Pick things up and Put them down

Dear One,

There comes a time to lay our burdens down.

A loved one of mine is struggling this week. Like a lot of us, actually. We’re carrying too much weight – staggering and stumbling under it. There are some things we simply must hold, but there are others we’d do well to put down. Why do they cling to us so? What-if’s and worries, sorrows and shame, regrets and resentment are extra pounds that can be hard to shake. 

This morning, the old Planet Fitness commercial came to mind. Have you seen it? A big, burly, body builder repeats one phrase and one phrase only: “I pick things up and put them down.”

While this man did not find a place of welcome at Planet Fitness, I don’t want to discount him entirely. I think he’s offering wisdom we need to hear because what I see so many of us do is to complete only half of his equation:

I pick things up.

  • I pick things up and hold them.
  • I pick things up and carry them.
  • I pick things up and am weighed down by them, crushed under their accumulative weight.
  • I pick things up, but I neglect to put them down. Sometimes I even forget I can.

There comes a time to lay our burdens down. 

There are some things we must carry, and may God give us the strength to do so. But there are plenty of others we can put down.

Two of the things I need to put down are named Yesterday and Tomorrow. These are too heavy to carry along with Today. Jesus was right when he said each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34). 

I have a tendency to drag my yesterdays right into today. Piling them on, I’m pressed down by the weight of their griefs & grievances, troubles & trials, faults & failures.

As if that’s not enough, I add my tomorrow’s to the mix, borrowing the burdens through practices of what-if’s and worries. 

So I’ve made a little mantra for myself and it rhymes which helps me to remember. Maybe it will help you, too? 

Don’t borrow from tomorrow,
Don’t stay in yesterday,
Each day, enough. 

I pick things up AND put them down: Our Little Life Words of the week.  



  • Which do you tend to do more: borrow from tomorrow or stay in yesterday?
  • What can you put down?


  • Go around the house and for 5 minutes just keep picking things up and putting them down. Each time you do it, say it, “I pick things up AND put them down.”
  • Dialogue or journal about what it may have felt like if you hadn’t put any of those items down but rather kept accumulating & carrying them as you went along. 


  • Our song of the week is: Down By the Riverside by Grandpa Elliot, and oh my goodness friend? … all those things you’ve picked up are about to fall right off as you dance, sing & shout for 5 very glorious moments – don’t miss this!!!


  • I’ve written an adaptation of the Serenity Prayer for us. Join me?  “God, grant me the grace to put down what’s not mine to carry, the strength to bear what is, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Friend, life is heavy enough, let’s not make it heavier by carrying that which we can put down. Here’s to a little load lightening as you pick things up AND put them down.

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