There was once a time that putting on your apron was synonymous with putting on a bra. It was part of a women’s arsenal to get her daily work done. As she went about her daily chores, finding things out of place, she would put them in her apron pockets. At the end of the day she would empty out her apron pockets and put everything in its proper place. She would put Billy’s toy car in his toy box, Bob’s pipe in the den and her ear rings in her jewelry box. Then hang her apron on the hook in the kitchen, ready to face another day. It was a signal that her day was done and she would go to sleep knowing that things were in their proper place.
As women, we have “Apron pockets” that we don’t even realize are there. Our day goes by and we pack things in there like worry, fear, anxiety, saddness and stress. Packing away the fear about our youngest going to school for the first time or worry about your “baby” taking their first real adult job. You may be storing away worry for your family’s main source of income, fearful of what the doctor may say at your next appointment, have so much anxiety that it can be paralyzing at times or stressed about how you will be able to mend a family relationship back the way it once was. You may be anxious for your son becoming a father or totally stressed out that your 16 year old passed their driver’s license test. All these and things like this we store away, not realizing that each thing (both the positive and the negative) is like a stone weighing us down. They are things that are commonly placed in the “that’s life” category, shoved into our apron pockets and then ignored.
We assume that these little stones of fear, worry, anxiety and stress are ours to contend with. No place for them to go and we just have to suck it up and carry the burden with little to no complaint…after all we don’t want to add our burden to our sister’s load. So day after day, week after week, the stones are piling up. We don’t always realize we are carrying these stones around with us. Occasionally some spill out in the form of “snarkiness” or “unexplained tears”. A body ache that just has no explanation (probably had a stone land on it or we slept funny on the stones) we just know we are weary, snippy, snarky and sore, maybe withdrawn or intentionally staying as busy as possible. All the while trying to avoid or ignore the stones into oblivion.
Don't Worry I have Great news! God knows us well and has already given us a way to empty out our apron pockets. The author says to us in Psalm 68:19 “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” In the New Testament Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Then Paul reminds us in Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”. There are three important things I hope all of you realize in these scriptures:
First: In Psalms it does not say our God only carries our big burdens and that He is only available Sunday evenings at 6pm. In Matthew Jesus didn’t invite us only to bring the things we think we can’t hide. If it is a burden to you God wants you to bring it to Him. He DAILY bears our burdens and wants to give us rest. Empty out your Apron pockets. Take every worry, stress, anxiety and fear at the end of the day and hand it over to Him. He is waiting for it and wants to give the weary(YOU!!) rest!
Second: Paul tells us in Galatians to “carry each other’s burdens”. It doesn’t mention to only notice what’s convenient for us or to avoid the icky stuff. It is a trick of the enemy to have you thinking you shouldn’t give her a hug because it may embarrass her or that you shouldn’t share your burden because it is yours alone to carry. Pray and God will show you who to talk to! What do you think is easier? Carrying a boulder by yourself or having 5 sisters circled around the boulder and lifting all at once?
Third: Here is the awesome part of how these scriptures work together. The burdens we carry for our Sisters… We can hand over to God! As we pray for them sharing their fears, worry, and concerns with God we are able to hand over the stones. Not only attaining a rest and a peace for ourselves but for our sister that was able to lighten her load by talking to someone about it. When we share our burdens we have help lifting them up to God who is willing and waiting for them.
So as we go about our day remember... You can "Empty Out Your Apron Pockets" anytime. Be watchful for the woman that may need your help empyting her pockets and ask for God to help you see her. Stay unburdened, God's grace is unfailing and He is waiting for us to trust Him enough to hand them over.
This is a Ladies Night out we had with this as the theme. It was great!
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