Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24
It’s always a wild spring when you have a senior in the house! One of my favorite parts of a senior spring is attending all the Graduation Open Houses and visiting with family, friends and neighbors. It doesn’t hurt that I have to do very little cooking on the weekends for several weeks in a row either. This past weekend I had some terrific conversations with lots of great folks as we hopped from party to party and a couple things really stood out that I just thought I needed to share.
I visited quite a while with a good friend who was sharing the story of her 5-month-old niece who has been recently diagnosed with a rare condition and will be spending the next 6 months in the hospital receiving Chemo and a bone marrow transplant. At 5 months old I was wondering if I should feed my babies strained peas or applesauce and they are trying to decide which type of Chemo to give their baby girl. As I listened to her speak I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach! I was amazed with the faith, the hope and the absolute conviction she had in the power of prayer! I was inspired by the story of the way her family has put together a plan and spun into action to support her brother and get this baby girl well. Her story of faith and trust inspired me so I’m asking all of you to pray for baby Kendall.
Toward the end of the conversation my friend shared some words she had heard at a parish mission a while back and talked about how they were bringing her strength. I thought they were so powerful I wanted to share them with all of you.
We all have a cross in life and we can either drag it or carry it!
The speaker at the mission referenced his two elderly aunts who both had struggles and sufferings but each approached them differently. One aunt grumbled, complained and acted in true pessimistic fashion while the other always had smiles, laughs and cookies for those who stopped by to visit in spite of the toll aging had taken on her. The first dragged her cross while the other carried hers and boy was there a difference.
I also learned a new word, Avanti, which is an Italian word that means "go forward" or "go forth." The conversation surrounding that word was all about moving ahead with whatever life scoops up and plops in your lap. I think in this life God expects us to go forward with whatever cross he gives us; that’s just our job but how we do that is up to us…drag or carry. If you really think about it, dragging takes longer, alienates us and probably reduces the benefits of the struggle. Carrying is still hard but it’s a sign of trust and gives us the opportunity to glorify God while we move along with our cross. I guess when it all boils down to the bottom of the pot…I don’t want to be a cross dragger, I wanna be a cross lifter! My crosses are mine for a very specific reason and I don’t think God is one bit impressed if I try to convince the world mine is harder, heavier and requires sympathy from others.
So after a weekend of beautiful stories of struggle and triumph my motto for the week is “Carry, don’t drag, sister!”
A Seed To Plant: Pray for baby Kendall and figure out if you’re a dragger or a carrier!
Blessings on your day!
Copyright 2015 Sheri Wohlfert
Image courtesy of Sheri Wohlfert. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Sheri is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker and teacher. She uses her great sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Her roots are in Kansas but her home is in Michigan. The mission of her ministry is to encourage others to look at the simple ways we can all find God doing amazing things smack dab in the middle of the laundry, ball games, farm chores and the hundred other things we manage to cram into a day. Sheri also writes at JoyfulWords.org.