A friend passed along a bag of clothes that included

a perfect-for-fall, mustard-yellow purse.

I switched purses on

the way home from church.

No need to delay.

And now when I see my friend I wonder

what she thinks when she sees me with the mustard-yellow purse

that is now a messy, bulging, mustard-yellow purse.


It needs cleaned out – always.

At present there are game pieces, and an entire container of

gum pieces floating around in there, two wallets, receipts, papers,

granola bars, makeup bag, travel deodorant (for when I forget),

a myraid of pens and lotion.

In short: a mess.

She doesn’t know the extent of the mess

of course, but I am guessing she has a good

idea from the way the purse bulges

and looks heavy – because it is.

And I wonder if she thinks to herself:

“That purse isn’t meant to carry all that!”

Surely, a good portion of what is in

there is unnecessary.

And it just makes the bag

so very heavy.

I know that I need to unload

some of the items and

that my shoulder will

thank me if I do.

And I wonder if there are other things

that I carry, unnecessarily.

Does the one who made me look at

me and think,

“She doesn’t need to carry all of that.”

He actually knows all that I carry.

Knows every little thing I hold on to:

pride, anxious thoughts,

what so-and-so said,


There are things I am meant to hold:

creativity, joy, love, peace, hope

but the mess of the other things

means I have to dig really deep to find them.

I look for joy and grab onto

anxious thoughts instead.

I reach for love and since I get to unforgiveness first,

that’s where I go.

I need to do a daily inspection

so that what I am meant to hold,

doesn’t get buried by what

I am not meant to hold.

What am I not meant to carry?

Lay it down, unload it,

give it the one who

waits for me to hand it over.