Tuesday, June 19, 2012

the art of letting go

This will now be my third attempt to compose my latest blog post and this time I'm hoping to get it to the point where I can hit the 'publish' button.

Life at the moment is very much wrapped up in being a Mum to wee Charles.  Week days have a fairly similar pattern to them.   So even though life has slowed down in some respects, the lessons I am learning seem very poignant and I'm sure will prove to be a solid foundation for the long journey of motherhood ahead of me.   This beginning phase has brought with it a new set of challenges which are definitely exposing some areas in need of a transformational touch.  I'd like to share a few of my thoughts on what the Lord seems to be revealing to me in this season.

Most days when I wake up my mind starts to buzz with a gazillion things I want to achieve.   Once I've fed Charles and seen Cody off to work I get my whiteboard out to write my to-do list.   I simply love it when things go according to my plans and expectations for the day.  It gives me a delicious sense of security and worth as I tick each item off.   At the end of the day I strategically place my whiteboard where I know Cody will see it just so I can hear him say "My! You got a lot done! What a perfect wife and mother you are" (I don't really do this...Ok, Ive done it once and it didn't even work).   The culture we live in is so performance-oriented and achievement-driven that its no wonder I approach my life in this way (without fully being aware of it until recently).    It comes down to the desire to be in control of everything.  Its a tiring cycle to get stuck in.   I am learning the art of letting go (emphasis on the learning).   I don't think the answer lies in not writing a list and not getting anything done but in something deeper.  My hurried approach to life dulls my awareness of how my controlling nature spills over into the daily tasks.  I am learning to slow down and recognise the moments in my day where I need to let go and simply embrace. Its not a big deal if I don't get everything done that I intended.  So what if Charlie is going through yet another phase of change - yes it throws me, frustrates me...but at some point I have to let it go (note to self: next time this happens, don't waste hours on the internet trying to work it out).   The standards and expectations I place on myself are often unrealistic and the effect can be crippling.   It is the not the path to freedom, the freedom that God promises but so few of us get to experience.  God Himself does not hold up a standard and expect His children to reach it so who am I to do the same.  How awesome is it that He loves me just as I am, not for what I can do.  Understanding who God is and His heart toward me is key in learning this.  He is gentle and meek, it is only me who is hard on myself.  Like the saying goes - I am my own worst enemy.  

In the past there have been challenging seasons where I have come to the end of myself and have been faced with the necessity to let go of the things that I can not control.  I think this is a constant challenge and in some ways it is easier to acknowledge this need when our circumstances highlight our own weaknesses and need for the Lord.   This truth seems to be even more of a theme in my life since little Charles entered this world -  I am not only tempted to take control of my own life but now another little being whom the Lord has given me the responsibility of stewarding.  I want to understand the importance of recognising the areas I can't control (such as another human being) and letting them go into the Lord's hands.  I'm sure there will be many opportunities to practice this along the path of parenthood. 

God is giving me the choice, daily, to get rid of the expectations and burdens I heap on myself and to come to Him.  To shed the burdens I place on myself and take His yoke and burden, which is easy and light.  To learn from Him because (unlike myself) He is so gentle toward me.   Learning this truth leads me to more and more freedom; something that can only be found in Him.

Here is a great portion taken from a book I read recently:

“Humbly let go. Let go of trying to do, let go of trying to control, let go of my own way, let go of my own fears. Let God blow His wind, His trials, oxygen for joy's fire. Leave the hand open and be. Be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love and whisper a surprised thanks. This is the fuel for joy's flame. Fullness of joy is discovered only in the emptying of will. And I can empty. I can empty because counting His graces has awakened me to how He cherishes me, holds me, passionately values me. I can empty because I am full of His love. I can trust.”

Ann Voskamp (taken from 'One Thousand Gifts')


  1. Loved reading this :) I'm the same so know what you mean. We all need to learn to be human BEINGs not human DOINGs! Thanks for the inspiration

    1. Thanks Linley! That's so true! We need to be ok with simply'being'.

  2. Your baby is beautiful. I enjoyed this post.