Friday, August 19, 2011

gratitude day 24: burdens

[brightly colored burdens by brian kershisnik]

so many things on my mind, so hard to find the words. it's been one of those emotional, thinking-deeply kind of weeks for me.

i feel like i've reached the peak of a towering summit this summer after a grueling effort. only, once i sat down to rest i looked around and discovered that the next mountain i am required to scale looks exactly like the one i just climbed.

i am older, wiser, yes. but i have grown weary. and i have these burdens on my back—burdens with labels like difficult relationship, impatient, “unproductive”, “easily provoked”, “unwilling to forgive”. i feel like i am not up to the tasks at hand.

these burdens! i think. they are too heavy. if i were more patient, more naturally inclined to compassion and kindness then perhaps i could shoulder them. but i cannot. i cannot go on.

and then, up on that summit, i take my burdens off my back for a moment, really look at them. i notice how brightly colored they are, how brightly they shine in the sunlight. how, even though it's a strain, i can pick them up, because i am stronger than i was before. and i realize that i am grateful for that strength because i know i could not have gotten it in any other way. my burdens are brightly colored. they are beautiful.

and now, headed down the summit and onto the next one, i realize my burdens have had wheels all along. wheels with labels like “daily prayer”, “scripture study”, “temple attendance”, and “atonement”. i keep my burdens on the ground now, letting the wheels do their work, rolling down the mountain, gaining speed.

i hope i can pick up enough speed to make it at least halfway up the next peak. i can't wait to see the view from up there.


  1. You always inspire me. Your words are so beautiful. You're so profound and so enlightened. I have so far to go to be just like you. But, that's what I want to do because you are one of my heroes.

  2. You have a way with words. Why don't you write a book? :)

    Wonderful pictures too.

    I love you!

  3. "Everyone can be discontented if he ignores his blessings and looks only at his burdens"

    - Thomas S Monson

    "The Lord will give us no burdens greater that our backs can bear"

  4. Your grace is something I try and emulate. Thank you for your inspired words and your example. I know you can climb those mountains and reach the summit!

  5. Rachel, you have quite the gift. I am always amazed how beautiful you can make things sound with your words. I would never have thought of my burdens as colorful. Thank you.

  6. these illustrations are so perfect for this.

    i love and admire you SO MUCH. thank you (as always) for being such an incredible example of bearing burdens well.