Come, Lay em down.

Come, Lay em down.

I carry a lot of things around.
The other day, I had this revelation on the 3rd trip to my car that on any given day I notice on my right arm I am carrying one mega-sized work-bag (with my laptop, a few folders, marketing materials, planners, little notebooks, and any number of random objects for my kid clients such as a football, a box of play dough, a my little pony figurines, you get the picture). in my right hand is a traveling mug of tea, in my left is a water bottle. Underneath my arm my yoga mat, and strapped on my left arm is my lunch bag.

I carry a lot of things around.
Today I had this realization as I sat reading the words of Jesus to the Pharisees. He said “They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” As a therapist, I think I get caught up in the trap of thinking I am supposed to carry people’s burdens, they are supposed to lay them at my feet. But really, no human can hold any burden with any sense of comfort and rest. We all have burdens, and the more we try to take on others’ burdens, the heavier ours become and the less we are actually able to truly help them. I carry the load of worry, fear, unforgiveness, pride. I put this load on myself and walk around life wondering why I get stressed, sad and anxious. I let it seep into my relationships with other people but worse, I let it seep into my relationship with my Savior.
And in the midst of trying to juggle these burdens, trying to bear them on my back I hear Him say:
Find rest for your soul
Cast your burdens on Me.
I care for you.

So come to the River, whose streams make glad the city of God. Find a place to lay your trouble. And find true rest for your soul.
Just, “lay em down”.

Lyric: Needtobreathe “Lay em down”

It’s the soul that needs a surgery.

I once heard a quote that went something like “If women just woke up one morning and decided they liked the way they looked, how many companies would go out of business?”
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy supporting American economy as much as the next girl but whoever said this has a point; a thought-provoking and legitimate one that made me think twice when I looked in the mirror this morning.

Since I began working in the field of eating disorder treatment, the way that I think about myself, other women, the media, and let’s face it, basically everything has changed. I see these clients and hear their stories and think to myself: as good as women are at putting up a facade of “I’m-so-happy-that’s-why-I’m-smiling-like-this-and-no-it’s-not-because-of-botox”; the truth is that the plight of a women in the 21st century is not the slightest bit easy. And don’t get me wrong, men surely have their difficulties in this life too, but as Beyonce so poignantly expresses in her ballad “Pretty Hurts”, the messages women and men receive in our society are so drastically different:
“Mama said, “You’re a pretty girl.
What’s in your head, it doesn’t matter
Brush your hair, fix your teeth.
What you wear is all that matters.”

Blonder hair, flat chest
TV says, “Bigger is better.”
South beach, sugar free
Vogue says, “Thinner is better.””

With all of these mixed messages, telling us who to be, what to wear, what to eat, what to manipulate about our every body part, it’s a wonder any of us are actually functioning and living with any amount of self esteem at all! And as if the messages weren’t enough for us female auditory-learners, the visual images our male “visual learner” counterparts are bombarded with on every side about what an “ideal” woman looks like only breeds more dissatisfaction and less joy and appreciation for the soul and essence of a person and what makes us unique.

So what are we to do in the face of this ever-increasing cultural focus on appearance?

The answer is easy and both Jesus and Beyonce answer it in the same way:
Jesus: For what will it profit a man (or woman) if he (or she) gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?
Beyonce: It’s the soul that needs a surgery.

We have to start with the soul. We have to look inside ourselves, each and every one of us and ask ourselves if what we are focusing on is making us lose our very selves. I’m the last person to judge someone for getting plastic surgery, trying to eat healthy, or even wearing certain clothing that will enhance your figure. But when the focus on our outward appearance becomes all that we are, and all that we find our value in, we begin to forfeit our soul. We forget that who we are: women made in God’s image, dearly loved and clothed with strength and dignity, is what gives us worth. And once we realize this for ourselves, we can begin sharing it with others. And the light that we find can shine in the dark places in our society, can heal the broken women and can create a new culture in which we realize our worth, we are happy in ourselves and the only opinion that matters is the one of The One who made us:
Fill your mind with His messages, and your heart with His love:

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be Praised.

Do not let your beauty be merely external–the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.

She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.