theory is that people can be burden bearers. It may sound strange, but I'll try to explain. Some people can hear about something tragic, or hear about someone suffering and they feel bad for the situation/person, but then go about their day. Then there are some people who can spend time with someone who is suffering and walk away feeling as though they left a little piece of their heart with the person suffering.

For the burden bearer it can almost feel as if the piece of heart that you left behind with the sufferer is then replaced with a piece of their burden. You carry it away with you. You feel the sadness deep within you.

I am a burden bearer. My heart breaks for people.

There have been two or three times in my life that I have actually prayed to bear part of someones burden. I don't do that often, because I take it seriously. It's not pretty to share in suffering. It's not fun.

Is this my gift? My superpower? Really? Over-sensitivity?

I've had this thought going through my mind since school let out- "summer of service". Ok, in my mind it actually looks more like #summerofservice. As soon as school was done I started making a running list. There were a few things I needed to take care of at home, and I wanted to do something for others at least a couple of times a week. I wanted my kids to realize that the world does not revolve around them. Life is more than serving yourself. Some of the things on my list were simply a service to my husband, things that he wouldn't have to do after working all day in the heat of summer.

I degreased our grill, and let me tell you, that doesn't sound like much, but it was disgusting! I don't think we'd ever cleaned off the outside of it.

I mowed our crazy-big yard so that he wouldn't have to be in the sun any longer than he needed to.

I drove 40 minutes out of town to drop off a work proposal at a customer's house when he didn't have time.

My mother-in-law also made the list. I painted her dresser that she got from her parents house. I went back another day to hang all of her wall decorations up that have been down since her house got remodeled LAST YEAR! (oops!) Last week I took the kids to her work and we were going to switch out cars with her and take hers to pay and get her oil changed for her (but she wasn't at work yet).

Yesterday was the hardest. I took the kids shopping for food, snacks, flowers, dinners for a dear family that we love. They've just suffered one of their worst nightmares.

It might sound all nice and warm and fuzzy to list off good deeds, but the reality of it is not. The nature of sacrifice is giving something up. Today I got stung by a bee mowing our yard. When I degreased the grill, I accidentally drug it out into a part of the yard that had an anthill and got completely covered in ants. When I dropped off the proposal I was grilled on his pricing by a grumpy old man. When I painted the dresser, I was sweating like a crazy lady when it wasn't turning out like I'd imagined. Hardest of all, when I spoke with the family who suffered great loss, I allowed myself to really remember mine. Serving is not a "woo hoo, look what I did" type of thing. It's messy. It stings...sometimes your foot, and sometimes your soul.

The blessings are coming out on the drives to and from these places, from EXPLAINING to the kids WHY we're going to Nana's work. WHY we're going to the grocery store for someone else. WHY we're doing things we don't HAVE to do.

Because love. We do them because of love for others. We do them to light up the darkness.

I haven't shared my #summerofservice idea with anyone because it kinda makes me look like a dork, but that's ok. As things get crossed off of my list, I add more. When you think of the people around you, the list will really never dry up. Open your eyes past yourself. Bear someones burden if you dare.


  1. You are so sweet! I am a worrier, so I can relate. I hope the rest of your summer goes great!

  2. You have a kind heart. Thanks for posting this

  3. LOVE what you are doing and really appreciate that you are taking the time to explain it with your kids, including them in the experience! Thanks for the post; I am sharing it!